“You don’t just fall apart when you get old—it’s the bad habits that are potentially going to cause you to fall apart much faster.”

It’s time to meet the meathead millionaire, my good friend Mark Bell, co-host of the sensational podcast, Power Project. Mark is a legend in the powerlifting and fitness community, a well known fitness entrepreneur, and a free-thinking and motivated guy who is all about dedicating his time towards helping others. In this thoughtful episode Mark and I talk about fitness and diet, and it gets pretty deep at times as he opens up about important moments in his life story, like the untimely death of his role model and older brother—a tragedy that became the catalyst for him to pursue his dreams. You’ll also hear Mark talk about how he lost over 100 pounds and kept it off, the different diets he has experimented with over the last decade, how to set attainable diet and fat reduction goals, and finally, how his lifelong exploration of healthy eating has led him to meat and fruit (plus, a little bit about the special project we’re working on together!)


It’s every human being’s job to make yourself super resilient. [09:16]

Many people just sweep their problems under the rug and walk around like a stress bomb. [18:26]

Make a plan and stick with it. [22:41]

Mark’s journey from wrestling with his brothers to power lifting is detailed. [27:15]

The first thing you want to do to become a competitive power lifter is to gain weight. [37:59]

Your first rep should look like your last rep. Prioritize what you want to get good at. [40:59]

Try something totally new to what you have been doing.  Do it gradually. [46:51]

Pain and injury can be your teacher. They monitor how you should be using your body. [53:11]

There are many ways to train and to train cheating the system. You always have to work around potential problems. [58:49]

Reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion are a zero-sum game. [01:04:35]

Find what works for you. Being on a diet doesn’t have to be boring. [01:08:37]

Your relationship with food changes when you totally adjust your intake from training. [01:16:23]

When you go into power lifting, putting on weight is a good way to get stronger. [01:19:39]

What is the secret behind the slingshot? [01:21:30]

How did Mark get into the entrepreneur position after the power lifting? How did he lose the excess body weight from the 330 pounds he was carrying around? [01:25:41]

People who carry extra weight need to think about the joints wearing out as well as heart and kidneys. It’s never too late to turn the corner. [01:55:56]

Negative emotions come from negative interpretations. [02:00:25]



We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (00:01:00):
Hi listeners, it is time to meet the Meathead Millionaire. This is my good friend Mark Bell of the Mark Bell Power Project podcast. You gotta check out that sensational show I’ve been on twice. They do wonderful long form interviews about all manner of fitness, health, healthy eating, peak performance, and all kinds of other stuff with the unique three host format. So when I’m a guest on the show, it is some fun grilling and fast moving conversation just like this one cuz we bounce all over the place. So it’s kind of hard to tee up the show. We hit on so many topics. Uh, so I thought I should introduce Mark a little bit. If you haven’t heard of him, you can go check some links out too. But this guy is a legend in the power lifting and fitness community, a well known fitness entrepreneur. He’s free thinking, he’s hard charging, he’s highly motivated and he really is someone who’s dedicating his life to helping others and spreading great information.

Brad (00:02:04):
And that’s what the Power Project is all about, is seeking out the best in the world, learning from them, sharing the information with everyone. He’s got a massive following on social media and it started with his deep career and high performance in the power lifting world. And now he’s really trying hard to transcend that and become an expert and an enthusiast in a variety of different areas, including running, jogging, sprinting, and sharing this information with the, the musclehead community that might not be fully engaged yet, but he’s encouraging people to branch out. So it’s pretty cool. And in this show, oh my gosh, we talk about all kinds of fitness diet topics. We wander through a good bit of his life story all the way up to present day. The format is kind of how he and his sidekicks Nsima and Andrew roll on the power project where we just get into the studio and get to talking.

Brad (00:02:59):
So I think you’re gonna get a lot out of this. It’s very thoughtful. Uh, we get deep, we get pretty heavy at times. Uh, at one point he talks about how the untimely death of his older brother and role model was a catalyst that inspired him to go for it and take action on this entrepreneurial dream that he had. He had an invention rolling around in his head for years that he never did anything about. And you’ll get to hear how sensational that story rolls. But I also wanna tee him up and acquaint you with his athletic background cuz he was a champion in this sport of power lifting. So, you know, that body building is where they get oiled up and they flex on stage and they have judges and somebody’s declared to have the best physique. But power lifting is more of an organized competition where they are lifting in three different events and then adding up the weight.

Brad (00:03:54):
So it’s very straightforward. Uh, and the three events are, uh, squat, bench press and deadlift. Three of the fundamental movements that you’ll see in any gym. And he was putting up numbers like 1080 pounds in the squat, 854 pounds in the bench press and 766 pounds in the deadlift at the time, uh, to compete at the highest level. He was weighing in at 330 pounds because mass moves mass. But interestingly and notably for many former athletes who, you know, have difficulty like recalibrating and getting it back into normal healthy life, he’s lost over a hundred pounds and kept it off for over a decade. And he is experimented with different diets, perhaps as much or more than anyone else on the planet along with his brother Chris Bell, the Chris Bell podcast. So he has a lot to say about the mentality associated with healthy eating and setting dietary goals, fat reduction goals, how to do it right. And we’re gonna get some of that and also get teed up to his ending point here of his lifelong exploration of optimal eating. And that would be meat and fruit. You might sound familiar. That’s right. We’re working on a book project together. We feel like this animal-based nutrient dense diet is the epitome of healthy eating for peak performance, longevity, disease prevention, all that stuff. How’s that for an intro? Let’s get to know Mark Bell.

Brad (00:05:28):
What a pleasure to turn the tables on. Mark Bell here in in, in your, in your hood. I wonder what that actually means. Turn the tables. Is that like a dj? Put you on the spot, man. Turn to put the needle on the record. Turn the tables. Mark Bell is on the B.rad podcast. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Oh my gosh, what a pleasure. It’s been so fun to join you on the Power Project and the, the the triple host format with Andrew and Nsima. We’ll probably hear from Andrew, right? Cuz that’s, you just can’t help yourself. You gotta you gotta weigh in efficiently.

Mark (00:06:00):
If there’s anything that I can weigh in on, I will. But

Brad (00:06:03):
He’s a hype man. Every once in a while he’ll be like, yeah,

Mark (00:06:05):

Brad (00:06:06):
I mean, um, this is a guy, this is a guy who eats tens for breakfast.

Mark (00:06:10):

Brad (00:06:11):
And we just talked about that before we started recording and it’s such a cool concept. Cool

Mark (00:06:16):
Liver king guy. Like he liver king eats like what?

Brad (00:06:19):
Liver king’s his recipe. It’s like one shy, it’s in one of our books. He has nine eggs. Wow. And here’s Andrew with 10. Mm.

Mark (00:06:25):
Uh, he’ll get there eventually.

Brad (00:06:26):
I know Liver King’s gonna listen to this. So Liver king, come on man, step up.

Mark (00:06:30):
<laugh> Andrew’s the champ, reigning champ for now. I mean, until he gets knocked off. Yeah. But

Brad (00:06:34):
This concept of striving for a nutrient density diet. Mark, you and I have been talking about it like crazy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cuz we got a book coming out pretty soon that’s gonna be setting the whole world straight. And it was just nice to connect with Andrew on that level and realize, man, what a fantastic way to start your day. And if the old timers are listening and thinking, wow, what’s your cholesterol? I’m sure people ask you that after you tell ’em, what do you tell ’em, man?

Mark (00:07:00):
Well, I mean actually because I, I, I don’t really truly don’t get asked that very often, but I mean, if anybody did, I can literally show them my blood work and everything is in range. But then that brings up another conversation, which is, well, what does in range even mean? So I don’t get caught up in any of that. I just make sure I feel good. Um, if I’m performing well, whatever it is that I’m trying to work on, as long as everything’s good, then I don’t worry about it. But, um, the, it is funny though cuz my dad did have high cholesterol according to the doctors. So when I tell them like, what I eat for like, just in general, like I eat a lot of steak, I eat a lot of eggs, that’s when like, I have to be like, ah, shoot I have to be careful who I tell. Cuz sometimes it’s like, you know, then my mom’s like, oh, you can’t be doing that. <laugh>

Mark (00:07:47):
Sometimes there are things to pay attention to if we could, uh, try to find some common ground in this space. Uh, that’s the difficulty, right? Like, it doesn’t seem like much is agreeable. Somebody would be like, well, vegetables, they’re, and then someone else would be like, no vegetables have nutrients in it that are trying to kill you.

Brad (00:08:07):
I know that used to be the common ground, the only one mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Like, um, I’m old friends with Rip Esselstyn, who’s one of the leaders of the plant-based movement. HIs father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn from the Cleveland Clinic has done amazing work reversing heart disease. And so these guys are like at the pinnacle of the plant-based, you know, whole food, all that, all that great attributes, get rid of the processed food. We agree on so many levels. And then we hit these checkpoints where, you know, uh, Rips talking on Ted talk, which is seen by however many million people that if you eat too much red meat and all that saturated fat, you’re gonna clog the blood vessels of your penis. You won’t get an erection. And it’s just terrible. And it’s like, wait a second, man. This is where the, the fork and the road splits and it’s a matter of life or death. And so sometimes in the back of my mind, mind I’m like, you know, I sure heck hope that the people I follow and the world that I’m in are, you know, are right because the stakes are high. But then if your blood work looks good, I mean that’s the highest level of medical scrutiny that we have. So what are you gonna say? I mean, it’s like, it’s hard to dispute someone who’s walking around feeling great. You must be doing something right.

Mark (00:09:16):
Also, don’t know if blood work tells us a lot. You know, there’s some people that, I mean, you know, a high level triathlete,people, marathon people, sometimes people just drop and we don’t really know why and they had a heart attack or something. We do know that sometimes over training could be, uh, some of the cause of that. But like, let’s just face to facts. Uh, human beings are complicated and sometimes we just, something, uh, if something’s just off for a fraction of a second, that could be it if you don’t get medical attention right away. So there’s all kinds of things that can happen. And I always like to try to go back to like, what’s agreeable? What are things that make some sense? Does it make sense to eat piles of saturated fat all day? Maybe not. You know. And if we put saturated fat and proteins in combination over and over and over again, um, you know, with, with even something like a steak, like a ribeye and with eggs and stuff like that, can we overeat for calories? I think we can. Can we cause damage to the heart? I, I don’t really know. But it does seem that there is some information. I’m gonna get some of this jumbled up cause I don’t remember all the different things. But I think if you have a cardiologist that’s a little bit more modern, they’ll tell you it’s not just a cholesterol profile. You’re trying to look at also the triglycerides, you’re also looking at your blood pressure. You’re also looking at your, uh, glucose, your, uh, A1C. Like, there’s kind of a combination of things.

Brad (00:10:45):
Fasting insulin Paul Saladino says is number one, right? And it’s not on hardly any routine blood panels you have to beg to get it. I, I begged my family practice physician to put it on mine and my wife’s. And she’s like, why do you need to look at that? I’m like, uh, cuz Dr. Paul Saladino says, it’s the single best metric to track your heart disease in metabolic health. Mm. Okay, fine. You know, <laugh>, right? Yeah. So there’s, there’s stuff you can look

Mark (00:11:08):
At and there’s like apo B and mm-hmm <affirmative>. There’s all fractions of the cholesterol that you could look at and it can maybe start to give you more information. What I would advise for people to do, if they do wanna get into this rabbit hole and they do get their blood work done, don’t just go and get your blood work done and then go on your merry way. See if you can see what diet would work for you to improve your health markers within your blood, within a guided relationship with whomever is interpreting your blood with you. Now, that can be complicated too, cuz you don’t know if you’re getting steered in the correct direction. But, hopefully you found a good company and you found someone that you can trust and you can go back and forth on your goals. And I can, you could say, look man, I want to be a 270 pound savage power lifter, but I don’t wanna die young. Can you help keep me in check with some of this? And they could look at some of your numbers and say, Hey man, like that’s out of range. But the other person could say, I got a contest coming up. I’m a little heavier than normal. I’m utilizing more performance enhancing drugs than normal. I’m eating more than normal, but as soon as the contest is over, I’ll clean it back up. Those kinds of things.

Brad (00:12:19):
Hmm. Yeah. I also feel like we get so, uh, deep into the science and people are standing behind all this scientific reference to argue there. Speaking of Rip again, there’s a lot of science supporting this idea that the, the whole food plant-based diet is the, the way to avoid heart disease and, and perform at your peak and all this stuff. And then there’s a whole bunch of evidence at the animal-based diet and the, the examples. So I think it’s good to look to people who are actually out there doing something and in terms of, you know, checking your blood and, and tracking your health that way. I’d also like to know, can you lift some heavy weight up off the ground? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what is your time in the mile? The Cooper Institute and Texas a and m did this huge study with thousands of people and they measured mile time at age 50 as a tracker for health and longevity and, and health potential.

Brad (00:13:14):
How well you’re gonna be, what’s your potential to live to age 80. And they said it was the best, it was better than anything in the blood labs. Uh, and just go onto a track and run four laps. And if you can break eight or break nine as a female break, eight as a male, you’re in the superior category. You’re looking really good to go till 80, nice and strong. And if you can’t break 12 or can’t break 13, you’re in the needs to improve at risk category. And it’s, you know, that’s sort of less disputable than any blood panel or any diet intervention or study relating to what people lead. It’s like here they are performing

Mark (00:13:51):
And it tells you at the baseline that these are people that think about this quite a bit. You know, somebody that’s running those times in the mile. Those are people that are probably thoughtful about getting some sort of exercise in, getting some sort of training in making sure they’re not overeating and things of that nature. But

Mark (00:14:08):
Healthy user bias.

Brad (00:14:10):
It’s fast

Mark (00:14:11):
Mile runners <laugh>. That’s right.

Mark (00:14:13):
I mean, it, it, it is like, uh, it’s ridiculous that we have to have, it’s ridiculous that we have to have evidence of particular ways of eating that have been around forever. Like when you pretty much just say, Hey look man, eat natural foods. And some people go a little haywire with what’s natural and so forth. But like, let’s just say you got meat, you have some dairy, you have some fruit, maybe there’s some room for some vegetables, maybe there’s a little bit of room for some rice and potatoes and stuff like that too. Who gives shit. A not a huge problem? And maybe once in a while you have 3% of your food be just completely off plan. Let’s just pretend it never happened. Not a big deal. Doesn’t make up a huge percentage of your food. It’s kind of ridiculous that people want a study done on that because that’s the way that humans have been eating for quite some time.

Mark (00:15:03):
And it appears that as long as you’re not, again, as long as you’re not overeating on a daily basis, should be okay. And there’s certain situations where people do get diabetes where they, I guess by definition they wouldn’t necessarily be overeating because they’re not overweight. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So with the exception of some of those folks who have kind of over carbohydrated themselves, there’s really not a ton to concern yourself with if you are prioritizing protein. I think protein is kind of the key ingredient. Let’s go after protein, about 30 grams of protein per meal. Let’s have meals at meals, let’s get rid of snacks. And when you go 30 grams of protein per meal, you start to end up in this category of potentially getting in three grams of the most important amino acid that you can get. And that’s leucine. So by having leucine in the body, you’re gonna help protect your body against kind of breaking down the muscle.

