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An Interview with TrueProtein Sponsored Athlete Mark Bell

Shelby

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From his Wikipedia entry:

“Mark Bell is an elite powerlifter, patent holder, owner of Team Super Training Gym, and former professional wrestler. His best lifts in competition include a 1025 lb squat, a 832 lb bench press, and a 722 lb deadlift.”

Mark is the newest addition to Team TrueProtein and I recently had the pleasure of chatting with him on a variety of topics related to strength training and all that it encompasses. Here are the details:


STATS
Age: 34
Height: 6'
Offseason Weight: what the hell does this mean? What is this a bodybuilding interview or something? Next thing you know you'll be asking me what's in my fanny pack or what's my favorite tanning lotion.

Contest Weight: I compete in the 275# weight class and normally weigh 285#. if you don't count the gyno I'm probably like 225.

SS: How did you get into weight lifting and strength sports? What was the progression? Were you always pretty big and strong?

MB: It all started with Joe Garlup kicking my New York Jets football into the woods. At 11 years old I began to hit the iron in order to battle Grarlup and his amazing mullet and mustache. I got more into training a few years later and I lied about my age to get into my first power meet because I was 14 and the cut off was 15 at the time. I have been lifting so long that I lifted in the USAPL before it was even the USAPL, at that time it was the ADFPA. That's right I was 100% natural at one point b$tches!


SS: When and why did you first decide to compete?

MB: I decided to compete because I didn't know anything else. The gym I trainined in [notice I said Trained in, not worked out in] that's just the way it was. You trained with a purpose. You trained to be competitive. My brother Chris is really responsible for all this as he comepted and he encouraged me to go after some records in my weight class and age group.

SS: Tell us about your competition history, and also your competition future.

MB: For me I like to always look ahead. Hopefully one day I and others can look back and say that dude was strong and he could hang In there with the best. My goal is to crack the top 10 totals of all time [regardless of bodyweight] and to have one of the strongest gyms in the country. My pops told me one time "part of knowing who you are, is knowing who you are not". I am not Ed Coan, Shawn Frankl, Dave Hoff or Donnie Thompson, however do to hard work and having a great team around me I'm in a position to be able to push Powerlifting to a whole new level. A level that powerlifting has never seen before. I'm a firm believer in Legacy over currency. If things work out my legacy will be that I'm the dude that got Powerlifting on TV or I'm the dude that gave powerlifting a Super Bowl. Tall orders I know, but these things will happen or I'll die trying.


SS: What competitive accomplishment are you most proud of?

MB: I am most proud of building the lifters of ST not only strong but stronger then myself. More on this later. As far as competing goes I'd have to say my 2551 total at 275lbs and the 854 bench I hit in that same meet. In my mind satisfied athletes suck! I know i have a lot to work on so hopefully the best is yet to come.



SS: How has your training style developed over the years?

MB: Like one big giant wheel. Round and round she goes where she stops nobody knows. At Super Training we follow the methods developed at Westside Barbell. From time to time I try to tweak things within the system. Some things work some things don't. I try to learn from my mistakes to help mold the system to myself and the lifters of ST.


SS: What does Mark Bell’s daily diet look like?

MB: I utilize carb backloading. Backloading simply means no carbs during the day then after about 5pm an all out assault on whatever I want. On training days I give myself more freedom on how bad the food is. On non training days I try to eat a little cleaner. Quality protein powder from True Protein has helped me in my quest to gain muscle and strength while dropping some body fat. In addition to the customized blend of protein I also take Leucine, Creatine and Taurine.
My diet is planed out from Kiefer who owns DangerouslyHardcore.com.


SS: You started POWER magazine last year – tell us a bit about what got you into the magazine business, and what you hope to accomplish with it.

MB: Power was started to showcase power sports as premium sports with the most powerful athletes in the world. Power is dedicated to the cream of the crop powerlifters, strongman and athletes. Some of the top names in powerlifting have already been a part of Power. Donnie Thompson, Matt Wenning, Brian Carroll, Louie Simmons, Shawn Frankl, Big Iron Gym, Westside Barbell, Mike Tuschere and many more. We also feature Strongman training. Long time strongman pro Karl Gilingham has dome some outstanding articles for us. We are now working towards branching out to MMA and Crossfit. We recently added 1 crossfit based article to each magazine. Why did we do this? 1) because crossfit is the biggest movement I have ever seen in the fitness industry. 2) Crossfitters in general need learn how to get stronger in order to get better. Many of them have a good base when it comes to being in shape. 3) I think a lot can be learned from all levels of fitness that push the envelop. Many cross fitters train very hard and think of it as more then a hobby, just like powerlifters and strongman athletes. With that being said we can learn about endurance training, strength endurance, and overall fitness from them and they can learn a ton about strength training from us. An example of this is in issue 7 with Louie Simmons on the cover. I wrote an article about how we roll at my gym Super Training, in addition I interviewed Louie Simmoms. On the flip side of that Paul Southern interviewed Crossfit mobility God Kelly Starrett. We can all learn a lot from K-Star as they call him on how to keep our muscle bound bodies from being all glued together. Look for Power Magazine at Power Magazine or you can also find it in your local Barnes and Noble and Borders book stores.

