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March 26, 2021 10 min read

If you know anything about Mark Wahlberg, you know that he’s been in the public eye for basically his entire adult life. He’s also been ripped for decades. If you’re wondering what his secret is, you won’t have to wonder for long. Mark isn’t secretive about his workouts, if somebody asks, he’ll tell you.

The hard part is trying to find the time in your own life to stick to the insanely rigorous schedule he’s set out for himself. We’re going to look at his workout routine, break down his schedule, and talk about what parts work (or don’t) so you can follow along as well.


Scheduling Conflicts

Mark Wahlberg has been interviewed by multiple magazines about his workout and daily schedule, and he’s been more than forthcoming. You can find out his daily schedule pretty easily, but you’ll very quickly realize he does not live a normal life. Marky Mark has been living the high life for so long that he doesn’t have to while away as much of his time at work as a normal person. Unless he’s working on a movie, he’s spending time with his family or working out and eating.

Straight from the man himself, you can find an Instagram story lying it all out for the world to see.

  • 2:30 a.m: wake up 
  • 2:45 a.m: prayer time 
  • 3:15 a.m: breakfast 
  • 3:40-5:15 a.m: workout 
  • 5:30 a.m: post-workout meal 
  • 6 a.m: shower
  • 7:30 a.m: golf
  • 8 a.m: snack
  • 9:30 a.m: cryo chamber recovery 
  • 10:30 a.m: snack 
  • 11 a.m: family time/meetings/work calls 
  • 1 p.m: lunch 
  • 2 p.m: meetings/work calls 
  • 3 p.m: pick up kids from school 
  • 3:30 p.m: snack 
  • 4 p.m: workout No. 2 
  • 5 p.m: shower 
  • 5:30 p.m: dinner/family time 
  • 7:30 p.m: bedtime

Mark Wahlberg also lives at some pretty extreme hours. He’s up hours before the sun, and he’s out like a light at the first hints of darkness. This schedule allows him a lot of time to himself, and he uses it pretty effectively by setting aside time for mindfulness, two full workouts, and plenty of meals.

It’s safe to say that the extremes in his schedule allow him to dedicate himself to sculpting his body and mind. The dedication that sort of schedule requires is pretty positive proof of its effectiveness. You don’t just wrangle your brain into bed that early and wake up in the middle of the night without a super-human amount of discipline cultivated over a long stretch of time.

Why Is It Like This?

Mark Wahlberg’s schedule may seem impossible to keep up with, but the routine of it all, and the time he takes to himself both allow him to get the most out of his two workouts. He’s left himself the amount of time it takes to not only get a thorough workout in but to feed himself effectively afterward. 

Food is important to fitness, we all know this. That means that you’re going to need to either set yourself up ahead of time to get in healthy and substantial meals, or you’re going to have to spend a lot of time throughout the day preparing and eating those meals. 

Protein powders and fat burners will help a lot with your hunger cravings, allowing you to hold off on the big meals and empty snacks until you can make the time. We understand that not everyone can live like Mark Wahlberg. We have jobs and lives that drastically reduce our free time and our abilities to do even the most basic things for ourselves, like cook a full and nutritious breakfast or even the dignity of a quiet thirty minutes to ourselves.

If you want to follow in Mark Wahlberg’s footsteps then you’re going to have to figure out something similar. If your job occupies a third of your day, then we suggest doing something along the same lines. Get yourself into bed early, and flip your day on its head. If you can get in an early workout and a full breakfast, you’re going to be well on your way to maintaining a high level of fitness.

You probably also noticed his three snacks scattered throughout the day. When you’re staying as active as someone like Mark Wahlberg, your body’s fuel requirements skyrocket. You’re not going to be satisfied with just three hot meals. You’re probably going to need to dip into the pantry more often, especially with two full workouts and something as strenuous as daily cryotherapy. He’s constantly topping himself off, and if you want to keep up a schedule close to his, then you’re going to have to come to terms with how often you’re going to want to eat throughout the day and prepare yourself for that.

salmon steak

The Fuel Tank

We can see that Mark Wahlberg and his fitness trainer, Brian Nguyen, have hammered in the idea that your health is mostly based on your diet. The food you put in has to be rich in the materials you need to build muscle and high in energy content so you have the power and desire to make it through these tough days.

