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RIP: Fitness Record Holder Steve Sokol (1957-2011)

He held over 30 world fitness records including 52,003 sit-ups in 32 hrs 17 min., 30,000 jumping jacks in 7 ½ hrs, 13,013 leg lifts in 5 hours 45 min., 1,000 sit-ups with a 45 lb. pound weight on his chest in 39 min., and 5,428 crunches in an hour on his 47th birthday.

Though others have since come along and been named “Fittest Man,” it was Sokol’s efforts that set the bar. Sokol earned a master’s degree in exercise physiology from San Jose State, helped train firefighters and police in Silicon Valley and also worked as a corporate trainer and nutritionist. In 2003 he released a DVD, Super Abs. His 1992 book, The Fitness Formula, is still available on Amazon.

The police report reveals that Sokol was driving his 1990 Honda Civic northbound on Cottle Road, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle veered across the southbound lanes and struck a wooden power pole. There were no other occupants in the vehicle and no other vehicles involved in the collision. From Examiner

From San Jose Mercury: “His family said he was an asthmatic child, born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y., who exercised fanatically to overcome the weakness. Soon, he parlayed his own fitness into becoming an accomplished triathlete, cyclist, runner and swimmer.”


From Steve Sokol’s Guest Book:


I so well recall having Steve in my sport history class at San José State in the (now) Kinesiology Department. He was so excited to learn of the Sokol movement (a Czech gymnastics/fitness organization of the 19th century) but I, in turn, was so excited to hear of all the many things he achieved around fitness. To his family and friends–I am so very sad for your loss. He was one of those students I will always remember.


Shirley Reekie,
San Jose, California

I have known Steve for as long as I can remember. He was my Dad’s Fitness Director at Ronnie Lott’s and Royal Courts Club Fitness. I can honestly say that he was my first mentor in the health and fitness field. His workouts were legendary and I always found myself trying to mimic his exercises.

Steve was always willing to lend a helping hand and was one of those genuine people that you don’t come across too often. I will miss talking to him about fitness, family, and just life in general. My heartfelt prayers go out to the Sokol family.”

Joey Ramona,
San Jose, California


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