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Mark Wahlberg's 2:30 a.m. Gym Routine: Setting the Record Straight
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Mark Wahlberg works hard — just look at his alarm clock for proof. The actor, who previously woke up at 2:30 a.m. and more recently has added an hour of snoozing to arise at around 3:30 a.m., says this routine allows him to prioritize fitness and then leave the rest of the day to deal with the "too many other things" he has going on.
The actor acknowledges that his early rising time isn't for everyone but doesn't understand people's reactions to his personal choice.
"When I kind of talked about my schedule at that point in time, it got a little blown out of proportion and people didn't know how to interpret it. ... People thought I was taking an hour and a half long shower," he says, referring to the daily schedule he shared on Instagram in 2018.
"But it’s just getting up early, having my prayer time, meditation, doing my workout, and then reading and doing all the things that I need to do before I even get the kids up for school. It just worked for me."
Bedtime is a priority for Wahlberg too. "I want to get to bed as early as possible to get my eight hours of sleep."
His routine aligns with ample research suggesting that the early morning might actually be the best time to exercise for various reasons. Wahlberg's fitness goals, however, tend to be driven by his work.
"I always feel an immense amount of pressure when somebody takes a risk on me and says, 'OK, I want to have you starring in this film. And you know, you're supposed to show up like this,'" he explains.
"Whether it's putting on weight, losing weight, whatever it is, I have to deliver. I have to be prepared, I have to bring something to the table and I take that very, very seriously."
At the moment he's getting ready to play fitness icon Jack LaLanne, which requires regular workouts at F45 (where he's chief brand officer). At 52 years old, he's more careful to not overdo it — "I had injuries, gut issues from pushing too hard," he says — but he'll never take an easy way out.
There are lots of ridiculous gadgets, routines, and fads that have been recommended to him, he says, like an electrical muscle stimulator that's used for either recovery or to build new lean muscle.
"This guy asked me if I would put the thing on my butt. And I'm like, 'No, I’m not putting that on my butt. I’ll just do some squats,'" Wahlberg recalls. "He's like, 'Oh, no, you don't have a thong.
' I said, 'No, I don't have a thong.' And he's like, 'Well, I could bring you one.' And then he’s telling me other people that I know that do it. I’m like, 'Don't tell me. And no, I'm gonna do it the old-fashioned way. I'll do some squats and deadlifts. We'll leave it at that.'"
Wahlberg plans to leave a legacy of encouraging people to take on new challenges, sharing that it's important that his work is "super aspirational" while also accessible.
"F45 is one of the few places where anybody at any level of fitness can come and be in a very safe environment where they can kind of go at their own pace, and do things they didn't think were possible," he says.
"I just want to now be smart about everything that I do. Rest and recover, and also focus on having that longevity. It's about finding the right balance."
He's also currently teaching that lesson to his 17-year-old son, Michael.
"He's got me training him almost every day in the gym," says Wahlberg, assuring that his son "loves" the father-son workouts. "I don’t push him too hard 'cause I know it could go south. I’ll recommend some things, if he doesn’t want to do it I say, 'Cool. Maybe next time.'"