Marine in viral fitness video is a Guiness world record holder

Screenshot of Muscle Madness video that went viral on Facebook when it was posted by the Give Me Sport page.

Throw him into a picture with other Marines, and you would never guess from his outward appearance he’s a fitness guru and a Guinness World Record holder.

For Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Eckert’s more than 36,000 Instagram followers, it’s probably no surprise the Winter Park, Fl., native is getting attention from fans from around the world. His pull-up bar routines look more like something out of “The Matrix” than a traditional fitness video.

His routines almost defy reality. He lifts his body fluently over the bar and moves through his routines with strength and grace without even breaking a sweat.

With his astonishing core strength and extreme body control, the 26-year-old, who is currently stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, shows that he can do just about anything he wants to through his drive and hard work. And it’s this work ethic that paved the way for him to achieve one of the highest honors known to man … a Guinness World Record.

Although he achieved the world record in Oct. 2015, the record-breaking video was posted to YouTube in January of this year. In the video, Eckert is seen making his record attempt for most pull-ups in 60 seconds.

YouTube video

In a post to Instagram, Eckert offers thanks to all his supporters.  “Thank you everyone for the support and motivation over the last few days,” he said. “I love all the comments and inspiring stories, please keep sharing them with me!”

He also says that when you find your passion and work hard, the rest will fall into place. He admits that he initially started making and posting videos as a fun reference to track his progress.

He tells Task & Purpose, “I started sharing them on Facebook with family and friends then Instagram and everyone really started to enjoy them. A lot of the funny, odd videos come from the inspiration of my Marines.”

Courtesy Michael Eckert/Facebook
Courtesy Michael Eckert/Facebook

In a viral Facebook post (over 48 million views) from Give Me Sport, Eckert is seen pushing his body to extremes in fitness most can only dream of achieving. He attributes the ability to achieve his goals to a pact he set with his childhood friends.

In a video feature from the Armed Forces Network at Iwakuni, Eckert is seen working out on a makeshift, inverted rock-climbing wall and talks about why he works so hard not only for himself, but also to inspire others.

“Growing up I had a pretty tight-knit group of friends, and we kind of made this pact that no matter where we were, or what we were doing, we would always try to inspire one another,” he said. “So now that I’m out here in Japan, I’m trying to be as motivational as possible.”

He talks about his life before the Corps and how he was always on a sports team and then into rock climbing. Eckert works hard to better himself every day, but his deeper commitment is passing on knowledge to people who want to better themselves.

Marine Cpl. Jessica Quezada says during the AFN feature that Eckert taught her to think about her body from head to toe in a sense of being self aware. He taught her that instead of focusing on just one muscle group, it’s important to focus on all the muscle groups at the same time.

His workouts defy logic and comments on his social media show this Marine is holding true to his childhood promise … he is absolutely an inspiration to thousands.

According to his social media sights, Eckert will be transitioning back to the United States this month.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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