A father-of-five from Lincoln is proud to hold a Guinness World Record for the ‘most parallel bar dips in one hour’ after 24 years.
Property landlord Simon Kent, who was born in North Lincolnshire but has lived in Lincoln most of his life, first broke the record at the age of 22 with a total of 1,754 dips in an hour in 1987.
The record then changed hands multiple times before Simon set a new record of 3,989 parallel bar dips at Farrahs Health Centre on Brant Road, which is now a housing estate, on September 5, 1998. He achieved the record using custom-made bars from Boston-based Polaris which he still has at home in his garage.
Simon always used to do a lot of athletics, including high jump and discus, as well as cricket and football. Gymnastic tests were part of his training for discuss, a sport in which he represented Lincolnshire at school level.
The tests included press-ups and parallel bar dips, and Simon realised he was really good at the latter.
Simon, now 57, recalled to The Lincolnite about a programme called Superstars back in the 80s. Olympic bronze medallist in Judo Brian Jacks, who he later exchanged letters with, was famous for his efforts in the gymnasium where he frequently set records in the “gym tests” including 100 parallel bar dips in 60 seconds in the 1981 Challenge of the Champions.
When Simon was around 10-years-old he was in a cross country race at primary school, which he ended up winning and he said at the time he thought “one day I’d love to be the best at something and get in the book of records.”
Simon kept training and first broke the record in 1987 and between that year and 2006 he held an impressive total of 12 gymnastic tests-related world records. One Guinness World Record – ‘most parallel bar dips in one hour’ – still officially remains in his name after nearly quarter of a century.
He told The Lincolnite: “It feels fantastic and I didn’t realise it was still in place until a few months ago, so I feel very proud of that.”
He thought he’d broken another three years ago when he attempted a minute record for press-ups on his knuckles.
Guinness told him that he’d got the right number of press-ups, but that his thumbs were “pointing out” in the photos, so it couldn’t be approved, but Simon is determined to attempt this record again next year.
In addition to breaking the world records, Simon has also taken on similar record attempts for charity, including on television for Children In Need.
Although he isn’t doing as many record attempts these days, Simon still loves to keep fit and trains most weekdays at Total Fitness, as well as playing golf.
He also loves spending time with his five children – Tom, 31, Nick, 29, Jasmine, 28, India, 22, and 17-year-old Charlie.
Simon’s parallel bar dips record is part eight in The Lincolnite’s series looking at both Guinness World Record holders in Greater Lincolnshire and records set in the county.
*This record has since been broken more than once, including by speedeater, and multiple Guinness World Record holder Leah Shutkever with at time of 15.71 seconds. However, it was beaten again in January 2022 by Fayis Nazer (India) in Abu Dhabi, UAE in a time of 11.86 seconds.
*This record has since been broken. James Burgess achieved the record for the fastest time to complete the Screwball Scramble game with a time of 20.20 seconds in Exeter on May 9, 2021.
Part 7 – Lincoln Minster School – Highest altitude game of street hockey