Mark (00:15:58):
Especially if you’re somebody that’s lifting, you’re gonna be able to have more muscle mass for longer. Being stronger is always advisable. I’ve say this all the time, strength is never weakness, weakness never strength. And that alludes to the fact that I never met anybody who was like, man, I wish for that football game. I was a lot weaker. That would’ve been super beneficial. <laugh>, I wish when I fought that guy that I was a lot weaker and slower. You know, I wish that when I had cancer, I wish I was weaker. It would’ve been great to go into cancer at 140 pounds rather than being 250 inject. No one’s ever gonna say that because we, we need that muscle mass. It’s a protective mechanism. It’s something that allows us to flourish, allows us to go on. And now, you know, nowadays where you’re starting to see more and more guys that are 40, 50, 60, it’s not just a t r t thing that’s going on.

Mark (00:16:47):
There’s a lot more people that are, are more conscious and that still wanna get after it into their older ages because they’re recognizing something that I think is really important. You don’t just fall apart when you get old. It’s the bad habits that you run into that, that potentially are going to cause you to fall apart much faster than just old age. Old age takes kind of a long time to really, to really show up at your doorstep and say, Hey man, you know, things are getting really rough around here, but I know for like yourself and, and for myself, you know, sometimes people are like, how did you transfer into like running? Like, I don’t understand, like, your knees don’t hurt, you don’t have Achilles problem, or you don’t have a problem with your foot. I’m like, I’ve been exercising forever. Like, what are you talking about?

Mark (00:17:32):
Running, running is pretty easy now. It’s not easy to, for me to start to run really fast for really long distances and those kinds of things. Uh, but the pressure involved with running so far, I’m still new to it. So some people might be like, just wait, you’re gonna get <laugh>. You’re gonna get jacked up. Uh, but so far, uh, you know, I’ve run about four miles every day. I feel really good. I ran four miles twice yesterday. Dang. Um, I’m just, I’m just letting it all happen cuz it, it feels really good at the moment. And I have gotten dinged up, of course end up with ankle things and calf things and shin things here and there, but, uh, it’s been, it’s been good for the most part. But I think it’s every human being’s job to make yourself super resilient. And what we’re talking about all the time, which at which is at the forefront of everything, which should be the focal point of everything, which is stress mitigation.

Mark (00:18:26):
Why, why do you want a quote unquote be less fat? You wanna be less fat so you can mitigate stress easier. You want to be healthier so that the things that come into your life, which you may interpret as negative, and that’s kind of up to you. It’s things I’ve learned over the years. But if you interpret something as negative, how far does that reaction go? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, does that reaction alarm you? And now you’re yelling at somebody else or now you’re texting somebody something, uh, that maybe if you just took a beat and took a moment. Because we don’t have to be dragged around by our emotions all day long. But that’s what I’m seeing so many millions and millions of Americans doing, they’re taking certain situations that happen, uh, because they took a loan or a car payment out that’s way, they had no business doing this in the first place.

Mark (00:19:15):
It’s like they’ve, it’s the first time they ever made money, now they got a $500 a month car payment. It’s like, dude, you just got your head above water. That is so cool. You don’t need to be carrying a 45 pound dumbbell with you while you’re trying to tread water as well. And that’s what a lot of people are doing. But they just taking their problems, sweep ’em under the rug. Oh, I’ll pay that tomorrow. Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow. I’ll start my walk tomorrow. Sweeping under the rug. Sweep under the rug. Over a period of time you start to become very fragile and all the stresses that come at you, rather than trying to deal with them somewhere inside, you know that you’re fragile so you don’t deal with them because you can gonna wait until tomorrow to get to ’em. They pile up, they pile up, they pile up, and you’re just a stress bomb walking around all the time, ready to explode.

Brad (00:19:59):
So you become fragile by avoiding and carving this path. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> where you don’t have to face up to things, including lack of fitness or lack of dietary scrutiny.

Mark (00:20:09):
Neglect. Neglect is the most powerful, in my opinion. It’s the most powerful and one of the most evil things in this world to neglect a child to me is like, I don’t know. You know, I don’t, I never been abused, I never been neglected. But I do know some people that have been in both cases and some people that have been, um, some people that have been neglected, they’re like, I’d rather have my parents punch me in the face. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s how tough it can be for people. That’s what a hard interpretation that is to have neglect. But yet we neglect so many things in our own life and we know that we neglect and that’s why we won’t face him head to head. You know, that you’re supposed to run, you know, you’re supposed to eat better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, what about, you know, when family members see you sometimes they’re like, oh great, here comes Brad. And like, they gotta What

Brad (00:20:59):
Lecture does he have packing

Mark (00:21:00):
Today? Yeah. And they feel like they gotta like, yeah man, I was gonna, I, you know, I was gonna start last month and, and you didn’t even say anything yet, <laugh>. You’re like, Hey Bill, how are you doing? He’s ready. Yeah. They’re, they’re ready to like divulge information cuz they feel that kind of guilt on the inside. But let’s, uh, not get it twisted. We don’t need you to do everything, but we need you to do something. So stay connected. A hold tight. I just had a friend recently, he lost his dad. He’s like, man, he’s like, I gotta admit to you, I fell off plan and things are, I said, don’t look, we’re talking about a couple days of nutrition, right? Not a huge deal. But if we’re starting to talk about a couple days of nutrition, a couple days of walking, a couple days of lifting, can we keep one thing in?

Mark (00:21:47):
Can we keep something in, can we agree upon, Hey man, get in. Like, uh, get in a mile walk, you know, get in a mile, walk each of these days, even though you went through a tragic situation, F*** the diet for a couple days, don’t worry about it. Let’s get back to it in a couple days. But you gotta stay tethered to something because if you’re not out there doing the work, as we were talking about with the running this morning, if you’re not not out there doing the work, you can’t expect to have any of the results. And this world in your health, in your body does not care the excuses that you have the work has to get done. The, the result is still going to be you being less healthy. Even though you’re like, yeah, but wait a second. You don’t understand my situation and how delicate it is. Some serious shit has happened to me. It doesn’t matter. It’s, it’s regardless of that. And that’s why you have to figure out how can you mitigate stresses in your life.

Brad (00:22:41):
It seems like that’s a sticking point though, is where I’m armed with a bunch of excuses and like you said, before I start talking, someone’s gonna preempt me with uh, whatever. Um, but , it’s hard to get that first step, right? Yeah. How do, how do we get past that where, um, you’re, you just blow right through the excuses and take the first step out.

Mark (00:23:04):
You lower that barrier of entry. Oh, in whatever way you can. You, you rip the top of the um, you kind of rip the top of it off by um, taking some of the bite out of it, some of the sting. What’s hard about running? Um, well if I’m to think about running, I’m thinking, I know some people that run like I know like Zack Bitter <laugh>. So what’s hard about

Brad (00:23:32):
How go run with him? Yeah.

Mark (00:23:33):
What’s hard about running? Well, man, that guy runs really far and he runs for a really long time. Fast.

Mark (00:23:38):
Fast. Why? Why so fast? Why is he so good? Um, when I think, think about stuff like that, I like to break things down into they’re simplest form. All right. Brad Kearns came in here, he saw me at 300 pounds and he said, Mark, it’d be a great idea if you got yourself in some shape where you could get a little bit of running in. And I thought, man, screw Brad Kearns <laugh>, why is he telling me to run? I wanna be jacked, but if I’m to think about it a little bit more. And I said, he said to run, but he didn’t say in which way. He didn’t say for how long? So I think the next time I’m on a walk, I’m just gonna do like a little bit of what someone else would consider if they saw me from across the street. They say that guy’s jogging, that guy’s moving, that guy’s running, right?

Mark (00:24:25):
So just faster than a walk. Something where the feet are coming off the ground a little bit. You got a little arm swing going, just a little tiny baby jog and can someone do that for 10 seconds? I think most people listening right now, there’s arc always exceptions to the rule, but most people listening right now can probably handle that. Can you do 10 seconds on one minute rest, 10 seconds on one minute, minute rest, whatever you need to do. That’s how my running journey started and that’s how anything I’ve ever stuck with for a long period of time started. I didn’t, luckily for me, I had two older brothers that showed me the ropes with weights, but I didn’t know what was going on. And that was a beautiful thing. They just handed me like, you know, curl bar and you’re like, curl this a bunch of times. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I wasn’t thinking like, I gotta do a hundred pounds for 15 reps. I was like, well just get through this set. Oh, they handed me another one. <laugh>. You know,

Brad (00:25:17):
You’re just a kid when you started, huh? Yeah.

Brad (00:25:19):
Just a kid and just having fun. And so whatever it is that thing that you are really nervous about or scared about, could be like, could be public speaking, could be terrified to do some public speaking. Maybe you take your phone, start recording yourself, talking to your phone and maybe you don’t ever show anybody cuz you’re like, this is, this is just awful. Can’t even believe how bad this is. But what if you did that for a minute and tried to perfect the sales pitch over time or, and you have some sort of talk that you have to do at work or something over time you’re gonna mitigate that stress. You’re gonna lower your anxiety over that thing. And as you do it more and more and more, get more more used to it and people will say, Hey, that was unbelievable. And you’ll be, you’ll look around the room and be like, talking to me <laugh>. That’s what, that’s what will happen for people. And you know, running with you today was so awesome because I know the different things that you’ve done as an endurance athlete. So I think that’s, it wasn’t like I was hanging with you. It wasn’t like you were trying to

Brad (00:26:21):
No, I told Andrew I’m, I feel a little worn out cuz I went farther than usual. Cuz now the power lifter here is going out and busting out a four miler <laugh>. I’m usually at one and a half or two as my, as part of my sprint training, I do a little bit of endurance, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you’re getting after it. I’m impressed.

Mark (00:26:37):
Everybody, everybody has access to some people in their life that they know Lyft, that they know walk, that they know, run, Eat well,

Brad (00:26:48):
whatever it is.

Mark (00:26:48):
Get around some of these people here and there, you know, like your buddy that’s, uh, your buddy or your uncle or whoever that, that’s obsessed with like eating properly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, take him out for lunch,

Brad (00:26:59):
<laugh> grill him,

Mark (00:26:59):
And then he’s gonna be like, Hm, I can’t go to lunch. You know about seed oils. <laugh>

Brad (00:27:04):
<laugh>. There’s no public restaurant that’s suitable. Yeah. Come over. I’ll Make him lunch.

Mark (00:27:08):
Let’s get a coffee. Is it organic coffee? Does that coffee have mold

Brad (00:27:12):
In it? Fair trade stamp. Yeah. What

Mark (00:27:14):
Kind of water’s in there?

Brad (00:27:15):
<laugh>. It’s getting rough. It’s getting rough. So you mentioned your, your starting point a little bit with the brother’s, the Bell Brothers, the notorious mm-hmm. <affirmative> guys that were doing the wrestling in the, in the basement. And maybe you could just take us through a little bit of this journey, uh, with the highlights of, you know, coming, coming to be a, a top level power lifter. Now you, you continue to broaden your horizons and take on new challenges.

Mark (00:27:39):
Yeah, I think the story and maybe some other people can relate, you know, I was like the run, the runt of the litter. I was the youngest.

Brad (00:27:47):
Hard to imagine that now. But

Mark (00:27:49):
My, my oldest brother, Mike, he was about eight years older than me. And so he was too big to like, you know, he was too big for me to like wrestle with and stuff. But him and Chris were always at ends. They were always like beating the crap out of each other sometimes for fun and just like messing around. But Mike was really big and Mike was really strong. I think maybe at like 15 years old, he’s about six foot and like two 40. I mean, he’s just a monster. And so they were always wrestling and then I would jump in and Mike would like play with me and then Chris would probably hurt me or Chris’s friends and then Mike would beat everybody up in the room. <laugh>, he

Brad (00:28:25):
Was just like, that’s how it went. Yeah.

Mark (00:28:26):
He’s just like, I, you

Mark (00:28:27):
Know, then it was dinner time. Yeah,

Mark (00:28:29):
Exactly. We can’t, can’t have any of this. And it was hard for me to try to get a place at the, uh, dinner table to be able to eat enough because those two were, uh, chowing their food down and, and both of them, um, they have a different, they had different, a different level of confidence than what I had when I was young. So they both talked a lot and I was always just like listening, watching him go back and forth. And my mom talked and my dad talks a lot, everybody. So I didn’t, couldn’t get a word in, you know. So I was always just kind of, I was a little bit more of an observer when I was young. And uh, with Chris and Mike both being in a lifting, they’re like our little wimpy brother. Like he’s not gonna, this is like unacceptable.

Mark (00:29:08):
He can’t go around looking like this, you know, he’s gotta lift. And I was like a decently sized kid, but I didn’t, you know, I’m 12 or 13 and I’m kind of getting skinny fat, you know. And so they got me into, uh, they got me into some lifting. My dad, I don’t know, I don’t know how my dad knew like what weights to get, but like he bought a beautiful weight set. He bought, um, a nice squat rack. He bought like, like high level omp, like, um, not anything crazy expensive or anything, but he bought really nice weight set. And I always look back at that. I’m like, how the hell do you know what to get? Because even for now, that would still be a nice way to start. So the weights were just there and oddly enough, or interestingly enough, we had weights on one side and on the other side was business. My dad, uh, has a tax practice. So I always saw, I always saw the combination of weights in business going hand in hand all the time. If I wanted to walk outside, I had to walk through my dad’s office. So sometimes I’d be in the gym doing some stuff and I grew up in New York, it’d get kind of hot and humid in there. So sometimes I would, I would walk outside for a minute, drink some water, cool down and, and come back through. And I saw him always wheeling and dealing and

Brad (00:30:22):
Can you depreciate that? Okay.

Mark (00:30:24):
Yeah. Exactly. I saw him count <laugh> counting checks all the time, you know, and I would get done with workouts sometimes and I would sit across from him and I’m like, I don’t know, 14 or something. And he would, he would put these checks down and this check is for 375, so one’s for 200, so other one’s for a hundred. And I noticed the names on there and a lot of them had our last name on there. I’m like, is that from Uncle Jimmy <laugh>? He’s like, yeah. I was like, he’s your brother and your best friend. I was like, why are you hustling him for money? He’s like, well, it, it’s a business and they wanna pay me. He’s like, I’ve tried to tell most of them not to pay me, but it was, it was a bunch of friends and a bunch of family members checks that he had across the board there.

Mark (00:31:06):
And I was like, wow, that’s really <laugh>, that’s really interesting. But what he was explaining was, I’m providing a service, you know? So he’s like, if you, he goes when you’re older, if you ever want to have a business, if you just provide a service and it’s a good service, people wanna pay for it. So he is like, even though I’ve told your aunts and uncles and stuff before that they don’t need to pay me, he’s like, they’re insistent upon it cuz they’d have to go pay someone more money anyway. So I think they appreciate that I do this, uh, this work for them. And I was also, you know, kind of curious too. I was like made like 375 bucks, but that person, they weren’t really here that long, were they? He’s like, no, I just had to go through some of their files. We did a lot of that work last year too.

