WINTER GARDEN — West Orange County residents played a role in setting a Guinness world record Jan. 3 for the most people exercising simultaneously in 11 countries. Jeffrey Montalbano, who owns S.W.A.T. MMA & Fitness, in Winter Garden, opened his studio to about 67 people who joined the challenge.
Montalbano is friends with Jessica Ogle, a director for ViSalus, an international company that markets nutritional products and dietary supplements. ViSalus reached out to all of its promoters around the globe, hoping to set this world record, and Ogle contacted Montalbano.
To be eligible for the record, organizers at each location had to film the session, take pictures of participants and provide a sign-in sheet.
In all, Ogle said, there were about 2,080 groups that got together to set this record. About 67 people worked out locally that day, starting at noon. Attendees participated in a boot camp with drills, jumped rope, rode bicycles and elliptical machines, jogged, lifted weights and took part in martial arts. A few of the participants were children.
“Jeffrey opened up that day to give a free workout and give a donation,” Ogle said. “I wanted to get a location where we could get a bunch of people and be able to provide them with a fun, good workout, and Jeffrey was the one who was able to provide that for me. S.W.A.T. Fitness does a lot for the community.”
Montalbano’s staff and clients give back in many ways, including boxing and delivering food to needy families during the holidays. He provides a rape-prevention program every year at West Orange High School, as well.
Not only did people exercise for free and help set a record on Jan. 3, Ogle said, but also, 2,010 meals were donated by ViSalus to children in need. Through ViSalus’ Project 10 Kids Challenge, clients who lose 10 pounds of fat or add 10 pounds of lean muscle can submit their results, and the company will donate 90 days’ worth of healthy meals to local children, either through Boys and Girls clubs or churches.
In 2014, more than 10 million meals were donated, Ogle said.
“The Guinness Book of World Records was secondary to us,” Montalbano said. “A friend told me about feeding the kids, and I wanted to do that. That was really what inspired us to do the whole thing.”
Now, ViSalus has two Guinness world records. The other is the record for the most people participating simultaneously in a flash mob.