Gym-crawl will put world record-chasing Leo’s stamina to the test – but the motivation will be strong

By Kelsey McCabe

A fitness fanatic will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for most gyms visited in a single day to raise money for a national lung and asthma charity.

And it will be a very personal mission, given Leo Robertson’s own experiences.

Mr Robertson, 34, a senior policy officer with the Greater London Authority, will on June 20 attempt to work out at 51 gyms across the capital to raise money for Lung and Asthma UK, a national charity which advocates for lung health and awareness for respiratory conditions.

“It’s obviously a quirky record,” said the record-chasing Lewisham resident from Rushey Green. “But exercise can really help with that [lung health] as well as your mental health, basically.”

Mr Robertson became passionate about respiratory health due to his own experience with severe asthma in his childhood. Early in life, he suffered a collapsed lung, which made it difficult to participate in sports and exercise with other children.

However, with the help of healthcare professionals and his loved ones, Mr Robertson recovered sufficiently to join sports clubs affiliated with the British Lung Foundation, which later merged with Asthma and Lung UK.

At first Mr Robertson said he “really couldn’t handle” the exercise, given his weak lungs. However, with the support of loved ones and mentors at the sports groups, he gradually built stamina and fell in love with exercise.

At the same time that Mr Robertson was finding a passion for sport, he also developed an interest in record-breaking: “I used to read the Guinness World Record book quite a lot. I would get one every year,” he said.

Two decades later, Mr Robertson plans to fuse these passions with his June 20 world record attempt.

Accompanied by his girlfriend, Sarah, Mr Robertson will attempt to visit one gym every 20 minutes, stopping at each to complete 10 repetitions of an exercise of his choosing.

To meet Guinness World Record guidelines, which require two witnesses to be present at every record attempt, Mr Robertson will recruit a stranger at each gym to watch him complete his exercise.

To prepare, Mr Robertson has carefully mapped his route for maximum efficiency and practiced parts of it to work out the timing. He has also launched a JustGiving page where people can donate to Lung and Asthma UK in support of his attempt.

To donate, visit

Pictured top: Leo Robertson (Picture: LR supplied)

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