My 2nd Interview with World Champion Strongman Mark Felix
Thanks for coming back and educating my readers on your training and nutrition methods. For those readers that missed our great first interview, they can find it here.
So let’s get right to it…
Chris: How is your typical training week broken out? What major body parts or event training do you do and on which days? How often do you do the major powerlifts?
Mark: I train 6 days a week, my rest day being when ever I need it. Day 1 cardio and circuits, Day 2 upper body, shoulders chest triceps, Day 3 back & abs, Day 4 events, specific outdoor strongman training, Day 5 legs, Day 6 arms
Chris: If you do, when and how do you incorporate cardiovascular training into your routine? How do you feel your training with Rob Edmond has helped your strength and competitive efforts?
Mark: It’s on Day one. My training is cardio with strength incorporated circuits, this has made for quicker recovery, being more explosive & finding it easier to switch on, be ready to go.
Chris: What are your feelings on the level of volume in your training in the gym? What are the typical amounts of sets that you perform for large bodyparts and smaller body parts? Generally how many exercises do you do per bodypart and what are the typical rep ranges?
Mark: On light days up to 8-12 reps x 4 sets increasing weight with each set. On heavy days 3-5 reps also increasing weight with each set, so my first couple of sets will be 5 reps, with my final heaviest set being 3 reps.
Chris: How many sets of specific events do you do on your event training days? Do you always perform the same events or do you mix it up week to week? Which events do you generally train?
Mark: I personally don’t do sets when training events, I tend to work on my weaker events until I’m happy that day or if I know I have events coming up for a specific show, I will train only those events, for example I have keg toss at the end of the month in Europe’s Strongest Man, a new event for me so I have been doing keg toss for the past 3 weeks.
Chris: What have you found to be the most effective strength and size exercises for thighs and calves?
Mark: Squats, Leg Press, Hamstring curls, Leg Extensions and Standing Calf Raises.
Chris: For lower back, lats and traps?
Mark: I Deadlift for back every other weak, otherwise Bent Over Rows with more Bent Over Rows, Cable rows where I stretch further than normal in the forward, and Pullups
Chris: For chest and delts?
Mark: Incline Press. When performing on a flat bench I use the block and I also do light Flyes.
Chris: And for biceps and triceps?
Mark: Lots of Dips,( usually with someone sat across my shoulders), weighted hanging Dips, Close up Bench Press, Cable Pull Downs and Tricep Kickbacks.
Chris: What techniques have you found to be the most effective for increasing your squatting and deadlifting power? Being a world champion, is there any advice you can give up and coming deadlifters that you wish you had known when you were progressing in your deadlifting prowess? What types of deadlifts do you train?
Mark: My main key is not to overtrain. I only plan heavy deadliftss only when I’m feeling strong on that given day, a bit like seeing what kind of mood my bodies in when I start deadlifting unless I’m competing. It’s actually funny to advise anyone because everyones successful deadlift depends on their build and what works for them, some might injur themselves if they try to lift the way I do.
Chris: What techniques have helped you overcome sticking points in your bench pressing and overhead pressing power? Do you use chains, bands, boards or other training accessories?
Mark: Bands, Boards & different methods of explosiveness to get past my overhead sticking points.
Chris: What techniques have you learned from specific event training that you would like to share? Ways you have found to make specific events easier, safer or more productive?
Mark: For specific strongman events – stay light until you get technique right , don’t be afraid to ask for advice, video yourself to see what you might be doing right or wrong that you might not feel is right or wrong, and get a training partner, so that you can motivate and critique each other.
Chris: Do you ever do the Olympic Lifts and if so how do you incorporate them into your training?
Mark: I’ve tried Olympic lifting and its just not for me, but I do train lots of Clean & Pressing.
Chris: You had written that you don’t do much grip specific training unless close to a contest, but when you get to that point what does your grip regimen look like? Again being a world champion, is there any advice that you would give to up and coming grip athletes?
Mark: Do train your Forearms, but don’t overdo grip training. Do things like shrugs without straps, dragging rather than lifting, carry sandbags with your fingers rather than using your hands.
Chris: Would you go through a typical days meals? How many meals do you generally consume and what do you try and take in at those meals? What would you estimate to be your average daily caloric intake?
Mark: I’m currently taking in 7000 calories a day. I’m trying to lose the extra pounds I put on in preparation for the 2 Arnold Strongman Classics I did that were mostly static events where extra weight helps. So my diet now mostly consists of porridge, 2 salads, brown sandwich, apples, banana, nuts, 2 MetRx protein shakes and a healthy evening meal. I eat little at a time and often because I’m trying to lose weight I’ve lowered my carbs.
Chris: What nutritional supplements do you take, when do you take them and how do you think they help?
Mark: I take MetRx protein in different forms (ready to drink, whey powder or a meal replacement sachet) for the extra calories, protein and recovery. Met-Rx HMB for recovery & strength & MetRx multivitamins, that’s m y staple.
Thank you very much Mark! We are lucky to gain from your experience. I guarantee that it can make everyone of us reading stronger and easier for us to get to our goals.