Your body is totally powered by food. There’s a reason you die when you don’t have enough. You need some kind of input to keep yourself moving. When food makes its way into your body, it’s immediately broken down a redistributed. Your body is tearing into every morsel of food and pulling out sugar, fat, and protein. You’re using your nutrients to keep yourself healthy and building your body from scratch.

Mark Wahlberg is spending a ton of time in the gym and on the golf course, constantly working his body, and he needs to replenish the spent resources to keep his body in shape. If you want to come close to looking like he does, then you need to make sure you’re loading your body up appropriately and keeping yourself active enough to put that fuel to good use.

Once you understand how important it is to keep yourself fed when you’re maintaining an active lifestyle, the next step is to understand what quality food looks like. Mark Wahlberg’s diet is high in lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. 

Mealtime is full of chicken, steak, turkey, meatballs, fish, and egg whites. You’ll be getting a lot of your protein and vitamins from those protein-rich foods. Adding leafy greens and nutrient-rich vegetables alongside your meals will round out your needs pretty well. In a pinch, or during snack times, you can work in some protein shakes, Mark Wahlberg has his own, but if you’re looking for something trusted, tested, and affordable, then you’re going to be much better served by ours.

His breakfasts and snacks look a lot like the quick meals of a normal person. They’re packed full of protein and always come with a side of either fruit or vegetables. This is a good mindset to have when it comes to feeding your needs, your meals and snacks should be complete and they should be effectively sating your hunger and giving you the energy you need to keep on chugging.

Mark’s Muscles

Mark Wahlberg’s workouts are pretty intense, there isn’t a wasted minute in either of them. So as soon as he’s in the gym he’s limbering up with active warm-ups that strengthen his muscles while getting blood flowing and granting him increased flexibility by stretching at the same time. His warm-ups look a lot like this:  

  • Push-ups to Mountain Climbers
  • Hip Bridges and Band Pull-aparts 
  • Overhead Supine Band Holds
  • VersaClimbers

After a full-body warm-up like this, you can see how his workouts are immediately getting to work, it targets muscles responsible for posture and they’re active and variable enough to keep someone flexible throughout their entire lives. Once the warm-ups are done, it’s time to move on to the meat of the workout. 

Unlike Mark Wahlberg’s daily schedule, his workout is pretty normal. Obviously, this isn’t a great place to start if you’ve never stepped foot in a gym, just look at how ripped he is. This is a workout for someone with a good deal of experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick exercises from his routine and integrate them into your own. It’s important to realize that you and Mark Wahlberg are probably going into your workouts with different levels of experience. Just like anything else, what works for one person isn’t going to work out exactly the same for another.

  • Barbell Floor Press and Dead Bug: 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps 
  • Single-leg band Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps
  • 50 to 100 yards Farmer’s Walk
  • Kettlebell Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps
  • Half-kneeling Unilateral Overhead Press: 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps
  • 2 to 3 minutes of Figure 4 Stretches
  • 5 rounds of 30 seconds on 30 off with Battle Ropes
  • Sled Push: To Failure

There aren’t any secret workouts here. These are all exercises you could do tomorrow with equipment that everyone has access to. If you can’t fit it into a home gym, there’s a really good chance that your local gym has it. None of these require any kind of special training, and they’re not weird New-Age exercises that try to tap into the hidden ancestral potential of your muscles or anything like that. These are all good, old-fashioned exercises that come from a long line of reasonable exercises that target your muscles and work them out until they’re ready to grow.

