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I tried Mark Wahlberg’s intense workout routine and was left exhausted

It's not for the faint-hearted!

mark wahlberg workout
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At 51 years old, actor and producer Mark Wahlberg is a force to be reckoned with. Having appeared in action films including Pain & Gain, Transformers, Uncharted and Planet of The Apes, Mr. Wahlberg needs to maintain a super-fit physique to keep up with his tough film roles.

 SEE: Mark Wahlberg shares rare picture of all four children for heartfelt reason

Naturally, this involves a rather intense workout schedule, which has been well documented throughout the years.

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WATCH: Mark Wahlberg shows off his impressive muscles

Mark has famously admitted to getting up in the middle of the night to work out before his day begins. We're not talking about a 5 am start here. Mark has spoken honestly about his eye-wateringly early 2.30 am starts. 

LOOK: I tried The Rock's hardcore workout routine for 7 days and have never felt more exhausted

 MORE: The Rock shares shocking side effect of his training regime

I was keen to delve a little deeper into the world of Mark Wahlberg's workout routine and decided to try it out for myself. Madness, you say? Yes, probably. Anyway, here's what I found…

mark wahlberg abs© Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg looks fantastic at 51

Why does Mark Wahlberg work out at 4am?

Well, if you were asking me I'd say it was because he's 50% crazy and 50% incredibly motivated and driven. I prefer the latter.

According to my research, upon waking at 2.30 am, Mark prays for 30 minutes until 3:15 am and after that, it's time for breakfast, ready for a 3:40 am workout start.

mark wahlberg gym ludacris© Photo: Instagram

Mark Wahlberg in the gym with Ludacris

On his Instagram, Mark has previously shared his routine. It begins at 3.40 am and ends at 5.15 am. That’s a 95-minute workout before the sun has even risen.

Oh and he also said he did another workout at 4 pm.

MORE: I tried Jennifer Aniston's workout routine for 7 days and here's what happened

Having said that, he goes to bed at 7.30 pm according to the particular story he shared. So, swings and roundabouts. I'm all for an early bedtime so this bit sounds right up my street.

But WHY the early workout?

Speaking in the past to Men's Health, Mark said that if he gets it done early, he can go to the golf course at 6.30 am and be done by 8.30 am and "then be home and then do the rest of my stuff: work with a physiotherapist, get treatment, hit the cryo chamber."

mark wahlberg golf© Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg enjoys golf

He also said, being the continuously inspiring guy he is: "The only way to be the best is to keep working like you got nothing. Keep getting after it, and be more and more aggressive, more and more focused every day. I don’t know. I have more drive and desire now than I ever have."

READ: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson shares unbelievable gym selfie

Whilst I am all for discipline, I was actually starting to wonder why I'd decided to do a week of Mark W workouts….

 How many times a day does Mark Wahlberg workout?

When the star shared his gruelling 2.30 am routine, he also revealed that he does another, hour-long workout later in the day.

mark wahlberg biceps© Photo: Getty Images

Mark crams a lot into his mornings

So, according to my complex calculations, that would equate to two workouts each day.

This is supposedly more of a cardio-based workout. I guess he would have had a fair bit of food by this point (see below) so his energy would be nice and high.

But let's be real, aside from his one rest day a week, he can't be doing two workouts EVERY DAY. Either way, it's two workouts a day for me for the next seven days…

Mark Wahlberg's workout schedule

I scoured the world wide web to gather together a collection of Mark’s workouts (see below for a selection).

When Mark was training for his role in 2013's Pain & Gain, he needed to pack on over 15kg of muscle in just eight weeks. A hard feat for anyone. Luckily, Mark had the assistance of Brian Nguyen, his personal trainer since 2006. Speaking to Coach magazine, Brian said that the aim was to train like a bodybuilder, doing isolation exercises -where one specific muscle group is trained at a time - was the key player in Mark's workouts.

Brian also said: "He did a lot of basic functional movements – kettlebell work with squats, lunges, inverted rows on the TRX – and then I started getting him into single-leg and single-arm stuff, creating more rotation." 

Bryan has also said that Mark did a lot of loaded carries. I personally love these. They involve walking a certain distance carrying a weight, such as a kettlebell in each hand, or a sandbag across the back.

MARK WAHLHBEG ABS© Photo: Getty Images

Mark Wahlberg shows off his beach body

Mark has revealed that he was training five days a week, which for me, is perfectly doable as I tend to train five to six days a week already. Although I'm not exactly sure mine and Mark’s workouts are on par.

Alongside this, whilst attempting to bulk up big time, in just two months Mark was supposedly eating 10 MEALS A DAY.

However, Mark doesn't just hit the gym.

He's also been known to attend F45 classes, a popular functional fitness class located in hundreds of destinations around the world.

