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Mark Wahlberg's Incredible Mass Gain for Pain & Gain

The Pain & Gain star talks about how he gained 40 pounds of muscle for the role.

Mark Wahlberg's Incredible Mass Gain for Pain & Gain

Mark Wahlberg is, at his core, like us. He was far from perfect growing up, going so far as to serve time in prison for attempted murder, but he did what Muscle & Fitness readers try to do every day—he got better.

Now, a huge Academy Award-nominated movie star who prides himself in his ability to hit the gym and transform his physique for his roles, Wahlberg serves as a fitness inspiration to all of us.

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M&F got ahold of the gym-rat actor to discuss the making of Pain & Gain, the new Michael Bay–directed action/black comedy based on the true story of a group of Florida bodybuilders who concoct an ill-fated extortion and kidnapping plot. 

ON PREPPING FOR PAIN & GAIN:

“I actually planned on getting bigger than I did [for the movie], but
I was getting ready to film Broken City right before, and the director wanted me to be thinner. I weighed 185–190 at the time, and got down to 165 for the role in Broken City, so I had to start from a place that’s below my normal body weight. But I was still able to get up to 212 for Pain & Gain. I took a lot of Mass Gainer [from his own line]. It’s funny, because I already had my MARKED products done when I started training for the movie, so I basically had my own line just in time. But I was eating 10 meals a day. I mean, I’d go to bed at 10 o’clock after eating a meal and then wake up at 2 o’clock to eat, still full from my last meal.

“I was training five days a week. I’d start with benching, and then I’d do my squats and lunges, then I’d do a lot of old-school stuff. I’d literally do a row of machines at the Sports Club/LA. One set of every single machine all the way down the row. I’d leave the hotel at 4:30 in the morning—just as the nightclubs were letting out on South Beach.
I’d walk in the gym as the door opened at 5:00 AM every day. ”

ON MAINTAINING WHILE FILMING:

“We’d be working out on set all the time, because our set was a replica of Sun Gym. The great thing about Michael [Bay] is that he doesn’t like to start too early. So I’d be able to go to the gym from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m., come back, have a shake, and be off to the set by about 8:30 a.m.

“Lunchtime was great because we’d have a big meal and then I’d
just lie down and take a power nap. We never turned the TV on in the trailer. The only time we’d hear any noise in the trailer was when I woke up from a nap—I’d just start screaming and yelling, pounding the walls—being [my character] Daniel Lugo.”

Get our full interview with Mark Wahlberg including his experience working with The Rock in the May issue of Muscle & Fitness, on newsstands now!

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