At 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, Army Ranger veteran Brandon Tucker is set to step into the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Colombus, Ohio and spend the next 24 hours attempting to do more than 1,256 muscle-ups — the Guinness World Record for the muscle-ups in a single day.
The record was set on Oct. 29, 2021, by Alejandro Soler Tarí of Spain, and Tucker says he’s ready to go far beyond that on Sunday. The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will host a 24-hour live stream of Tucker’s world record attempt on its Facebook page.
Tucker previewed his world record attempt in an interview with American Military News on Friday. “I feel confident in the fact that I can do 1,256,” Tucker said. “I’m definitely not going to stop if I hit 1,257. I want to see if I can go the entire 24 hours.”
Tucker said he doesn’t know exactly how many muscle-ups he will do, but said after he recently completed 600 muscle-up repetitions in training he felt confident he could do at least that many more in the same setting.
Tucker served for almost eight years in the 3rd Ranger Batallion, 75th Ranger Regiment, before separating from the Army in 2018. Since leaving the military, Tucker has gone on to become a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)-certified personal trainer, and pursue record-setting levels of fitness.
On Oct. 26, 2019, Tucker set the Guinness World Record for the most pull-ups in a 24-hour period. He did 7,715 pull-ups.
Now Tucker is set to take on an even more challenging exercise, the muscle-up, which entails a compound movement beginning with a pull-up over the top of a pull-up bar, followed by a tricep extension from the top of the bar.
Here’s Tucker demonstrating the muscle-up:
While this will be Tucker’s first attempt at the 24-hour muscle-up record, his existing 24-hour pull-up record gives him some idea of the challenge he faces.
“I felt like I wanted to do something again and I decided to step it up a notch,” Tucker said. “I figured the next thing up from a pull-up is a muscle-up.”
Tucker pursued his pull-up record about a year after separating from the Army. Though he wanted a longer military career, those plans were cut short around eight years of service following his mother dying in a car crash and his diagnosis with a disqualifying medical condition.
Tucker was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis and in 2018, after efforts to get the medical condition under control failed, he was medically retired from the Army.
“It hurt, I didn’t want to get out. I really loved what I was doing, I loved being a Ranger,” Tucker said. “I just lost my mom. Now I’m losing my military career. I got out of the Army, about four months after transitioning out of the Army I went through a divorce . . . I just felt like I couldn’t win. I was at a point in my life where I felt like I had taken a lot of losses.”
As he struggled with the series of difficult life events, Tucker turned to fitness and self-help books. One book he said resonated with him was “Can’t Hurt Me” by retired U.S. Navy SEAL David Goggins.
Goggins had previously held the pull-up world record and Tucker said learning Goggin’s story inspired him to go for pull-up record too.
“When I started training for the pull-ups it gave me something to look forward to every day, it gave me something to work towards,” he said.
Tucker isn’t just going for the world record so that he can hold the Guinness title; he’s also using the opportunity to raise awareness for veterans who have struggled through similar experiences transitioning out of the military.
Tucker’s world-record attempt at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum will coincide with the kick-off of the Patriot Challenge, a fitness event fundraising for veteran nonprofits focused on supporting veterans transitioning out of the military. The challenge entails completing three rounds of a 500-meter row, burning 50 calories on an Echo Bike and 15 kettlebell swings.
“I think this will be a really good opportunity, not only to bring some awareness not only to the Patriot Challenge, but me personally I’m raising money for a veteran non-profit I chose called Warrior’s Heart Foundation,” Tucker explained.
Warrior’s Heart Foundation is focused on supporting veterans struggling with addiction, chemical dependencies, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). Warriors Heart runs a privately funded treatment center in San Antonio, Texas, which treats only active military, veterans, firefighters, police and EMTs.
Tucker said his mother is his source of inspiration in challenging moments. He said growing up, his mother would tell him and his brothers they could accomplish anything they set their minds to.
“Yeah, you hear that from people growing up, but the look in her face, just how serious she was, how she believed it so deeply,” Tucker said. “I think back to that and I want to find that belief in myself. So failure is not an option. I have to honor who she thought we could be and live nothing less than that.”
Tucker said once he wins the Guinness World Record for muscle-ups, he wants to try other fitness records.
“I do want to break more records,” he said. “I told myself I won’t be content until I have five.”