I followed the Mark Wahlberg routine for a day 1 year ago

I followed the Mark Wahlberg routine for a day

A 2:30am wake up call is not for the faint-hearted

The piercing screech of my phone alarm felt as if it was penetrating my brain, and not just readying me for the day ahead.

This day started so early because I was following in Mark Wahlberg's footsteps. Ahead of the release of his new film Mile 22, Wahlberg posted his typical daily routine on Instagram:

Eager to experience what it felt like, I followed the plan for a day.

The (early) night before

As you can see from Wahlberg's post, the 'day' actually begins the night before at 7:30pm. Normally, I'm still in the gym after work at this point, or watching series two of Peep Show for the 600th time.


One thing's for certain - I'm not getting ready for bed at half seven. As soon as I'd got in from work, I put my bag down and set about cooking food for the full Wahlberg day.

7:30pm came a little too soon, so I hit the hay around 9pm. Then I tried to get to sleep - but couldn't. I was still pretty wired from my day at work, so had to make do with staring at the ceiling for the best part of an hour.

Rise and shine

When my phone went off at 2:30am, I wanted to smash it to bits. I couldn't even allow myself the extra few minutes you sometimes afford yourself when you first wake up. I had to get moving, and sharpish.

After getting dressed I crept downstairs, careful not to wake anyone on the way. This was a sizeable enough task for an experienced door slammer such as myself.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs in a protein bagel with Sriracha sauce. This meal provided me with fast-acting carbs and amino acids for muscle fuel. I needed nutrition that was rapidly taken up by my body.

Gym time


I made it to the gym at 3:30am. The place I usually train at isn't open overnight, so instead I got a pass for the 24-hour Pure Gym by St. Paul's Cathedral.

Despite the horrible wake-up call, there was an air of calm about London at this time of the night. It's sometimes difficult to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital, so I at least could take some solace from the peace and quiet of hitting the gym at such a strange time.

There was only one other person in the gym. He was having a shave next to the lockers as the changing rooms were locked overnight. Not what you usually expect to see when you're warming up for a workout.

I decided that I would get a full body session in, and focussed on the following exercises:

  • Seated Row
  • Lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Floor Press
  • Preacher Curl
  • Leg Press

Usually, I'd opt for more compound, free weight exercises and less machine work. My strength felt completely sapped, though. Exercises with a fixed range of motion were less demanding, while still stimulating the main muscle fibres. This was a trade off I was willing to work with, so early on in the day.

Your testosterone levels are higher in the morning, but that doesn't mean much if you've barely slept.


Gearing up for golf

After my session was complete, I wolfed down my second egg bagel and made it to work. I'd already had a pre-workout and cup of coffee, and it wasn't even 7am. If I had anymore caffeine, I was convinced my brain would shrivel up like a slug that has just been exposed to salt.

Now, golf was on the agenda. Wahlberg would probably put the time away to visit an actual golf course. I made do with a putting mat that we had stored in the office. That still counts, right?

Cryo-ing out for rest

I spent a few minutes putting the ball but unfortunately didn't make the Ryder Cup squad. A wake-up call was still needed. I was hoping that the 9am visit to the cryochamber at LondonCryo would provide this.

Wahlberg Cryo

The thinking behind cryotherapy is that it will aid your muscle recovery and reduce cramping. Some research found saunas are better for this purpose as heat promotes blood circulation. That said, I was still keen to immerse myself in the cryo world.

You have to wear gloves, thick socks and slippers inside the chamber - with good reason why. The temperature started at -80°c, but plummeted to a crazy -140°c. When the latter kicked in, I yearned for the time when the chamber was only -80. That was a piña colada, shorts and flip flop climate compared to this level.

When I headed back to work, I struggled to keep my eyes open - even in meetings. You can view my vlog from the day below:

Wahlberg is undoubtedly used to this whole process, so I guess it works for him. I'll stick with my afternoon and evening workouts though. And my extra few hours in bed.

Mile 22 is out now in cinemas across the UK