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Only The Strongest: Mark Felix's World's Strongest Man Workout

Strongmen tend to get even stronger as they age. Mark Felix is one of the oldest and strongest strongmen on earth. Got the stones to train with him?

Name: Mark Trevor Felix
D.O.B.: 4/17/1966
Place of Birth: Grenada, West Indies
Citizen: Great Britain
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 294 lbs

2011 World's Strongest Man Highlight Reel

Watch The Video - 3:01



I started training weights in 1993 while working for Carnival Cruise Lines as a bartender. I lifted in a makeshift gym: a storage room at the front of the ship in the crew quarters, with discarded pieces of equipment left by crew members and unwanted items from the passenger gym. I also trained at gyms (usually Gold's) in various ports on my days off. I trained around the world, however and whenever I could.

In 1996, I competed in natural bodybuilding competitions representing Grenada, West Indies. In 1997, I moved to the United Kingdom with my wife and continued to compete in natural bodybuilding competitions. Work commitments and the birth of our first son set competition momentarily aside.

I continued to train and work out until 2002, when I filled in at a strongman competition for a friend. In a line-up of Britain's strongest men, I came in 3rd and won 3 of the events. I had never touched strongman equipment before, but I was instantly hooked.

Felix, The Phoenix

I started making a 4-hour round trip every Sunday to train at one of the few strongman training camps in the UK (at that time). I loved the raw outdoors training: lifting, pulling and throwing. It was all-natural and insanely addictive. Within a year I was invited to compete against Britain's top ten strongmen. I placed 2nd to Glen Ross.

I made my first appearance at World's Strongest Man in 2004, in the Bahamas; I placed 7th. In 2005, I bought equipment from the training camp I was commuting to on Sundays and moved it 5 minutes from my house. Anything to train more often.

I signed with IFSA and won IFSA Britain's Strongest Man the same year. My travels began: Canada, China, Brazil, Russia and Poland, just to name a few.

In 2006, I returned to World's Strongest Man and placed 4th, my highest placing to date. I continued to train strongman and competed at regular international competitions. I placed 2nd at Europe's Strongest Man and Britain's Strongest Man.

I've been fortunate enough to try my hand at Highland Games, which I love. I'm just not very good at it. I still wear my kilt in Strongman and highly recommended the Highland Games to anyone, especially if your thighs are on the larger side.

There's no escape from lifting this Escape.

Mark Grips Records

In 2007, someone suggested I try grip events. I became the first person in the world to lift 300 pounds on the IronMind Rolling Thunder One-Hand Deadlift, at 301 pounds. I remain unbeaten. IronMind has redesigned the Rolling Thunder. I haven't lifted 300 pounds on the new one ... yet.

I tore my biceps in 2008 on the last event (atlas stones) of the qualifying round at World's Strongest Man. Luckily I was able to get surgery within 24 hours in West Virginia. Four months off work made for a slow but complete recovery. During my downtime, I worked on one-hand deadlifts and found I was pretty damn good at it. In 2010, I broke the one-hand deadlift record with 225 kg.

Known for my deadlift, I joined the International Powerlifting Federation in the UK and broke the UK record on deadlift with 400kg. Clashes with Strongman competitions have made this my only IPF competition.

Fueling The Beast

Daily diet doesn't change much, except when I'm travelling. Then, my food intake becomes a "what's available" intake. I travel with MET-Rx whey shots and MET-Rx meal replacement sachets so I at least have the protein.

I've been sponsored by MET-Rx since 2007. It was a great fit; I've actually used their products since I started bodybuilding. Although I endorse all their products, my favorites include MET-Rx Amped and Protein Plus. Amped is the perfect fuel for a great workout, even after a long workday. Protein Plus has always been a favorite of mine; it's easy to drink, produces no bloating, and leaves me with a clean complexion.

Sample Meal Plan:

*NOTE: I always drink at least 5 liters of water per day.

Breakfast:

Morning Snack:

Lunch:

Afternoon Snack:

Pre-Training:

Dinner:

Supper:

Tips:

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, maybe not as much meat as people may think. I eat every 2-to-3 hours through the day. I burn a lot of calories while working, so I need to eat regular, smaller amounts rather than a big, occasional meal. Evening meals contain carbohydrates to push me through the night.

I limit my caffeine intake and use it when I need it pre-training. On competition days, a black coffee does wonders.

Competition days, when we lift all day:

RTDs, whey shots, bars, jelly. Anything that's nutrient-dense and easy to consume.

Training

I train at different gyms. I find this complements my training. I also train outdoors in my yard, as often as the temperamental UK weather allows.

