If you ask Danny McDonald to drop and give you 20, you can bet he'll give you double.
The 65-year-old from Tignish, P.E.I. decided to see how many push ups he could get through in a year — and he hit a whopping 200,000.
It all started when the former gym owner started training an aspiring firefighter named Sharon Kelly.
“I pushed her, she pushed me. If I did 100, she did 101," McDonald told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview.
After working together for a year and a half, she reached her goal and passed her physical exam — and McDonald decided to start a personal challenge for himself.
On Feb. 11, 2015, their last day of training, Kelly did 1,000 push ups and McDonald did 900 in about an hour and 20 minutes.
But he never stopped.
Every day McDonald would do push ups, moving up from 200 a day, to 500, all the way up to 1,400 per day. If he missed his goal one day, he doubled up the following day, he said.
By Feb. 11, 2016 he had hit a total of 200,000 push ups.
The right form
McDonald does his pushups from a three-point position: both hands on the ground and with his left leg crossed over his right.
The 65-year-old was an avid runner until he broke his ankle, so this setup is most comfortable for him, he explained.
McDonald got into fitness as an alternative to physiotherapy after falling off a roof about 33 years ago, breaking both of his wrists.
Therapy wasn't available to him, so he started lifting weights to rebuild his strength, he told HuffPost Canada.
From there, the Maritimer built a small athletic facility right in his yard, called Danny's Gym.
"I just like to stay in shape. Doesn’t matter your age, just do a little bit."
The push-up master stopped operating the gym as a business three years ago and he's taken the sign off the building, but the doors never really stayed shut.
"He never closed the gym for himself, or his family or anyone who was interested," his sister-in-law Noella McDonald tells The HuffPost Canada.
People of all ages from the community still stop by to exercise. The gym is well-stocked with dumbbells, machinery and mirrors to check for form.
For now, McDonald has set his sights on how many push ups he can knock out in an hour.
The Guinness World Record is currently at 2,220 push ups in an hour, but McDonald isn't necessarily looking to beat it — he's more about personal goals.
"I just like to stay in shape. Doesn’t matter your age, just do a little bit — don’t have to do like I do, I get extreme."
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