Mark still go­ing strong

Lo­cal strong­man Mark Pars­ley (47) ‘not stop­ping any­time soon’

The Witness - - NEWS - • Mark Pars­ley as told to NOM­PILO KUNENE • nom­pilo.kunene@wit­

PI­ETER­MAR­ITZBURG’S strong man Mark Pars­ley has once again show­cased his mighty strength by sin­gle­hand­edly pulling a 180­ton steam train.

Pars­ley (47), who is a traf­fic of­fi­cer, weighs 125 kg and is 1,86 me­tres tall. He was given the stage name “Mighty Mark” be­cause of the strength dis­play show he does to en­ter­tain peo­ple.

“I have been do­ing the strong­man dis­play for ap­prox­i­mately 15 years now. I have done body build­ing and now par­tic­i­pate in pow­er­lift­ing and strong­man shows.

“In June I par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual South African Pow­er­lift­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Pre­to­ria and took first place in my age cat­e­gory for lift­ing 700 kg weights.

“My love for weightlift­ing and mus­cle build­ing was sparked af­ter en­ter­ing the ju­nior North­ern Na­tal body build­ing com­pe­ti­tion while I was in the army.

“I didn’t make it very far in that com­pe­ti­tion but the love for the gym re­mains with me.

“I love en­ter­ing strong­man com­pe­ti­tions and show­cas­ing my strength to en­ter­tain peo­ple as many are fas­ci­nated by the strength I have.

“On Sun­day I pulled a 180­ton steam train for the crowd that was at­tend­ing the 2017 Creighton Aloe Fes­ti­val.

“I also pulled a 40­ton wa­ter tanker cou­pled with a 30­ton car­riage so all in all it was 70 tons.

“Months of prepa­ra­tion are re­quired to en­sure that I am fit and healthy for ev­ery com­pe­ti­tion and show I par­tic­i­pate in.

“I eat ev­ery three hours. My food in­take in­clude foods high in car­bo­hy­drates and pro­teins as they as­sist in mus­cle build­ing.

“I train three to four times ev­ery week at my gym, Mark’s Gym in Thornville.

“My fam­ily is very sup­port­ive. I have been mar­ried for 27 years and have four chil­dren.

“My one daugh­ter, Lisa (25), is my num­ber one fan, she ac­com­pa­nies me and sup­ports me ev­ery­where I go.

“In­juries are part of this sport. I al­ways say a good pow­er­lifter is de­pen­dent on how one gets through their in­juries.

“Pow­er­lifters lift mas­sive amounts of weights and if your foot­ing and hand po­si­tion­ing is not in the right place you can in­jure your­self badly.

“I have in­jured my­self sev­eral times. I have pulled mus­cles on many oc­ca­sions and I once dis­lo­cated my pelvic socket and my spinal disk but man­aged to work past that.

“It’s just all part of the sport and I have man­aged to re­cover well from all my in­juries and my body is great.

“I also help train other young­sters who as­pire to par­tic­i­pate in the weightlift­ing and strong­man com­pe­ti­tions.

“This is some­thing I re­ally en­joy and I’m good at.

“I don’t see my­self stop­ping any­ time soon as there are still op­por­tu­ni­ties even when one grows older.

“I am af­fil­i­ated with the Strength Club in Dur­ban and my trainer is one of the top weightlifter train­ers in South Africa, Rory Scheep­ers, also from Strength Club,” said Pars­ley.


Mark Pars­ley pulling a steam train at the 2017 Creighton Aloe Fes­ti­val on Sun­day.

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