‘Does he really have a 90-minute shower too? No wonder they have droughts in California’
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 talked about his gruelling fitness regime on his Instagram account