FORT WORTH STAR - TELEGRAM December 26, 2003

The following was taken from the Fort Worth Star - Telegram, interview.


In a span of 2 years, Texan, Rob Powell accomplished a pair of feats, unmatched in history.

On October 27-28, 2001, he completed 11 grueling activities in 22:11:40 seconds. Then, On October 26-27, 2002, he duplicated the feats in 19:17:38.

The regime of back-to-back feats Powell conquered were a 2 Mile Swim, 12 Mile Run, 12 Mile Hike, 1,250 Push-ups, 1,250 Leg Lifts, 1,250 Jumping Jacks, 110 Mile Cycle, 20 Mile Row, 20 Mile Elliptical, 3,250 Crunches, and lifting 300,000 Pounds (upper body only).

Rob Powell was born and raised on a Ranch, 25 miles outside of Dallas, in Dry Creek, Texas. He began studying the Martial Arts at age 4, which he still teaches today, to mostly Military, and Law Enforcement Officers. After a successful High School and College Athletic career, he became a Teacher/Coach, for the State of Texas.

He didn't like the eating and lack of exercise habits Americans have accepted, so he set out to do something about it. He shattered the Guinness World Record, formerly held by Joe Decker, and then his own. Now, he has created a new sport, based from his superhuman feats, The World Fitness Championships.

The WFC, has a 24 hour time limit, with 10 Events, that the average Joe from any gym, can aspire. The events are a 2 Mile Swim, 10 Mile Run, 10 Mile Hike, 500 Pop-Ups, 500 Hanging Leg Lifts, 100 Mile Cycle, 20 Mile Row, 20 Mile Elliptical, 3,000 Crunches and Lift 300,000 Pounds, using Bench Press, Lat Pulls, Seated Row, Triceps Extension and Curls.

WFC 1, was held earlier this year, on October 25-26, 2003. 157 Applied, for the 5 Man limit, none were turned down, Powell knew they would weed themselves out. 12 Registered, 3 Competed. An 18 year old from Shanghi, China, Merl Wolff, from Britain, South Dakota, and Rob Powell, of Dry Creek, Texas. Only 2 Finished, Merl Wolff, with a time of 23:53:12, and Rob Powell, with a New World Record time of 18:36:15.

A huge success for WFC 1, with all the media coverage. WFC 2 will follow, October 30-31, 2004.

I asked Rob about a women' division, and he said if the sport gets corporate sponsorship, there will be the World Fitness Challenge, (also Trademarked by Rob). It is 1/2 the distance and disciplines of the World Fitness Championships, and 1/2 the time, 12 hours. It is scheduled to start on April 30, 2005.

I asked him what other plans did he have for the WFC, he said, 6 events per year. I am working with a guy in London, England and we hope to get a men's and women's qualifiers meets, at the Challenge level, in the Spring, in England, ( 2 meets ), and a men's and women's qualifiers meet, here in the US, ( 2 meets). Then we take the best of the qualifiers, and invite them to the World Fitness Championships, for men, and The World Fitness Challenge, for women, every October. Making a total of 6 meets, annually, on 2 continents.

Why England? Guinness is located there, and I do more press there, than here in the US. I have even read interviews, I supposedly did, that I never did, or ever even heard of.

When I asked him how long would it take for a person to train for the WFC, Rob said, 'it takes 3 months to train for, and 3 days to recover from. You can take the average person, train them properly for 3 months, and they could finish the WFC. We even made a DVD about it called,(obviously), 'How To Train For The WFC''.

Any other DVD's? 'We have The WFC, which traces the origin of the WFC, a little about my life, and footage from the 40 mph, hit and run bike accident I suffered while promoting the sport, cycling across Texas, this Summer, and footage from all the World Records.

We also have the DVD, 'Facts, Opinions, and Free Advice on Fitness'. That is the DVD that gets you off the couch, and slowly into shape, until you reach your fitness goals. We hope to have it in book form some day.''

When I asked Rob why he started it all, he said, ' America is in a fitness crisis, if I draw attention to the new sport, the WFC, via the World Records, then I can form a successful sport, and help to motivate others for a healthier lifestyle. If we get corporate sponsorship, and the WFC gets off the ground, then people will take note and say, you know, these guys are doing 10 events, they all have to do with fitness, Rob says make 1 of the 24 hours in a day, just for you to be fit, maybe I'll try one of the events, maybe 2 of them. Hopefully, then a trend will develop, and America will begin to shape up.'

I then asked Rob if he had any other fitness goals? he said, 'I would like to be on the Presidential Physical Fitness Council, (deservingly so), and I would like to go for a run with the President, while he is here in Texas.'

Speaking of running, have you thought of following in the footsteps of another famous, fitness buff, Arnold Schwarzenegger?

'You know, I had a writer for the LA Times ask me the same question, and I will tell you what I told him. I have had a lot of jokes thrown at me since Arnold became Governor of California, people have called me Governor Powell. I have even been asked by members of both political parties, to go to the State Of Texas Conventions, this Summer, in Houston and San Antonio. I told them all, I am now trying to build a sport, if I am successful, and when I am in my 50's, I may, and probably will have political aspirations, but today is not that day.' ''