Mark (00:31:46):
And he’s like, it was pretty quick and easy. So he’s like, I don’t know, I was maybe working with him for like an hour. I’m like, $375 in an hour. Like that’s crazy. What the hell’s going on here? So my mind was kind of, uh, you know, thinking about a lot of that stuff. But back to the actual gym stuff, I started out with some pretty good foundation because I, I heard about things like five sets, five, the Bulgarian program. Um, and I remember like I read Power Lifting USA and I read some of these different magazines and I never got into body building. I got into power lifting. My brothers were more into strength and that’s what I wanted to do. And I remember going into the summer from I think like sixth grade to seventh grade. I’m like, man, I cannot wait to get outta school.

Mark (00:32:33):
Cuz once summer starts, I’m starting this Bulgarian program and I can train three times a day. I’m like, this is gonna be, be so sick because you like, you could lift heavy in the morning and then you have an assistance, uh, stuff in the middle. And then at the end of the day, uh, you would, you would do um, like a lighter version of what you did in the morning and it would kind of repeat and it cycled through and it taught me about like percentages and all kinds of different stuff. And I had it all calculated out like I can lift this weight right now. Like, I dunno, let’s just say 300 pounds on a certain lift. And I was like, by the end of the summer I’m gonna be doing 455. You know, cuz like you keep running the program and running the program and it gives you this kind of like, end result that you should get.

Mark (00:33:13):
But obviously like your luck runs out at a certain point. Like your body just doesn’t get better forever all the time. Unless you’re some of these, uh, all time greats like Ed Cohen and some people like that. So I, I, you know, I would run the program and I would go from 300 to 315, I’d be super disappointed, but it was only like in like, uh, eight weeks, you know. And then I would do the program again and gain another 15 pounds of strength. And I was like, man, these programs suck. They don’t do anything. But I just meanwhile just gained 30 pounds of strength on something that I was like kind of already pretty strong at. So that’s kind of where I cut my teeth and learned. And then my brother and I also, um, we went to Mid Hudson Body building, which was a gym in Poughkeepsie, New York that we frequented.

Mark (00:33:57):
And then also another gym, uh, which was a powerhouse gym called the Atrium. Uh, which we had, uh, a coach and that coach taught us about bench squat deadlift. Like before that we didn’t really know anything about the form, we just kind of did it and we were, we were horrible. But this coach taught us about the form and technique. He would write out programs for us. And the cool thing is that me and my brother never did the programs. We always, we only did the main movement and then we always left <laugh>. And uh, he was always baffled by us getting stronger cuz he’s like, you guys never do the assistance exercise. They’re like, ah, those are too light. And they’re, they’re a waste of time. We’re gonna go home and eat some pizza and ice cream <laugh>. We didn’t have any idea, any knowledge of uh, you know, nutrition or anything like that. But it worked and, and we were young and we got bigger and stronger by doing some of that.

Brad (00:34:50):
So body building is the familiar posing on the stage and looking at your muscles and getting judged by the judges. Power lifting is uh, much more of a organized competitive

Mark (00:35:02):
Squat. Squat, bench deadlift. You get three attempts at each one and then they take the best lift that you did in each one and they, uh, give you something that’s called a total. You know, so they add all those together.

Brad (00:35:14):
Um, so that’s straight up. How much can you lift in these three? And you’re also competing in a weight class, I suppose.?

Mark (00:35:21):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, uh, yeah, there’s a lot of different weight classes. I mean it goes all the way from like 114 pounds all the way to super heavy weight. Kind of a funny thing about power lifting is that there’s like a 3 0 8 weight class too because

Brad (00:35:36):
It’s a weight class folks not a super heavy weight. Yeah, right. Funny you, you gotta gotta trim down to make the 3 0 8

Mark (00:35:42):
Cutoff. And that’s like right where I usually sat too, you know? And I would compete at like 320 pounds when I was in the 3 0 8 weight class. It’s just so funny to think about. Power lifters are big, big human beings. A lot of the, lot of the heavier power lifters and the strong man athletes are like that too. But the strong man guys are even bigger cuz they’re usually really tall as well. It’s not uncommon for some of those guys to be 350, 400 pounds. I mean imagine some of those guys trying to, uh, run,

Brad (00:36:08):
Run four miles twice in one day. Yeah. Or right not gonna happen.

Mark (00:36:11):
Or like run bike and swim. It would be like the craziest, even if it was just tiny distances, it would

Brad (00:36:16):
Crush the bike. The top tube would bend, uh,

Mark (00:36:19):
Hathor bjornsen versus uh, Eddie Hall would be the ticket. Right?

Brad (00:36:23):
So, uh, is being super huge gonna be an advantage on lifting up more raw weight? What don’t they have longer arms? Is there sort of a build that’s might be an advantage? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>?

Mark (00:36:35):
So in terms of, in terms of power lifting, like if you and I are just talking and you’re like, man, I just, I want a stronger bench press. The fastest way for us to get you a stronger bench press would be just to have you gain some weight. Let’s just put you in a caloric surplus. And that kind of goes for like somebody that wants to get a bigger back or somebody that wants to get, let’s say bigger arms go into a nice caloric surplus. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> still eat healthy. Like let’s not, let’s just kind of get rid of old practices and let’s just ditch doing stuff that’s unhealthy. You still wanna stick with the kind of the cleaner foods. You don’t want them to have a negative impact on you even though you’re only 25 or however old someone might be. Um, but get yourself in a caloric surplus.

Mark (00:37:16):
Eat up a bit train. But if you’re trying to train and get stronger and you’re doing intermittent fasting and stuff like that at the same time, I’m not gonna tell you that it’s not gonna happen, but it’s just gonna be a lot harder. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And also if this is a new venture for you, why make it so difficult? You know, let’s, again, I like to try to simplify stuff. I like to, you know, I don’t wanna take on 17 different things at one time. Uh, it gets to be really complicated. Something like jujitsu or something like running where you’re, you’re working on it and you’re working on the form and technique. How many things could you work on at a time with running? Well? You, you got your right foot and you got your left foot. You got your right arm. Your left arm.

Mark (00:37:59):
Like you might be able to work on like two or three different things, but it’s not gonna be like a great workout. It’s gonna be a workout that you designated to you working on your technique. It’s a technique workout. It’s not like a full blast, like full blast workout where you’re trying to go hard would be more something where you’re like, I, I know I don’t run the best but I’m just gonna utilize what I got for now and I’m gonna work on fixing that some other day. Just like you might have to do sometimes with your jumps, right? You gotta make uh, these compromises here and there cuz you’re like, I’m in competition now. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, there’s no time for me to really worry about which way I turn my foot or the fact that I got plantar fasciitis or whatever. You gotta kind of go for it, right? So I like to try to break things down into their simplest form. When it comes to strength training, it comes to getting stronger. The first easiest thing that you can do is probably lean into gaining some weight if you don’t wanna gain some weight. The second easiest thing to do, and I guess it could be on par with the first one, is just to simply move into doing triples and singles and stuff like that. Cuz a lot of people don’t ever train that way. What

Brad (00:39:05):
People, what are triples and singles?

Mark (00:39:07):
Yeah. Just doing three reps, two reps, one rep, you know, and, and getting those numbers up higher. I talked to you the other day about Prilepin’s chart. It’s a really famous chart that was created by either a Romanian coach or a Russian coach. And the interesting thing about the original chart is that the chart doesn’t have a hundred percent on it. You’re looking at it, you’re like, that’s interesting. It’s got 90 and 80 and 70 and it’s because they looked at a hundred percent as not being, you see the chart right there

Brad (00:39:38):
If you’re watching on YouTube, we have Prilepin’s P R i L E P I N chart and it’s just a, it’s calculating percentage of your absolute maximum and then suggested reps and sets mm-hmm. <affirmative> with it just goes up to 90, not a hundred. Love it.

Mark (00:39:54):
So sometimes like when you get a training protocol from somebody, especially when it comes to lifting, uh, the coach, a lot of times he’s not gonna include the fact that like, no matter how strong you are, you should always warm up with the bar. That’s a belief of mine. Some people might warm up with something heavier, but I always like utilizing the bar and just moving it around and bench squat or deadlift just to see what’s there. You

Brad (00:40:16):
Warm up with super lightweight you’re saying? Yeah.

Mark (00:40:18):
Move it around and go, oh that’s

Brad (00:40:19):
Weird. Empty bar. Yeah,

Brad (00:40:20):
That’s weird.

Mark (00:40:21):
What’s going on with the Shoulder?

Brad (00:40:21):
Right? Right.

Mark (00:40:23):
So there’s not so much significance on, it’s where anybody even registers at it as counting as anything. But I think Prilepin, in making that chart, I think he thought the same way about a hundred percent all the way to the point where he, he thought it was kind of, I don’t wanna say useless cuz obviously there’s utility in going a hundred percent feeling yourself going that hard or that fast. There’s definitely, uh, a lot of benefit to it. But he just, he didn’t even have it on the chart. Because you also recognize the other thing is that when you give an athlete something, we’re <laugh> athletes are really dumb, right? Like, more

Mark (00:40:59):
Better. And I’m speaking for myself, you know, like me too. If you gave me a list of things, I’m looking at it right away and I’m like, I could do way better than that and I’m gonna wanna try to give it a little extra oomph. So somebody, uh, that is trying to get stronger and or trying to get bigger or if even if they wanted to stay the same weight but still increase their strength, if you follow some of the information on that chart, you do one to three reps. Um, there’s no reason to go above 90%. And in fact, if you’re gonna do like let’s say three sets of three reps, you want your last rep of your last set to look like the first rep of your first set. And that is, in my opinion, not in always, because I’m not a huge fan of absolutes.

Mark (00:41:44):
But if you follow that in most of your lifting career, you will stay healthier for longer and it will be easier for you to get stronger faster by you sticking to having really wonderful, beautiful form. What happens over periods of time as you start to really lock your form and technique in the only person that knows that you have bad technique is you, because it’s undetectable by other people. Unless they’re there with you. Unless they’ve seen you lift a million times, not a million times unless they’ve seen you lift a lot. Um, so I had to make those corrections sometimes myself in my lifting career as I got better. And so that’s why it’s important that you go around with like-minded people. Louis Simmons would say, if you walk with the lame, you develop a limp <laugh>. So you wanna be moving with people that can move a similar speed to you or even every once in a while.

Mark (00:42:41):
People that can move a lot faster than you. You know, if we go on that four mile run and we do it every day, I know that there’s like science about training these heart rate zones and stuff like that. But if we go out there and we go with some 25 year old guy who runs that arboretum, uh, at a six minute mile pace, like all the time, like it’s nothing. Even if he slowed down to entertain us and was just a little ahead of us, we’d run faster the whole time mm-hmm. <affirmative> and over and we’d probably get better, but maybe at a period of time we’d also like decline cuz we were smashing ourselves too much. But I would imagine in the beginning I’d get a little bit better. So it’s important that you get around, uh, people that are, people that know what they’re doing and people that are a little bit better than you.

Mark (00:43:26):
So that’d be kind of the third thing. So number one, you know, gain some, gain some weight being a caloric surplus. Number two, uh, is to, you know, due to one to three reps. And the third thing is to get around some awesome people, some people that are really interested really into, you’ve mentioned this a bunch, which I thought was amazing. You got around and <laugh> you mentioned, uh, a couple guys would, would take off after a while and and not hang with the crew because sometimes being with the crew is also to your detriment. And that’s really, now you’re getting into some high level really smart stuff.

Brad (00:43:57):
Yeah. You gotta pick and choose and the motivation

Mark (00:44:00):
Don’t always wanna compete

Brad (00:44:01):
.The camaraderie is so great, but you really have to put yourself first and make good decisions all the time. I talked to young athletes a lot that are heading off to college to go on the running team and um, that was a disaster for me at UC Santa Barbara. I just got destroyed by, by the system and the programming that didn’t have that individualized element. And so, you know, get, get all the camaraderie you need, but when you need to back off, you can still enjoy the camaraderie. You tone down that competitive intensity and then, then you’re, you know, making the most of, uh, the environment as well as, you know, your, your personal responsibility to yourself and your own voice.

Mark (00:44:40):
Yeah, I agree. I agree with that a ton. And I, again, I just think like, let’s just try to simplify stuff. You know, what is it that you’re, what are you trying to address? What are you trying to get better at? Trying to get better at lifting, trying to get better at running? If you’re trying to get better, if you are trying to prioritize something, well let’s work on the lifting first. You know, if that’s what you want to get better at, let’s prioritize that. You’re like, yeah, yeah, but I want to be fit and I wanna run and well just wait a minute, you know, like, just, let’s just lift for a couple weeks. Let’s, let’s say that you’re a runner and you’re listening to this right now and you wanted to get into lifting, but you kind of have and haven’t, you’ve been in, in and out a bunch.

Mark (00:45:19):
Just go and lift, lift about three or four days a week. Make a commitment to it. Stop running. I know, I know you’re sad, but just stop. Just stop running. Pick something else. Walk, maybe ride a bike. Do something that’s different than running. Get off your feet, stop pounding lower back ankles, all that stuff. Lift for six weeks, put some effort into that. Work on the progress there. Come back to running and I promise you, you will be better. It’s might not happen right away, but we took, we put too many time constraints on stuff. If you just say, I don’t care. Let’s take your, your, uh, your high jump as an example. If you say, you know what, I don’t care how long this takes, but I will be the best in the world at high jump <laugh>. What if you, what if it happens when you’re 80? You know, when at 80 years old, I’m imagining like people probably aren’t jumping too crazy. I know it’s competitive. No matter what age group you’re in,

Brad (00:46:20):
You know what the record is. In the 95, Somebody did like seven Three jump division , 0.9 meters , which is less than three feet. And so my goal is to jump into bed when I’m 95 and I will be a record holder. That’s all I gotta do is just, you know, get up onto the mattress on a typical high placement bed. So it is nice to be in the age groups because, um, you know, there’s, there’s attrition and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you stay fit and healthy, then you can step right in there.

