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Mark Wahlberg Dives Deep

ProSource Exclusive Interview:
Mark Wahlberg Talks His New Film, Deepwater Horizon,
New Supplement Line, His Training Regimen & More!

Is there a more versatile actor in Hollywood than Mark Wahlberg?

He can match comedic chops with Will Ferrell (The Other Guys, Daddy’s Home) and restore a blockbuster summer franchise to its former glory (Transformers: Age of Extinction and soon, Transformers: The Last Knight). He can bring passion and intensity to a dramatic thriller (his newest star turn in the real-life-based adventure Deepwater Horizon) and create a warm, funny, realistic relationship with an animatronic teddybear.

The guy can do it all, and not only when he has his actor’s hat on. Mark Wahlberg first appeared on the bodybuilding radar as a fitness icon, with his lean, ultra-ripped early-90s physique and abs suitable for display on the world’s most prominent billboard. Ever since, he has awed bodybuilders with his ability to transform his physique again and again to portray different roles, whether it’s a lean and hard Navy SEAL, a gymrat bodybuilder obsessed with muscle mass, or an average-Joe ex-cop.

In a previous meeting with Mark, we once asked him, half-jokingly, who was in better shape, him or his Pain & Gain co-star Dwayne Johnson. And his response was instructive: “The Rock is gigantic,” he said, “but he doesn’t fluctuate. He can’t go out and play a guy who’s, say, a buck-fifty-five. I have that versatility.”

This, then, is the key to Mark Wahlberg’s success. He is Hollywood’s Mr. Versatility.

And he carries that multi-tasking over into other areas of his life as well. When he isn’t before the cameras, he’s often working in his role as executive producer on a number of ongoing movie and TV projects. He is active in a number of charitable efforts and has now linked that charitable philosophy to the launch of his new line of Performance Inspired sports nutrition products. A portion of the profits from that line, which he has co-founded with the Golden State Warriors superstar Draymond Green and other notables, will go to some of Mark’s favorite charities.

The man is always working, but recently, we got him to sit down and answer some questions for our ProSource readers. We talked movies; we talked training; we talked supplements. Here’s what we got.

ProSource: Mark, thanks for stopping by again! You have to be the busiest guy in Hollywood. Since we last talked to you before the release of Pain and Gain in 2013, just three years ago, you’ve either completed or are in the process of completing 13 films. And that’s just your acting credits! All the time, we hear from people working a typical 9-to-5 say, “I don’t have time to exercise.” What’s your weekly training regimen look like, day-to-day? How do you fit it into your schedule?

Mark Wahlberg: I make the time by getting up at 3:30 or 4 AM to hit the gym and then hit a golf course to get it all in before I go work for 10 to 12 hours on set.  I grind hard all day but I am in bed early so I can get into the gym before anyone else when I’m on set.  One of the reasons we started Performance Inspired was to help me recover with natural products I knew I could trust that were also high performance and quality products. I eat clean and workout hard so I wanted the same standards in my supplements.

ProSource: You’re 45 years old now, and still in terrific shape. What exercises and/or training protocols do you emphasize? How has your philosophy of training and approach to nutrition changed over the years?

Mark Wahlberg: It does get harder as you get older, but I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.  Bulking up and getting ripped is tough for roles, but you just have to commit and make it happen and work harder.

My philosophy on training changes based on what roles are coming up, but I spend a lot of time on my core and getting my heart rate up with high reps and short rest periods. As I get older I have just focused more on technique and getting the most out of my workouts. I’ve learned a lot throughout all the years of doing this! I also like jumping rope and going all-out for 60-90- minutes. We even do two-a-days when I really need to get ripped up. I’ve been using our Performance Inspired Ripped Whey and it really helped me hit my goals to cut weight. I was able to hit my goal in half the time it took me last time I had to rip up. It’s really a great formula and when you add in the Explosive Pre-Workout, it’s a great combo that keeps me below 9% BMI.

ProSource: We’ve seen the trailers for Deepwater Horizon, and know you’re doing Patriots Day and the new Transformers: The Last Knight movie, all of which look like they’ll feature plenty of action. How many of your own stunts are you doing these days? What’s the most challenging thing you’ve had to do on camera in your recent movies?

Mark Wahlberg: As I get older I do less of my own stunts. It's not worth getting hurt and holding up the filming.

ProSource: Can we talk more specifically about your diet and supplementation? Are there foods you emphasize over others? Foods you try to avoid? How often do you eat during the day? What supplements do you take?

