Pushing-up against rejection: 21-year-old Austinite breaks his third Guinness World Record


AUSTIN (KXAN) — It all started with a book.

“My grandfather… He had a book of Guinness World Records,” Alexander Suner said. “He showed it to me when I was like, 8-years-old. I was very young.”

Ever since, he became obsessed with breaking a record of his own, so he turned to push-ups he was doing at the time to get into shape.

Suner found out regular push-ups are controversial to do for a Guinness World Record so he focused on the closest form to them: diamond push-ups — a workout he picked up from class.

“There was a competition one day at my school,” Suner said. “The professor asked if we could do the diamond push-ups, and I won the competition. What stuck with me is that there was another guy that lifted a lot of weights, like he was very impressive. So I beat him on the diamond push-ups so I kind of got in love with the diamond push-ups because of that reason.”

Suner poses with his three framed certificates (Alexander Suner).

However, on his first attempt for the world record for most diamond push-ups in a minute he met failure.

“My back wasn’t completely straight and with Guinness, every repetition has to be perfect,” Suner said.

So he shifted gears and style. Diamond push-ups on medicine balls won him his first world record. He completed 41 repetitions in one minute to get his first certificate at the age of 18. What doesn’t seem so hard took time to achieve.

In order to break a world record, you have to send in an application to Guinness World Records for them to then accept you to break the world record of your choice. This process can take up to 3 months. After that, they send guidelines for you to follow. In total, the whole process can take about 6 months to break a record after Guinness reviews your submission.

“They asked for witnesses, video evidence. They ask for a lot of stuff because it has to be legit,” Suner said. “It takes time to get done.”

Diamonds on his mind

He wasn’t satisfied with his first achievement. The diamond push-ups world record he originally set out to break was still on his mind.

Unfortunately, they caused more problems than relief. Others beat the past record and upped the ante. That wasn’t the only pain he felt. Guinness World Records rejected him 15 times due to various reasons, including his form again.

But he continued and didn’t give up. He completed 86 repetitions in one minute to receive his second Guinness World Record.

But while he waited for the official word on that record he worked on his Spider-man knuckle push-ups. He wanted to break that one in the United States because he was born in Orlando, Florida. Sunder ended up breaking that record at Gold’s Gym in Austin on July 14, 2019. The previous two he completed in Cancun, Mexico — his mom’s country of origin.

Suner shared his accomplishment on his Instagram. In the video, he performed 64 Spider-man knuckle push-ups in one minute. The previous record was 56. He broke that after training for three months.

When asked if he plans to attempt to break another he smiled.

“I’m expecting to break another one here in Austin. There will be another world record here in Austin.”

But that’s not all.

“I still want to break another one in Turkey. That is where my father is,” Suner said.

He’s also interested in a different award: an Oscar. He hopes to pursue an acting career after breaking more world records.

You can learn more about how to apply for setting or breaking a record on Guinness World Record’s website.

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