Jerry Brown exceeds goal by doing 1,005 push-ups in one set
LAHAINA — Kaanapali resident Jerry Brown celebrated his 68th birthday last month. On Wednesday, Feb. 10, he memorialized it by accomplishing a remarkable fitness feat: 1,005 push-ups in one set lasting two hours, nine minutes and 48 seconds.
Blake Ramelb filmed the entire session and posted it live on his Instagram page (@bkrvlogs).
After completing the push-ups at The Club Maui at Outlets of Maui in Lahaina, Brown still had the energy to lead his two-hour self-defense class there.
“I do think I may skip tomorrow’s workout,” he joked.
A fitness and martial arts expert, Brown enjoys testing his limits.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have seen Brown running continuous, no-rest circuits of bleacher runs, squats, push-ups and sit-ups at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday mornings.
It’s a brutal workout he has used to gauge if young men wanting to enter the military Special Operations Forces are sufficiently prepared mentally to attempt the Qualification Course they will face.
He warned them, “If you fail the Q-Course, you may end up as a cook or a clerk, based on the needs of the service. If I can make you quit, you won’t stand a chance when you get there. There’s no such thing as being ‘FIT ENOUGH’ to complete those courses! You have to be mentally tough enough ‘TO NOT QUIT.’ Currently, he has no one wishing to train for that.
As for his personal training regime, here’s an example of a recent workout: “On Feb. 3, 2021, I did 1,250 squats in 59 minutes, took a two-minute rest, then did 1,600 abs in one hour and six minutes. The squats are body-weight, but I squat all the way down as far as I can go — not a lifter’s squat. I stand up and must lock my knees at the top,” he explained.
His abdomen exercises consist of evolutions of 50 sit-ups (nothing holding his feet down), ten reverse sit-ups, ten leg lifts, ten scissor kicks (legs parallel to the ground), ten half sit-ups (pausing at the top) and ten flutter kicks. That equals one evolution that totals 100 reps, so it takes 16 evolutions to do 1,600 reps.
A former Army soldier, Brown won the All Army – Hawaii Fitness Championship in 1986.
“I did 114 push-ups in two minutes. I only got credit for 107 because seven were not PERFECT! That is the last time I trained with a time limit,” he explained.
“I’ve seen YouTube videos of guys ‘allegedly’ doing push-ups, but they were real fast and were actually only half-push-ups. They did not go all the way down nor lock the elbows at the top. The Army criteria says you have to go down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle — elbows parallel to the ground — and you have to lock your elbows at the top before going back down again.”
Today, Brown places his hands on push-up bars on the ground. Once he starts his push-ups, his feet stay planted and his knees never touch the ground. He only breaks the push-up “plank” position to shake out his arms one at a time.
After sets of 30 for the first 200, Brown does sets of five push-ups until he reaches his goal.
“The push-ups I do now are on push-up bars because I have bad arthritis in my shoulders and especially in my wrists. As a result, I go BELOW 90 degrees, which means my range of motion is much greater. It’s amazing how much wider my chest got with that form! It is actually much harder than traditional push-ups, and I’ll prove it to anyone who doesn’t believe me,” he said.
After slowly building his count over the four years, Brown on Aug. 19, 2020, accomplished 510 push-ups.
He set 700 as a goal for his 68th birthday in January 2021. “I began training harder than before and actually did 710 on December 11, 2020. That’s when I decided I should set my sights on 900,” he added.
Last week Wednesday, Brown started with a goal of 900 and completed 1,005 — five more “just because!” — in the live-streamed event.
Brown and his wife, Patricia, moved to West Maui from Kona in 2012.
Certified in Commando Krav Maga and SCARS (the fighting system Navy Seals learn), Brown taught self-defense at his school, Combat Survival Training-Maui in Wailuku, before leading classes out of his garage in Kaanapali.
He closed his school because he didn’t want to drive across the island every day, and he wanted to teach free of charge.
He now teaches self-defense at The Club Maui in Lahaina. Brown’s goal is to teach people how to act in dangerous situations and learn effective Situational Awareness, a class he teaches separately from the self-defense class.
“I can help people get back in shape, and especially, I can teach them how to defend themselves in a life-or-death situation,” Brown said.
“I currently have more females than male students in my class, and I prefer it that way. This system is so simple and easy to learn. Since moving to Maui, I’ve had two former female students who were attacked within two weeks of each other, and in both cases, their assailants were sent to the hospital!”
For information, call The Club Maui at (808) 868-2582.