In this episode, I interview Mark Bell, also known as the “Meathead Millionaire” who invented the Sling Shot. In case you’re not familiar with Mark, he’s not only a successful entrepreneur, and inventor, but he’s a world ranked powerlifter (top 10 all-time with a total of 2,628 pounds), and the owner of Super Training Products Inc.
He’s also the host of his own podcast (Mark Bell’s Power Project, on which I was recently a guest), and has a popular Youtube channel.
For this interview, we originally planned to chat about powerlifting, but the conversation naturally diverted into a veritable bevy of other topics, which I think you’ll find interesting.
Specifically, we talk about . . .
- Natty expectations, the power of steroids, and the best way to compete without drugs
- Testosterone levels and what happens once you start taking exogenous T
- How Mark likes to learn (it’s not reading!)
- Finding your natural gifts and interests, developing them, and becoming “world class”
- Changing your mindset (why it’s harder to be stagnant than to say no to short-term pleasures)
- And more . . .
So if you want to hear from the mind of a very successful entrepreneur who also knows a thing or two about lifting some of the heaviest objects humans can lift, you’re going to love this podcast!
Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!
38:45 – How do you prefer to learn?
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, lovely listener. Welcome to Muscle For Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to hear an interview I did with Mark Bell, who’s also known as the Meat Head millionaire. And Mark is the guy. Who invented the slingshot, if you have heard of that training aid or maybe even used it.
More popular with power lifters than everyday weightlifters or lifestyle bodybuilders like me. And Mark, though, is not only a successful entrepreneur and inventor, he is also a world ranked power lifter. He’s in the top 10 all time totals with a total of 2,628 pounds. That is a lot of weight. And Mark is also the owner of super training products and he is the host of his own podcast, Mark Bell’s Power Project.
And he recently had me on the show as a guest, which I was thankful for. It is strangely hard to get on other fitness podcasts. Maybe it’s me, but regardless if you want to hear the interview heated with me, you can go find it over on his podcast, Mark Bell’s Power Project and also on his YouTube channel cuz he does.
In addition to audio and in this interview, I actually originally wanted to talk to Mark about power lifting, just a power lifting 1 0 1 episode because I haven’t spoken much about that. I’ve produced some content over the years on certain power lifting programs like WENDLER 5 31 and Starting Strength, if you want to call that a power lifting program.
It but I have not done much in the way of the overarching principles of power lifting and how it differs from body building or hypertrophy training, or just everyday fitness training. And so that’s why I reached out to Mark. And then the conversation just diverted into other things, which I usually just go with.
If the conversation is interesting, then I scrap my original plan and just do it live as Bill O’Reilly famously said. And so in this interview, Mark and I talk about Natty expectations, the power of steroid. The best way to compete in power lifting without drugs. We talk about how Mark likes to learn and it’s not reading.
He specifically does not like to read. And Mark also shares his story of how he found something that he liked enough to dedicate himself to and to stick with long enough to figure out how to create a career around. And that, of course, was weightlifting and power lifting. And I really liked Mark’s journey because there are quite a few educational and motivational insights.
And I just really liked Mark’s mindset. It really resonated with me. It was one of those conversations that I left a little bit more positive and energized than when I went into it. And so that’s always fun, right? And so I hope that this interview has the same effect. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you.
We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger paint by numbers simple, by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week, and month after.
What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle, and I’d bet a shiny shackle, it’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief.
Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles or maybe it’s something else, and whatever it is, here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing once you figure it out.
That’s when everything finally clicks, that’s when you start making serious progress. And that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.by legion.com. That’s view why legion.com/vip and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call.
It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service. And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my VIP coaching [email protected] legion.com/vi.
Hey Mark, welcome to my podcast.
Mark: Yeah, thank you for having me on. It was great having you on my show a couple weeks back. Yeah,
Mike: I appreciate that as well and I’m happy to reciprocate. I was checking out some of the comments on YouTube and it was funny. There was one with a few up votes like, wait, this guy doesn’t look anything like his pictures, he doesn’t even lift.
I always like those, like it’s just funny, the optics, right? So if you go and look at my Instagram, of course these are all, that’s me. Go look at my stories training every day. I’m not super jacked, but I’m in pretty good shape for a natural weightlifter about as good as I’m ever gonna be, probably. But then it just depends on lighting and it depends on, was wearing a baggy shirt and it wasn’t caring to show that I have a physique and it’s just funny how some people are quick to assume like, What, this guy’s frail, why would I even care what he says?
Mark: it’s an interesting thing because it’s actually like one of my goals as I get older is I would like to. Not really stick out as much and not really be as, like as big and as Jack I think, if you look at a lot of celebrities and you look at a lot of the men that women go crazy over, usually it’s the guys that really, they don’t look like a lot When they got their t-shirt on, they pop their t-shirt off and they’re very muscular, they’re very fit, they’re in great shape, they’re in great health.
And so a lot of the meat heads that are that are talking trash to you, they’re just jealous. They’re jealous that you’re in good.
Mike: Oh yeah. I don’t take it personally at all. It doesn’t upset me or they didn’t go any further than just looking in the video. And again, if you look at, if I would’ve known it was video, I would’ve, not for the purpose of trying to look better, but just for making it better for you.
I have, I’m in my basement bedroom, which has. Good audio. I have an office upstairs that’s like a better kind of quote unquote YouTube setting. And so from that vantage, again I don’t have huge traps. I’m not a huge guy. I weigh 195 pounds. I’m six two. My weight has always been low and, I’m a fit
But yeah, and my point is I think that’s great. I think that’s very aesthetic. Like sometimes you see guys that have like big traps and they don’t have like wide shoulders or they just have big arms and they got skinny legs and so on. And I think it’s good to, be well toned throughout your whole body.
I think it’s a better look in terms of. Looking athletic and healthy. Maybe not in terms of being a jacked meathead. .
Mike: Yeah, exactly. My last comment on that is, and I’ve spoken about this, to try to give people realistic expectations, and particularly guys Cuz guys are the ones who generally feel like they’re never big enough.
I have not heard from many women over the years who have said, I always am too small and I’ve already gained a bunch of, Also, how do I gain my most? That’s more of a guy thing. And if we take drugs out of it, if you’re gonna stay natural, the average guy can. Maybe 40 pounds of muscle, maybe 45 with average genetics.
Average anatomy, right? Not like the guy who was jacked at 13 years old and who has big bones and who is just made to be big and strong, just your normal dude, which would be me. I have small bones. My body’s definitely more made for like endurance than I, I could never be a great strength athlete, for example.
It just, my body’s not made like that. And so the average dude call it about 40 ish pounds of muscle is what he has genetically available to him, period. Regardless of what he does once he has gained that amount of muscle, any more muscle gain from that point out is gonna be negligible, like vanishingly small.
And when you see then, okay, what does that look like? It. A lot like me, I’ve probably gained 40 to 45 pounds of muscle since I started training and my rate of muscle gain is very low now. I don’t even know if I gain a pound a year at this point. Maybe it’s so little. It’s hard to even tell.
So the good news though, for most guys is if that’s the kind of look that they want, like you’re saying, aesthetic, muscular fit, more like a maybe a fitness model who doesn’t look really big for a fitness model as opposed to a jacked, bodybuilder type of look, then that’s genetically available to, I would say all men actually.
Because even a low responder is still gonna be able to gain 30 to 35 pounds of muscle. And if anybody listening, if you picture a pound of muscles like a 16 ounce steak and you slap 30 to 40 of those all around your body, that’s a lot. Like you can go from being a skinny dude to a quote unquote jacked dude by normal people’s standards or especially normal women’s standards.