Mark (00:46:51):
Yeah, I, and I love that. So I think if we, you know, maybe right now maybe somebody, uh, is really struggling with weights and they’re like, man, I’m a wimp. I’m kind of a skinnier person. Well that’s fine. That, that’s, that’s maybe just where you’re at at the moment, but how much time and effort have you really have you really put into it when you put some time and effort into it and you get locked into it and you make that kind of the main focus for a bit, you’ll be shocked at what you can do. And again, if you’re trying to like look for results in eight weeks, 12 weeks, even six weeks, which I suggested, um, you’re gonna get some results in those six weeks, but they’re not gonna be monumental. But again, once you start back on running and you’re able to run and lift and go back and forth between running and lifting without any soft tissue injuries, like zero, none, zilch for weeks on end, you have found the magic recipe. You made yourself more resilient and the stress mitigation that you have to lifting, it’s like if you went to run with a friend, you, you might tell him, oh yeah man, I did. I I trained legs today like crazy. You know? Cause you’d want that buffer to, to tell your buddy like, yeah, I’m kind, I might be kind of slow to today <laugh>,

Mark (00:48:07):
But imagine it’s five years from now and you’ve been having that routine normal, you wouldn’t mention to him anymore cause it wouldn’t make any difference. It’s not gonna slow you down. We’ve talked to Nsima this morning who also went on the run who did really impressive by the way. He said he did 31 minutes and he said they did the whole thing nasal breathing. What a beast. Fricking jacked. But you know, it’s gonna take time to get better at stuff. It really is gonna take time. And you have to just understand that lower your expectations. Hmm. When I first started running, it was just little, just biting off a little bit at a time. I would run from a rock to a stop sign. I’d run from a stop sign to a house. I’d run from one tree to the next and it was like, we’re talking, sometimes we’re talking sometimes 25 yards. You know, sometimes it was cuz I would go to run and I was like, man, that doesn’t feel good on the ankle. Wow. That’s really jamming my ankle into the ground because it’s been decades since I’ve really like tried to run. And, uh, now, um, I, I would say if I had to, I think I can go run a marathon without any, well, it would take me a little while to recover from it maybe. But you can go do it without any problem.

Brad (00:49:22):
Well, that’s what’s pretty cool about all the messaging you’re putting out about this new goal, because I’m sure you have a lot of power lifting followers. And I’ve engaged with a lot of endurance athletes over my time and realizing myself how important it is to broaden your horizons, even if you love this sport the most. And you’ll always be at heart an ultra distance trail runner. Now we’re looking at the research and realizing that that functional muscle strength is the number one predictor of longevity. It’s not being able to go and, and shuffle through a marathon. And I think we get these narrow-minded, and I’m sure in the power lifting community and in the gym community, um, they don’t have enough respect for the ability to lace up your shoes and take off down the block. So we have a lot of fit specimens out there, but the focus is super narrow.

Brad (00:50:09):
And that includes, I mean, when I was a triathlete, it’s all the same. It’s just an extreme endurance cardiovascular. All three sports are going straight ahead. You’re not guarding anybody on the basketball court. And when I emerged from that period of my life, I realized how pathetic my overall fitness score was, and that I needed to broaden my horizons, which is, I think it’s fun. You’ve showed, you know, with your, with your attitude and your lightheartedness about it, it’s like, yeah, go run for 20 yards and, uh, celebrate these baby steps you’re taking away from your bread and butter.

Mark (00:50:44):
I think people would be shocked that, that it’s like, it’s impossible not to get better at something that you really suck at when you’re really bad at

Brad (00:50:53):
Learning. Curve is faster. That’s right. Oh,

Mark (00:50:55):
It’s really fast. You, you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be totally surprised. It’s not gonna be without like, it’s bumps and bruises. It’s not gonna be without, like, there’s gonna be pain. You are most likely going to hurt yourself. Like there’s all kinds of stuff. I mean, even if you just tried to increase your pushups, like, I don’t know. He might hurt your wrist. He might hurt your shoulder. Mm-hmm. Like, you just, something’s gonna happen. It, it’s a new stimulus. We talked this morning a little bit about new stuff. You always gotta be cautious when something’s new. So again, you know, if you’re, I think, I think it’s kind of a blessing to be older, to be like 40 plus because you have learned at least some of the stuff that doesn’t make sense for you to do at the moment and that you’re, you’re okay with, like, I should probably build into that.

Brad (00:51:41):
But when you’re still, like in your thirties and stuff, you’re like, yeah, I used to do that all the time. I’m trying. And then you boom, you tear your hamstring, you get hurt. You know, you end up with, you just, you gotta find a way again to, you know, mitigate what could potentially happen to you. Something like a hamstring tear or something like a, you know, you don’t, you don’t want a hamstring tear, but we can be, uh, reasonable and understand that. Like, we might get a hamstring tweak here and there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we might get a calf tweak here and there, but we can’t afford a tear. So you gotta think about the stuff. You go with a friend and they’re doing something extravagant, something a little different than what you’re used to. Oh man, you gotta be strong enough. And that’s the hard, it’s very difficult.

Mark (00:52:27):
You gotta be strong enough to say that’s not for me. I, I went out with, uh, our buddy Graham Tuttle, the Barefoot Sprinter, and it was, you know, I was all excited. I was like, I’m gonna have ’em out here for a month. You not gonna work together. All I’m gonna do is like following through some drills. It’s gonna be awesome. And we did one workout where we did a hundred meter. They weren’t meant to be sprints of any kind. It was like a hundred meter run. But this is also months ago before I was as conditioned as I am now, and I should have known better. He said, we’re gonna do eight. I should have said, Hey, you know what, three or four is probably gonna be good for me. I’m a big boy and I’m outta shape, you know? So we do six, we do seven.

Mark (00:53:11):
And on the eighth one, I’m even trying to relax when I’m running and just got a little click, something like the soaz or the hip. And it still bothers me. It still, it still is a little, but I’m actually grateful for it because it’s something that keeps me in check. And I, if that, if that governor wasn’t there, I probably, I probably would be and probably would have hurt myself way worse. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s actually kind of a, it did throw me for a loop for a couple weeks. Um, but, you know, these things, these, you’re, you’re going to, you’re going to run into some setbacks mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I’ve always kind of viewed pain and injury as, uh, my mentor, my teacher, you know, is gonna teach me some lessons and, um, how disrespectful of me to not learn the lessons. You know, I need to pay attention.

Mark (00:54:01):
So that one I didn’t really see, uh, even though I probably looking back at it, I, I probably should have, but I thought the intensity was low enough to not get hurt. And what I recognized is you can get hurt doing just about anything. So be really cautious. I’ve gotten hurt in the gym from pushing our sled at a really slow pace, just where I slightly pop something in my calf and I’m like, you gotta be kidding me. What in the world was that? But I didn’t warm up. There was like five plates on there. I just went right to it. Yeah. It was too much of a strain at the wrong time of day or whatever it might be. I also got hurt a couple other times that were, that were similar to that, where it wasn’t like, it wasn’t like, okay, well Mark tried to dunk a basketball and he tores calf, you know, it’s like, well that one, I can take full blame and full responsibility, heroic effort.

Mark (00:54:54):
And I can say that was really foolish. You know, what was I doing? You know, trying to dunk with knees over toes, guy, that was, that was foolish. Right? Um, but a lot of times you just get hurt doing something that’s kind of minimal. And how do we kind of, uh, I kind of think of stuff as like Zombieland. The movie Zombieland where he’s got this list of things that can take him out in terms of the zombies getting him. Yeah. He always has his shoe, his shoes tied, but not only are they tied, they’re, they’re double, you know, double loop, right. Double noded. Uh, he does a bunch of other stuff. Like he stretches, he does all this stuff and I think, I think you need the Zombie- land. He always has a baseball bat with him. Like he always has a weapon. <laugh>, I think you wanna kind of zombie land your life against cancer, against heart disease, against diabetes. What are gonna be the things that take you out? So what are these injuries that are gonna happen and how do we, how do we figure out a way, you know, with our run today, we started out like really, we didn’t really pick up this pace much from,

Brad (00:55:52):
And we start out slow and, and to take it

Mark (00:55:54):
Off. And it kind of continued to go super slow. Yeah. Um, but

Mark (00:55:57):
That was an interesting start. Low and slow.

Brad (00:55:59):
We were talking about Kipchoge, the great marathoner who broke the world record last weekend, and they were, um,

Mark (00:56:07):
Is he under two hours?

Brad (00:56:08):
He did the under two hours for that, uh, orchestrated sponsorship event where they ran around a racetrack with Pacers and all these things that are illegal and real marathon racing. And some of the purists were like, well, that doesn’t count, because he had pacers and he had this, and he had that and the lights lighting up to tell him what pace he was on, all these advantages. But two, he did a 01:59 marathon. I think it’s a great athletic achievement. He still had to run it, gimme a break, but in like an, an official race, the Berlin Marathon, he did two hours and one minute. And so he’s, he’s, you know, it’s, it’s just sensational.

Mark (00:56:43):
But you said he like trots, right? Like

Brad (00:56:44):
Little, but we were saying like he starts his easy runs out at like an 08 45 pace and then builds into finishing at a six something pace. And it’s like, oh yeah, so do I, you know, but, um, if you think about eight minutes, 45, that’s double his marathon pace. He’s running four 30 for the marathon. And so for almost all of us to properly model the greatest runner in the world, most of our runs should be walks and jogs because he’s running at 65% capacity for most of his weekly mileage. It’s like a hundred out of his 135 miles a week or run at this pace that equates to a brisk walk for the average runner out there who’s pretty competent and has put up some good times. It’s kind of mind blowing how the body builds from, uh, you know, sort of a natural, um, and comfortable pace.

Mark (00:57:33):
Yeah. Well you mentioned to me

Brad (00:57:35):
There’s a good treadmill if you’re watching on YouTube, they set up a treadmill to teach people what it’s like to run his pace that he runs for a marathon. And they usually go for, you know, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, whatever. It’s four minutes, 32 per mile. It’s insane.

Mark (00:57:49):
And you were mentioning that he might be going like 14, 15 miles an hour or something, Right?

Brad (00:57:54):
Yeah, something like that. I mean, he is running 4 32 per mile, a five minute mile, 12 miles an hour.

Mark (00:58:01):
That is, uh, man, that, that is like astonishing the, the level that he’s reached. But you know, what falls in line with some of the stuff that we’ve learned or I’ve learned over the years from lifting, you know, some of the percentages and some of the things that we equate some of the rest intervals. Like it’s not uncommon for a rest interval with the sprint to be like 16 times the amount of time it took. Do the sprint. Yeah. And you end up with similar, you know, there’s always that, uh, everybody’s experiences. There’s always that old fat guy at the gym who takes, you know, six, seven minutes in between his sets. Well that’s because the guy’s doing, you know, heavy singles. He’s gotta, he’s gotta get his rest. And those lifts take a much shorter time. Those lifts take a much shorter time. So the shorter that something is, the longer rest that you need to be able to duplicate it.

Mark (00:58:49):
And also the longer rest you need for the warmup. Uh, our warmup today, we didn’t have one we just ran. Right. Cause like, we didn’t move very fast. Like what we were doing wasn’t really dynamic or spectacular. So, you know, I know some people are like, all right, you should always warm up and, you know, uh, if I told you to, you know, our workout for today is to open and close your fist as fast as you can for a hundred reps on both hands, you there would just, it’s completely pointless to try to warm up for that. Mm. We’re gonna move our eyebrows as quick, quick as we can. You know, it’s, there’s sometimes there’s not a reason to warm up if what you’re about to do, uh, is, you know, you’re basically just playing checkers or playing chess. I mean, there’s not really a, maybe there is a warmup for chess. Sorry, everybody, but there doesn’t always happen to

Brad (00:59:36):
Crossword puzzles or something. Yeah.

Mark (00:59:37):
Who knows what to do to fire the brain a little bit, right? Yeah. Take some, uh, madol or whatever it is, right. That they might take for that.

Brad (00:59:44):
The chess players doping. Yeah,

Mark (00:59:46):
I know they are. That’s what I heard.

Brad (00:59:47):
Oh my gosh. Uh, I know the archers were getting in trouble for taking beta blockers, so they’d just be calm down. And so that’s on the banned list of substances.

Mark (00:59:57):
And what do you think about like, uh, trying to increase the intensity via some other things? So I know that some people, sometimes they will increase their distance a little bit. So we just talked a little bit about like, Hey, let’s maybe peel back the running and maybe you’ll run faster. That seems to be a good consensus right now. Right? There’s a lot of information. There has been information since the eighties and the information is building and building and it seems like, hey, Kipchoge’s doing that. And so are a lot of other people. So that seems like a good route. Is there any other ways to maybe cheat the system do you think? Like what if, um, what if you ran with a weight vest that is, uh, you know, 5% of your body weight or 10% of your body weight? Or what if we went and did some hills but we ran real slow? Like I don’t, what’s your opinion?

Brad (01:00:42):
Yeah, I mean, altitude training is the best example because everything’s way more difficult up there. So with running and with any impact sport, there’s a huge limiting factor here, which is the stress to the body. And so you can’t just go out there and run as fast as you can every day and expect to get better. They did that interestingly in the old days, in the twenties and thirties and forties and Paavo Nurmi, this great Finish runner who won many gold medals, they reported his workouts and they were just torturous. But you know, he survived and was able to win Olympic gold medals. But

Mark (01:01:15):
Then first guy, yeah, that beat the four minute mile. He also,

Brad (01:01:19):
Banister was a medical student

Mark (01:01:21):
Mad man, right?

Brad (01:01:22):
Yeah. And he didn’t have, he had 30 minutes of day to train <laugh> and he broke the world record in his time and ran 03:59 in the mile. So he was running hard every time he went out to the track. And now the more sophisticated approach is to kind of build this aerobic conditioning base at a comfortable pace so it’s not stressful to the body. And so there are ways to kind of, um, get around this limiting factor of the impact trauma of running. And that would be non-weightbearing activities like sprinting on the bicycle or going uphill if you

Mark (01:01:53):
Altitude, what if you went the opposite direction?

Brad (01:01:56):
You would, you would probably have that tweak in the so times, times 20, like you

Mark (01:02:01):
Think so? I mean, sometimes that’s the answer, right? Like what I, so I said a five pound or 10 pound, but like what if you went with like a, you know, or 5% or 10%? What if you went with something that’s like 30% your body weight, 50% your body weight?

Brad (01:02:15):
Oh, it would be interesting because you wouldn’t be able to move as quickly. And so you, you would have less impact trauma carrying extra weight in that example. And it could have a certain training benefit. But the interesting thing is, and we talked about the, I’m gonna brison on your show, where these guys knew that anything short of actually running in a circle around the track at race pace was less effective. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you just can’t do that all the time. And so they’d go in the pool and they’d be grumbling and frustrated about it if they had an injury because they knew they were falling off conditioning. But in, in a, they like

Mark (01:02:50):
To be very specific, those guys. Well

Brad (01:02:51):
You have to, I mean, it’s like Kipchoge can’t run a 2 0 1 marathon, uh, doling in the park and riding his bicycle in the mountains. Um, but that can be complimentary to the workouts that you can do. Um, same with, for example, a CrossFit person. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> maybe just doing a hike on the weekend to build their endurance because they’re working out for a long time in the gym. And endurance is an important component there. I

Mark (01:03:17):
See. So, so like maybe a hike or maybe a ruck, something like that might be beneficial cuz it’s not running. But yes, you maybe have more weight or you do have a lot of hills. What about running hills? Do you know anything about, like does that pull some of the, like is there, I mean I guess there would be like more kind of tension on your hamstrings and stuff, but like, because each step is upward rather than straightforward, there’s gotta be less impact course.

Brad (01:03:42):
Oh, massively less impact. Yeah. Same with doing all the drills that I do and I did some this morning and they’re on YouTube and those are of minimal impact because you’re just not, you know, turning on the gas and running as fast as you can. So we always have to work around that, that challenge of staying healthy. That’s a tough one. Um, running up hill is great. Yeah.