Just like your own routine, the real secret to success is dedication to the craft, the patience to stick with it over time, and knowledge of your body’s mechanics. Mark Wahlberg probably has much more flexibility and free time than most people because of his line of work and levels of wealth. He’s also going to have the advantage of a personal trainer keeping a watchful eye on all of his workouts, giving him tailored advice, and collaborating with him to create a meal plan that works for his specific needs. Beyond that, though, he’s got a body that needs the same kind of exercise, rest, and nutrition as everybody else. There are no shortcuts to getting shredded.

What’s Missing

Mark Wahlberg is as forthcoming as he can be without diving into the specifics of every single workout he’s ever done in his life. That does mean that interviews with him tend to come up a little bit short. Even if you did exactly what he’s told reporters publicly, you’re not going to get the same results as Mark. There are blind spots in the reporting, and there are realities that we all have to face about even the best routines.

If you really want to follow his routine to the letter, then there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Experience: Experience is going to be the big thing keeping this routine out of reach. You’re going to need the practice to work your way up to his level. You can’t expect to look at someone else’s workout routine and jump right in alongside it. You need to honestly assess your levels of fitness, and figure out a version that’s sustainable for yourself. A workout routine is no good if you can’t see it through to the end, or if you’re totally out of commission after a single attempt.

The same goes for folks that are finding this workout routine too easy. If you’re not finding Mark Wahlberg’s workout rigorous enough, then don’t be scared to jump ship and find a tougher one. Adjusting the routine to meet your needs is also a viable option. Whatever it takes to make yourself feel like you’re getting the exercise that your body is craving.

Rest Periods: It could be pride or just a lack of time during the interviews, but you never hear Mark Wahlberg talk about his rest days. 

Rest days are key to building muscle and keeping yourself healthy and effective. If you did Mark Wahlberg’s workout exactly how he lays it out every single day, then you’d run into a progression plateau very quickly. You need to give your body rest, and if you’re working out upwards of an hour and a half every day without giving yourself a break of some kind, then your muscles aren’t going to have the opportunity to rebuild themselves.

All that food this schedule asks you to take in isn’t going to have a place to go. You’re going to be gorging yourself on protein without giving your body the chance to redistribute it to your broken and beat-down muscles. Rest days are incredibly important. They can be taken without totally un-doing this schedule, just swap out the intense workout for some more low-impact exercises, this will keep blood flowing through your muscles, keeping your body active and encouraging growth and repair by delivering nutrients freely.

Variables: The biggest knock against this workout routine is the lack of variability. If you decide to add it to your toolbelt, be aware that you’re going to have to switch it up eventually.

Your body is an expert at overcoming adversity. When you’re working out, you’re exposing your muscles to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. All of that pain and sweat is an externalization of the struggle your muscles are going through. When your body goes through something like an intense workout, it’s determined to overcome it. 

If you do the same exercise every single time with the same weights for the same amount of time, your body is going to rise to the occasion, and eventually, that’s not going to be enough. Challenge is the core of a good workout. This schedule is a great place to start, it’s a loft goal to meet for a beginner, but time and experience will eventually have you reaching the Wahlberg Benchmark.

To keep yourself surging forwards, you’re going to have to take the time to adjust this routine. Give yourself a wide array of exercises to slot into your routine. This doesn’t cover every single muscle group and major movement, so you should be looking for exercises that will supplement areas Mark Wahlberg is missing in his summaries. 

Mark Wahlberg

Mark It Up

Mark Wahlberg’s proposed workout schedule is honestly a little extreme for most people. Unless you’re already pretty fit or you have the means to dedicate nearly eleven hours a week to the gym, you’re probably never going to work out the same way Mark does. This is a routine that requires an incredible degree of dedication and focus. It’s for a body that’s been tightly honed over years of routine with the help of some of the best trainers in the world, and a lot of money. That doesn’t mean we can’t come away with something to apply to our own routines. It’s a great framework, and it clearly works for him, those results don’t lie.