Even research on that point that you made where I remember one study they showed women. Images of guys that ranged from what we would say are like skinny fat to jacked, right? And jacked were like kind of bodybuilder, jacked, I don’t even know, Maybe even a little bit beyond what’s naturally possible, but big and very lean.
And the majority of women pulled preferred in the middle. They preferred. They call it 10 to 12% body fat and maybe add like about 30 pounds of muscle, maybe even 25 to the average guy. And that is the look that they thought was most attractive. The look that US meat heads thought we would go for the most jacked and most shredded and be like, Oh, that looks so good.
That looks so cool. And that was not the preferred look, the researchers included some of the commentary from women and a lot of women were like, turned off by it. They were like, Oh no, that’s way too much. Again, it’s hard to
Mark: even look incredibly jacked without the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Usually like the guys that are in good shape that are natural, you can kinda only tell again when they, if they have their shirt off for something in particular, or if they just get a good pump in the gym. Then you’re like, Whoa, is that, And you kind of question, you’re like, Is Zach my on some shit?
Cause you’re like, I didn’t even really recognize he was that jacked. But it’s true. It’s true. I think it’s cool. I think that I think. That’s the way that it should be is that, you should be like incognito and then as soon as it’s time to lift or have less clothes on , then everyone’s like kind of shocked by the way that you look.
Mike: totally. I joke, especially with natural body building, I think a good example of that is Eric Helms. I don’t know him well enough to say, Oh, I can guarantee you he’s not on anything and has not been, but I do know him. I’d say that he’s something between an acquaintance and a friend and just looking at his physique and looking at his prep and everything.
If I had to bet a lot of money, I would put it on that. He is what he says he is. And if you look at his last competition picks, I think it’s been a while, but the last time he got really lean and he looked great and it’s very impressive and I understand how much work, I haven’t done it myself, but I can appreciate how much work and just suffering that goes into looking like that.
If we’re comparing him to bodybuilders who are even open about drug use, he looked good, but not that good. And I don’t mean that as a criticism. And he would agree, and I’m just making that point of, that you’re making, which is natural, just has a, you can only go so far. Like you just never really get through to that next level where you are just huge shredded, rock hard.
You just don’t get there naturally.
Mark: Alberto Nunez does a really good job of getting completely shredded, but again, when he’s on stage, he’s just not, he doesn’t weigh that much. He doesn’t have that much bulk or that much thickness to him. Yeah, it’s really tough. It’s really rare to see somebody that’s big and lean and strong that’s a a natural athlete.
It’s definitely possible. I don’t wanna deter anybody from doing all those things, but it takes a lot of patience and even strength, even gaining strength is very difficult unless there’s two things that can get you strong really fast. One of them is to gain weight and the other one is steroids because the.
They usually work together, like steroids don’t necessarily just automatically make you a lot stronger, although they can make you stronger, they can assist. They’re not really a bump necessarily to like your central nervous system. It might be a bump to your overall, just your whole body, your whole system in general.
And so there might be a small percentage there, but usually what they do is they take you from 180 to weighing like two 30, and that gain, even if you did that naturally, you would notice a huge. In strength as well. So it’s actually really interesting that a lot of the all time world records in power lifting have now been broken by many lifters that get tested.
And like you said, I don’t know these individuals super well, so I don’t know their business, I don’t know what they do and what they don’t do. But I would imagine that not all of them, use performance enhancing drugs cuz you know, it’s a big federation that they’re in. They get tested pretty regularly, it seems like the standards are pretty good, but one way they get around that not taking performance, enhancing drugs is to train very smart.
And just to gain a
Mike: shit ton of weight. Interesting. And that’s a good segue to what I want to talk to you about, which is power lifting and getting strong. But just to follow up on that point, this is not a topic that I would consider myself an expert on. Steroids. Definitely not. I’ve never used any I’ve, so I only know them abstractly or.
Academically, I guess you could say. I’ve, for example, I’ve written and spoken about Trend Below and Windall and some popular drugs actually. Mostly to deter people from using them and not taking a moral stance on it. Just teaching them, here’s what this compound is, here’s the research that we have on it.
Here are the pros, here are the cons, and here’s why. I think unless you’re getting paid a lot of money for this, I don’t think it’s worth doing. Sure, if Disney comes to you and says, We want you to be the next Captain America, but you have to gain 30 pounds in the next month, fine. I actually under, and we’re gonna pay you millions of dollars.
You’re gonna become a superstar. I totally understand. Or if you’re a professional athlete and the only way to really compete and stay in the game is to use the same types of drugs that everyone else is using. I totally understand. But if we’re just talking about being a meathead and getting more jacked, that I don’t quite understand.
And so that’s been always my position really on steroids. But as far as testing in federations, I’ve only heard, so now I’m speaking secondhand here from people who have been in the game who have. They don’t have great things to say about the protocol. Like what, how it’s been described to me is that it is probably more window dressing and there are very easy ways to get around these tests and a lot of people do that and it’s known that’s the thing, but it’s more marketing in pr.
I don’t know how true that is. I’ve just heard that from people I would say, who are reliable sources. It is a bit odd to me to think that somebody who’s natural in a similar, let’s say at a similar body weight, is gonna beat the numbers of somebody who is open about their drug use at a similar body weight.
And we’re talking about elite level strength athletes. They have the genetics, they have the body. Like you can’t say that the natural guy is just the super freak. Like now they’re all super freaks at that high level. What are your thoughts on
Mark: that? ? No, I definitely think, from what I’ve seen and just my understanding of what’s going on in power lifting in general, and even what I see from the women now that doesn’t mean that the women don’t take stuff too, but people can get incredibly strong.
Without the use of performance enhancing drugs, there’s guys like Ray Williams. There’s a lot of guys and girls that are just really strong that have been drug tested athletes. Jen Thompson comes to mind. She benches like 315 pounds. She’s in her forties. She weighs 123 or 130. Here she competes in those weight classes.
I lifted with her firsthand. Now that doesn’t mean I have any clue on what she does in her, private time or whatever, these people, they pretty much laugh about performance enhancing drugs and they seem like they don’t know anything about it. And obviously you could say, Oh that’s what somebody would do if they were taking shit.
But I hear a lot of behind the scenes stuff, pretty close friends to a lot of these people. So I just not buying the fact that they’re all lying all the time, I would understand like if they’re like, Oh, got popped and this person was full of shit I would be like, Okay, but the us a p l slash which feeds into the i p which is an international power to think federation, my understanding is they do a pretty good job.
They do their due diligence and it’s not just them doing the screening. They have a private company that comes in and does it. And yeah, I’m sure there’s a million ways around it. I’m sure you could take SARMs and a bunch of other weird things to, elicit some strength response, but.
What? What happened in power lifting a couple years back was that people really started to understand the body and they understood that you can’t just go heavy all the time. You can’t just go in the gym. And if you’re a young guy and you get yourself used to that, you can get away with that for a period of time and you will get stronger.
But usually your luck runs out and a lot of times you run into an injury or you just get stuck at the same weights for years and sometimes even decades. And so what happened was is probably about eight or 10 years ago, it really wasn’t that long ago, the formation of people starting to implement a lot more frequency into their training.
That changed immensely and that changed power lifting forever. I think beforehand, people. You could really only squat once a week because people would squat heavy once a week. They thought you could deadlift once a week because people would implement heavy deadlifts and they would do ’em one time per week.
