Meet George Hood Fitness Director

October 26, 2017


Ultra Endurance Fitness Pro and International World Record Holder Joins YMCA Staff as Fitness Director "

Ultra Endurance Fitness Pro and International World Record Holder Joins YMCA Staff as Fitness Director

George E. Hood has a “Y” story like most around the world. Growing up in Indiana, PA and playing YMCA Church League basketball, attending YMCA Day Camp each year and working part time at his local hometown YMCA while going to college, formed memories that he can recall as if they were only yesterday . During his remarkable career as a former Marine Officer, a Special Agent with NCIS and DEA a brief tour in Afghanistan, George went on to set 2 additional world records at YMCA facilities in 1986 in Honolulu, HI and in 2008 in Naperville, IL.

George’s association with the YMCA has lasted a lifetime and was a pivotal point in his eventual record setting career on behalf of countless charities around the world which have earned him a respected place on the world stage and in the fitness industry. George is currently the world record holder for the “Plank”, a world record he has set 5 times in the last 6 years. His current record time is 9 hours, 11 minutes and 01 seconds, set in November, 2016 in San Diego, CA.

In September 2017, after 10 world records and with a cadre of followers around the world, George’s association with the YMCA came full circle when he was hired as the new Fitness Director for the Indian Boundary YMCA in Downers Grove, IL, a part of the YMCA Metropolitan Chicago Association. Hood remarked, “taking on this great opportunity was something I wanted to do….it is a necessary step in my journey to continue serving the greater good with the tremendous success I’ve had with my record setting endeavors on behalf of worthwhile causes”. .

After graduating from Indiana University of PA, with a BA in Government and Public Service, Hood was commissioned as a U.S. Marine Corps officer and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA, where he also earned a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science from National University in San Diego. In 2007, Hood wrapped up a 25-year federal law enforcement career after serving as a Special Agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the DEA, where he became a Supervisory Special Agent assigned to the DEA Chicago Field Division.

After retiring from DEA, Hood spent nearly a year working in Afghanistan for a private firm providing law enforcement and counter terrorism investigative support to U.S. forces. After returning to the United States, Hood launched his fitness career in 2009 at another health and fitness facility where he was supervised and trained by Erik Knowles, who is now the Executive Director for the Indian Boundary YMCA. Knowles subsequently facilitated Hood’s success as a Director of Group Exercise at yet another club here in the area.

Knowles remarked, “I’ve known George nearly 10 years. George is passionate about fitness and brings a great dynamic to the team here at Indian Boundary…He not only preaches health and fitness, but he clearly leads by example and he is great with people….George has a big following in this industry and its only grown as a result of his international record setting events. He brings great structure to our team here at Indian Boundary.”

Hood, who turns 60 in December, said he is excited about his new role. Hood also stated, “I’m grateful for the mutual respect and warm welcome I’ve gotten from YMCA Metro Chicago and especially the members and staff I’m getting to know at Indian Boundary YMCA”.

“My unique relationship with Erik Knowles and our combined passion for quality training programs will enhance an already successful program…..I’m happy to be a part of his team and a staff that is committed to excellence….I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make a sound and positive contribution to the Indian Boundary YMCA program.”