Mark (01:04:05):
So it’s almost like maybe a little bit of the conjugate system into <laugh>, into some running, like, like Louis Simmons in power lifting was a huge fan of the conjugate system, which just basically meant you had a large variety of exercise to rotate around.

Brad (01:04:21):
Oh. So that you wouldn’t like over traumatize some joint from doing too much bench press.

Mark (01:04:26):
So maybe like one day we go and we smash some hills, maybe the next day we do a really light run. Maybe the next day we do, uh, the aerodine bike. You know, things like that. Right?

Brad (01:04:35):
Yeah. Okay. So here’s what the triathletes learned the hard way. As it was such a wonderful awakening for me as an injured college runner again and again and again. I finally threw up my arms and said, this ain’t working for me. I cannot handle the collegiate running system. And so I went right over to triathlon. I was never injured again for a decade because if I got a in my deltoid from swimming, I wouldn’t swim for a few days. I’d go and bike a hundred miles and um, pretty soon the shoulder would ride itself. And same with any minor running injury. You just take care of it by sitting on the bike seat and going to the swimming pool. However, the human, you know, is this dynamic organism that only has a certain amount of energy to devote to, uh, locomotion. Like that quote, uh, from Dr. Herman Pontzer. Reproduction, repair, growth and locomotion are a zero sum game. So if you’re locomoting your ass off like a tour de France writer writing for hours and hours every day, they’re lying on their back and eating food when they’re not pedaling because they have no more energy to devote. And I’m sure that you run up against that, that limit in power lifting as well.

Mark (01:05:44):
Yeah. The wife’s like, Hey, like what’s going on here?

Brad (01:05:46):
You can’t get off the couch <laugh>. Right. But I mean, you know, would a power lifter benefit from um, some explosive basketball training with the basketball team? Perhaps so, but if you don’t have the energy or you’re bumping up against your maximum energy capability, then you’re not gonna benefit from anything except, uh, a meditation session.

Mark (01:06:08):
Yeah. And, and where the power lifter would benefit the most from basketball would be is if he had it in his history. You know, that’s, that’s

Brad (01:06:18):
Where wasn’t that’s stressful.

Mark (01:06:19):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s where you would want the non-specific stuff most likely to be. Otherwise it has to be like kindness specific, you know what I mean? Like, even though Louis Simmons did switch up exercises, it wasn’t like he went from a closed grip bench press to playing tennis. You know, he went from a closed grip bench press to a wide grip bench press.

Brad (01:06:38):
Right. Yeah. I think if you’re, if you’re doing it right, like the elite athletes of the world are good models cuz obviously they’re doing something right. And Michael Phelps, we talked about him a bit. Um, you know, he trained five hours a day for 20 years straight or something. He didn’t five years.

Mark (01:06:54):
Yeah. Five years

Brad (01:06:55):
Around, oh five years they had a streak, but generally in his career mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he was in the water for a large part of his day because there’s no stress to the joints and the musculoskeletal. And so swimmers can train in a manner of speaking, you know, as, as hard as any athlete or harder than any other athlete in terms of their lungs working and, and their muscles moving because their, their weightless. I wouldn’t say it’s as hard as, you know, the hardest training athletes are probably, um, someone that’s taking impact and working all their muscles like a runner. Cross country skier is another good example of, you know, they’re, they’re just working the muscles and the cardiovascular system like crazy because there’s no impact there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So every, every athlete has their limitations and some of it’s, uh, the impact,

Mark (01:07:44):
I’m, uh, really excited about this book that we’re formulating and working on because, you know, have so many people asking questions about diet and nutrition and sometimes, sometimes the answer is kind of obvious and sometimes it’s like not so obvious. And, and you get into a lot of stuff about keto and intermittent fasting and it can be complicated. Um, but a lot of things are like an over correction, right? <laugh>. So we had, we had like this carb thing going on for a long time and people really watched their fat calories, which still, by the way, I don’t think is a necessarily bad idea. I do think it’s a bad idea to limit your fat to the point where it’s detrimental to your hormones. But most people, if they have even just throwing out a blanket number regardless of size or sex, if people have 60 to 70 grams of fat in a day, they’re usually good to go.

Mark (01:08:37):
Like there’s not a lot of people that would suffer from anything <laugh>, uh, eating that amount of fat. That would be a reasonable amount. But there was people years ago, like trying to have zero fat mm-hmm. <affirmative> each day and they were eating like five or 600, uh, grams of carbohydrates. But there’s a lot of stuff to kind of untangle and stuff like that. And I think people need to try to find when somebody says, oh, you need to find something that works for you. I think we need to kind of define that because, um, there is a clear pathway for the human body and there’s a clear pathway, uh, that the human body works. Like we know that if you’re prioritize protein, that that’ll do some really magnificent things for you. And if you’re somebody that has struggled with hunger in the past, eating a lot of protein will really knock the crap out of some hunger.

Mark (01:09:29):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it won’t really help with the cravings. On the other hand, what can help with the cravings? So is some sweet something or other. I love protein shakes. I love fruit protein shakes, fruit. I also eat some cottage cheese, eat some yogurt. I buy yogurt that doesn’t have sugar in it. And then I take a scoop of my, uh, vanilla protein and I throw it in the plain yogurt and I mix it up and it tastes unbelievable. And that’s part of my fruit bowl. But what I think is an interesting thing, I think sometimes when people start to think about their diet, they think of this really dry boring thing, man, how many days can I make it through this? How many, oh, look at that man, it’s day three and I’m still doing pretty good, but I don’t feel great. Like, I’m tired.

Mark (01:10:17):
It’s because people are underfed, they’re, we lost sight of the fact that your nutrition needs to be very nutritious. <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you can accomplish this by eating. What I’m a huge fan of is meat and fruit you might build to mix some other stuff in there too. Um, and definitely there’s room for play. Like, let’s not make any mistake about that as well. Again, if we don’t put like a time domain on this, if we’re not in like a race to lose 30 pounds by the end of the month or in two months, um, is there room for a beer? Is there room for some wine? Is there room to go to a baseball game and have a hotdog? I think there should be. I think there should be. I think if those are things that you value and you enjoy and you like, especially sometimes with family.

Mark (01:11:05):
I love having a drink with my wife. I like that today that you mentioned Mark Sisson like, you’re like, yeah, it’s pretty cool man. Cuz he, he is a hard. He’s got a lot of things lined up really well. He is a really powerful man. However, he doesn’t mind just enjoying some food here and there, enjoying a drink here and there. I think most people, I think that’s what they’re after. They’re trying to, they’re trying to find that, how do I find that equanimity in my diet? How do I find that kind of balance in my diet? And what I would say is like, part of the unfortunate thing with, uh, a nutritional intervention is that it’s never over. Like, there’s not an end to it. <laugh>. There’s not an end to it. There’s, there’s no end game. There’s no like, all right, I got to, uh, 12% body fat and I’m a little bit more jacked and now I get to just chill.

Mark (01:11:51):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it doesn’t work that way. You’re quickly, your body fat percent is gonna quickly start to go back up again. Now your metabolism is a little faster and you might process the calories, uh, and utilize the energy more efficiently and stuff like that. Sure. But your luck’s gonna run out at a certain point if you mess around for too long. So what I’m excited about is, I think what some of the stuff that we’ve been writing about so far is getting rid of is that we are gonna provide you with a diet where yes, there’s still may be cravings towards some old things that you really enjoyed, like candy and pizza and ice cream. Like we, we can’t outline a diet that allows for that, to frequently be eaten. However, when you have the combination of meat and fruit and some dairy, some protein shakes here and there, you’re gonna feel like you’re on a diet that doesn’t need any cheat meals. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you’re gonna feel like you’re on a diet that doesn’t need a cheat day. And again, occasionally you’re gonna be like, oh, it’s my wedding anniversary. celebrate 10 years, it’s gonna be great. Go have some wine, go enjoy a meal of whatever it is your favorite thing is. But the real of it is, once you get deep into this and you learn it, that meal is probably gonna be like steak and potatoes. Right. It’s not gonna be like a bunch of donuts or something like you’re envisioning in your head.

Brad (01:13:15):
Yeah. I think those cravings for processed foods are on account of having processed foods present in the diet for years and decades. And these mess up your ability to generate cellular energy internally. Therefore, if you’re not feeling energetic and, and uh, alert and in a good positive mood with your appetite hormones and everything stable, you’re gonna be looking around and everyone can relate to this at the end of a tired, cranky, stressful day. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s when you’re gonna reach for the Ben and Jerry’s pint. But if you like front load with, you know, impeccable nutritional standards, you’re gonna drift in the direction of the stuff that you want more than anything else. Is 10 eggs every morning. Like it,

Mark (01:13:59):
I we heard about a savage guy who does 10 eggs and didn’t we hear about that? Is that, is that a rumor?

Brad (01:14:05):
And you look forward to it every morning, right? I mean, every

Mark (01:14:08):
Single morning. Yeah. Yeah.

Brad (01:14:09):
It’s, it’s fantastic strategy. I mean, we, it could be another book there, the 10 Egg Diet mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how to lose weight and get shredded in a short time. Just start with 10 eggs. I think we could write the entire outline and click publish probably by the end of today because you just eat 10 eggs every day and then you’re good to go. Yeah.

Mark (01:14:26):
What I like about that is, uh, hey, you know what, uh, we’ve heard from a lot of people that struggle with their diet and what is the major problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of times they look at their plate and they’re like, there’s not much food there. You know? And another problem that we have is like, that food doesn’t taste very good. I don’t want to eat that salad. I don’t wanna eat whatever the food is that they don’t like. 10 eggs with some butter. And I think Andrew even has some toast with it. Mm-hmm.

Mark (01:14:54):
<affirmative>. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s, I guess the one thing that’s subprimal is that I will have like, just your regular bread that I toast

Brad (01:15:01):
On the JV team, bro.

Mark (01:15:02):
Yeah, yeah. I know, right? Yeah. I’m still riding the pine, but, but yeah, I have that because 10 eggs like, it, it will get kind of like a daunting task because you look at this gigantic plane and it’s like, oh my gosh. But then you have that toast and you’re like, oh, like now it’s, now it’s a party. You kntw? And it’s delicious

Mark (01:15:18):
And no, I, I love that. And again, you know, hearing some of the issues that people have had, you know, I used to weigh 330 pounds myself and I had a lot of issues. I thought, you know, oh, I just got big for power lifting and this is, you know, time, time to get shredded. And I went to go on a diet and I was like, oh my goodness. Like I, I got a problem. Like, this is not good. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, I still wake up in the middle of the night, I still want to eat. And I still do eat. A lot of times I’ll make, uh, like a protein shake. Every once in a while I’ll have a malfunction and eat something that I probably shouldn’t. Uh, but it’s usually pretty clean, even if I do.

Mark (01:15:53):
But I wake up often. Um, I don’t know why I do this. I do this every day and I, you know, like sometimes you do something every day and you’re like, why do I do this every day? And I tell myself every day that I’m not gonna do this. And then I end up doing it again. This is the thing for me is, I mean now I’m just, you see me pounding, like I just had four drinks, right? I don’t normally drink enough during the day, so I’m trying to like start a new habit of drinking more during the day cuz I drink so much at night and then I’m Mr. Pee pee pants at night and I have to use the bathroom a bunch. But sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m kind of like up, up. So I’m like, I’m gonna go make a protein shake or something like that. I gotta drink

Brad (01:16:32):
Some new flavors

Mark (01:16:33):
Here. Yeah. I got a, I got a sweet tooth from even back, you know, now it’s been like 10 years ago since I slayed that dragon that was 330 pounds. And, uh, the dragon is still hungry. It still gotta feed it here and there. So,

Brad (01:16:47):
Oh, I’d say you did a number on yourself from that quest to add weight mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I feel I can relate a little bit because the triathlete example is we literally had to make a considered effort to consume extra calories so we would recover mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so you get in this mindset of just like inhaling food and then reaching for more and wandering around and having food in your hand and having, having snacks in your drawer in your bag and

Mark (01:17:10):
Couldn’t leave the house without a big thing of Food.

Brad (01:17:12):
Yeah. And then, then you’re asking me to extricate from that immediately the day that I retire and stop training for five or six hours a day. It, it messes with your head. It really does. The relationship with food is not appropriate because it should be a celebratory event every time we eat. The time should be calm, relaxing, a great time to share and socialize a home cooked, home prepared meal. And when you’re in like the calorie mode, you have to discard all that and say, you know, gimme something right now I’m going or I’m gonna get a moody in in 15 minutes.

Brad (01:17:44):
So when you’re going for that competitive power lifting and you said just, just put on weight is a good way to get stronger, I’m wondering why that would matter if it was fat. Like if you’re gonna go to the deadlift bar at 330 pounds, but you’re 20% fat, are you gonna lift less weight now that you’re jacked in tan? Is that what you’re telling me?

Mark (01:18:07):
If you were to take a pillow <laugh> and uh, just put it under your shirt and then bend down like you’re about to pick up a deadlift bar, you’ll immediately feel a little more pressure. So having a little bit of a belly, you know, and some of those guys kind of have, which is probably not the healthiest thing. They kind of have a, a belly that’s kind of like a hard abdomen slash you know, oblique kind of boulder looking stomach. Right. Uh, when you go to deadlift and you go to pick up that weight, it is a big advantage. In the deadlift in particular, sometimes it’s a disadvantage. Sometimes you’ll actually notice a lot of deadlifters have sometimes a smaller waist, but usually like just, you know, mass moves mass. And so when we’re talking about like football player, you know, uh, a center versus like a nose guard football or something like that, I mean, the guy across the ball doesn’t care if the other guy’s ripped. You know, the fact the guy’s 325 is what allows him, like, handle himself. So it’s not, it’s not the end all be all to, to be big, to be able to lift heavy. And you don’t, you certainly don’t need to be big to lift heavier weights. However, it’s normally advantageous to be a little bigger because it normally gives you a mechanical advantage.

Brad (01:19:22):
I wonder if also there’s you’re, you’re making sure you’re recovered. You’re not screwing around with fasting and hey, maybe you’re gaining Yeah. You know, 50 pounds over your 10 year career mm-hmm. <affirmative>, whatever it is, but you’re well fed all the time. That’s, that’s kind of a good way to train for I’m

Mark (01:19:39):
Power lifting. Just, I’m also talking about like, so there’s that kind of weight gain where you’re, you’re like bulking and you’re getting big mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you don’t necessarily have to push to that level, but for some people listening, they might not be able to relate. They might have felt this before. Uh, but when you are, when you feel well fed, like you ate a good amount of food in the course of a handful of days and you’re well trained, you could feel it in like your, like inside your muscles that you feel strong. Like right now, my, my muscles feel hydrated. I drank a lot of water. I had some uh, I had some fruit this morning. I had some meat this morning. We, we went on that run. So like everything’s working and my body is using energy the way it’s supposed to, but it’s also sticking energy into the right spots I believe.