Anytime they did ’em more than that, they would get zapped out. Their nervous system would be shot. Same thing with bench press, but when people started to play around with some of these other methods and they started to incorporate some of the stuff that was brought in from the Soviet Union, the old Soviet Union, and from Eastern.
Training and just from Olympic lifting in general where the frequency was a lot higher. But I think initially power lifters were resistant to implementing that frequency because the weights that are used in weight lifting are so much significantly less than the weights that are used in power lifting.
But they’re not less because the weightlifters aren’t strong, they’re less because the exercise has a tremendous amount of difficulty and a tremendous skill set to it that doesn’t lend itself to you lifting the most amount of weight, such as like a deadlift, if you ask, a bunch of people, you ask a hundred people, Have you lifted, 400 pounds, 500 pounds?
You’ll get a couple people that say yes, and it won’t be in a snatch. It will be like probably in a deadlift. So the deadlift kind of is something that lends itself to allow you to lift heavy weights with it. It’s really tough because you have to really pay attention to how often you lift heavy because your body’s recovery rate from that can be oftentimes can be poor.
So people started to deadlift maybe two or three times a week. They started to squat two or three times a week. They started to bench press two or three times a week. And with that frequency they had to lower the amount of weight that they use. Cuz , you can’t lift heavy and lift that often. You’ll just, you’ll zap yourself out.
You’ll go backwards. So a lot of times, some of the training. Only require 60% of your max. Maybe another training day would be in the seventies, and maybe that by the time you got to the third day, maybe it’d go to 80%, then maybe the next week it would start back over. But it would start over about two to 3% heavier.
And you would do that and you’d run that into a competition, and you might even drop out a third day so you could have better recovery because more of the weights that you’re gonna be handling are going to be heavier. So by increase in the frequency, what they did is they skyrocketed the volume and turns out your body can handle that actually pretty damn well.
In addition to that, just on this final part of this, is that seemed to lend itself pretty well to whether you’re on drugs or whether you’re not on drugs. And it’s actually kind of of an interesting thing in power. Most of the guys I know that use performance enhancing drugs, they squat, bench and deadlift heavy probably every other week.
People that I know that are natural, they probably do a heavy bench squat or deadlift nearly every week. And on top of that, they also are benching, squatting, deadlifting multiple times a week. So it’s actually interesting to see how that all went down and transpired. And there’s different training from different people, but that’s just what I’ve seen in general.
And at the moment in power lifting, it’s. Interesting time because there’s women that are deadlifting 500 pounds. There’s guys that are squatting a thousand pounds. You got Julius Maddox who competes non, in, in a non-drug tested federation who benches almost 800 pounds raw now.
Mike: But I have to pull this up on Instagram while you’re talking just to see this.
Mark: Yeah, there, there’s, the lifts are skyrocket. Yeah. Julius Maddox, power lifting a very thankless sport. I would love to see people get more recognition to see somebody break a record like that. The record was stuck for a long time at about 715 pounds, and he did 7 71 or something like that.
That would be the equivalent of somebody breaking the NBA record for points scored in a game. And they score like 145 points and they break. Will Chamberlain’s record, No one would ever stop talking about that, But when it comes to power lifting, it just, it’s not that popular with sports.
And also there’s a misunderstanding of people just think you take steroids and you just, you get insanely strong and insanely jacked, and it does a lot of those things. But steroids that won’t give you a, they give you a bump, like kind of one time, and it’s not in perpetuity. So it’s not like you just continue having gains.
It’s the same gains that you would normally get, but they’re sped up a bit, so anybody. Was on the bubble, thinking about doing it, thinking they’re gonna turn themselves into this superhero. It’ll give you like a four to 5% bump in probably most of the things you do, which is a lot, but it’s not gonna be four or 5% day in and day out.
It’s just four. You just get to play that card one time. So if you currently weigh 180, it might help you get to about two 20. But all the same things that you would have to do to get big and to get beyond two 20 are all the same things that you would have to do with or without them. So I guess what I’m saying is they work great, they work fantastic, but they just give you a hit.
One time, one thing that they do is that having higher testosterone levels in men anyway is really fucking motivating. And so that is one factor that is a big factor. And so as you were discussing earlier Oh, I don’t really know, if someone should take ’em, just to be big and Jack, I think that there’s should be more at play than just being jacked.
And I think there should be more at play of just having it be an endeavor that you try to make money off of or try to get more Instagram followers off of. I think it should be more based off of how you feel. If you research it and you look into it more and you recognize, hey, like a little bit of testosterone will actually make me feel pretty good.
It will make you feel pretty good. The caveat to that though is that we love to lift. Everybody listening to this, I’m sure loves fitness, loves to lift, loves. You’ll be trapped taking steroids forever if you take them even just one time. They’re not addicting necessarily, but we love this stuff too much.
And if you go in the gym and all of a sudden, 4 0 5 starts feeling light on the deadlift and you’re now deadlifting 4 75, you’re gonna wanna take more and more to do 500, you’re gonna get really trapped inside that bubble. And when you come back off ’em and 365 feels heavy, you don’t get to keep your gains by the way those go flying out the window once you come off ’em.
So those are all things to consider, for people that are like, thinking about it. And I usually deter people from it just because I think it’s a good idea to starve it off for as long as you can and research it and keep contemplating it and thinking. Because once you do ’em, you’ll probably be like me.
You’ll probably be a lifer.
Mike: Yeah. And I’ve heard that from many people who are willing to be open and honest about it. A lot of just personal conversations in the gym. I remember one guy in particular years ago, he was the first guy to make it really clear that he feels so good when he is on that being off just sucks.
And he was conflicted cuz he didn’t want to keep, he was taking a lot of stuff and he was just saying, of course his workouts were awesome when he’s on. But also his life was just more awesome . Like he just felt he had higher energy levels and just a better. Mood, and he said he needed less sleep.
He could just go all day. And he felt invincible, basically. He said basically he’s I feel like a superhero, basically when I’m on this stuff and then I come off and it’s just like deflating the balloon. And so a part of him, he was saying, wished he had never. Done them in the first place because he wouldn’t know what he’s missing.
And that resonates with me. For whatever it’s worth, if I were older and I had signs of low testosterone, which really means I had symptoms for anybody wondering, you can’t really, unless the number is way low. Okay if you’re 45 or 50 years old and you test 400 n d dl, is that low? Do you have any symptoms?
Do you have a lower sex drive? And if you have symptoms, then that’s something that should be addressed. If not, You don’t necessarily have to address it just because somebody says that it quote unquote should be higher. But let’s say I was older and I was experiencing symptoms of low testosterone and I had done everything I could naturally to address it, and it just wasn’t working, then I could understand T rt because to your point it’s now about quality of life.
I’m not doing it just to get bigger biceps. I’m doing it to continue having a good marriage and to continue being able to pursue goals and feel, at least at a normal baseline, not operating at like 20% lower capacity simply because my hormones are, at this, at that point, it’d probably be mostly a genetic thing if I’ve addressed everything that I can in my nutrition and my training and my sleep, and not much you can do with supplements, but you could try a couple things.
D h e, if, if you’re a middle aged dude and environment and none of that fixed it, then I, I totally understand T R t and to your point though, Who knows, maybe I would love it and that would then encourage me to want to try more things. So like you said, I’m trying to, Ideally I wouldn’t, at some point it probably would make sense, but I’m hoping that doesn’t make sense until later in my life.
