Interviews

WWE Chief Vince McMahon Is Still Making Gains

The legendary chairman shares some of his secrets in our exclusive Q&A.

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Hulk Hogan. Bret Hart. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The Rock. They’re names you grew up with (or have grown old with), and you can’t imagine sports entertainment—or even television, for that matter—without them. And you have one man to thank for letting them entertain and inspire you all these years, even though you may hate to admit it: Mr. McMahon.

SEE ALSO: Vince McMahon's Back to Business Workout

Vince McMahon, of course. Chairman and CEO of WWE, pioneer of pay-per-view television, and the man who recast pro wrestling from a fringe pseudo-sport into a family-friendly sports-entertainment phenomenon that millions of fans now enjoy around the world. Though he has long played a despicable corporate tyrant on WWE broadcasts, the real McMahon has stayed true to his humble roots and, very visibly, his love of weight training. He's 70 years old, he’s 240 pounds and hovering at 5% body fat, and he’s not about to trade the weight bench for a rocking chair. Read how he’s training after more than 50 years in the iron game, and see if you can keep up!

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M&F: What got you interested in weight training?

Vince McMahon: I was 14 and Steve Reeves had just done Hercules. I was motivated by him. He had an amazing physique. Also, Dr. Jerry Graham, who was one of my dad’s premier performers back in the day [Vince McMahon Sr. owned WWE (then WWF) prior to Vince taking control], gave me my first set of weights. I remember the name of the company that made them— Healthways.

M&F: You’ve trained with some of the Superstars over the years. Can you tell us a story about one of those times?

VM: I trained with Mark Henry once. We were training back that day, and the World’s Strongest Man could not keep up.

M&F: We interviewed Henry in a previous issue, and he mentioned that you gave him a pretty good beating.

VM: [Laughs] First of all, when you’re my age, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve. I showed up, and Mark was full of adrenaline, ready to train, and couldn’t wait. I went to my locker room and stayed there. I read, did some business, and an hour later I came out. By the time I came out, Mark’s energy and enthusiasm had waned considerably. From a psychological standpoint, I tried to gain an advantage there and did.

And Mark is a strongman type of lifter—one-and-
done, or two reps. I was very deferential to Mark in the first giant set we went through. But in the second one he was green around the gills. That’s when I started saying, “The World’s Strongest Man is not doing too well at the moment.” By the end of the workout, I was all over him. “Come on, Mark! I’m 60-something years old, and you’re the World’s Strongest Man!” Psychologically, I pretty much decimated him on that last giant set. I almost felt sorry for him, but he challenged me. That was a fun day for me.

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