The incident that spurred Mark Bell to start training seriously could have come straight out of an old Charles Atlas advertisement. But rather than having sand kicked in his face at the beach, his brother's friend asked to see his football, and then, as Bell recalls, "he turns around and punts the damn thing into the woods. Kicks it as hard as he possibly can."

Bell was no stranger to being a target at this point. He and his family were all fans of professional wrestling, and as the youngest boy, he says, "I got my ass kicked all the time." He had even started doing some physical training, usually at the insistence of his brothers. Still, this was a different kind of call to arms. "I just remember having a feeling of hopelessness. I wanted to be able to right that wrong that happened," he says.

The answer, he saw, was to get serious about getting stronger—even though big-time strength was anything but popular at that point. He recalls events early in his powerlifting career where he set records on all nine of the day's lifts. But in the ensuing 20-plus years, both he and the sport of powerlifting have come a long way.

As a pro powerlifter, he's squatted with 1,025 pounds on his back. He's pressed over 800 pounds off of his chest. But he's also founded a now-legendary powerlifting gym, developed game-changing lifting accessories, and helped millions of people see the value of strength.

Maybe you're already a diehard follower of Bell's videos, podcast, and articles. Maybe you've just seen your bench go up from using his incredibly popular Sling Shot or helped your backside get stronger with the Sling Shot hip circle.

Even if you've never given a thought to powerlifters or the big three lifts, you owe it to yourself to watch this inspiring video and get to know the man who has helped make the once-fringe sport of powerlifting into a lifestyle for athletes from all backgrounds.

About the Author

Contributing Writer’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

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