Maybe I can hold off until 60 or 70 years old. Maybe I’ll never need anything. I don’t know, so long as I. Can get my penis working and have good workouts and stay motivated generally, and just feel like I have energy and enthusiasm. I’m just disinclined to mess with that. Absolutely.
Mark: I think those are all good decisions and I just always try to advise people just to be very cautious and it really also depends on some of your goals.
If you want to be like a professional body builder, It seems like that would be a route that you would probably have to go, I guess you could be a professional drug tested bodybuilder, but then that gets to be a little bit weird cause you don’t know who’s trying to do what.
Mike: Yeah. You might be one of the few actual naty people on stage and you’re never gonna win anything.
So you’re really just doing it for your own enjoyment I guess at that point. You can
Mark: take things really far though too. I was able to bench press 500 pounds before I ever took anything. I know a lot of guys that are, I guess I could speak mainly just for myself cuz I didn’t take anything till I was about 25.
I don’t really know what other people do, but I was, I think I was 19 years old and I was playing football. I benched 2 25 for 40 reps. I ran a 4.6 40 yard dash. Like I was able to make myself, I wasn’t a, I wasn’t a great athlete.
Mike: See, but compared to the average kid, you were a freak. understand.
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. In the scheme of things, I’m sure you got to a point where, You were now playing against super freaks and you’re like, Oh my God, . But that’s, that, that was not me at all. I was like, I’ve been, I don’t know when I hit six feet when I was, I don’t know, maybe 16.
And so when I first started lifting, I was at least six feet. I was 17 when I started lifting. And I weighed 155 pounds. I didn’t look malnourished, but I was just a skinny kid. I played hockey. And so maybe I had some leg something going on there. And I had very good cardio and very good endurance, but 2 25 for zero.
Mark: Yeah. And that was stuff that I, like I said I made myself. Into that, and I started power lifting at a very young age. And I remember, squatting with weight on my back the first time. And I had, I had 40 fives on each side of the bar, and I was like dying.
I remember like just being like, This can’t be the way that you squat. This hurts my neck so bad, and I didn’t know how to get the weight on a shelf, in my upper back. And I didn’t have a shelf to put it on. I didn’t have enough muscle there. So when I picked the weight up on my neck, basically, I was like, this is like super uncomfortable.
And I asked my brothers, I was like, Don’t they have a pad for the, And then my brothers like, no. You’re just, no you’re not using a pad like the tampon. Yeah. Yeah. Like it’s complet. Completely unacceptable. And so you figure. I didn’t just start out like crazy strong. had to work at it.
I did start off stronger than my friends. I recall a time when I had some friends over in my house and we had some weights in the basement and they started to try to like bench and move weight around a little bit. And they struggled with the bar and they struggled. Like they were just benching it like all lopsided and stuff.
They didn’t know how to do it, keep the bars straight. And I remember like putting tens on each side and everyone got killed by it. And I was able to do it pretty easy. I was already lifting a little bit at the time, but not much. I just got into it and I remember lifting with the 20 fives on each side and I just thought to myself like, I don’t know why, I just am stronger than them, but this is cool.
And I didn’t really understand cuz I was just a kid I didn’t recognize oh, you weigh a lot more than these guys, so that’s probably a big, your friends are really skinny. And so that was a big factor, but that made me feel good and that made me recognize like this thing that you might have a little bit more natural talent at.
This could be something that maybe you can Investigate and if you work hard at it, who knows where it can get you. And I remember also going from back to that 2 25, you know that 2 25 is some stupid test you do in football for God knows what reason. But I remember benching 2 25 for 11 reps when I first, when I started to test it.
And it was probably only about six months later that I went from doing it 11 reps to doing it for 40 reps. At that time I already had some pretty decent strength when it came to doing like the one rep max, but I had no idea how to transfer it over into anything. And so I trained the bench like three times a week and messed around with different rep ranges on different days and got there.
And so you can turn yourself. Quite the freak, especially if you find what you’re gifted at, so for me it happened to be lifting, but for somebody else it might be painting or it might be music, or you can take yourself pretty damn far. And that’s where I would say don’t be skeptical of everybody, don’t really worry about anybody else. Just focus in on yourself. The guy that I do my podcast with in SEMA in Yang is fucking jacked as hell. He’s a natural athlete. He’s a friend of mine. I believe him. I don’t have any reason not to believe him. He’s, 2 45, 2 50, he’s probably. 7% body fat all the time.
I mean it, it’s just one of those kicking the balls. He’s like an inch or two taller than me. He’s a little bit more jacked than me. You know what I mean? He’s a really good looking guy and it’s just, that’s just the way shit is sometimes. All I can do is be motivated by it. All I can do is say, You know what?
That guy is really jacked and I think that’s really cool. That’s really inspirational. I’m gonna work on myself and see if I can be as jacked as him or get close. And for some people, when it comes to, making that decision to do like performance enhancing drugs, I would say some people do need them and some people don’t.
I remember talking to one of the, my guys at the gym, I said, The guy was like, Oh, I think this guy’s on stuff. I think that guy’s on stuff. And I said, What are your genetics? What does your dad look like and what does his dad look like and what does your mom, and we started talking about genetics.
I’m like, You’re five seven. You’re five seven, You weigh 180. You couldn’t be any more fucking average if you tried .
Mike: 180 with a good body comp at five seven would be impressive. Yeah. He,
Mark: I’m just saying that’s a pretty big dude. I’m just saying that he lifts,
Mike: but he didn’t, if he’s not very fit.
Yeah. If he has a lot of body fat, then of course. Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like he may need to get down to one 50 to have a more kind of Yeah,
Mark: there’s, there is no like veins in sight and stuff like that. But my point being is like e and even that guy lifted for years. So Yeah, he did get himself to a point where he looked, Okay.
My point is, your genetics sucked, dude. You’re not six eight, you’re not LeBron James. You’re not Shaquila Neal. Shaquila O’Neal being, seven feet tall, has nothing to do with anabolic steroids or growth hormone or anything like that. LeBron James being who he is and who he was going through high school, who knows what these guys do later on in their careers.
But again, my point being is like these people have spectacular genetics and don’t just go and say the
Mike: super elite. I mean it’s actually probably the equivalent winning the lottery. They won the genetic
Mark: lottery. It’s interesting because if we were all to sit down and to, draw out a painting of somebody, eating an apple, sitting under a tree, you could take a thousand people to do that and you’re gonna recognize there’s a couple people that are actually can make something that looks like somebody eating an apple under a tree and everybody else, you can’t even tell what the fuck they did at all.
And a lot of that, sometimes there’s some training going on there, but a lot of that’s just someone’s propensity to be able to conjure that up, to be able to make that up. And when somebody does something like that, we’re not like, Hey man, there’s gotta be some sort of tricks like, did you pop a bunch of psychedelics or something?
Or what’s, what did you do
Mike: to be able to neotropics as if it would matter.
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. What did you do to be able to do that? And it’s No, I just happened to be a little bit more advanced in this. And because I was good at it as a kid, I. I leaned into it a little bit more and I got to be pretty decent at it.
Mike: there it is, yeah. Yeah. I knew somebody, Speaking of drawing, I liked to draw when I was younger and it was the cousin of my best friend was just incredibly good at drawing. No formal training he had just at a young age. Exactly what you’re saying. He just was like good at drawing, so he liked it and he just did more of it, and by the time he was.
