David Rush is closing in on the Guinness World Records throne

David Rush is closing in on his goal of holding the most concurrent Guinness World Records titles. Photo courtesy of David Rush
David Rush is closing in on his goal of holding the most concurrent Guinness World Records titles. Photo courtesy of David Rush

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June 21 (UPI) -- David Rush is on a quest to have the most concurrently-held Guinness World Records titles in the world -- and he's "doing all of the wrong things" along the way.

The Boise, Idaho, resident made international headlines when he broke 52 records in 52 weeks over the course of 2021, and this year he is attempting to top his previous accomplishment by bringing his total of concurrently-held records to 181, enough to overtake fellow serial record-breaker Silvio Sabba's total of 180.


"I noticed about midway through last year that Silvio had slowed down in his record pace and his tally was actually going down," Rush told UPI in a Zoom interview. "I was close enough that I was like, 'Hey, I think my 2024 goal is going to be the hold the most concurrent Guinness World Records.'"

Rush, aka Record Breaker Rush on YouTube, said revealing his goal publicly carried a big risk.


"Once you do that, you kind of put a target on your back, other people are going to try to break your records more. I'm creating higher-quality video content that gets more views, which means you're more likely to have your record broken, so I'm doing all of the wrong things to try and hold onto the records," he said.

Closing in

Rush's current tally is 177, putting his goal in sight. He said the title that will take him to 181 is currently as much of a mystery to him as it is to his YouTube followers.

"It's a little bit strange, because the way it works is to hold the record you have to break it, and then you submit all the evidence to Guinness, and then it's three months later until they approve it," he said. "So in the meantime I might lose records, I might have other people break the records, so the exact moment I cross the line of holding the most -- I don't know, and I don't know what record it's going to be."

Rush said one idea that he's toyed with is attempting the title for breaking the most vinyl records in a set period of time.


"I could hold the most records by breaking the most records," he quipped.

Rush said he is trying not to focus too hard on how close he is to his goal, as there are still plenty of monkey wrenches that could be thrown into the works.

"I'm not thinking about that so much, because there's the lag between breaking the record and having it approved, I'm just heads-down, break as many as possible right now, and I'm practicing -- I have 10 or 20 on my list that I'm actively practicing for right now," he said.

Despite the possibility of setbacks, the "goal-oriented" record breaker said he feels confident that he will be successful in his quest.

"I set a goal, so I know I'm going to achieve it, I already know that's going to happen," he said.

The competition

Rush's top competitor for the record-breaking throne is Silvio Sabba, an Italian man who currently sits at the top with 180 Guinness World Records titles. Rush's only direct contact with Sabba was an Instagram message several years ago.

"He reached out to me right before he took over the record for holding the most on Instagram a few years ago, and he was like 'How many do you hold?' and at the time I had like 50, I'm like 'Don't you know that I'm not even close?' He peaked at like 230-something, and he's down to that 180 mark now," Rush said.


Along the way, Rush also had to pass by other headline-making serial record-breakers including German André Ortolf and fellow American Ashrita Furman.

His only contact with Furman was similarly brief, but he did meet up with Ortolf during a visit to Germany for an ill-fated attempt at a team-up.

"We attempted a two-person record that ended up getting disqualified," Rush lamented.

Despite the lack of direct contact, Rush said there is a bit of friendly rivalry in the serial record-breaking community.

"We do have some overlap where we've gone back and forth on a few records," he said.

Rush cautioned that getting into too much of a back-and-forth can lead to "not increasing that record tally very much."

"But there's a few that I'm like -- I can't not retake the record for the fastest time to drink a liter of lemon juice through a straw, which I just got, even though I'm sure Andre's going to come back and steal that soon," he said.

Types of fun

The lemon juice-drinking record is what Rush describes as "Type 3 fun."

"Type 1 fun is like: it's fun in the moment, it's fun while you're doing it. Type 2 fun is horrible while you're doing it, fun when you've completed it afterwards. And then there's Type 3 fun, which is no fun at all," he explained.


The lemon juice record, for example, is "not fun before, it's not fun to practice, it's not fun during, it's not fun when I'm throwing up afterwards."

Type 1 fun titles include "short records that are fun to practice for" and "often physically exhausting ones." Examples include the fastest time to put on 10 T-shirts, and one he is currently practicing for now: the most behind-the-back basketball passes in one minute.

"Those are fun ones to practice because I'm getting exercise, I feel like I'm being productive physically and I'm seeing immediate results," he said.

Type 2 fun is largely reserved for endurance records, such as the longest duration juggling.

"That's Type 2 fun, that's absolutely miserable -- my arms are hurting, the legs are on fire, my mind's disoriented, I'm discombobulated, but afterwards -- hey, that's the hardest world record I've ever broken," he said.

Sometimes even Rush's kids are drawn into the fun of record breaking -- even when it's Type 3 fun like drinking lemon juice.

"Both my 5- and 8-year-old wanted to drink straight lemon juice afterward, so I'd pour them a little thimble and they'd chug it down and they were like, 'I'm not going to make a face, no face at all.' So I'd give them a little more and they'd drink the whole thing down and they can both do it without making a face. I'm like, 'You guys are insane,'" he said.


Rush said his focus right now is on having fun -- all three types -- and reaching his goal of 181 records, without much thought for what his next goal will be.

"I'm so focused on that one I have not thought about what's beyond that. It's a heads-down, hold the most Guinness World Records at this point. And what's beyond that, I have not thought about that," he said.

To hear David Rush break down five of his oddest world records, check out today's episode of the UPI Odd News Minute Podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your podcasting platform of choice. You can follow along with David Rush's quest for 181 on his Record Breaker Rush blog.

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