Mark (01:20:31):
And so if I was to go bench press right now, I, I would feel pretty strong as opposed to even if I was like, we know what dehydration can do. Like we know how, how that can weaken you so much. But if I was three pounds lighter, just simply because I didn’t eat today, cuz it’s just math, right? There’s each one of these things weigh something and I ate food. So three or four pounds of weight. If I was three or four pounds lighter and some of these fluids didn’t have an opportunity to start to get into my muscles. Uh, I don’t, I wouldn’t necessarily automatically be weaker, but I certainly wouldn’t feel as strong. It’s like you need that kind of like cellular buildup and if somebody can picture just, if you’re to put on like an elbow sleeve or a knee sleeve, it instantly will make your arm bigger because you’re now a quarter inch bigger on the forearm, a quarter inch bigger on the bicep. And when you go to lower your forearm onto your bicep in something like a bench press, it happens earlier.

Brad (01:21:30):
So this is the secret behind the slingshot. This is why you Yeah. Became the meathead millionaire. That’s

Mark (01:21:37):
Right. Yeah.

Brad (01:21:38):
So explain this again, like you, you put on a contraption mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I guess a belt would count too or anything. Oh yeah, yeah. So, so any type of device that is what’s supportive, it’s supportive and it’s, uh, confining the muscle and and causing more compression or something?-

Mark (01:21:57):
A compressed muscle, a lot of times a stronger muscle, a larger muscle is oftentimes a stronger muscle. And again, that has to do with leverages. Yeah. A lot of times. Um, I

Brad (01:22:09):
Thought it was just a gimmick this whole time, this slingshot thing, like

Mark (01:22:12):
Turns out the thing might do something.

Brad (01:22:14):
Right. So you can lift more weight when you slingshot up also mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you’re safer. Right. Because why,

Mark (01:22:21):
What I believe the slingshot actually does, I mean there’s some different things to elbow sleeves and knee sleeves, but the slingshot in particular, I believe it acts as like double muscle. So it’s almost a way to like make yourself bigger for a minute. <laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative> even though it’s not doing anything in, in that regard, but it acts as double muscle. So when the mu when you go to lower a weight in something like a bench press, that is the ecentric portion of the bench press, that’s a lowering portion of the bench press. The eccentric portion of a bench breast is when the chest muscles start to stretch and lengthen. The same exact thing is happening with the slingshot. That’s why I refer to it as double muscle. It is stretching and lengthening as you bring the weight down,

Brad (01:23:05):
There’s as you go slingshot. So you’re gonna have to watch the video. There’s Mark explaining the slingshot

Mark (01:23:09):
As you go to press the weight back up, your muscles are gonna contract, they’re going to shorten and so will a slingshot around your body. So even though it helps, and even though it assists, there’s still a lot of work that you have to do to press the weight out of the, out of just, just suppress the weight through full range of motion mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so you’re not only getting the benefit of the slingshot giving you some protection, but you’re also still getting an awesome benefit of the sl of uh, of just bench pressing in general. One of the things that happens, and Joel Seedman, uh, does a lot of work in this area. He’s like one of the few guys where you really see talk about this a l.a But Joel Seedman is a huge fan of what most of us would call half reps.

Mark (01:23:55):
Mm. He likes to see people, he doesn’t believe that sports are played down low, he believe, which is like kind of uncommon. Most people are like, you gotta be a little low for these sports. He trains a lot of professional athletes and he has his athletes train in lot higher ranges. So with someone like you who wants to get better at high jump, you would say, man, yeah it’s hard for me to squat man, it just makes me kills my back kill. So then you would show him your squat and he would be like, dude, you’re going way too low. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you would be happy with that cuz he’d be like, okay, let’s,

Brad (01:24:25):
Well the jump is only using 20 degree bend in the leg or somewhere around there. So why am I going all the way as to grass? It’s, yeah, I like his stuff. It’s very controversial I guess. Yeah. Where you’re only going to 90 degrees on all these things and then Ben Patrick’s having to go pretzel style, bend over backward, reverse Nordic on that great stuff.

Mark (01:24:44):
Yeah, I see. Uh, value in

Brad (01:24:46):
Both. Yeah, me too. Good one. Yeah.

Mark (01:24:48):
Yeah. They’re, they’re both phenomenal people and uh, they’re not at ends with each other. They actually agree on a lot of stuff too. But, uh, what I would say is like some of the stuff from Ben Patrick getting down in those deep squat positions with minimal weight or no weight, that’s a fantastic idea. That’s just a different style of squatting though. That’s like, you know, you get a 20 pound dumbbell or you get some kettle bells and every once in a while maybe you wanna test yourself and handle something a little heavier. Um, but I really think that what Joel does with the partial range of motion and the overload is really important. And it plays into why I created the Slingshot and why the slingshot’s so effective and why there’s been over a million slingshot sold is cuz when people, there’s

Brad (01:25:31):
A million people walking around with slingshot all

Mark (01:25:33):
Over the place. I mean,

Brad (01:25:35):
Worldwide. I didn’t even know that that many people going to the gym and watching.

Mark (01:25:38):
I didn’t even know there was that many people on the planet <laugh>.

Brad (01:25:40):
Oh my goodness.

Mark (01:25:41):

Brad (01:25:41):
It’s amazing. That’s fantastic, man. Fist bump for the fans watching and we gotta get into that too. Uh, so you were watching your dad do the books and you were, that was alluding to how you became a competitive power lifter thanks to the brothers, thanks to the environment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but then this, this business aspect too is pretty interesting. So, um, I guess at some point you reached the very highest level in power lifting. So you were a really focused pro athlete at 330 and then take us down the road to like becoming the entrepreneur. And then, uh, while you’re at it, how you got that weight off and went from fat power lifter to Jack and tan

Mark (01:26:22):
You? I, I tore my peck, uh, several times and oh boy, that’s, you know, when you get backed into a corner, that’s when you know some innovation can start happening or you just crumple up and and die, right? So I had to really kind of think about this a little bit more and I tore my peck pretty severely getting ready for a contest. I was deadlifting really well and squatting really well. Things were just starting to click. I was just coming into my own. I was just starting to, I think at that time I think I squatted around 900 in the gym and I started benching like around 700. Like the lifts were just, they were just starting to click and every week or every two, three weeks, it was like, oh man, I could do way more than that. When I did the 905 squat in the gym, I remember it was actually like, it was pretty easy and I was kind of surprised.

Mark (01:27:15):
I was like, man, that moved really quick. I think I can kind of continue to ratchet up and continue to be more successful. So I was just on fire, but I got hurt. And then going into this competition I was like, you know what, um, I’m doing too well, uh, in, in squat and the deadlift to, uh, just pop out of the meet because my bench isn’t very good so I’m gonna still compete. So I basically getting ready for this competition I wore back then I, I competed in power lifting gear, squat suits, bench shirts, things like that. They are kind of restrictive devices that, uh, allow you to lift more weight. So in training I noticed that I could put on a really baggy loose bench shirt and I could lift and I didn’t have any pain. And I was like, okay, I think maybe I can still go to this competition and still end up with a good squat, still end up with a good deadlift.

Mark (01:28:11):
And I didn’t wanna lose that momentum on those lifts. So I knew the bench was just gonna be like a throwaway, like it wasn’t gonna be a good bench. So I knew that was gonna be the case. So I went and I competed, I did well like I thought I was gonna do in the squat. I did well like I thought I was gonna do in the deadlift and I did okay on the bench. I got away with like nothing hurting. So I was like, that’s a victory. But when a contest was over, look, check this out. This is a 900 something pound, uh, board press and a bench shirt. Look at that weight on there.

Brad (01:28:40):
We’re watching a guy bench a lot of weight people, the bar is bending like a pretzel. Amazing what people can do.

Mark (01:28:47):
Some wild stuff face turning purple and everything

Brad (01:28:50):
<laugh> big time.

Mark (01:28:51):
So as I was, uh, you know, I was able to do the contest, I was able to be pretty successful. But afterwards I was thinking, I know so many guys that told me over the years and they were really heartbroken over, they’re like, man, I used to, I used to bench all the time. I love it. Like, people love the exercise. People love, people love to bench For us, especially men, men love to bench press. Anytime anybody mentions anything about working out, people are like, how much you bench right away? It’s the first question. And I was always like bummed out by the fact that people said they used to bench press. And I’m like, man, that sucks. Why can’t they do it anymore? And I didn’t understand cuz I didn’t have any injuries at the time. But as I started to have these injuries happening through power lifting, I started to think, man, I don’t wanna become like that. I wanna always be able to do this. I wanna be able to have access to this all the time. So when that contest was over, I went to the gym, I just sat there at the end of the bench and I was just like looking at the bench and I had this baggy bench shirt thing on. I’m like, I gotta figure something. There’s gotta be something. Bench shirts are weird. They’re expensive, they kind of, well they don’t hard

Brad (01:29:55):
To get on. They’re hard to get

Mark (01:29:56):
Off. They’re really hard to get on and off. You need like multiple people helping you <laugh>. You need people to, yeah, it’s really funny. It’s like a straight jacket. You need people to like lift the weight out to you cause you can’t like move your arms that well, you become like a mummy. Like you’re really like stuck in this position. And so I was like, I think I can make something different that’s stretchy that allows a full range of motion. Cause one of the problems with the bench press back to Joel Seedman is that when you start to break 90, as you’re coming down the bench press, you end up with a huge mechanical disadvantage. And that’s usually where people get hurt in the bench press. It’s the least advantageous position to have both the elbows pinned back behind the body. And if you’re trying to, just to think, I don’t always like to push everything back to evolutionary stuff, but it makes a lot of sense.

Mark (01:30:47):
You don’t, you don’t throw with both arms. You know, you don’t like throw a sp with both arms. You don’t throw a baseball with, you don’t throw stuff with both arms. You don’t punch with both arms. Like you don’t ever do that motion, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s one side at a time if you’re gonna punch or throw and the hips are involved and the torso and everything. So bench press is a really, it’s a really weird movement and probably kind of a foolish one, but it is what it is. It’s, it’s something that people really like to do and enjoy. So I created this device that goes over your elbows, stretches across your chest, and as you go to get into the least advantageous position of the bench press, which is at the bottom, you get the most amount of support. Mm. As you go to push through the lift. And as you get into more favorable positions for your shoulders, your triceps and your pecks, the slingshot lets off. Mm.

Brad (01:31:39):
Unlike the constricting garment, which is just tight all the

Mark (01:31:43):
Time, it’s just tight all the time and it’s like really difficult to get the weight to come down all the way. Like, it just, it’s just a nightmare. It just doesn’t, it doesn’t work. Well, a lot of times you need like 110 or 120% of your max, you know. So if if you, you know, if you bench 300 pounds, you might immediately need like 330 or 350 just to be able to get the weight all the way down to touch in a bench shirt. The slingshot doesn’t work that way. You could put, uh, 45 on each side and you can bring the weight all the way down. So it allows you to, uh, work in a full range of motion fairly easy. So yeah, that think it’s

Brad (01:32:20):
Like sleeves that you, if you’re not watching it, it’s sleeves that you try on like a shirt and then a strap across your chest. So it’s like a, a miniature straight jacket or something. Yep.

Mark (01:32:31):
We make different versions of a two. We make, uh, a slingshot, uh, pushup as well. And there’s different strengths. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but the slingshot pushup is something like, if, and I’ve done this before, I’ve gone and run. I’ll pull it up on one elbow and I’ll do, I’ll do my run <laugh> and in between I’ll drop down and do pushups, you know, things, things like that. I mean, why not switch up your workouts here and there. It’s real easy, lightweight, convenient to carry around, stick it in your gym bag. But there are a lot of people that, there are a lot of people that love the bench press and they’re trying to stay healthy on it. So that can help with that. It’s also good for dips, but there are a lot of people that really struggle with their pushups. And we’ve had a lot of women give us really good feedback to the point where they’re like, I couldn’t do any pushups.

Mark (01:33:13):
Now I’m utilizing the sl, the slingshot pushup. And they’re starting to make a lot of progress. They’ll go from doing one, they’ll go from only being able to do one or two pushups in the, in the slingshot pushup to being able to do 10, to being able to do 20. And then when they get out of the slingshot, they’re able to still do reps because they taught their body how to do it. Usually the biggest problem for people when it comes to pushups is they don’t have the strength in their shoulders and the strength, uh, in their core, it’s not connected. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know how like we talk about doing, you know, an upper body workout and a lower body workout? Like we talk about the body as if it’s this disconnected thing. Yeah. Well the body

Brad (01:33:51):
Today I’m doing legs only. Yeah.

Mark (01:33:53):
The body can uh, be a little screwed up over time and it can feel disconnected. And for most people, when they go to try to have an expression through their upper body, their lower body sometimes isn’t on board with it. And so if you utilize a slingshot for pushups, you’ll start to feel everything integrated all at once. You’ll feel your whole core involved, uh, your toes, your ankles, your calves, your quads, everything. Because now you’re also in a pushup position for a longer period of time. So if you went from, let’s say you can only do one, let’s say you can do two reps in a pushup. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like how long?

Brad (01:34:25):
It’s gonna be hard to get fit. Take a while

Mark (01:34:27):
.Yeah. You’re only gonna be, uh, in a pushup position for 10, 15 seconds. Mm-hmm.

Brad (01:34:33):

Mark (01:34:33):
What if you can start to do 10 or 20? Like if you start doing maybe 20 pushups, you, you’ll probably be, uh, in a pushup position for 30 or 40 seconds. That is a huge difference in volume.

Brad (01:34:45):
So you came up with this idea when you’re sitting on the bench one day in your baggy shirt and then, uh, an aunt or someone sewed the first one or what was this little, uh, the prototype just came up in your mind. Mind. And then you had a got some elastic and got it, got it working.

Mark (01:35:01):
Yeah. You know, um, I had the idea for a long time and I didn’t know, I didn’t really know what to do with it.

Brad (01:35:10):
Just cooking in your head? You mean

Mark (01:35:11):
Cooking in my head, no

Brad (01:35:13):
Prototype. You just had an idea. You just had a secret idea. He was pacing around the halls.

Mark (01:35:18):
It was just sitting in my, what’s

Brad (01:35:19):
Strong mark? Oh, nothing. What are you thinking about? Oh, nothing.

Mark (01:35:21):
Yeah, it was sitting in my head and uh, I just didn’t know what to do about it. And so I was kind of, I think this is pretty common. I think people are, and this is why I encourage people so much to go out and like, do stuff and like try to try to make stuff happen. Cuz this almost didn’t happen cuz I just sat there with the idea for a while. I mean for a few years it was just like dormant cuz I was like waiting around. I’m like, oh, someone would come around like I thought someone would like do it for me kind of thing. I had good relationships and power lifting. I knew some people that had, uh, that made power lifting equipment. I went to some of them. They were like, they weren’t interested. Most of them thought it was a dumb idea.

Mark (01:36:10):
And I had enough people around me that thought it was a dumb idea to the point where I was like, eh, I don’t know, maybe that is kind of a dumb idea. And then my oldest brother Mike, when he died, that just changed everything. I was like, you know, if you watch the movie bBgger, Stronger, Faster, he says in the movie, he’s like, I had something in my heart that I knew I wanted to share with the world, but I kind of don’t know what it is. I was like, well whatever that feeling is, I don’t wanna have that. I would like to be able to express myself and get my ideas out there and the inventions and the songs that I have. I’m gonna go sing them, you know? So, uh, I took the slingshot to a bunch of different people. I couldn’t figure out how to get it made.

