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

November 01, 2017

For additional information and to arrange interviews, Contact: Erik Knowles, Executive Director, Indian Boundary YMCA 630-929-2408 or at eknowles@ymcachicago.org 

Downers Grove, IL- George E. Hood has a “Y” story like most around the world. He grew up Indiana, Pennsylvania, played YMCA Church League basketball, attended YMCA Day Camp each year and worked part time at his local Y while going to college. He’s formed YMCA memories that he can recall as if they were only yesterday. During his career as a Marine Officer, Special Agent with NCIS and DEA, and taking a brief tour in Afghanistan, George went on to set two world records at YMCA facilities. In 1986, George set the record for a rope-skipping marathon at a fundraiser held at a local YMCA in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2008 he set the record for stationary cycling (spinning) at a YMCA in Naperville, Illinois.

George is currently the world record holder for the “Plank”, a world record he has set five times in the last six years. His current record time is 9 hours, 11 minutes and 01 second, set on Veteran’s Day in 2016 in San Diego, California aboard the USS Midway (CV-41). Watch the event here and here.

After 10 world records, George’s lifetime association with the YMCA came full circle in September 2017 when he was hired as the new Fitness Director at the Indian Boundary YMCA of Metro Chicago in Downers Grove, IL. 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”.

As Fitness Director, Hood will directly supervise the monthly Group Exercise and Personal Training programs at the Indian Boundary Y. Hood looks forward to being actively involved in all facets of the Fitness Department programs that ultimately benefit the the Y’s members. He plans to take the plank to the next level and is currently composing a 1 hour plank challenge for all to participate in around the world. He said, “my dream is to have the 1 hour plank challenge be the next 10K.” Hood plans to launch his initiative with a new fitness endurance category; an inaugural 24 hour Plank Marathon record attempt, the details of which will be announced at a later time. George stands alone with his accumulation of such historic and compelling world records and he is proud to say that the YMCA has been a part of his legacy.

George wrapped up a 25-year federal law enforcement career the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the DEA, and later spent nearly a year working in Afghanistan for a private law enforcement firm to support to U.S. forces. When he returned to the United States, Hood launched his fitness career in 2009 at a 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 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. He brings great structure to our team here at Indian Boundary.” Hood, who turns 60 in December, says he is excited about his new role. Hood says, “I’m grateful for the mutual respect and warm welcome I’ve gotten from the members and staff I’m getting to know at Indian Boundary Y. 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 that is committed to excellence. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make a positive contribution to the Indian Boundary YMCA.”

He is currently writing a book and has appeared in countless publications around the world. His story has also been documented in the movie “Breaking and Entering.” George is passionate about spreading his message to others which is vested in his mantra “Set Goals, Keep Score, Break Records… anything else is just exercise”. He is an inspiring speaker and continues to train daily in order to maintain his presence on the world stage.

Hood moved to San Diego, California in 2013 but now returns to Chicagoland and the Indian Boundary YMCA. Hood has 3 sons, Andrew, Brandon and Christopher. Both Andrew and Christopher are Marine Officers currently on active duty and Brandon is a DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy. His story will continue to be told each day in his new role as the Fitness Director. Hood remarked in closing, “I’m humbled by the countless folks who’ve approached me since being here only a short time and who have said some of the kindest things.” Welcome home George Hood, we’re happy to have you!