In 1993, Mark Wahlberg was known to all as Marky Mark - rapper with the Funky bunch and proud poster boy for Calvin Klein’s underwear. This workout video, released in that year, was no doubt snapped up by young men everywhere eager to learn how to bench press, work their abs, talk like an idiot and sexually harass attractive women without embarrassment.
Yes, I said video. CLCW is rocking it old school this week.
The video opens with the now award-winning actor pretending to be asleep. One of his many cousins (we’ll be introduced to them later) bursts in and is dismayed to find Marky Mark missing out on the best part of the day.
“Oh Man,” he says. “C’mon cuz. Neil’s downstairs. He’s making some shakes or something, fuckin’ pancakes ... the whole nine yards.”The prospect of fuckin’ pancakes (and they are the very best kind of pancakes) provides the incentive for Marky to swing his legs out of bed, pull some tracksuit bottoms over his nice white pants and shout “POW!” at the camera. Because that’s how a rap star starts the day. Oh yes.
The best bits. This will change your life.Marky then introduces us to his gang. One of the crew proffers his hand to Marky but our man’s too cool for dat shizzle. “No handshakes on the video” he tells him. You gotta have rules, dude.
Otherwise it's just anarchy.
Marky tells us that although he’s a rapper he’s been into fitness for a while. He says the three most important things are FORM! FOCUS! and DETERMINATION! The words come up on screen with funky nineties graphic behind them, THAT’s how important they are. On the Video box however it has been changed to FORM, FOCUS and FITNESS. Because of alliteration and shit.
“People always ask me about running around in my underwear and trying to sell my body,” says Marky, “But I’ve accomplished a lot. Why not share with people?”
People always ask me about runnin' around in my underwear and I say "Suck on this, motherfucker."
Wait sweetheart, you were selling your body? I thought you were selling pants. Still, if that’s what it took to keep you in snap-backs and roomy trainers, then I, for one, am not going to judge you.
I’m trying to resist the urge to quote the whole video in full here. It’s just that the little idiot is just so very quotable. All Celebrity Workouts advise you to go at your own pace. Only Marky Mark Wahlberg does it like this:
“You starting where you at. Don’t try and be something you’re not. Everybody has their own game. I’m never gonna look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know? And someone’s never gonna look like me. Everybody’s beautiful, man. Go out and get yours.”
It’s inspirational is what it is. I may embroider it onto a tea towel or something.
The first half of the video is the Home Workout. He introduces us to his ‘fly’ assistants and proceeds to unashamedly lech after them throughout. At one point he licks his lips and says “I’m gonna figure out a way to spot you” making the word ‘spot’ sound so filthy, that I’m not sure any personal trainers could look their customers in the eye and say it after watching this.
How to impress the ladies
For the second part of the workout, Marky takes us to his gym which is apparently stuffed to the gills with the stars of the TV series “Gladiators”.Presumably ladies aren’t allowed at Marky’s gym. Having taken the trouble to introduce us to his homeboys at the beginning of the video, we didn’t get to see them again for a while. One guy (I think it was snubbed proffered hand guy) provides workout advise in a voiceover because Marky’s too busy heavy breathing and flirting to give us much instruction.
These sexually awkward moments won't just engineer themselves, you know.
At the gym his buff cousins are on hand to spot him. I lost track of who was who to be honest - ‘fuckin pancakes’ guy was probably there. I’m not entirely certain if these gentlemen are actually Marky’s cousins in a literal sense. They may be his spiritual cousins. His bruvas from anuva muva, if you will.It’s not clear what we are supposed to take from watching Mark work out at the gym. I get that he’s too cool to do all his working out at home but I don’t have a gigantic Triceps Pushdown machine in my bedroom. Gyms have their own trainers, don’t they? Did the early 90s see a spate of young men refusing gym inductions and announcing that they knew how to do it all because they watched Marky Mark on television?
At the end of the workout we are invited to admire Marky as he gets into a Jacuzzi with a bunch of ethnically diverse hotties. Because he’s an equal opportunities sleazeball.
Best BitThe whole thing is a dream come true to be honest. Nonsensical, rambling and a little bit sinister. Oh man, you’d say the next day. I dreamt that guy from Ted was talking like a rapper and hanging out with Wolf from Gladiator last night. What the hell had I been eating?
Wahlberg in much less weird circumstances.
Worst BitThe Nutrition section. Marky harangues his fat mate and then talks protein with a nutritionist. We never see his fat mate again so miss out on a Damascene conversion as he eschews his enormous comedy plate of food in favour of Marky Mark’s diet plan.
All I picked up on here was that Marky’s has got it into his head that egg whites are a good thing and his nutritionist was careful not to disabuse him of the notion. They were hamstrung by only being able to mention foods that were (a) healthy and (b) not sissy. The nutritionist mentioned cottage cheese at one point which I think was a mistake. Marky Mark don’t eat no girl food.
Weirdest BitOne of the Machines at the gym was called the Ham Tractor machine.
It didn't look like this.
Difficulty LevelRidiculously difficult. He starts off by doing push-ups balancing on three chairs. Why use the chairs at all? They looked like a slip hazard to me. It’s a wonder health and safety allowed it.
Would I do this workout again?No but I am pleased to have seen it this one time. I am now going to lock it away in a secure lead-lined box for retrieval by future generations who will be able to take comfort in the fact that Inter-Galactic Supreme President Wahlberg was but a mortal man. A man with abs like the Giants Causeway and the ability to shout “POW!” repeatedly and without irony but a mortal man none-the-less.