Mark (01:36:55):
And I’m like just super frustrated driving home in my Honda Odyssey minivan that the blinker would come on every once in a while. The horn would honk every once in a while cause I was mad one day and I punched it and it would just go and I’d always look behind me as if somebody else was honking the horn. I just driving home and kind of like almost near tears, just being frustrated with myself cuz I wasn’t really making any money. I was power lifting and I was a savage and doing good stuff in that and had the gym and stuff already. But, um, just wasn’t doing much of anything from a financial standpoint. And so I had this idea in my head. I’m like, I don’t know, something. There’s, there’s something there with the idea and I’m thinking like, can my brother help me?

Mark (01:37:40):
Can my wife help me? Can. And I just start kind of thinking about all the people that I know. I start thinking about all the people that are like in my Rolodex or in my phone, you know, I’m thinking about all the contacts I have with people. And it starts to kind of come to me. I’m like, okay, just calm down a bit and just think about it a little bit more logically. Like, does anybody know anything about like fabric or materials or anything like that? And so I’m just thinking, well, you got like, cuz I was a tinkerer. I tried every, and you probably did this with your triathlons, you probably tried every shoe, every compression sock, every pair of shorts, every, anything that you thought would like rocket you forward a little faster. You probably tried all of it a thousand times over and probably had a, a storage bins worth of crap that, like some of it worked, some of it didn’t.

Mark (01:38:35):
So I had tons and tons of knee wraps everywhere and I was like, I have material already. So I just need to take that material to somebody that can sew it in the configuration that I have in my head. And, uh, I, I actually wrote on a piece of paper cuz I, I can’t, well I don’t possess the ability to draw very well. So I, I drew like this figure eight, like a, almost like an Infinity sign. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I was like, I think it’ll be like that. It’ll be like this twisted like knee wrap thing. And so I thought about it and thought about it and I came up with my wife’s friend sews, the swimsuits for my wife’s swim team. And I was like, oh, maybe she would be able to do it. I asked a couple other people, but they were like, I don’t have a machine like that that can sew, you know, on, you know, you can’t do it by hand, you know, and need like a machine.

Brad (01:39:34):
So getting some dead ends here, man. <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>. So <laugh> and all the people that thought it was a dumb idea. I love that. Maybe they could sign a poster for you. <laugh> 1 million sold.

Mark (01:39:43):
Right? And so, yeah, I went to my wife’s friend and she turns out she could do it. She did have the right machine. And so I met her at Starbucks in Woodland, California with a bag full of knee wraps and said, Hey, can you sew this kind of like this? She’s like, she’s like, if I sew it like that, oh no, no. And I said, oh, well how about, you know, how about this? And so I folded it over and we, we pinned it, you know, a certain way. She goes, oh yeah, yeah, that’ll work. And that’s kind of the way the slingshot looks now. And so she came back a week later, met me at that Starbucks again, right next to that Starbucks. Um, it, at the time there was a Fitness 19 right there. And so she shows me this product that I’m looking at it, I’m like, oh my God, this looks cool. I put it on, it kind of fits. I’m like, can you stay right there? I’m like, I’m gonna go try this on. So I go and walk <laugh>. Cause I wasn’t about to run anywhere at that size. <laugh>. I walked to the Fitness 19 and uh, you know, just walk in like I own the place. That’s the way you always walk into a gym. It’s the surest way to get past the guy at the front desk.

Brad (01:40:50):
Nice friendly nod, Give him the wave and be like, yep, Bob told me to come here and help. See you later, <laugh>

Mark (01:40:51):
.So I hop on the bench and I put 135 on and move it around a little bit. Feels amazing in the slingshot. And I knew that wasn’t like a good tester. So I put two plates on and moved that around. Feels almost completely weightless at the bottom, but there’s some weight at the top. I rack the weight, get up off the bench and I just head to toe goosebumps. Wow. Like this is it. Like, holy, this is like a lottery ticket. And I don’t know why I felt this way because no one sold anything like that ever before. Right? So I don’t know what, uh, why I was so entranced with my own idea, but, uh, I thought I had something special. And so I went back to, uh, my wife’s friend and said, Hey, I need to make a couple of these.

Mark (01:41:40):
I need to make sure a couple thousand, well I need to make a couple of ’em just to test them in the gym because I need to make sure like that these things don’t break and fall apart and stuff. And so it was a matter of kind of finding the right material to sew, uh, into the slingshot. But we already had that information cuz we were already bench pressing in bench shirts. And so we knew we needed certain types of nylons that were really, uh, strong, uh, that were sewn into the bench shirts that that wouldn’t rip or tear. They had really good like tensile strengths. So I gave her some instruction on that. And from that point, it was just a matter of finding like a manufacturer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that was as simple as, uh, you know, hanging out that same Starbucks with my iPhone and iPad and typing in on the internet, go using Google, uh, knee wrap manufacturers.

Mark (01:42:34):
And the first thing that popped up is a company that we used that didn’t work out great cuz those slingshot, I, I wanted the slingshot to be red. Most power lifters, they all wear black, bigger guys trying to hide the fact that they got a little extra meat on their bones, you know, where the dark, the darker colors cuz they’re slimming. So I wanted to make the slingshot bright so that way people saw it if somebody was wearing it in the gym. And uh, the first batch of slingshots turned everyone’s skin red. Cuz the thing was like, uh, the dye was like falling off of there. My wife and I tried to run it through our, uh, washer and it broke our washer <laugh>. Wow. And then they smelled weird and it was just kind of a nightmare. So that didn’t work well. But that was only like a seven, well, at the time it was expensive for us, but it was a $700 investment.

Mark (01:43:22):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that was just a loss. But, you know, every little bit of money you got when you don’t have any is a lot. And then, so the next thing I did was to find another manufacturer. One that, uh, that doesn’t, uh, have the red, you know, seeping out onto everybody’s body, making it look like they’re bleeding when they’re lifting. And uh, I had kind of a misunderstanding with the manufacturer in terms of like, when I had to to pay and I thought I was able to give them half the money up front and then they would ship it. Uh, I think I ordered 20,000 slingshots and looking back at it, that was like, just didn’t make any sense. But again, I was so confident that they were gonna sell like crazy. Um, I was like, oh, I’ll be able to sell these really easy in like a year.

Mark (01:44:12):
Um, so anyway, I had a misunderstanding on, on the finances of it and, uh, they were like, no, like we need the money, need the rest of the money and then we ship it to you. And I was like, oh. So I had to sit on that for a minute and kind of think about it. I’m like, where can I pull out? And I think it was like 10 grand or something I needed, or maybe five grand just didn’t, I didn’t have much money. So I just thought of one of my friends and his name is John Hennigan. He’s a former, well I think he still wrestles. He used to be a WWE guy, professional wrestler. And at the time he was doing really well and he, he, uh, I called him up and we started talking and he’s like, what’s going on? I said, Hey, you know that slingshot thing I was telling you about when we, we used to wrestle, I used to do pro wrestling.

Mark (01:44:56):
I lived in Kentucky for a little while and he and I got to be friends. And he goes, yeah, yeah, I do remember you mentioning that cuz he was big into fitness too. I said, well, I’m trying to make it, I’m trying to make the product. He’s like, holy. He’s like, that’s amazing. And he’s like, just right away he is like, how can I help? Like, he kind of knew, you know, I was probably calling for calling in a favor. And I was like, well, I was like, I kind of need money. He’s like, you kind of need money or you need money. And I was like, yeah. I was like, I I need money to get these made. I have everything all situated and they’re ready to ship. I just, you know, could use, could use a boost, you know? And he was just like, yeah man, what’s your address?

Mark (01:45:39):
It’d be out your front door tomorrow. I’ll send it. Wow. You know, I’ll send it, uh, uh, overnight or whatever. And so yeah, pulled out a check from him for whatever it was. 5k, 10 k I mean, I think we all need help in this world. We all need, we all need, uh, an angel, you know, in our corner here and there. And so, uh, that person for me, obviously my parents, with all their support all the time over the years, um, mentally and whatever other way they could support. Uh, but that was a huge, huge deal from a friend. And, uh, kind of got me out of a, out of a jam. When I got the products. I called him and I was like, yeah, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna pay you back. You know, just probably take, you know, six months or, and he was just so kind and so gracious.

Mark (01:46:24):
And he was like, he’s like, dude, don’t worry about it. He’s like, he’s like, I don’t wanna be negative, but he’s like, you’re not gonna be able to pay me back in six months. Like, it’s gonna, you know, it’s a new company. It’s like, it’s a new business. It’s gonna take you, it’s gonna take you some time. And I was like, all right, cool. So I think I paid him back like two years later. But those 20,000 slingshot, they did sell the way that I thought they sold. Uh, it took me 14 months to get rid of ’em and not 12 months. And I kind of miscalculated some sizes. So I had some slingshot that were smaller than I anticipated than they didn’t fit anybody. Like they wouldn’t fit like a baby,

Brad (01:47:02):
Some kid. Mm-hmm.

Mark (01:47:02):
<affirmative>. Yeah. So those, uh, there was, you know, 150 of ’em or 200 of ’em at never sold.

Brad (01:47:09):
Donate ’em to the kindergarten. The local elementary. Yeah.

Mark (01:47:12):
Yeah, exactly. For the kids that wanna have huge bench presses.

Brad (01:47:15):
Now, how did you sell them? You didn’t have a platform, you just popped up a website and started selling? Or did you go around retail or to the power lifting meets outta your trunk or what?

Mark (01:47:25):
I had a platform. Yeah. There was a thing called YouTube that was just circulating around. And, um, I happened to be on the front end of that. YouTube came out in 2006. Um, I have been on the internet to some capacity via videos and other things probably since 2000 and like two or three, um, or maybe four. I don’t remember the dates really kind of hard for me to think back. But I did a lot of stuff for Dave Tate with elite fts.com. Um, I, you can still look up the log that I have in there under the name and, uh, you know, it’s just like training log of the way that I was lifting when I was doing pro wrestling and power lifting and mixing the combination of those two things together. Uh, so I had a little bit of a name for myself already doing some stuff with him and for him.

Mark (01:48:18):
And then when I started getting more and more, uh, when I started getting deeper into power lifting, I just kind of recognized, what a weird, I’m in a, I’m in a weird world, you know, you sometimes are telling me about some of these guys you trained with and they’re like legendary people. You’re like, oh, this guy and this guy, yeah, he won, you know, the <laugh>, he won the Iron Man in 1999 and this guy and this like, holy. Like these are, you know, you’re not just like out on a little run or a little, uh, you know, trip on your bike. You’re like actually with, you know, with, with some of the best in the world. And I wasn’t necessarily with the best in the world, but I did recognize how weird and uncommon the things that we were doing were, you know, having, uh, a woman in our gym squat, you know, 650 pounds, you know, and just kind of seeing these things and being like, I should record this stuff.

Mark (01:49:11):
Like, somebody’s gonna care about this. I always thought it was cool. So I’m like, I’m gonna film this a lot. And what we did, um, I, I filmed a lot of stuff myself, edited a lot of stuff myself. We also had another guy, uh, that was with us at the time, named Jim MCee. And you could still look up some of the stuff on, on that YouTube channel. Jim MCee 1, 2, 3, 4. I got tons of stuff on super training. GymI think it’s super training. Jim YouTube channel, right? Yeah. It’s, uh, Mark Bell’s super training. Mark Bell’s super training gym YouTube channel. But there’s like endless amounts of videos. Endless amounts of videos. I I mean, I, I think, I think I’m one of the first guys to do voiceover stuff, uh, which sounds so strange. Um, but I, I just didn’t see it from anybody else. You know, I, but I wanted to bring that to people because I wanted to educate them as well as showcase, Hey, look at this guy squatting 600 pounds. It’s girl squatting 600 pounds. Or this person’s doing deadlifts with chains and bands and this is why we use chains and bands. This is why we do, uh, good mornings. This is why we do all these movements. So some of these are dated for like 14 years ago.

Brad (01:50:19):

Mark (01:50:22):
Yeah. Looking at, I mean just click, click that top left one right there. Boom. Old school. Yeah. And we got a, we got a band on there and we got like 600 pounds and we’re doing these like box squats and

Brad (01:50:38):

Mark (01:50:38):
Burdick that is uh, that is Scott Cart. Right? Right there. Yeah.

Mark (01:50:42):
No, I was saying in the back,

Mark (01:50:44):
That was probably me. <laugh>. It’s hard to tell <laugh>. Yeah. <laugh> all that might have been verdict. But with, you know, everyone’s got so many chins that it’s hard to like

Mark (01:50:52):
So many chins and like a little bit of extra hair. Yeah.

Mark (01:50:55):
<laugh>. Yep. You, you can’t like tell anybody from anybody else, but this is just what I love. This is what I enjoyed doing. So I wanted, but I wanted to explain it to people too. And you’ll even see videos of me doing stuff from the car, which <laugh>, I’m probably that old guy taking credit for way too many things. But I, again, I didn’t see a lot of people recording stuff from their car. Now it’s pretty common cause

Brad (01:51:17):
P67yg=[]eople, it’s like a, it’s like a device. They’re sitting in a park car pretending

Mark (01:51:21):
Yeah. People use the car as like their studio a lot of times. Yeah. Like quiet. And uh, I had to do that a lot because I have kids. And so it was the only time I had five seconds of myself, uh, was when I was in my car. And so I did a lot of stuff like that. But yeah, we have, there’s a bunch of videos even of my, even of my kids on there. And we had, we had a fun, we had a fun time getting that information out there. But the other thing that we did that I wanted to mention is, at first we just recorded the lifts and then I would go back and we, I would voice them over and I would talk about them and I’d give people education. And then I noticed that. And when I watched the videos, I’m like, Hey, where’s the, I remember after that lift, somebody made a really good joke, where’d that go? And we’re like, oh. Like, we missed it. We didn’t, we didn’t record that. I’m like, let’s keep this going cuz we need to show people that we’re happy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, we look angry. We got all this metal music and like we’re, we’re going crazy in here and we need to show people that we eat donuts and pop tarts and that. We have a lot of fun with it.

Brad (01:52:23):
Now I’m looking at a Pop tart video in your face. Yeah. Close up

Mark (01:52:26):
Just stuff in that Pop Tart right in there. <laugh> and I, and I even in this video I’m talking about how viral the video’s gonna be.

Brad (01:52:33):
<laugh>, he talks about how important it is to get these poptarts in the secret

Mark (01:52:37):
To, oh my god is tree.

Brad (01:52:38):
That’s you right

Mark (01:52:39):
There. Oh geez. I thought it was some random fat guy in the gym came to steal a poptart.

Brad (01:52:44):
That was a, that was a random fat guy.

