‘Does he re­ally have a 90-minute shower too? No won­der they have droughts in Cal­i­for­nia’

Western Mail - - WM2 / Agenda / Letters / Opinion - CAROLYN HITT

HOL­LY­WOOD ac­tor Mark Wahlberg has been the sub­ject of much mirth this week af­ter re­veal­ing a gru­elling daily rou­tine that mixes the spir­i­tual dis­ci­pline of a Trap­pist monk with the phys­i­cal jerks of an Olympic ath­lete.

An­swer­ing fans’ ques­tions on In­sta­gram about how he main­tains the body beau­ti­ful, the 47-year-old posted pic­tures of a midriff that re­sem­bles cor­ru­gated iron and a reg­i­men that in­volves get­ting up in the mid­dle of the night so he can squeeze in the req­ui­site ex­er­cise to pre­serve those phe­nom­e­nal abs.

For those who missed Mark’s spe­cial timetable, here goes:

■ 2.30am: Wake up.

■ 2.45am: Prayer time.

■ 3.15am: Break­fast.

■ 3.40am – 5.15am: Work­out.

■ 5.30am: Post-work­out meal.

■ 6am: Shower

■ 7.30am: Golf.

■ 8am: Snack.

■ 9.30am: Cryo-cham­ber recovery.

■ 10.30am. Snack.

■ 11am: Fam­ily time/meet­ings/ work calls.

■ 1pm: Lunch.

■ 2pm: Meet­ings/work calls.

■ 3pm: Pick up kids from school.

■ 3.30pm: Snack.

■ 4pm: Work­out #2.

■ 5pm: Shower.

■ 5.30pm: Din­ner/fam­ily time.

■ 7.30pm: Bed­time.

Even by the stan­dards of celebrity life­style weird­ness – and we ladies are still re­cov­er­ing from Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagi­nal steam­ing tips – this is bonkers.

Un­less you have a teething child or a shift job, there is ab­so­lutely no rea­son to get up at 2.30am.

Does he re­ally have a 90-minute shower too? No won­der they have droughts in Cal­i­for­nia.

And what’s the point of just half an hour of golf? That wouldn’t get you round the Tree­top Adventure minia­ture course in St David’s 2.

But it’s the hour in cryo-cham­ber recovery that sep­a­rates Wahlberg from other crea­tures of rou­tine.

This is the kind of masochis­tic ma­chine War­ren Gat­land has been plung­ing our boys in for sev­eral years.

The treat­ment usu­ally re­served for elite sports­peo­ple uses liq­uid nitro­gen to dip the air to tem­per­a­tures of be­low -1000C to ease mus­cle and joint pain.

For those of us who barely man­age to bolt down a bowl of Cin­na­mon Gra­hams be­fore the work com­mute, Wahlberg’s early-morn­ing food in­take is also some­thing else.

At 5.30am he has a pro­tein shake, three turkey burg­ers, and five pieces of sweet potato. By 8am he’s scoff­ing 10 turkey meat­balls, while 10.30am brunch-time brings grilled chicken salad with two hard-boiled eggs, olives, av­o­cado, cu­cum­ber, tomato and let­tuce. And all this be­fore steak for lunch, grilled chicken at 3.30pm and a fish sup­per.

But it is the Wahlberg bed­time that be­wil­ders us mere mor­tals most. Seven-thirty is tuck­ing-in time for seven-year-olds, not 47-year-olds. Come on, Mark, when do you watch telly?

No won­der ev­ery­one from Paddy Power to Alan Brazil from TalkSport has been tak­ing the mick out of the ac­tor by shar­ing their rather less in­ten­sive daily rou­tines on so­cial me­dia.

It made me think about my own rit­u­als.

The lux­ury of self-em­ploy­ment is cre­at­ing your own timetable. Un­like Mark’s, mine aims to be shaped around min­i­mal morn­ing ac­tiv­ity.

Any­thing in­volv­ing the brain be­gins mid-af­ter­noon and runs into late evening.

■ 8am: Ra­dio alarm comes on. Put pil­low over head and groan “Noooo!” while what­ever John Humphrys is say­ing be­comes in­cor­po­rated into pe­cu­liar dream.

‘Even by the stan­dards of celebrity weird­ness – and we are still re­cov­er­ing from Paltrow’s vagi­nal steam­ing tips – this is bonkers’

■ 8.30am: Sec­ond alarm goes off on phone. Fin­ger stabs snooze but­ton.

■ 8.40am: Phone alarm starts once more. Grunt. Fin­ger stabs snooze but­ton.

■ 8.50am: Mas­sive sigh. Con­vince self over­whelm­ing sense of doom will lift within hour. Check Twit­ter to see if ag­gres­sive sex­ist anti-Welsh bloke has stopped ar­gu­ing with me.

■ 8.50am: Loo. Read news head­lines on phone.

■ 8.55am: Shower.

■ 8.57am: Moan at shower when it goes cold for 50 sec­onds thanks to tem­per­a­men­tal boiler.

■ 9am: Dress. Per­form com­plex sock-match­ing mis­sion. Dry hair speed­ily thanks to fancy Dyson. Ap­ply make-up.

■ 9.15am: Drink cup of Lady Grey. ■ 9.25am. Drive to of­fice and scour Llandaff vil­lage for last re­main­ing park­ing space.

■ 9.30am: Do work stuff. ■ 12.30: Buy chicken and stuff­ing sand­wiches and mint Aero from Llandaff Spar.

■ 1.30pm: More work stuff and oc­ca­sional tweet­ing.

