Should you train like Mark?


Mark Marsh is a founding father at Workshop Gym. He lives on a small island, off the North Island of New Zealand. He moves, he lifts and he eats. Mark turned 70 this month and today’s blog dives a little deeper into his lifestyle and learnings.

We’re not here to say that if you train at Workshop, you’ll look like Mark. In fact, if you eat, move and think like him - you won’t either! Our fitness, strength, physical appearance, posture, injury history and overall health is a culmination of everything we’ve done, lifted, ate and experienced throughout our life and we are all individuals. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise - run!

However - we can definitely learn from Mark. This part of the blog is about showcasing real people who have experienced a range of training methods, experimented with their nutrition and tweaked lifestyle factors to see the impact that it has on their quality of life.

Please summarise in one sentence or one word - why do you exercise/train?: 

To maintain vitality.

Why do you lift weights?

I believe that building and maintaining muscle mass throughout life is critical for health, longevity and quality of life. I need to lift in order to keep my muscles; even my active lifestyle which includes lots of physical activity is simply not enough.

What is your philosophy when it comes to staying healthy and feeling good? : 

Eat properly. Stay strong by lifting heavy. Stay strong with full range of motion. Maintain mobility and balance by various means. Be intentional with recovery. Get outside in the sun, ocean, mountains, forests, rivers, etc. Minimise sitting, driving (sitting really), TV, artificial light, screens and devices. Accumulate inner silence (ie breath exercises, meditation). Get the universe on your side by living impeccably. This includes being your word, coming from love, assuming responsibility and all the rest. Also weekly, do some very high intensity activities (like sprints or tabata).

What type of foods do you choose to fuel your body?: 

Real food. I eat about 33% protein, 33% carbs and 33% fat for normal meals. I feel best without dairy and nightshades. Fruit fist thing in the morning and an afternoon snack of carb and protein. Food directly after I workout. One cup of coffee in the morning with butter, collagen turmeric and pepper. We eat lots of fresh seafood for protein that we catch. We drink rain water. We also eat mostly locally grown vegetables and ferment our own sauerkraut.

How do you apply your strength and fitness out in the world? : 

Pretty much everything I do in the world uses some aspect of my strength and fitness from climbing, body surfing, chopping wood for the fire, to balancing on roofs, running on the beach, and pulling the boat onto its trailer after a day of spear fishing.

What 3 things from your own health journey would you share with someone who wants to feel better and get stronger?: 

Eat well
Get strong 
Recover well

What is your exercise and lifestyle philosophy? Have you tried some things that have worked really well for you and others that haven’t?

We know that the more individual we can be with our approach to making changes in training, nutrition and lifestyle habits, the more impactful we can be. That’s why we reduce out class numbers, know each of our members and their goals individually and provide as much education as possible in the areas of training, nutrition and general health.

Want to dive a little deeper into your own training goals and find out what might be holding you back? Book your free one-on-one EXPLORE session with us.