I would guess, I don’t think he pursued it, but I would guess that he was good enough to, he could have had a career, like in comic books. That’s the style that he liked to draw. But you could tell him his name was Brandon, Draw literally anything like, oh, draw me a pile of skulls and put a barbarian on it and dragon flying.
Be like, Oh, okay. And a couple days later he has, again, from what I remember, like comic book quality and he wouldn’t look at any reference images. It was just impressive. And to just to that point. Yeah. Some people they just have their thing. And I’ve spoken about this because that can also be discouraging to some people who they have not found their thing or their, they don’t even think they have a thing and.
My take on it is it starts as a curiosity. It doesn’t start as a skill and there’s, if you look into the research on quote unquote talent versus acquired skill, I think that this is what I’m gonna, what I’m saying is supported by that research is when you have people who have gotten very good at things.
It’s often not that they were way more talented than everybody else. Their peers, when they first started, they may have gotten started. They may have showed a little bit more promise and then gotten more attention. But if we’re talking about just self-learn things, it just started as a curiosity.
Something that was some element of the activity or the subject, if it’s just something to learn about was appealing to them. And they pursued that and they stuck with it until it became something they were very interested in. That then fed into putting more time into it. And then often they were smart about their practice, right?
So whether they realized it or not, they were employing a form of quote unquote deliberate practice where they were very focused and they were pushing themselves to operate on the limits of their ability. They weren’t just sticking with what was comfortable and what they were good at. They were always striving to get a little bit better.
And that is something that all of us can do. Can all of us become world class at something? No, we can’t. I don’t know. don’t know if I can become world class at anything, but we don’t need to be world, We don’t need to be LeBron James or Sha O’Neal to find the satisfaction that we’re looking for in being good at things and being able to accomplish things.
And then there’s also the commercial reward for talking about a career work, right? You don’t have to be one of the. Whatever in the world to make a very good living. You just have to be very good, and I really do think that everyone can find something that they can get very
Mark: good at. I do think that everyone could feel world class, whether their amount of money they’re generating or whether they’re performance in a gym or what, whatever it is, whether they’re.
Actually, producing these world class results really doesn’t matter. A lot of things are just found in being successful. And being successful is as simple as making progress and making progress. Anyone can make progress in anything. That example I gave of art, I think a lot of people would say, Man, I can’t even draw a stick figure.
There’s that ugly word. Can’t, of course you can draw a stick figure and how much practice have you, how much drawing have you done? I often say I can’t read very well, and I can read and I can read fine and I could work on it more, but I just, I choose not to read. I’ve never read a
I never read a book. I’d rather listen to an audio.
Mike: Yeah. When you say that, do you mean literally? Yeah. Yeah,
Mark: literally. And it’s I just struggled in school and always had a hard time with reading and reading comprehension, and my mind just drifts and stuff like that.
Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
How do you prefer to learn? Do you like to listen then, or if you want to, whatever it is, whether it’s a work related thing or just a personal hobby?
Mark: Yeah. When it comes to books, I just don’t do anything with books, so I don’t read them or , nor do I listen to them. But what I will do is when somebody says, Hey, this person’s a great author or whatever, I will YouTube search them and I’ll find them in an interview.
Okay. And I’ll usually listen to ’em that way. This whole thing that we’re talking about right here is your interest level is what’s paramount with being able to make progress in the first place and being able to be a success. Because for me, I was not interested in reading books.
But I am interested in learning and in learning in a way. I’m more comfortable with. And so for me, that would be, I would, YouTube search some of these people out. But if you look at my power to think career, one of the things that really helped me to become worldclass and to be able to lift weights that other people weren’t lifting at the time was to do unconventional things that I thought would propel me forward.
And in my training, I was interested enough to stay in the gym for four hours. I was interested enough to do a good morning with 600
Mike: pounds. I can’t even imagine that. I don’t know if I’ve ever been over 180 5 on Good Morning .
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. It’s wild. Interested enough to train with bands and chains and to try pressing and pulling off of racks to do partial range of motion work and bench pressing off of boards and just, if you go back and just watch some of the.
Over 500,000 subscribers on Mark Bell’s super training YouTube channel. You could check out some of the old videos, watch some of those old videos on there, and you’ll see stuff on there where you’re just like, These guys are fucking insane. What are they? You know what? What’s going on here? Why would anybody do these exercises?
That doesn’t make any sense. It made sense to me because I was interested enough to, figure it out. It’s not any different than somebody wanting to do a back flip on their motorcycle or on their BMX bike. It’s, yeah, it seems wild. It seems crazy, but for whatever reason, like that person is really into that.
They’re really interested in that. And so I think what happens to us though is that we see what other people are doing and we think. Their interest has to become our interest. We think that we, that’s why I, in talking about books, I know so many people have stacks books and they never did anything with them.
I’m like, what’s they didn’t, they read them but they didn’t use them. I just chose not to read them at all. And I think I can get ahead faster in some cases because I just didn’t waste my time with it at all. They’ve read it, but they’re not applying it and they’re not applying the knowledge that they have learned, which is a form of wisdom, which is a way to to move yourself forward a lot of times.
And so I see people thinking that other people’s interests that they somehow need to adopt, that they have the fear of missing out on certain things and Oh, I gotta read that business book. Or, Oh, if I want to be an entrepreneur, I better have this crazy morning routine. Or I better have this, sleep hygiene, or I need to be this way or that way cuz Gary V said this or this guy said that.
It’s whoa, man. Just slow the fuck down. What are you interested in? What are
Mike: you into? And also what are you trying to accomplish, right? And let’s try to like work backward and think with cause and effect, right? And so does it matter if you have a morning routine? It can but it cannot matter as well.
Again, what are you trying to do? And I don’t know. In many discussions I’ve had with many people along these lines, it seems like many people they. Give much thought into specifically what they’re trying to accomplish. They tend to get into motion and start doing things. To your point, because an influencer or an expert, somebody said, Oh, this is what you need to do.
This is good. And so they just start doing things and there’s something to be said for that. I think that’s admirable. People who have a, I think an a natural kind of dispensation toward action that’s better than people who never do anything, but without first clarifying, All right, what am I trying to do?
Like very specifically, what am I trying to accomplish here? And depending on the situation, like if we’re talking about this, Kind of an investing 1 0 1 concept, right? When you’re getting into an investment, make sure you have an exit plan. Make sure that you’ve decided your policy, so to speak, on what are you trying to accomplish here and when are you gonna be getting out?
And that could be, if it dips to a certain point, you’re gonna get out to cut your losses. If it rises to a certain point, you’re gonna get out because you think it’s overvalued at that point. Or maybe you’re gonna take some profits out to mitigate your risk. Or like in the case of, if I speak personally, right?
So I have some cryptocurrency, but I got into it a few years ago. I put an amount of money that I don’t care about and my policy was, my exit plan was. I don’t give a shit. I’m gonna hold this until Bitcoin is a million dollars a coin or zero. I don’t care either way. A lot of smart people I respect are saying it’s gonna go way up, and if it goes way up, that’s cool.
If it goes to zero, I don’t care. But what’s hard is if you don’t think about the, what am I trying to do and also what are the quit conditions? At what point do I call this? Do I call it a day and just take my cash in my chips, so to speak? And because it’s hard. Then if you get into, let’s say you got your morning routine and you’re doing all these things, People are saying you should do at a point, you start to question, All right, why exactly am I, do I, should I be doing this?
