John Peterson Crunches It!

John Peterson

Crunches by Salisbury Post

Heads up by Rachel Oliphant Barefoot

By Carl Blankenship

Rowan native Peterson completes nearly 14,000 crunches in two-hour record attempt

Published 12:02 am Friday, December 10, 2021

By Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship/Salisbury Post –

John Peterson has performed feats like this before and he always enlists counters to track his repetitions.


John Peterson did crunches for two hours straight on Thursday, and about five minutes after he was done,  he jumped back in to see how many more he could do in a minute.

The Rowan County native powered through 13,944 repetitions at The Forum in two hours, more than doubling the number of crunches he clocked in a one-hour attempt in 2018. He was lying back on a stand at an angle, with a Shriners Hospitals for Children shirt representing the nonprofit medical provider and his eyes closed in silence except for the sounds of other people working out in the gym.

The 64-year-old set a record with his attempt, because he says no one else has ever done it. Rather than calling in the Guinness Book of World Records, Peterson uses the website Record Setter, which allows people to track and record unique feats. He added an extra layer of difficulty by doing the attempt at an angle. After he crossed the two-hour mark and got off the stand, Peterson said he felt pretty good and he was not disappointed by not quite hitting the 14,000 mark. His estimate going into the feat was 13,000 to 14,000 repetitions. He said it was a “little different” than one hour of crunches.

“I’ve been doing crunches all my life,” Peterson said, adding decades ago he became interested in the importance of core strength for supporting the body and preventing ailments like back pain resulting from pressure on the spine.

Peterson said he regularly does crunches for 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes he wears a weighted vest. So, when he takes it off he feels “light as a feather.”

Rayna Gardner, manager of The Forum, was one of two people counting each and every repetition. This time around was a bit more manageable with help, trading off counting every 30 minutes rather than going for an hour straight.

“I think I’d rather do the crunches, though I’d never make it,” Gardner said.

The tally sheets for the crunches were filled with endless marks during the attempt. Gardner would periodically let him know how many he had done and how much time he had left.

Gardner helped Peterson with other attempts in the past, but this is the longest by far. The counting is mind-numbing, but she said the outcome is worth it. Peterson always makes it through an attempt and hits his goals, if not a bit more, she said.

“He’s a big motivator here,” Gardner said. “People look up to him and watch the way he pushes himself physically.”

Peterson said he is now considering a 24-hour attempt with five minute breaks each hour. Gardner said he will need to solicit an entire list of volunteers to count.

Shane K Smith



Thanks Rachel Oliphant Barefoot!

·  Curtis Adams Sr.

Do you have John’s contact information or is he on Facebook? Shane K Smith

Shane K Smith


I don’t. Rattle my cage if you find him first!

·  David Seagroves

Wonder if he still runs?

·  Courtney Parham Stewart


·  Lee Troutman

Wow, very impressive! Nice work John!!

·  Ralph Campbell

That’s amazing! 👍

·  Rick Kirkman Sr.


·  Mary Anne Barnhardt

Always loved him. He’s such a cool guy. Was fun in school. 😁

·  Karen Haywood Black

Always such a nice gentleman!

·  Carol Corl

Love John… such a great guy

·  Jackie Dancy Hart

That’s awesome 👏John!!

·  Terry Bunn


John I forgot about it but I’m really proud of you brother I knew you could do it you’re the man

·  Bruce Potts

A-ma-zing! Go John!

·  Carol Corl

Awesome 👏

·  Sheryl Jones

John’s sisters can help you they are on Facebook they are

Linda Elder and Sheryl Peterson they can give you the information you need.

Shane K Smith



Sheryl Jones, I will “track” them down and ask them to show all this to John!

Shane K Smith AuthorAdmin Thank You!

Sheryl Jones Shane K Smith you’re welcome

Melvin Brown Way to go John · Reply · 

Pam Jordan John plays Bongos at my Church on Sundays I’m not sure if he’s on Facebook I do know how to get in touch with him · Reply · 

Shane K Smith Author Admin Pam Jordan, Pull him off to the side and show him all the love he is getting on this page. Also take him to the link above.

Christopher Campbell I’m not a bit surprised. I spent an entire season chasing John around that cinder track. The best mile I ever ran, 4:35.8, was the one and only time I ever beat him—either our Conference meet or All-County. It put me within two seconds of a new school record. It also shocked John to the point that, next race, he came back and moved that record to 4:29. That was his senior year, my junior. But even another year of training wasn’t enough to best his mark. Respect, brother! Then, and now. It was an honor to run in your shadow.


John is blowing up my Web Page! Thanks to his friends for making time to visit!


This is as of 202121218 and we haven’t even got started yet. Scroll down a little bit and click the more button. You can send this to your friends by email or a half dozen different ways.