My training changes slightly depending on competitions and events. I try to maintain a consistent training split as much as possible, so I don't overwork anything or skip anything. Day 1 might not be at the beginning of the week.

Ok, I'll put it up here for you one more time, but don't knock it off again.

Training Routine:

6 days per week:

I start with a 30-minute warm-up of circuits, bands and cardio, depending on if I'm indoors or out.
I take one rest day per week. This is always a different day, when I feel I should rest.

Day 1: Legs
  • Leg Press Leg Press

    Leg Press

    4 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Squat Squat

    Squat

    4 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Front Barbell Squat Front Barbell Squat

    Front Barbell Squat

    4 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

    Leg Extensions

    4 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Leg Curls Leg Curls

    Leg Curls

    4 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set


Day 2: Shoulders/Chest


Day 3: Cardio

For the past month I've had a personal trainer once per week who puts me through my paces for an hour, mostly circuits and core work. This has made me slightly leaner, but more balanced with a much quicker recovery. If I do cardio without my PT, I do medleys and circuits.

Day 4: Back
  • Pulldown Pulldown

    Pulldown

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Bent-Over Row Bent-Over Row

    Bent-Over Row

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set

I'm always asked how I train deadlift. It's basically how I feel. Some weeks I might have a 350 max, others a 400. I just increase weight with each set. I don't put too much pressure on reaching a certain weight. If I'm feeling up to it I lift it, if not, I don't even attempt it.

  • Pull-Ups Pull-Ups

    Pull-Ups

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

    One-Arm Dumbbell Row

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Cable Rows Cable Rows

    Cable Rows

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Shrugs Shrugs

    Shrugs

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set
  • Sit-Ups Sit-Ups

    Sit-Ups

    3 sets of 5 reps, increasing weight each set


Day 5: Overhead
  • Log Lift Log Lift

    Log Lift

    1 set to max reps, increasing weight each rep
  • Circus Bell Circus Bell

    Circus Bell

    1 set to max reps, increasing weight each rep
  • Axle Press Axle Press

    Axle Press (shown with barbell)

    1 set to max reps, increasing weight each rep
  • Block Press Block Press

    Block Press

    1 set to max reps, increasing weight each rep


Day 6: Events/Cardio

4 hours of event training (I currently put this in twice per week and alternate with my overhead workout).

Cardio Medley: 2 circuits

Events:

This varies. I'll practice anything I'm training for at the given moment. Each competition is different, so I work only toward my next competition or on my weaker events.

Allow all body parts to rest and recover, then repeat. I change the exercises every few months with a new program. I lift as many free weights as possible to incorporate my core.

Tips:

Routine is great, as long as it isn't prolonged. Keep notes of your achievements, diet and sleep (or lack of). Record-keeping can affect your training and outcomes.

Ageless

I'm often asked how long I will continue training. Y'know what? I will always train. I've always been active. I live to look after my body. I will continue to compete as long as I improve. My PRs continue to grow, and my overhead (which has always been a weakness) is at last on the up.

I love strength sports. The camaraderie has to be unlike any other sport. Your opponents are also your support. The only downside is the stereotype of "strong." People think that anyone as big and strong as we are has to be taking something. If people wouldn't limit themselves by such ideas, I'm sure they would achieve more.

I respect my body and train wisely. It's important for me to set a good example for my children and hopefully show that you can start training at any age and achieve your goals. Age is only a number. I'm proud to be the oldest competitor at the World's Strongest Man, giving the youngsters a run for their money.

I have various videos of my own on YouTube: check out the accounts MarkFelixtv & Ayebygum. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter.


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stan8

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stan8

good stuff. strongman comps are great.

Dec 16, 2011 8:56am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'11"
  • wt: 180.78 lbs
  • bf: 12.5%
workoutordie

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workoutordie

Simply awesome!

Article Rated:
Dec 18, 2011 7:18am | report
 
meerkat3.14

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meerkat3.14

Ok- I've edited my post to sound less offensive :)
This post is meant to sound funny, but there is a serious question in it.
What's up with that diet? Do you dislike cooking or are you just a bit lazy with nutrition? The reason I ask, is it looks like you grab some fruit&veg,milk and cereal from a convenience store- then aside from one salmon your whole diet is supplements and bread?

Dec 18, 2012 12:32pm | report
 
meerkat3.14

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meerkat3.14

What are the Atlas stones made of in WSM? Are they concrete, resin or what?

Dec 18, 2012 12:41pm | report
 
superchevysbc

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superchevysbc

very good , i love mark felix compete in strongman its a good showmen when it come to deadlift, but he is overall strength

Nov 14, 2013 7:15pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 Comments

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