It’s harder to then clarify what you’re going for and particularly, it’s harder to quit when you’re emotionally invested in the process. And so it is just something that has been useful to me. And that’s not to say that, Oh, every, nobody does this and I do this and I’m so good. Not at all. It’s just this is one of those things that, one of these ideas that has just occurred to me where I’m like, This seems to be a pattern, at least with a lot of the people I’ve interacted with very quick to do things, but not.
Much thought, at least not as to what I would do in terms of why am I gonna do this, What am I going for, and at what point do I say this is not worth it? You
Mark: know what I mean? It’s an interesting thing because in order to think simply, you have to be able to think less. And in order to think less, you know a lot because somebody will be like, Oh, I don’t know, I just did that on instinct.
And you’re like, Wait, what? Like how did you just do that on instinct? But if you really investigate it further, you’ll always end up on this same thing a hundred percent of the time that their level of interest was really high. And that’s how they act. Actually landed on it, like with my invention of the slingshot.
I tore my peck several times in
Mike: training and several times, Oh my God, I didn’t know several times. I knew at least once .
Mark: Yeah. And I wanted to figure out a way to train heavy, and be able to train through and around these injuries. And so I just kept playing around with different ideas and concepts and just halfway stumbled into it.
And if you were an outsider and you would say, Hey, how’d you think of the slingshot? I would say, I don’t know. I hurt myself in the. And somebody would be confused, but it’s something that think about training still to this day. I think about training pretty much day and night.
I think about training and nutrition and supplementation. Probably much like yourself, it’s just on the front of my mind daily,
Mike: yeah. It’s like just a default if you have your attention. If it’s not focused on something, then it tends to go in that direction.
Absolutely. That’s interesting. With the slingshot, that’s really Necessity’s the mother invention. That’s a good example of that cuz it was come up with a solution or dramatically change your training in a way that you probably didn’t want to, it came along
Mark: at a really good time for me and it came along at a really good time for the marketplace and just where everything was from a social media standpoint and stuff, it was really perfect timing.
Cause I came in before social media became so prevalent. YouTube was still pretty big, but the company’s been around for 11 years now, and so it was just perfect timing and I didn’t have me and my wife, we didn’t have much financially and stuff like that, and so it really just popped in there at the perfect time.
And then I grew with social media and then was able to expand outward and then get a good team around me and so forth. But yeah, it’s like one of those things. Someone’s Oh, you did this, you started this business. And then, that changed everything forever.
In the background was, me starting lifting at 12 years
Mike: old. Yep. The overnight success myth.
Mark: Yeah. So it took me until, just so people know and people that are listening that are, maybe in their twenties and thirties and stuff of, don’t know what the hell they’re doing.
It took me until about 35 or so to really put up points on the scoreboard in terms of making money financially and having a career, I guess you would even say. So if you’re floating around out there, don’t feel bad about it. Just keep, continue to think and continue to work. Even though I never had much of a job, I was never a bum, I was always working hard and always trying to figure out ways to improve myself.
I just didn’t really know how to make ends meet all that well. That took time
Mike: And correct me if I’m wrong here, but there’s. An obvious observation I guess, that what you ended up becoming very successful in was in line with something that you just really liked and you had put a lot of time into doing it.
It wasn’t just working hard, it was also working hard specifically at something you really liked and you were very interested in it and it’s something that you would be, whether you were making money from it or not, the fact that you can make a living with it and a good living with it is I’m sure to you it’s like the ultimate in satisfaction.
But even if your career had gone in a very different direction, it wouldn’t diminish your interest in the activity. And so that’s also advice I’ve given people is really try to find that thing like exactly what you’re saying that is just very in again, it starts off a little bit interesting and cuz I’ve heard from people who will say I, I don’t know what I’m, there’s nothing I’m really that interested in.
And then I go, Okay, so again, what about curious about something that. You open up YouTube and you’re gonna search to just learn something about something. What are you searching for and why? And so let’s start there and if you can develop that curiosity into an interest or maybe a passion. I don’t really like that word, but I think it’s fitting if we’re talking about this.
Growth process. If it can reach that level, then, especially now with the internet and e-commerce and for example, how easy it is to get on Amazon and start selling things. If you’re willing to just educate yourself a little bit. There are so many different ways to monetize knowledge and interest and quote unquote passion and then with that comes some sort of skill Usually.
Usually you’re getting good, maybe. Know exactly how to teach other people how to do it, but you’re get drawing, right? You’re getting really good at drawing. And I’ve seen on social media, I’ve seen people with pretty big followings and they draw live and they post videos that are sped up. What’s that time lapse video I think is the term where you’re seeing how they draw things and then they go from there to creating tutorials.
Okay, hey, this is how I draw this. And they’re making a living drawing and that’s what they really like to do. And they just applied a little bit of business and marketing to it and now they’re doing that and there’s no reason why. And this has probably happened many times already. I just don’t follow the drawing space.
But I’m sure there are people that are the equivalent of you in the drawing space where they just always really drawing and it’s something they have always thought about and they’ve always worked on. And they’ve tried so many different things and they’ve gotten better and better. And then they got.
And they started to get a following, and then they came upon something that just has that kind of tipping point potential and some special utensil of some kind, I don’t know. And they’re like, Oh, this is something they know about. They know how to do it. And they know there’s an actual opportunity or a problem to be solved there.
They solve it and then they just offer it to the marketplace and it sells like crazy. And so that opportunity, there are so many, again, with where the internet is at and where e-commerce is at, and with how easy it is to educate ourselves about literally anything, and particularly business and marketing.
I think I, I would be hard pressed to think of a discipline or an activity that couldn’t go the way that you’ve described and I’ve just described. Look at NFTs, look at what artists are doing with nft. It’s bizarre. It’s actually bizarre. You have what? They have a trillion dollars of these things out.
People are paying seven figures for images. , I, if somebody would’ve told me that was going to be happening like five years ago, they’re like, Okay, there’s this blockchain stuff and it’s gonna get applied to literally digital images. You could just download and save. But no, people want to know that they have the image that this was the original that created by the artist, and people are gonna pay millions of dollars for that.
I’d be like, Ah, that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m gonna say, No dog. I’m gonna not put my money behind that. But here we are, and I’m wrong.
Mark: I should define, what I would consider to be like hard work because we just hear that thrown around so much and I actually don’t think that there’s anything inherently hard about the work that you need to put in to be a success.
Remember I talked about, My definition of success is just being able to make progress. There’s really nothing that hard about making progress. What can get to be difficult and what can get to be hard is continued progress over a long period of time. So the, if I say hard work, I’m not referring to you stringing together a couple of days that we’re focused and that we’re, you spent a lot of time doing it.
What I’m referring to, what makes things hard is consistency and longevity, to be able to do something for a long time. But most people, I think, if they’re being honest, I think people that are wealthy or people that are successful, a lot of times they wanna talk about how hard they work and they wanna tell you how, how strenuous it was for them.
And it has to be the same way for you. And I can just say flat out, there was nothing hard about becoming a multimillionaire. There was nothing hard about squatting 1,080. There was nothing hard about bench pressing 854 pounds. The two things that were difficult about it, We’re just my mentality each and every day to do it.
But again, remember the interest level’s really high, so that’s what decreases the difficulty. Cuz I actually want to do it. It’s
Mike: like r p for life for anything, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Mark: It’s yes, it’s,
Mike: you’re forcing yourself to do something you’re not interested in and yeah, that’s a slog. But doing things that you are drawn toward, the perception of the effort is way lower.
