ATLANTA — Atlanta has set the record for the world's largest physical exercise class, thanks to the help of the NFC-leading Falcons.
An adjudicator from the Guinness World Records verified that 2,288 elementary and middle students from across the metro area gathered at the Georgia Dome on Tuesday, setting the record for the largest virtual physical education class.
According to Danny Girton Jr. the record was previously held by the Washington Redskins, who had 646 students at FedExField in Landover, Md., in late September.
The thousands of Atlanta-area students, who wore white T-shirts with the Falcons emblem on their chest, eclipsed the mark after completing the 30-minute interactive program.
Forty-six students who were on hand were unable to complete the workout.
"The workout was pretty hard," said Stephanie Blank, the wife of Falcons owner Arthur Blank. "We earned this world record."
Along with students, Falcons President Rich McKay, Stephanie Blank, several players and cheerleaders took instructions from trainers from both of the large television screens at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons representatives completed the workout, which included exercises ranging from jogging in place, jumping jacks, and lunges to yoga.
The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation hoped to bring more awareness to physical activity and youth obesity as part of the NFL's Play 60, which focuses on getting kids active through in-school, afterschool and team-based programs.
"This was a little bit more taxing that usual, but it was good," McKay said. "This is not a bad way to exercise. I hopes the kids can take something away from this. I did."
Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas and a couple other players used their jersey to wipe the sweat off their face on a couple occasions during the workout. He said he didn't expect the half-hour exercise to be so much work.
"It was tough, definitely," said Nicholas, the Falcons third-leading tackler. "I'm glad we got it done."
Some of the children who participated in the exercise said they a learned some tricks to take home and teach their parents.
"Yep, I'm going to definitely teach my dad some of this stuff. He needs it," said Courtney Wilder, a 10-year-old from Glen Haven Elementary.