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Mark Wahlberg Ate Insane 12 Meals a Day for 40 lbs of Muscle in Record 7 Weeks To Co-Star in $86M Movie With Dwayne Johnson

Mark Wahlberg Ate Insane 12 Meals a Day for 40 lbs of Muscle in Record 7 Weeks To Co-Star in $86M Movie With Dwayne Johnson

Mark Wahlberg doesn’t believe in doing anything halfway, and when it comes to starring alongside a WWE legend like Dwayne Johnson, there is no shortcut even for The Planet of the Apes star. For playing the bad*ss role of a bodybuilding criminal in Dwayne Johnson’s $86 million action comedy, Walhberg had to undergo an intense training regime, which also included eating an insane 12 meals a day for that “Pain & Gain” body.

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson on the set of Pain & Gain (2013)
Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson on the set of Pain & Gain (2013)

Transforming From Ted’s John Bennett To A Bodybuilding Criminal

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson‘s Pain & Gain, not only made success at the box office but also inspired every gym freak to achieve that perfect bodybuilder body. While The Rock, no less than the self-proclaimed Greek demigod, was in perfect shape, it was Mark Walhberg, who has to transform from Ted’s 165-pound John Bennett to a bada** 200 pounds to justify  Daniel Lugo’s role.

Also Read: “Would definitely support it”: Mark Wahlberg “Was Always Sad” to See the Show That Made His $400M Career End, Hints Revival of Hit Series

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg ate 12 meals a day to prepare for his bodybuilder criminal role

The two-time Academy Award nominee had a small window of seven weeks to prepare for the role and had to work hard to push his physique to that level of muscle. In just seven weeks, The Fighter star, packed 40 lbs of muscles, with an intense amount of dedication, blowing up his own gain goals.

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Wahlberg confessed in an interview that,  he had to undergo “an intense physical training routine, which also included eating twelve meals a day.” Not only this, but Walhberg, who weight 212 pounds at the time of the filming of Michael Bay’s action comedy, the actor was still hitting the gym regularly.

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, But Pain & Gain Beast Was Built In 7 Weeks!

Mark Wahlberg’s Pain & Gain preparation is often sung as a legend’s tale in Hollywood. The actor, who played the role of a next-door regular copy-desk, John Bennett in Ted (2012), transformed into a beastly-looking bodybuilding criminal, Daniel Lugo for Pain & Gain (2013).

Also Read: “I don’t give a f**k”: Mark Wahlberg Humiliated Martin Scorsese, Refused to Bend Over Despite Gargantuan $5M Salary


Walhberg poured his heart, sweat, and soul into preparing for the role – drinking mass gainers, feeding on 2 am meals, continuing eating, and pumping an insane amount of iron. During an interview, Walhberg stated:

“I was eating 10 meals a day and drinking mass gainers…It was a lot of work. A lot of getting up at 2 in the morning to eat another meal and I was still full from the meal at 10 o’clock.”

Mark Walhberg as Daniel Lugo in Pain & Gain
Mark Walhberg as Daniel Lugo in Pain & Gain (2013)

Wahlberg’s workouts were brief but intense 30-40 minute sessions, mostly consisting of supersets. For instance, day 1 was set for legs, back, and biceps while day 2 was dedicated to chest, shoulders, and triceps. He focused on progression and getting stronger, bench pressing over 335 pounds. The Rock, on the other hand, used a more conventional bodybuilding-style split.

Also Read: “He’s never complained about an exercise”: Dwayne Johnson’s Trainer Reveals He Abandons His Cheat Meals Before Shirtless Scenes

Pain & Gain can be rented or purchased on iTunes.

Source: Men’sHealth

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Written by Mallika Singh

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.