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Mark Wahlberg loves F45 workouts

He also prioritises recovery. Funnily enough, I have the exact same massage gun as Mark (yeah I know, we’re SO alike). The Power Plate Pulse massage gun isn't cheap, but in fairness, it definitely helps to loosen tight muscles.

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Mark Wahlberg uses a massage gun for recovery

power plate

Power Plate® Mini+, £149.9/$179.21, Amazon


An example of a Mark Wahlberg workout I found online is below…


Foam rolling and skipping

1. Eight reps of the below back to back. 90 seconds rest before the next set. Four sets in total.

A. Deadlift

B. Clean pull

C. Hang snatch

D. Reverse lunge

E. Push press

2. 10 reps of the below moves back to back. 90 seconds rest before the next set. Three sets in total.

A. Bulgarian split squat

B. Bench press

C. Deadlift

D. Inverted row

Farmer's walk 100m

MORE: 11 of the best back massagers to help ease achy muscles, poor posture and back pain

Mark Wahlberg arm workout

There’s no denying, Mark has epic arms. I found this devilishly brutal arm workout online, which Mark supposedly follows. It comes with a pretty intense number of exercises and works not just the arms, but the pecs too.

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Mark Wahlberg works his arms hard

4 sets of the below, 8-12 reps of each

Flat bench press

Dumbbell chest flyes

Incline bench press

Front shoulder raises

Decline bench press

Side shoulder raises

Seated shoulder military press

Alternating standing shoulder press

Parallel bar dips

Cable tricep pressdown

Lying barbell tricep extension

Single-arm overhead tricep extension

SEE: Kate Middleton wows crowds with her incredibly toned arms – here's how she works them

Mark Wahlberg core workout

I’m pretty into my ab-based workouts, and wanted to try a classic Mark Wahlberg core workout. So I found the below, to slot into my seven days of Wahlberg workouts…

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Mark Wahlberg has a ridiculously strong core

Aim for two to three rounds with 15 reps of each

Curls ups

Bicycle crunches

Side crunches

Hip dips

LOOK: Victoria Beckham displays her abs during seriously intense workout

What happened when I trained like Mark Wahlberg for 7 days?

Day 1

OK, so my intention was to get up at 2.30. Honestly, it was (wink). However, my gym doesn’t open till half 6, so really, why would I put myself through that kind of unthinkable torture?

Instead, I got up at my usual time of 5.30 and did the workout mentioned above. I've added it below as a brutal reminder…

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Mark Wahlbegs makes pull-ups look easy


Foam rolling and skipping

Eight reps of the below back to back. 90 seconds rest before the next set. Four sets in total.

A. Deadlift

B. Clean pull

C. Hang snatch

D. Reverse lunge

E. Push press

Followed by 10 reps of the below moves back to back. 90 seconds rest before the next set. Three sets in total.

mark wahlberg f45© Photo: Instagram

Mark Wahlberg does a variety of workouts to stay fit

A. Bulgarian split squat

B. Bench press

C. Deadlift

D. Inverted row

E. Farmer's walk 100m

This is very much my style of workout, so I felt at ease with this and very much enjoyed it! I'm not usually a bench press girl, however, I gave it a go with a very light barbell. If you’re confused as to what any of the moves are (clean pull being a fine example), then hit up Youtube for some useful demo videos.

MORE: Victoria Beckham's secret for super toned arms: 3 moves to try at home

As for my second workout of the day, I hit the treadmill for a 30-minute run.

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Mark Wahlberg is the ultimate inspiration for fitness fans

Day 2

A leg and back day today - my favourite type of workout. Below is a Mark Wahlberg lower body workout that I found online. It's filled with leg-shaking moves along with a handful of back exercises such as pull-ups and dumbbell rows. 

The move that caught me out was the jump squats, which I did immediately after the leg press. Oh Em Gee, these got me good. Such a simple move causes so much pain.

RELATED: Victoria Beckham's secret for a super-toned back: 3 moves to try at home

8-12 reps. 4 sets of each

Front squats

Split squats

Leg press

Jump squats

Walking lunges

Calf raises

Barbell deadlift

Alternating leg curls

Pulls ups

Dumbbell rows

Lat pull-downs

Seated pulley rows

READ: Weightlifting shoes are the game-changing gym buy for toned glutes

Another run ensued later in the day, just to really make me feel exhausted.

Day 3

I did Mark Whalberg’s core workout as well as the below and a big ol' skipping sesh. This workout was right up my street although it did take a while, although this may have been because I skipped for an eternity.

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Mark Wahlhberg has a seriously sculpted stomach

Eight reps of the below back to back. 90 seconds rest before the next set. Four sets in total.