■ 6pm: Make tea. (Or sup­per, as they say in slightly posher end of Can­ton).

■ 7pm-9pm: Get frus­trated by amount of time EastEn­ders and Gregg Wal­lace take out of the TV sched­ule. Watch catch-up or Netflix in­stead.

■ 9.30pm: Fi­nally feel awake. Do chores, pot­ter, surf web, write stuff.

■ 11.45pm: Ring Dad for nightly chat. (See where I get the owl gene from?).

■ Mid­night: Go to bed. Read Kin­dle.

■ 12.30am-1.30am: Ar­gue with ag­gres­sive sex­ist anti-Welsh bloke on Twit­ter.

■ 2am: Re­alise it’s six hours till the alarm goes off. Put pil­low over head and groan “Noooooo”.

Wahlberg wouldn’t be im­pressed. Well, sorry Mark, I wouldn’t fancy yours ei­ther. Yet while the fe­ro­ciously driven star is on the more ex­treme end of the celebrity reg­i­men spec­trum, the idea that any­one can achieve their goals in life if they em­u­late the morn­ing rou­tines of notable peo­ple is fre­quently es­poused. You know the kind of thing – Nine Things In­sanely Suc­cess­ful Peo­ple Do Be­fore 7am.

It’s as if you too can be­come Bill Gates just by setting the alarm three hours be­fore the crack of dawn.

From cor­po­rate cul­ture to self­help lit­er­a­ture, the daily rou­tines of the rich, fa­mous and his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant have been held up as tem­plates for how we can all metaphor­i­cally rise and shine.

And the most de­press­ing trend to emerge from the sched­ules of the su­per-suc­cess­ful is they are all Morn­ing Peo­ple. God, I hate Morn­ing Peo­ple. All those chirpy larks bounc­ing out of bed. Who wants to be at full throt­tle by 7am and un­der the du­vet by News­night? But then, I have repet­i­tive strain in­jury from hit­ting that snooze but­ton so of­ten.

Yet aren’t owls sup­posed to be clev­erer? A re­cent re­port in Psy­chol­ogy To­day claimed in­tel­li­gent peo­ple are more likely to be noc­tur­nal than peo­ple with lower IQ scores. The sci­en­tist who made the link be­tween IQ av­er­ages and sleep­ing pat­terns traced the con­nec­tion back to an­cient times when peo­ple rose and re­tired with the sun.

The the­ory is av­er­age brains were con­di­tioned to fol­low this sleep pat­tern, while the more in­quis­i­tive, in­tel­lec­tual minds wanted to defy that pat­tern and cre­ate their own.

Lit­er­ary gi­ant Mar­cel Proust is a fine ex­am­ple of the power of the spec­tac­u­lar lie-in.

The writer got up be­tween 3pm and 6pm, im­me­di­ately smoked opium to re­lieve his asthma, then rang for his cof­fee and crois­sant.

But nearly all the other his­tor­i­cal fig­ures whose daily rit­u­als have been high­lighted as tools of in­spi­ra­tion are early ris­ers with dis­ci­plined sched­ules. Ac­cord­ing to poet W H Au­den, who started writ­ing around 6.30am: “Rou­tine, in an in­tel­li­gent man, is a sign of am­bi­tion.”

And from Mozart to Oprah, it seems any­one who’s achieved any­thing did so by haul­ing their butts out of bed while the rest of us snoozed.

Dawn-riser Ernest Hem­ing­way reck­oned it was all about Me Time. Even if he’d been on the lash the night be­fore, he rose re­li­giously at 5.30am. “There is no-one to dis­turb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write,” he ex­plained.

Mod­ern multi-mil­lion­aires, mean­while, start the day with vig­or­ous ex­er­cise rather than cere­bral pur­suits. Richard Bran­son sleeps with the cur­tains open so he can get up with the sun be­fore a spot of kitesurf­ing, while Alan Su­gar al­legedly takes a 50-mile morn­ing cy­cle ride through Es­sex. And Si­mon Cow­ell puts his X Fac­tor down to do­ing 500 press-ups and hav­ing a steam and a bath be­fore re­turn­ing to bed for break­fast.

Beethoven was up and at it from dawn, fu­elled by caf­feine. He break­fasted on cof­fee, a bev­er­age he pre­pared with metic­u­lous care, count­ing out 60 beans per cup.

Morn­ing com­po­si­tion ses­sions were fol­lowed by long af­ter­noon walks – and pos­si­bly a stop-off at the pub to read the news­pa­pers. The man who gave the world the Moon­light Sonata was no night owl, re­tir­ing by 10pm at the lat­est.

The list of high-achiev­ing larks goes on. But one daily reg­i­men is worth em­u­lat­ing. I wouldn’t have agreed with Win­ston Churchill on many things – from the Tony­pandy Riots to suf­fragettes – but, fair play, the wartime PM had the per­fect morn­ing rou­tine nailed.

Churchill woke at 7.30am each day but stayed un­der the ei­der­down un­til 11am, chat­ting with his staff, eat­ing break­fast, read­ing the news­pa­per and pre­sum­ably mas­ter­mind­ing Bri­tain’s strate­gic path through the Sec­ond World War. Yes, he fought them on the beaches... and from his bed.

So Mark Wal­h­berg take note. You don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to rise at 2.30am to shine.

> The Welsh rugby team are no strangers to the cry­ocham­ber used by Hol­ly­wood star Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

> Mark Wahlberg talked about his gru­elling fit­ness regime on his In­sta­gram ac­count

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