South Rowan by Shane ’73 to ’77

Pam Jordan  · D0temce4um7b0eptr 11m90 atn1m 3:22e PM  · Hello everyone I talk to John Peterson today and told him all the love he was receiving on this page and told him names of you all congratulating him on his accomplishment which he say has never been done in 2hrs he also said he was on wbtv news and has some more accomplishments to make in 2022 plus another interview he say he appreciates the love and give anyone on the SR page his number which it is 704 314 7507 per he cannot answer leave message and he will return the call and he was off to the Forum such a humble guy he is and at 65 he doing it more shall be revealed.



By David Whisenant

By David WhisenantPublished: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:46 PM EST

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) -A 64-year-old man in Salisbury spent two uninterrupted hours on Thursday morning doing abdominal crunches in a local fitness club. John Peterson says he doesn’t believe anyone has ever done that before, so he started crunching at 10 a.m.

Rayna Gardner from the Forum in Salisbury did the counting and watched every up and every down that John could muster.

It wasn’t the first time John did something like this. In 2018 he did 6774 crunches in one hour, setting the highest mark of anyone on the Record Setter web site where unusual feats like this are recorded. On Thursday he went twice as long, and more than doubled his total.

John’s “core” belief, is the belief he has in himself, based on advice given to him by legendary South Rowan coach Larry Deal.

“Coach Deal said if nobody else believes in you, believe in yourself, so I believe in myself,” Peterson said. “That way I want to prove a lot of these naysayers they are wrong. I don’t care even if you are an expert, I just want to prove how wrong you are, anything you achieve in life, it can be done, like Arnold S said, don’t be afraid of failure, you learn something from it.”

There was no failure on Thursday. John stayed at it for the whole two hours, and Rayna managed to count a total of 13,994 crunches. That’s likely enough for many folks to sit up and take notice.

Rayna Gardner said that five minutes after John finished on Thursday, he then got on a board at a 45 degree angle and did 158 sit ups.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.

John! From 2018.

More from 2018 by David Whisenant.


(Source: David Whisenant-WBTV)By David WhisenantUpdated: Dec. 13, 2018 at 1:28 PM EST

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – How many abdominal crunches do you think you could do in one hour? What if the board was raised to a 45 degree angle?

A 61-year-old man in Salisbury may have set the world record today, and he’s doing it not for his own glory, but to help others.

“There have been world records for abdominal crunches, but never at a 45 degree angle, I’m going to be the first to do it,” said ab cruncher John Peterson.

With Rayna Gardner at The Forum in Salisbury counting, and two volunteers keeping time, John was off. In order for each crunch to count, his shoulder blades have to come off the board.


At the age of 61, being in shape isn’t something new for John.

“Back in junior high, high school, college, I made a promise to myself, I would never let myself get out of shape,” Peterson said.

As he rocked back and forth on the board on Thursday morning, others in the gym looked over occasionally and went about their own workouts. John says that’s what he likes to see and hopes his activity will encourage others.

“My main goal, no matter how young or old you are it’s never too late to exercise, no matter what.”

He also says now that’s he’s in his 60’s, he likes to prove the naysayers wrong…

“You hear a lot of people saying, grandpa, you’re over the hill, you can’t do this, you can’t do that, that gives me the drive and determination…put your mind to it.”

With time winding down, John showed no signs of letting up, and didn’t even seem to be sweating very much…and after 60 minutes ticked off the stopwatch, he was done.

The final number? A gut ripping 7178 crunches at a 45 degree angle in one hour.

“But the key is, a healthy body, you only got one body, take care of it, it’s the one body you got,” Peterson added.

John’s accomplishment may or may not be a world record. A check of the web site shows two records for ab crunches in one hour, but neither of those were performed on an inclined board.

John is hoping the folks at Guinness will eventually take note of what he has done, and says he’s ready to go again anytime.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.

By Liz Moomey.

SALISBURY — On a mat at the Forum gym, John Peterson was set to break the world record for abdominal floor crunches in an hour on Tuesday morning. 

The 61-year-old did 6,774 crunches. The previous record, according to Record Setter, is 4,607 crunches.

“Your core is your lifeline,” Peterson said. “It supports your whole body.”

As Peterson neared the end, he told Forum general manager Rayna Gardner, “Let me know when I’m at five minutes. I’m going to pick it up.”

Gym goers began coming over to the turf where Peterson was set up as he approached the final minutes.

After completing the hour, Gardner, who had been counting the crunches, did some final tallying and his friends asked Peterson how he felt.

Peterson said he was all right and his legs started cramping only at the end. He then said he wanted to see how many abdominal crunches he could do in a minute, which was 149.

“It’s all in the mind,” he said.

His friend Greg Parsons congratulated him, saying he was “motivational as hell.”

“I’m a Marine that knows discipline,” Parsons said. “This was unbelievable.”

Peterson replied, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Peterson said he hoped the record will bring the community together, specifically police officers and residents. He encouraged others to set their own personal records.

From David Whisenant 2018

Coming soon from John and Tim Murdock. John did 21,945 Crunches at Farmer’s Day in China Grove NV July of 2023.

Published by shanesflyingdiscshow did thousands of Frisbee shows all over the United States for over 30 years. Shane is also a photographer.

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