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Buffalo's "Push-Up King" sets world record, then sets sights on peace in the city

Avery Schneider

On Thursday morning, Buffalo’s self-proclaimed “Push-Up King” set out to break a Guinness World Record. On Friday morning he succeeded.

Jeff Warrick completed approximately 46,400 push-ups in just under 24 hours in the lobby of Buffalo’s City Hall, but he embarked on the effort in order to break more than a record. Warrick wants to break the streak of homicides in Buffalo. The 52-year-old martial arts and fitness instructor challenged residents to a year free of violence, and reminded them of it Friday morning.

“The pushup king wants what’s owed to him, what he’s earned,” demanded Warrick. “His year of peace. His year of no homicides.”

Throughout the 24 hours – in which Warrick never slept – he wore a shirt emblazoned with the image of his sister, Melanie Ann, and the letters "R.I.P." Warrick says she died under unknown, but presumably violent circumstances.

“It wasn’t nice, it wasn’t pretty. I lost my sister, and I mourn my sister’s death all the time, and my sister’s been gone for 16 years,” said Warrick. “So I figured I was going to break this world record in push-ups and I’d take her for a ride with me.”

Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News
Jeff Warrick prepares for another set of push-ups in the lobby of Buffalo's City Hall

When he finished, Warrick said he felt great, and that he was in the best shape of his life. With the challenge behind him, he now sets his sights on other goals. Warrick says he wants to be the “godfather” of a new initiative for peace in the City of Good Neighbors. He envisions a 24-hour gang-dispute hotline for Buffalo, which he would help staff.

“And we can come and say, ‘You have a problem with another opposing gang, or just a problem in the street? You can call us and we’ll come and we’ll solve that, or we’ll be the intercessor in that,” said Warrick. He wants to be able to intervene before disputes lead to fatalities.

Warrick says he has spoken with city officials about the possibility of having a facility donated for just such a cause.

In the long-run, Warrick hopes his efforts will be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

“We want the president to say, ‘Hey, we see in our stats and our statistics that the murder rate is going down to zero. Find out what they’re doing in Buffalo,’” envisioned Warrick.

Warrick says he is dreaming big, and that for the "Push-Up King," that’s okay.