Age is no barrier for Barry in Doncaster gym’s plank challenge

A 78-year-old from Bessacarr, Doncaster, has won his local gym’s plank challenge and the fit septuagenarian already has his eye on this month’s squat trial.

Barry Edgecombe has been a member of Choose Fitness for ten years and uses the gym at Doncaster Dome three times a week to keep fit.

In December, Barry saw that the gym was challenging members to see who could hold the plank position for the longest amount of time and decided to give it a go.

He said: “My first attempt was five minutes and then I saw that someone had beat this with six minutes, so I had another go. This time I managed seven minutes and the same person beat me with 12 minutes. Spurred on by other members I thought I’d give it one more go and I managed 14 minutes and 10 seconds and won the challenge.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting a 78-year-old to be the winner! This month’s challenge is for holding a squat against a wall, I’m up for winning this one too so we’ll see how I do.”

Barry currently visits the gym at the Dome three times a week with a friend and focuses on repetitions of light weight work.

“At my age if you get injured it takes a long time to recover so I just do a steady work out. Visiting the gym is a great social part of the week as well as a chance to focus on keeping fit and healthy.

“There is a lovely group of people using the gym at the Dome and the staff are really encouraging. These new challenges are a fun way to get people trying something different,” added Barry.

Focusing on fitness is nothing new for Barry, some 31 years ago he used to play badminton and won a medal when he represented the Dome in 1991 for winning division four.

He was also an avid trekker, a hobby he started with his wife walking in Derbyshire and the Lake District and then with a friend took on a 31-day trek to Nepal doing the North and South base camps on Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, where they climbed Pang Pema peak at 6,000 meters.

“I guess the treks taught me about endurance and perseverance and set me up well for these new challenges.

“Keeping fit is important, no matter how you do it. For me, having such a great facility on my doorstep makes it easy, and that fact that I can still win challenges is great. My advice if you are thinking about your fitness is to come along and give it ago!”

Anyone wanting to try out the Choose Fitness membership can now take advantage of the free three-day trial membership, further details are available on the website

For further information about Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and the Choose Fitness memberships visit