Mark Wahlberg: I am very strict about my diet and eat 5 to 6 high-protein and healthy carbs meals and snacks every day. I add in 2 to 3 of our protein shakes and then use the Ripped Whey in the AM and mid-day if I’m tired.  I add in the Explosive Pre-Workout 20 minutes before a workout and even add a half-dose midday for the extra push.  I use our Performance Inspired Performance Whey in the PM when I need to power down but still need the protein. I always drink one of my shakes within 20 minutes of a workout and even before or after a golf game. We are adding Creatine to the line, too!

ProSource: How much input have you had into the formulation of Performance Inspired (PI) supplements? How do the individual products reflect your own philosophy of attaining and maintaining health, wellness, improved physique, and peak performance?

Mark Wahlberg: My fingerprints are all over this and it was great working with Tom Dowd, who oversaw Product Development and was the Chief Merchant at GNC. We both have very high standards and wanted to create a high performance brand that was all natural.  

All natural was harder and costly but we didn’t get into this to cut corners. We wanted a brand we would be proud of. It took us 8 plus months to get the flavors and formulas right and I was getting UPS shipments weekly for me and my guys to try, including my pro athlete buddies. I really enjoyed the process except that I wish it didn’t take so long to get it right. But we never compromised as we stuck to our commitment to only adding in the best ingredients in the right amounts. The first products we launched were a good base of products that I use every day, except for protein bars. Those are coming out soon, but we had a hard time finding the right partner that could meet our expectations. The PI bars we ended up with are amazing and loaded with an amazing formula that will set a new standard. These bars are going to blow-up the market!

ProSource: We’ve noticed that the marketing model for Performance Inspired products is very similar to that of ProSource in that your team is very committed to keeping overhead low in order to maximize product quality at affordable retail prices. Can you discuss what marketing expenses you’ve eliminated and how this translates into value for purchasers of Performance Inspired products?

Mark Wahlberg: Glad you noticed! We get plenty of people each week asking to be paid to say they love our products. We know that’s the standard model but we are honest in everything we do and we are not paying for pretend brand ambassadors to say they love our products. That’s one savings, and besides, we already have a lot of people talking about our products, and these are people who are really using them and love them. So we are not paying people like the other brands and we have people like Draymond Green joining our company because he loves the product and the brand position including the fact we are giving back to charity.  We don’t need to sell product to pay our bills and that gives us great freedom to stick to doing it right and passing on the savings to the customer.  Tom is so good at knowing how to get things done the right way and he has the connections to get us the best rates and the best people. That saves us a lot of capital and even time, so we really hit the ground running.

ProSource: We know that giving back to the community is very important to you. Performance Inspired is donating a portion of its net profits to charity. How does that work and what charities are you looking to support? Do you see PI’s charitable endeavors expanding over time?

Mark Wahlberg: We view PI as a vehicle to give back. We have all been blessed and we are committed in a big way to give to charities big and small from net profits. As we grow, we will continue to fund and find the best charity partners. Our company partners all have charities we are involved in and we will continue to support them as well.

ProSource: Who else are you looking to bring on board to represent your brand? What are the qualities that make an ideal Performance Inspired spokesperson?

Mark Wahlberg: Draymond Green is the perfect partner with the right energy and high standards. When it comes to business and everything else, we don’t mess around and Draymond is a great fit. We have some great people tied to the brand like WME/IMG and others to be announced very soon. We are flattered by the people that want to get involved because they know we do things the right way and we are committed to getting better!

ProSource: Gotta ask it again, because our gym-rat readers get really mad if we don’t ask. What are you benching these days? How about your squat?

Mark Wahlberg: It’s not about heavy weight for me anymore as much as heart rate and pump. My ligaments feel a lot better when I focus on proper form. But I’m still strong and train heavy when I’m bulking up for a role.

ProSource: Okay, one last question. You’re working on your second Transformers film. Were you a Transformers fan when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite Transformers character? If so, who and why?

Mark Wahlberg: Of course I was a fan! I can’t pick a favorite now but I can tell you the new Transformers is going to be another blockbuster.  I’m excited and blessed to be a part of these movies and my kids love that I’m in it. It's fun to watch them with them. I can’t do that with Ted

ProSource: OK, Mark, thanks for stopping by again and sharing with our readers. We're looking forward to seeing you on the big screen in Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day and Transformers: The Last Knight!

The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.