Body Torque Managing director Felicity Dales recently had an amazing opportunity to interview Mark Wahlberg at the 2017 JT Foxx Mega Success, and was able to talk cycling with the Hollywood superstar. Mark has consistently shown incredible fitness onscreen for well over a decade, staying in shape and bounding around with all the youthful exuberance of a 20 year old, rather than the 47 years he has under his belt (most of those firmly in the public spotlight).
Perhaps those rippling muscles are further proof that sparkling personality and acting talent isn’t enough to get the edge on the competition in Hollywood, with more male stars bulking up and going sleeveless than actors from previous generations.
It’s that edge that Felicity was interested in when she travelled to Anaheim, California for the star- studded millionaire event. So her question to Mark was quite simple:
‘What does it take to get in shape to get to the top?’
However, the answer she received from Mark was far more in depth, rewarding and detailed than she could have predicted.
When asked what Mark’s advice would be for anyone training for peak fitness, Mark replied that in preparing and staying and reaching their peak performance, “You can’t just be a weekend warrior.”
He continued by pointing out that exercise is a long-term commitment that needs to be maintained consistently. “It’s always easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape.”
If you think the life of a movie star is easy, think again. Mark puts in the work and pushes his body to extremes to get those outstanding results.
‘Right now I’m leading a boot camp type of existence. I’m up at three in the morning, I’m training, I’m eating meals every two and a half hours. I haven’t had a carb or a piece of bread, or anything that I’m like craving for quite some time.’
And it’s not just about maintenance for Mark, he is required to adopt a different look for different roles which takes some hard core discipline. ‘I had to make drastic changes, I’ve gone from 137 pounds in a movie to 220 pounds in a film.’
So what’s the secret to getting it right?
Mark says it’s about finding balance. The right nutrition he says is 85% of it but that needs to be correctly balanced with the right routine. ‘The right sports nutrition, the right recovery, rest, exercise and making sure that you’re doing things that aren’t going to hurt you.’
Not getting hurt or injured is something we do need to be careful about and that takes careful warm up, gradual increases with our training and performance, and looking after ourselves. It’s not something you hear people advocate every day. Mark says it is about finding that balance, ‘You see a lot of people now, they’re not doing any kind of workout whatsoever and then all of a sudden, they go and join CrossFit and they’re tearing an ACL or hurting their knees and shoulders and next thing you know they’re in surgery. And next thing you know, they’re taking pain medication and all from wanting to start exercising and fighting a pain medication addiction.’
Injuries can have a high impact on our ability to move every day, as well as putting additional strain on muscles that have to adjust to take up the slack, sometimes causing even more injury or pain.
Mark agrees that functional movement is important. As Felicity pointed out, ‘It doesn’t matter what sport it is [that they do] it’s just important that people stay active.’
Mark is an all round sports enthusiast and a serious contender in just about every sport on the planet, including cricket, which for an American is rather unusual. Mark takes it one step further with an investment in a team in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League. Felicity even teases him about his ability to partake in every sport but cycling, which is her business and passion.
Mark responds with, ‘I would’ve been a cyclist but I can’t wear the spandex.’
Although he does now have cycling as an important part of his regime. He says it’s about, ‘finding a lot of functional movement stuff, cycling is fantastic, I actually now have been starting to ride a resistance bike, which is how I warm up now and I also do the… what is that horrible machine called?’ Felicity instantly knows what he is referring to, ‘The versaclimber.’
Even though he hates it like a machine of torture Mark is working on the versaclimber daily. ‘I’m competing against different levels but I’m trying to again trim down and lose weight. I’m training twice a day.’
It says a lot of the dedicated commitment it takes, not just to be fit but to stay that way and give your body what it needs to adjust to different demands. For Mark that’s different roles, but for avid cyclists that’s different conditions, race lengths, time trials and climbs.
It’s about putting in the work, even if it’s a tortuous experience. Mark’s take home?
‘I think it’s being careful, knowing what your capabilities are, right? And then staying active is the most important thing.’
Well done to Felicity and Mark for sharing their insight and passion. Have fun on the bike, and remember to take Mark’s advice by warming up, resting, and eating well to stay fit and healthy.
Watch the interview in full below