SS: You also own a gym – tell us a bit about that – why you started it, how it operates, etc.

MB: Super Training was started as a way for me to share my knowledge and passion with others. In addition ST was developed for my own selfish reason. I knew from training with Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell that the best way to become good at something is to surround yourself with like-minded people. At ST we all have the common goal of getting stronger. It takes time for each lifter to realize what it takes to gain strength but they really find there grove when they start to help others. Lou once said, "is you walk with the lame you'll develop a limp" he then went on to mention how he doesn't hang out with people "lesser then" himself. I feel the same way. My gym has only been around for about 5 years and in that time I have managed to keep myself off of our own record board by helping build lifters stronger then myself. I currently do not have the biggest Squat, Bench, Deadlift or total (although I do have the best coefficient) in my own damn gym. This drives me to hit that extra rep, set or to add more weight during training. I can say I love lifting and love working with my team. I never have a day where I don't feel like training. To view some general info on ST or to see high quality videos go to SuperTraining.TV ? Super Training Gym Video Blog and Team Super Training Gym Home.




SS: What Trueprotein supplements do you use regularly?

MB: So far I have loved it all! I get a fast acting protein for post workout and a slower digesting one for during the day. The product is super clean and doesn't make you wonder if you forgot to wear your depends that day. Seems to me at least that because True Protein doesn't contain strange fillers and stuff that you save time by not spending half your day on the bathroom.


SS: What does your family think of your strength training endeavors?

MB: They are part of it. My wife handles a huge work load for the Sling Shot and Power magazine. The kids are young and don't have a great understanding of what the heck dad does.


SS: If you could go back and change anything in your strength training past, what would it be?

MB: I can’t think of anything I'd change. I have loved the journey.

SS: Favorite thing to do, not related to strength training?

MB: Hanging with Jake and Quinn. These two crack me up all day long. Lucky for me I have a life style that allows me to spend a lot of time with them.


SS: What words of wisdom would you give to beginning strength trainers?

MB: Strength is acquired over a long period of time and oftentimes strength and knowledge go hand and hand. Be willing to learn. "You must unlearn what you have learned" -Yoda



SS: If someone wanted to get in touch with you or find out more about your products and services, how can you be reached? (list your websites, etc.)

MB: the fastest way for me to hate your face is for you to try and call me. Hit me up my websites
www.HowMuchYaBench.Net
Power Magazine
Team Super Training Gym Home
SuperTraining.TV ? Super Training Gym Video Blog

SS: Any closing comments?

MB: lift like a [email protected], and focus. Don't let yourself get confused by different training just go in and bust your nuts!
 

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SOCOM

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Awesome Shelby, thanks for that. My favorite line..
MB: lift like a [email protected], and focus. Don't let yourself get confused by different training just go in and bust your nuts!
 

ScottMcD1

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Very cool for Mark and TP both. Didn't see it mentioned but for those that saw the movie and didn't make the connection Mark is one of the featured subjects of the movie Bigger Faster Stronger (Smelly), his brother Chris made it.
 

dduong2

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Very cool for Mark and TP both. Didn't see it mentioned but for those that saw the movie and didn't make the connection Mark is one of the featured subjects of the movie Bigger Faster Stronger (Smelly), his brother Chris made it.
Just seen the documentary a few days ago. great movie, big guy. I think he was puttin up 700 somthin in bench in the movie.
 

candyman269

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Mark is the shit. I hope power gets bigger but not like the bodybuilding magazines that are 98 percent ads.
 

SL1CED

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Is this guy in Bigger, Stronger, Faster?
 

Scottyd

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Yep that's Smelly!

I love this cat, he's got a great sense of humor, would love to train with him at his gym I imagine you could learn a lot and have a great time too. Check out the "Super Training" videos on youtube. Lots of good useful info in them.
 

w8tlifterty

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Mark is a beast and the super training videos are great!

Carb-backloading is an interesting nutrition approach. I'd like to see shelby or others chime in on it. Elitefts has some info but limited.
 

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