Mark: strenuous, but it’s also really fun and really rewarding because it’s something I’m really interested in and it’s something that I was able to achieve some levels of success by having some progress. So I’m getting kind of pats on the back for it. You’re getting momentum, you’re moving forward, and so to talk yourself into getting to the gym, like it’s few and far between.
Things are different now, just cuz of my schedule and my interest has shifted quite a bit. So I do have to sometimes talk myself into going into the gym, but that’s something that I never used to have to do. And when it came to a lot of the other things that I’ve been through in my life, they haven’t necessarily been hard.
The only thing that’s made it hard is the mindset and also just the amount of time, so like somebody looking like a professional bodybuilder. Yeah, they had workouts that were challenging, but if you were them, the workouts wouldn’t be hard. I’ve heard Joe Rogan talk about this before and someone like Elon Musk would say the same thing, or the rock, you’d say rock, I don’t understand.
How do you get so much shit done in a day? Or anybody that we put in high regard in that. and they would say, I don’t know, I just do it. But they have exponentially worked their way into that position through the process of what we utilize in strength training, which is progressive overload. They progressively got their body used to that stimulus of waking up at 4:00 AM and doing cardio, and then eating some breakfast and then going back to the gym, and then training, and then going and film in a movie, and then going you work your way into those things.
Now, if someone was to randomly follow, and this is a good perspective to. You could just go, let’s say you just went to a soccer practice with somebody out of nowhere. You would get fucking crushed and it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re Elon Musk or if you’re the rock, you’re gonna get your ass kicked at the soccer practice cuz you’re not used to playing soccer.
That would actually be hard cuz you’re also not interested in it probably. So that would be difficult to do and you would probably be sore for five, six days. But so at any one of us, I think. Get mesmerized by this level that we think people reach. But we’re all human, we’re all so much similar than we give ourselves credit for.
And if I was just to play a pickup game of basketball with anybody that listens to this, that’s into basketball, I would get killed. I would be sore for, three weeks. And some people that don’t train the way that I train or train the way that you train, if they were to follow you around for the day, they would get their ass kicked, and so I think having that perspective is really critical because I think it’s easy to think, Oh man, all these things are so hard, have to implement so many different things. And it’s no, just keep looking at the things that you’re interested in. Keep your eyes open. As you mentioned, there’s so many different ways of making money and I’m aware of some people that have made money just off of losing.
They lost 50 pounds. They lost a hundred pounds. Now they’re super passionate. They’re super excited, and they have researched some stuff. They’ve learned some stuff. They know how to communicate with other people that also wanna lose 50 pounds, And whether it’s wrong or right, they’re like, writing programs for people and assisting people and getting people motivated and fired up and all that is there for any of us.
So it’s all just, it’s all just sitting there. And I don’t think trying to make it seem like it has to be hard or has to be this grind is a great way to
Mike: think of it. Yeah. All great points. Yeah. I guess a caveat that. Stands out to me, and I’ve spoken about this stuff previously, so there’s the time factor, and you actually did mention that I totally agree with you, that similar to the, I would say maybe the quote unquote hard workouts or the ones that you don’t really want to do, which is inevitable for any of us, no matter how into this stuff you are.
Sometimes you do just force yourself to get in there and do it, and then you’re glad you did it. I’ve always enjoyed having worked out. I have not enjoyed every workout, and sometimes it’s even just physical, right? Like I didn’t get enough sleep. I’m feeling it. I don’t want to use that as an excuse though.
I know I can still get a workout and I’m gonna do it kind of thing. But there’s that time point, and if you don’t enjoy. Your work, and again, I can speak personally, I’m sure you’ve experienced this, building businesses and making a lot of money, is that you’ve had to do a lot of things that you didn’t particularly enjoy.
Work wise, there’s some of the work that you did enjoy I don’t know very many business owners, for example, who enjoy financial planning. Like you do it, but I just don’t know many who really love, like digging into cash flow projections and or managing supply chains. There are some people who like that.
It’s just usually not the creator of a business, right? Like I don’t particularly enjoy that stuff. I don’t do it personally. I have somebody who does it, but I have to be involved in it. And of course I’m involved and I do my best in being involved. But do I enjoy that? Not really. I enjoy doing stuff like this.
I enjoy writing my next book. I enjoy writing articles. I like creative marketing stuff. That’s what I enjoy. So with work though, I think that there is that point that if you can’t find something that allows you to enjoy your work most of the time, and it’s gonna. Hard to get very far. I think to a lot of the successful people I’ve known in terms of making money and multimillionaire and beyond, and one for one while, there were times they maybe didn’t enjoy their work, especially if they were the one building the business.
And businesses have ups and downs and whatever, and sometimes they had to do things they didn’t like doing whatever. But on the whole, they actually just enjoyed working. That seems to be a common, just a common denominator among those people. And I can speak to myself, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this too, because it takes a lot of time to build, let’s say a multimillion dollar business.
It just takes a lot of time period. And a lot of that’s gonna fall on you and the time you’re. Into that work. You’re saying yes to work and no to everything else you could be doing. It’s like marrying somebody. You’re saying yes to this person and no to everybody else. And so you need to be able to do that.
And if you don’t feel strongly about with the thing you’re saying yes to, you’re always tempted by all the other things you could be doing. And that can be obnoxious. I just don’t know very many. I probably could think of somebody, but as far as particularly entrepreneurs, I actually can’t think of a single successful entrepreneur who became very successful that way, who would say, Nah, I didn’t really like any, anything I did and I didn’t really like working, but I just had, I had enough discipline to continue for years and years to say no to friends and family and all the entertainment and distractions and all the ways to have fun so I could just build this business one way.
Mark: I’ve looked at it personally. I agree with so much of what you said there is that. I think it’s harder to be broke. I think it’s harder to be fat, and those are all things I’ve experienced before. So when someone says, Man, it must be really hard to eat a carnivore diet. Now there’s many choices with nutrition that you can choose.
You don’t have to choose the way that I eat, but I primarily eat meat. I’ll eat some vegetables, I’ll eat some fruit. But that’s primarily my diet. And that’s what I chose. And again, going back to interest level, that’s what I’m interested in. So that’s not that hard for me to actually pursue or that to for me to actually follow.
But I just think if you think about the opposite, Oh man, I wouldn’t wanna work, 14 hours every day, Monday through Monday. , that might be true, that you wouldn’t want to do that. But if it’s something that you’re interested in, it makes it a lot easier. And if you’re working towards something, then you have things to look forward to because you might just say, Yeah, you know what, I gotta do this between the ages of, 25 and 35 for me to be able to turn into anything.
And once I do that, maybe I can shift into doing some different things or, move my time around a little bit. And that’s exactly how it’s worked out for me. I feel like. Literally the heavy lifting is already, is done for me. Cuz I, I already did all that and I won’t lift, I already lifted the heaviest weights I’ll ever lift.
And in a sense, when it comes to business and it comes to anything else, because I already did put that work in, even though there’ll be struggles, even though there’ll be ups, there’ll be downs, there’ll be all kinds of different things that will happen because of how I prepared my mindset over the years.
And because of the skillset that I developed along with my wife who runs the business with me as well. Everything from here on out will just be that much easier. So while it is very difficult to. Naughty Oreo cookies in the middle of the night, or difficult to not snack on ice cream, or might be difficult to not watch movies or things like that for a period of time.
It’s more difficult to feel like you’re not moving forward. It’s more difficult to be depressed about yourself, to be heavier than you want to be, to a body that you’re not happy with to, you’re always gonna be a little unhappy with what you got. That’s some human nature and something that we gotta work through as human beings.