A. Deadlift

B. Clean pull

C. Hang snatch

D. Reverse lunge

E. Push press

View post on Instagram

Mark Wahlberg constantly impresses in the gym

Day 4

I woke up today and my quads felt like someone had lit a match and dragged the flame back and forth several times. It’s all thanks to DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. 

This can kick in 24 to 72 hours after a workout, so it may not always be felt immediately after the workout itself. Anyway, a bit of Deep Heat later and I headed to my gym for the arm, chest and biceps workout mentioned above.

mark wahlberg gym© Photo: Instagram

Mark Wahlberg works every body part equally

This was a killer for the arms, but equally, it felt really good to get my upper body working as I often neglect these workouts.

Later in the afternoon, I opted for a run/walk. It was 90 minutes long and I covered a fair bit of ground in this time!

Day 5: rest

My chest is SCREAMING after yesterday's upper body session. I never do chest work so this has shaken me up no end. It actually feels like my breasts are about to be ripped. Even though the sore area is the muscles that lie beneath.

Anyway, Mark does take rest days, so naturally, I did too. However, I didn't just rest. I used today as an active recovery day; I went for a long, long walk, racked up some serious steps and lapped up plenty of lovely sunshine. I also slept like a baby; I think my body needed it after its week of Mark W workouts.

mark wahlberg leg day

Mark Wahlberg sometimes enlists a workout buddy to motivate him

Day 6

I opted for another upper body hit. Despite still feeling a little sore, I just went all in. By the end, I will be honest, my arms were quivering. So I went home and slapped a lot of CBD balm over my arms; it’s a total saviour for sore muscles!

pure sport cbd

Puresport 500mg CBD Muscle & Joint Balm, £29.99/$35.84, Amazon


I did three sets of each with each set going down in reps but up in weight. I kid you not, my biceps - the muscles that run along the front of the upper arm - were crying.

Seated bicep curl

Dumbbell bicep curl

Barbell bicep curls

Ez bar curl

Preacher curl

Machine bicep curl

mark wahlberg arm workout

Mark Wahlberg in the gym on arm day

In true Mark Wahlberg style, I then went for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I chose to run; after my rest day yesterday, I was feeling energetic.

Day 7

I went a little rogue on day seven, just to finish the week with a bang.

In 2008, Mark Wahlberg spoke to Men's Health US about his love of boxing, saying it was a great way to relieve frustrations.

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Mark always mixes it up at the gym

"Boxing really is the ultimate workout. I'm moving, I'm alert. Afterward, I feel amazing."

Mark has admitted to being a fan of sparring with friends, however as I tend to gym alone, I decided to smack the punch bag for 60 minutes. I interspersed three-minute rounds with three-minute rounds of skipping. By the end, I was drenched in sweat but much like Mark revealed, I was free of frustrations! 

What did I learn from training like Mark for one week?

I felt stronger. No word of a lie, the intensity of the weight lifting sessions has left me feeling like a champion, and my upper body is grateful for the work I’ve put into it. Although naturally, I did feel a little sore, it’s been a good feeling and I’ve attacked all my muscles.

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Mark Wahlberg commits to recovery as well as working out

I also noticed how my pull-ups are increasingly getting better; it's all thanks to workouts like Mark's, and in the past, The Rock.

SEE: Brie Larson's Captain Marvel workout: What happened when I tried it for a week

I am so tired.

OK so I am used to the early workouts, but I really did go hard on the resistance training this week at the crack of dawn, and found that by about 2 pm I was exhausted. As in, eyes-closing-at-desk kinda tired. I’m sure this is just a shock to the system, and in time I may get used to the intense resistance training and extreme tiredness.

RELATED: 12 celebrities who seriously upped their fitness game for a film

My hunger levels rose

Mark naturally does have to tailor his diet to his goals, depending on what he’s training for. In the past, he’s been placed on 7,000 calorie diets (consisting of bucket loads of rice, 12 eggs, meat, healthy carbs, all spread out over eight meals) to gain weight fast for film roles, however, from my research, Mark's day-to-day consists of six well-balanced meals, curated by his personal chef. Dreamy.

SEE: Reese Witherspoon's swimsuit pic gives hint about fitness regime – did you spot it?

A friend once told me that I have a very 'big appetite', and it's true, I do. After this week of workouts, I was ravenous, and could easily have eaten six meals a day. I definitely snacked a lot more than normal and was reaching for quick-fix foods to boost my energy fast.

I don't how Mark gets up at 2.30 am.

Seriously, 5 am is the earliest I will get up to exercise, I reckon. Unless I'm getting up in the middle of the night to catch a flight, I just don't see the need to get up during my deep sleep hours.

Mark is a total inspiration, but sorry, nothing is getting me up at 2.30 for a gym workout.

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