Brad (01:52:47):

Mark (01:52:47):
You can be that fat guy folks <laugh>. Yeah. So I wanted to show the fun that we had with it too. Cause I think that’s an important part that gets lost, you know, and the crazy that you were doing with your triathlons and stuff like that, it’s like, there’s probably a point where you took it too far where it wasn’t really, you know, it got to a point where it was like more heartache and more pain sometimes than it was fun. But in the beginning you did most of it for like the fun of it, right?

Brad (01:53:18):
Oh, I think there’s always an element of fun to be had. And sometimes you gotta get outta your head and get outta your own way and quit feeling sorry for yourself that you took the wrong place in the, in the race and enjoy the fact that you got flown to the Caribbean to check out some fun island and compete with the best people. But, uh, it starts to accumulate, I think the, the pressures of surrounding world, like you were saying, um, you guys were, uh, just hanging on with your van. And so there is a, you know, an inclination to start thinking of the, the economic pressure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, especially when you’re inventing something, everyone thinks it’s a bad idea, but that’s cool that you persevered. And so it pretty much, it sounds like, I would say that took off right away. If you’re getting rid of 20,000 units in one year, that’s a pretty good start. Yeah.

Mark (01:54:06):
You know, everyone has a different story and everyone, some people might listen to some parts of that story and be like, I can’t do that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, that’s not my story. Uh, I understand that. I, I’m compassionate for that. I get it. I know that your story may be different, maybe, uh, on the, on the race track of life, maybe you feel like you started back a little further. Maybe your parents weren’t there for you. Um, maybe you were abused as a kid. God forbid. There’s, there’s a lot of nasty things that could happen to people. People grow up, uh, differently. They grow up in different areas. You know, one of the, it’s, you know, it’s funny cuz like, um, when you sort of like make something of yourself and you’re viewed in other people’s eyes as being a success, whatever some of that means, you get a lot of people that ask a lot of questions about it.

Mark (01:54:56):
And one thing that’s failed over and over and over again to be mentioned about people that are successful is, I still think it’s the greatest contributing factor to success is your zip code. So, you know, that’s it. It matters where you came from this like world map, you know, are you from, uh, some small African country, uh, where the government is different, the religion is different, everything’s different. Will, um, I don’t know what that’s like to grow up like that, but I would imagine that there would be different challenges. And I would even go as far to say, there’s probably a lot, uh, harder challenges that you may face. Um, and I think it’s important to be in recognition of that. You know, uh, I grew up upper middle class. I still had to figure my own life out my own way, but I didn’t have a lot of worry and concern.

Mark (01:55:56):
You know, my friends when I was 14, 15 didn’t have guns. You know, they weren’t selling drugs in the street corner. Um, they’re just people that grow up with a lot of horrific situations that they didn’t sign up for. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know. Um, but also I didn’t sign up to get my parents. I just got really lucky. I have beautiful parents that took care of me and nourished me and my mom. You know, interesting thing. And one of the reasons why I’m passionate about making this book and to deliver these messages is my mother was strong enough to give me and my brothers a lot of strength and give me and my brothers, um, like an abundance of confidence maybe too much at sometimes. Uh, but she wasn’t able to do it for herself because she was abused as a kid. She had a rough upbringing and that was always kind of in the background.

Mark (01:56:44):
And so she had a hard time, uh, overcoming her own emotions and history and background. She basically just kind of always thought she would be like, kind of in her own words, like a piece of. You know? She always thought she was gonna be broke, poor, dumb fat, these things that somebody somewhere along the line, you know, reinforced on her. And even though as she got older and she, uh, had a lot of faith and she was very religious and stuff, uh, she could overcome it a little bit enough here and there for her to strengthen people around her. Um, but she was also still tormented by her own. It was hard for her to get past that, you know? And so I, I’m very compassionate towards that and I recognize that people have that. But in helping out, like I’ve helped out a lot of people that are obese.

Mark (01:57:40):
even including my mother. I’ve helped her lose weight, you know, a bunch of times. But unfortunately, um, about two and a half, three years ago we lost her. Um, and just her, her health was compromised. And I actually think what killed her was her sleep. I think the lack of sleep over a period of time. Cuz she, first of all, she didn’t look healthy because she was heavy. And as it goes with people that are heavy for a long time, they just kind of get run down over a period of time. But something our boy Russell Buddy mentioned on this podcast before is the thing that a lot of people don’t recognize when they’re overweight. We talk about the heart, we talk about the kidneys and the liver and the pancreas, you know, secreting enough insulin or too much insulin or becoming insulin resistant and all these different things.

Brad (01:58:30):
But Russell’s like, no one really talks about the joints. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Russell’s like, your luck is gonna run out. If you’re a hundred pounds overweight, 200 pounds overweight, 300 pound, it’s just a matter of time. Your joints will wear out and then you won’t have a choice anymore on being able to move or walk, uh, or to take ownership. And that’s kind of what happened to my mom. She lost weight a couple times, gain some of it back. And then as she got older she ended up on a walker and that was the beginning of the end. So regardless of how hard your situation is now, I do think that there is a time where you’re gonna have to clench your fist and bite down on your mouthpiece and, and fight for it. I do think there’s a time for that. And um, I don’t want to be dismissive of your background and I also don’t wanna say I understand it cause I only know my own background. But I would love to see you make the first step cuz I know how important it can be.

Brad (01:59:38):
Wow. That’s a pretty compassionate way to put that motivational message out there. And um, you know, we’ve heard people say, get the over yourself. I don’t care how how rough you had it. Now it’s time to come out there and crush today. And I don’t think that’s as sensitive to, you know, the, the hurdles and challenges that we wake up and face every day. The programming’s in there and it’s hard to extricate and there’s people that came from a comfortable background like you, like I grew up comfortable background, no issues or complaints that I can blame today. But there’s a lot of people from that world that have, all

Mark (02:00:13):
We can do is maybe we could maybe nitpick <laugh>. Yeah,

Brad (02:00:15):
That’s right. Yeah, sure. Why not?

Mark (02:00:16):
My dad didn’t show up that one football Game.

Brad (02:00:18):
There was too much smog in Los Angeles. My lungs aren’t as strong as they could have been if my parents had moved me somewhere else.

Mark (02:00:23):
How did they not know about altitude training,

Brad (02:00:25):
<laugh>, all that stuff. Uh, but um, you know, this stuff can set anybody back and it’s like there’s no guarantee you can make a mess of your life even with all the privileged background or whatever good things you had going for you. And it could be because of, you know, mental health issues that you also didn’t choose or mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you know, doing what the government says with our food, medication and following the, following the beaten path and not having it come out well. So yeah, it’s never, never too, uh, never too late to turn the corner. And I love how you want people to take those baby steps mm-hmm. <affirmative> and not get overwhelmed cuz there’s another self-defeating process, prophecy of setting yourself up to lose because you’re taking on too daunting of a challenge or saying, I wanna jump like Mark Bell and sell 20,000 units in the first year.

Brad (02:01:14):
I’m gonna write it down on a sticky note and put it and look at it every day. Good luck with that because I don’t know if you had your sticky note or not, but, um, you know, the journey has to be kind of, um, from, I think the, the most pure and meaningful motivation is you wanted to help other people bench press without pain. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you weren’t looking at the numbers out of the gate until later, then you have to, you have to call up your accounting friends and father and get that handled, but you know, your heart’s gotta be in the right place, I think.

Mark (02:01:43):
Yeah. You know, and it felt really good to do that. And I, I kind of feel like my journey’s just beginning. I still think there’s so much more, there’s so much more singing to do <laugh> as I like to kind of think of it. Um, and there’s so many more things to share with people and I have a lot of inventions and a lot of ideas and, um, I don’t know if I’ll, you know, get around to all of ’em or half of ’em. Uh, but, you know, hope, hopefully at some point I get most of ’em out there. But one thing I wanna share with people is regardless of your background, you know, you can kind of think about, again, I like to kind of think about like a commonality. Like what’s, what are some, how do we get closer to like, I guess the truth?

Mark (02:02:26):
You know, you kind of hear that statement sometimes. How do we get closer to things that are agreeable? And one thing that I think if you can be reasonable, which is I think is a great word, if you can be reasonable, you could probably think about the following and you could think about it in terms of, um, whether or not it’s helpful or not. Like, and I think it’s helpful in every situation. So what I’ve learned over the years is that, uh, negative emotions, they can only come from one spot. They come from a negative interpretation. And it’s like, it’s a pretty simple concept to see and to understand, but then to put it into your own life and to try to insert it into your own life all the time and hit the pause button on your emotions is really tough. It can be, it can be really, it can be really hard.

Mark (02:03:21):
But even, even in something like, even something such as using the word “hard,” um, can we try to, uh, start to have different communication in our brain about how difficult something is because what we know at least a little bit about running, and I haven’t been running for very long, so I don’t know tons about it, but in the little time that I have been doing it, most of the message so far, it’s like, take it slow, take it easy, you’re gonna continue to get better at it. But we see these other messages all the time about the suffering and how hard you gotta be and you gotta wake up at 5:00 AM And so the message can get a little fuzzy here and there. But again, if we go back to being reasonable, it’s my belief that things usually aren’t that hard because normally you are prepared enough for them because you did something previously that was not too far from what you are doing now.

Mark (02:04:30):
You’ve been a writer for a really long time and I don’t know how long it dates back to, but I would imagine we can go back in time somewhere and we said, Brad, I need you to come in here tomorrow with 10 pages on the Power Project and your thoughts on it and, and why it’s the best, uh, the best podcast in the world or whatever it is. Um, well, nowadays if you had that assignment, you, you’d probably have a halfway done by the, you might talk to your phone on the way home and then you type it up tonight and boom, it’s done. But there’s probably, if you trace it back in time somewhere, you know, you’d be like, Power Product, Mark Bell’s Power Project. I don’t know, like, I don’t know, I can maybe get like two pages out about this thing, you know?

Mark (02:05:18):
Right. But now you’re seasoned and you know how to do it because you practiced it over time, you know, so someone could say, oh yeah, it’s hard to get over writer’s block or it’s, well, it’s like, it’s only so hard until you’re all of a sudden writing again <laugh>. Yeah. And you find yourself in a flow state. And I don’t know, I, I think we can just have reinterpretations of stuff. Like, how difficult is something really? Is it really hard? Are Mondays really hard or are you me? You with me? Like, is Monday actually hard? Is Monday actually harder than Tuesday, man, Mondays I’m Mondays

Brad (02:05:50):
I’m, if you believe so. It is right. You’re, you’re correct.

Mark (02:05:53):
Mondays I’m swamped. It’s like, like

Brad (02:05:56):
I choose to be swamped. I choose to swap myself every Monday and complain about it. I choose that.

Mark (02:06:03):
That’s a much Choice. Choice, choice. That’s a much better term. I think

Brad (02:06:08):
Mark Bell killing it, we went all over the place on this and it was a wild adventure.

Mark (02:06:12):
Andrew, Tom, how they can eat 10 eggs in one day. Um,

Mark (02:06:15):
<laugh> one bite at a time. There,

Brad (02:06:17):
There we go.

Brad (02:06:18):
Go to Costco. What do you buy at Costco? Was it 60

Mark (02:06:21):
Pack? Yeah, it’s 60 pack. Well cause I pack, I was telling him I went to a different place that sold like a 84 pack. Like it was just a big,

Mark (02:06:27):
His son’s eating a bunch of eggs

Mark (02:06:28):
Now my son tears him up. But this lady was like, oh my God, why? Like, what are you gonna do with all that? And I’m like, eat ’em. And she’s like, like all of ’em And like, yeah. She’s like, how long’s that gonna last? I’m like, oh, maybe a week. And she’s like just dumbfounded cuz I’m like, yeah, it’s, you know, between me and my family. And so she asked if I had a big family. I’m like, no <laugh>. So that’s always good too. Yeah.

Mark (02:06:49):
You’re like, they’re just going to these biceps.

Mark (02:06:51):
Yeah. They gotta go somewhere. Right. So it might as well be biceps. I love it. Yeah.

Mark (02:06:57):
You know what the other thing is, before we drop off here, I wanted to mention, I love the fact that you have oftentimes given us treats chocolate <laugh> and that uh, nut butter that you have. Brad’s Macadamea Masterpiece. Oh that’s special. That Stuff’s good. That stuff’s unbelievable.

Brad (02:07:13):
Just express interest, you’ll get more. That’s all you gotta do.

Mark (02:07:16):
That stuff’s unbelievable. And I think, um, people getting like a little, almost like a hobby with, uh, if you, if you get a hobby over certain candies that are too convenient and too easy Mm, you might be making a mistake. But if you get into a hobby of kind of having like fine chocolates and things like that, you’ll find yourself, you spend quite a bit of money on these high end items, you might value them a little bit more and therefore hopefully it controls your eating a little

Brad (02:07:46):
Bit around. Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean it’s gotta be celebratory and mindful and all those great things and like we just found out Salt and Straw opened up the ice cream shop in Sacramento here and you know, they come from Portland and Seattle where we’ve familiar with trying it up there as part of our vacation to go there. Now it’s right here in town. That could be dangerous but like it’s an excursion, it’s an outing. You drive there, you’re gonna enjoy the crap out of it. And it’s so different from having your grocery list and throwing in more Ben and Jerry’s as a habitual place to go.

Mark (02:08:18):
Every, I have to have that every time I’m watching it

Brad (02:08:20):
And not really enjoying it and savoring it or making the very best choice in that category cuz Ben and Jerry’s has seed oils in a lot of their, uh, flavors. I couldn’t believe it these hippie trippy guys or poisoning us. But if you can go get something that’s the highest caliber, like going over to visit grandma and she has fresh baked cookies, of course you’re gonna enjoy those. That’s different than getting chips of ho at the gas station when you’re, you know, pulling over to fuel your, your car tank and your own tank with crap.

Mark (02:08:47):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I agree.

Brad (02:08:48):
We all agree. <laugh> the 20 Egg podcast. Thank you for this. We’re gonna go toing adventures someday.

Brad (02:08:55):

Mark (02:08:55):

Brad (02:08:55):
I have it for dinner then yeah, I’ll probably go 20

Brad (02:08:58):
<laugh>. But yes. Setting new heights. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> new record. I

Mark (02:09:02):
I got a pee.

Brad (02:09:02):
Thanks for listening everybody.

Brad (02:09:05):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email podcast@bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list and if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple Podcasts or wherever else you listen to the shows, that would be super incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember, B.rad.




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28, Union Grove, AL. Marketing director and powerlifter.

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to stay fit and break up prolonged periods of stillness. On the hour
alarm, I do 35 pushups, 15 pullups, and 30 squats. I also walk around
my neighborhood in direct sunlight with my shirt off at midday. My
fitness has actually skyrockted since the closing of my gym!
However, this daily routine (in addition to many other regular
workouts as well as occasional extreme endurance feats, like a
Grand Canyon double crossing that takes all day) is no joke. I need
to optimize my sleep habits with evenings of minimal screen use
and dim light, and eat an exceptionally nutrient-dense diet, and
finally take the highest quality and most effective and appropriate
supplements I can find.”


50, Austin, TX. Peak performance expert, certified
health coach, and extreme endurance athlete.

Boosting Testosterone Naturally
Brad Kearns
Brad Kearns
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