But at the same time, it’s nice to know and it’s reassuring to know Okay, I’m not that pumped about that or that happy about that, but at least I’m working on it. I am putting in an effort and I can feel good and I can hang my hat on that. Yeah.
Mike: And be able to tell yourself that honestly, it’s easy.
To lie to other people, but it’s much harder to lie to yourself. And so when you say to yourself, I’m working on that and you actually are working at, on that up to your standards of, and we all have different standards and I think that plays into this as well. Maybe what I consider working on something you would consider not at all or vice versa or whatever, but I think that matters as well.
But we’ve all experienced this personally and we’ve all seen other people I’m sure go through this and I mean I’ve seen people go through it and then realize they were just diluting themselves and actually get serious about it. But it’s also a hard, and I totally agree with what you’re saying, it’s much harder to just feel stuck and stagnant and not moving toward goals.
Cuz I think that happiness is a fuzzy term, but at least the most happiness I’ve been able to find if we’re talking about this type of stuff is just making progress toward goals and getting there is never, I’ve already accepted that achieving. things is great and there’s maybe some satisfaction and some like post COAs glow that comes with it, right?
But it quickly fades and where the excitement comes is getting there and making that progress. And so to your point, when you can honestly say to yourself, Oh no, like I am putting in an effort and it is an appropriate effort given what we’re talking about. So let’s say that I can speak personally, right?
So my primary focus is my work. That’s where I put most of my time. And then after that, we’d just be spending some time with my family. And then after that, I, for a while, I didn’t have any hobbies and I. Took up golf again, something that I’ve been interested in. I don’t know. I was interested in it when I was younger.
I never really got into it too much, but I’m willing to give golf maybe three or four hours a week. And in those three or four hours a week, I’m making progress. It’s not a lot of progress, but it’s progress. And that feels actually just as satisfying as the progress, at least the feeling. Maybe the intensity is higher in my work because I’m making progress towards something that’s more meaningful.
Even just the financial implications. I have a family and it’s nice to know that I’m really putting a future there for them, blah, blah, blah. But the quality of the experience, I would say is the same as the. Making progress in my work, even though I’m making a lot more progress there, and it means a lot more.
So I totally agree with what you’re saying, and I think it’s just good information for people to hear from someone who has, you’re speaking from firsthand experience here. The
Mark: like, the last thing. I know that this conversation has been pretty like, serious, right? Like it’s not comedic, but, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Don’t take life too seriously and just know that we all have choices. I find it interesting on what my kids choose to do sometimes, and my kids will always choose to watch like practical Jokers TV show, or they’ll throw on like SpongeBob. and my kids are, 16 and 13, but they always pick something fun or funny to watch it.
I always find that to be really interesting. You can drive down the road, you can pick a really sad song to listen to and ball your eyes out. And sometimes that’s a good emotion to have. Or you can just pick something more upbeat and you can have a blast and you can have a lot of fun.
And I feel every day we’re faced with those choices and you can wake up and you can just view life as being really fucking fun. That’s why you get into this and that’s why you are seeking out personal development because one of the most fun things in the world is to kick a lot of ass, totally. It doesn’t always have to be about winning. It doesn’t always have to be about progress, but for the most part, when you feel like you’re ahead of people, and maybe you’re not even ahead of people, but because you’re making progress, You feel like you’re getting one over on everybody And that’s a good, that’s a my mindset anyway, cuz I’m competitive that way.
But that’s a good feeling for me to have. And so that’s what I seek out. And when I find myself getting too tense with stuff, I really lean into walking, going to coffee shops, listening to stuff that’s fun or funny. I love what you said about golf and I think it’s funny how we sometimes just say stuff and we don’t even recognize how powerful it is, but you said that you used to play golf and now you’re back at it again.
And I think that is really powerful for people. What did you used to do? If you don’t know what you wanna do now, what’d you used to do and why don’t you do it anymore?
Mike: What’s, especially when you were young, just to your point of I’ve read a fair amount about creativity cause it’s something I’m interested in and it’s relevant to my work.
And a common theme, if you read some kind of classic books on creativity, how to be more creative is to this point of being able to adopt a more childlike, in a sense, attitude toward life. And when there was a, when we were younger, we would pursue things. We would, and we all did this, that we would spend our time on things that just because we were interested in it, we didn’t have even a quote unquote goal in mind.
It was something that we were just exploring because it was fun to learn new things and we were just learning about ourself and learning about the world. I think that you’re right in some ways the things that you were interested in when you were younger, before you quote unquote learned how the world works before you had to worry about making money or the kind of like the practical realities of the society we live in that can warp, I think a bit of our personalities, of course it helps us develop ourselves.
Not all negative, but it’s very easy to lose that positive element of when we were younger, when we were just like, Hey, what’s interesting to me, I don’t, I’m not worried about making money, I’m not worried about looking, being competitive yet per se. Like I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses and have a better car than my neighbors or whatever kind of stupid shit bougie people get into.
I just want to have some fun and I just want to feel excited and get more engaged with life and yeah, it’s
Mark: Hard to have fun when someone shuts your electricity off, so that’s exactly, that’s the, you just make sure some of those needs are met and you make sure you can make a little progress and.
And have a little fun with it.
Mike: I love it. This was actually not what I planned on talking about. I had a little simple outline about power lifting , which I still would like to talk about, but I think it would make sense to do that maybe in round two if you’re up for it. Oh,
Mark: absolutely. And we can talk about power lifting and nutrition is something I’m really passionate about when we talk to you on the show.
We had a lot in common there, so I think there’s a lot of ground to cover for us. So this is just the first of hopefully more podcasts with
Mike: you. Yeah. I look forward to it. And let’s just wrap up with where people can find you, find your work. You have a podcast as well. People, if they liked this discussion, they’re probably gonna what you’re doing there.
And if you wanna tell people about anything else that is kind new and exciting or you want them to know
Mark: about. Yeah. Our podcast is doing great. I’d love for people to check that out. We talk about fitness type stuff quite often, and so you can check that out. It’s Mark Bell’s power. I’ve been doing that for years.
Probably have done a few thousand episodes at this point. It had a different name for a little while, but I really enjoyed podcasting. A lot of fun have that long format communication. I wanna check out my Instagram. It’s at mark smelly bell. Same thing on Twitter as well. I have two YouTube channels.
One is Mark Bell’s Super Training Gym. The other one is just Mark smelly Bell. You can check all those out. And then I have my products, The Slingshot supportive upper body device for bench press, pushups, dips help get you outta shoulder and elbow pain. And then in addition to that, we make. Elbow sleeves and knee sleeves and wrist wraps, and just anything to help get you outta pain for your training.
And that’s at Mark Bell slingshot.com. We’re working on a supplement line. Been messing with that for quite some time. Really excited about that. The name of the brand is called Within You. Those products will be sold on Mark Bell slingshot.com. Initially we had a launch of a product called The Steak Shake and that went really well, and we’re just re-upping that product.
It’s a blend of protein, it’s collagen whe beef protein isolate. And then we also threw in organ powder. So there’s liver, kidney, heart, spleen, and we’ll have that product probably back in stock, probably about two, three weeks. So been working hard to get all these things all together. And as it’s a giant pain in the nut sack,
Mike: especially now with the post covid supply chain fuck show.
Absolutely. So yeah, I know I understand. But that’s great. That’s exciting. I like it. And thanks again for taking the time and I look forward to the next one. We’ll definitely follow it up. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day. Thank. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
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That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at most for life.com. And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.