This time it was a sui generis interview. World and Guinness record holder in ball control, Erick Hernández, sent his answers via WhatsApp once his muscles did not hurt that much and his record of 1 hour and 5 minutes —controlling the ball with his head in the sitting position with 1.5 kg in both ankles— was already achieved.
Without audience this time, none of his usual venues — Copacabana Hotel for instance—witnessed the deed. So, the rooftop terrace of his own house was the spot chosen to try and achieve his second world record in times of Coronavirus. He had already touched the ball 188 times in just 30 seconds with his head alone but in the standing position.
With his usual strong composure, paired with the experience of having spent more than 25 years breaking world records, Erick Hernández celebrated with his record all the Cuban doctors in their solidarity work and human behavior while saving lives both inside the country and abroad.
Why this category?
“I already had the previous training for the 30-seconds record where I strengthened the muscles of my neck, my upper back, and my trapezius muscle. Then, I thought about it as it is easier to me the technique of ball controlling with my head.
I strongly believe this record is improvable. The former record was set in 1 hour and 2 minutes and I think I can take it progressively up to one hour and a half.”
How difficult has it been training at home due to Coronavirus?
“Training has been tough in the present conditions. I cannot prepare at home the sort of plans I would if I were in a gym.
But, I do work with a series of exercises that require power and less recovery time from one exercise to another.
I do now the running, which is paramount to me, with few pauses and more repetitions and the jumping rope as a workout routine.”
How much may workout routines at home benefit you, or not?
Gyms are much better if we take into consideration the planning and variety of exercises to meet all your muscles strengthening needs. The advantages to train at home are the calmness, the solitude. I like training alone. When there are too many people nearby, I sometimes lose my focus and it may limit the completion of my daily workout planning.”
What muscles did you prioritize?
“I gave priority to those having greater impact on the record: sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abdominals while quadriceps and calf muscles in the legs.”
“One of the main incentives was to prove that we can do exercises at home and keep a good shape despite the quarantine regime. It is all about meeting all hygienic-sanitary measures, but never losing sight on our goals, or turning our back on physical activity.”
What are the main differences between the two categories?
“One of the main difference is the position, and consequently, the ball control in the sit position starts with the movement of legs, which are fundamental to touch the ball by flexing and kicking.
If you add you have an additional 1.5 kg weight in each of them, well, everything gets more complicated.
And there you can weigh the effort and difficultness.”
Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours ago Erick broke another World record. It did not happen in the ideal conditions, without audience, with an extra dose of effort, but celebrating those white coats heroes fighting for our lives.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff