by DND | Dec 29, 2023
Thrive in Adversity by Managing Your Energy | Mark Bell
Mark Bell has spent most of his 20s and 30s working on becoming a world ranked powerlifter. He is currently ranked in the top 10 of all-time powerlifters, with a total of 2,628 lb. He has squatted 1,080 lbs, bench pressed 854 lbs, and deadlifted 766 lbs. He and his wife, Andee, own and operate Super Training Products Inc., a multi-million dollar fitness business that they started in 2010.
In this episode we discuss:
– The importance of managing your physical and mental energy.
– How to be resilient in the face of mounting stress and challenges.
– What powerlifting can teach you about diet and training.
– Why it’s better to be at 70-80% than full 100%.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:00:01]
Welcome to the Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Show where I believe a healthy world is based on transparent conversations.
Welcome to the Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Show. In this episode, I sit down with a very dear friend, Mark Bell. I’m going to share with you a side of Mark Bell that you have never seen before. In this episode, we cover numerous things. Number one, we talk about energy, the energy from food from sleep, and also the energy that comes from the mental chatter in your mind. We cover physical activity, the importance of it, how it influences the way that you show up in the world. Number three, we talked about the innovation of the Sling Shot and the story behind its birth. We talk about a ton of other things, and I know you’re going to love this episode, and you’re going to love this very special side of Mark Bell.
As always, if you liked this episode, please take a moment to subscribe, share because we provide this information at no cost. We are here to make the world a better and stronger place.
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Okay, friends, I know that you’ve kicked off the new year and when we think about the new year, you think about all the changes, whether it is fat loss, muscle gain, becoming a better and more resilient person. Everybody sets goals. Let’s all get together and set standards.Join me for the first ever Forever Strong Summit, January 13th and 14th in Austin, Texas. Go to the website, foreverstrongsummit.com. That’s foreverstrongsummit.com. This summit is for everybody. It is for people that want to learn about working out, for people that know how to work out, for people that love science, for people that love mindset. Whatever it is that you are looking for, at the end of the day, it is all about global strength. Please join me in person for the first ever live event.
Mark Bell, welcome to the podcast. I’m really excited to have you on. The truth is you and I’ve been friends for a very long time.
Mark Bell [0:04:57]
It has been a long time.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:04:58]
I know. I think we’re getting old.
Mark Bell [0:05:00]
We’re friends through Charles Poliquin, who was an amazing coach.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:05:05]
Yeah, that is amazing. How did Charles introduce us?
Mark Bell [0:05:12]
He linked me up because I said, who are four or five people that you know that I have to meet? You were one of them. One of the other people was Ann Danny, and then the other people I don’t remember.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:05:25]
Okay, so I stuck around. I’m so happy. One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is that this show talks a lot about medicine and health and fitness. Of course, we’re going to talk about health and fitness. But the other standard for being on the show is just having an incredible character.
Mark Bell [0:05:44]
Oh, I thought you weregoing to say how to be handsome. I was like, okay, well I fit that mold.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:05:47]
You’re in. Well, you were wearing a crown. We all worked out before this.
Mark Bell [0:05:53]
That was great workout.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:05:54]
It was thanks to Carlos and the Sigma Training Team. They were awesome.
Mark Bell [0:05:58]
Carlos puts you through it, puts you through the paces.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:06:01]
Yes, three days a week, if not more. You’re also very humble, so I feel that pulling some of these answers out of you might be a little challenging. But we’re going to do it. We’re going to do it.
Mark Bell [0:06:13]
I think my followers would say otherwise. Mark Bell, humble?Nah.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:06:17]
Well, we’re going to open up the audience to you, which I’m really excited to chat about. You are a couple things. You’re a husband and a father, which by the way, Andee’s amazing, Andee Bell, also an entrepreneur, innovator, power lifter, athlete, you’re all these things. My easy question to ask you is what is the legacy that you’re planning on leaving?
Mark Bell [0:06:48]
I think that’s up to the people that the ideas stick around with. That’s the way I look at some of the stuff. I think that a lot of things are like memes, and they’re likepropagations of ideas that hopefully live within other people. Hopefully, some of the things that I’ve taughtextend into other people, and hopefully, those people share it with other people. When I think of legacy, I don’t think of cars or homes or money or any of that. I don’t even know if that’s a good idea to leave any of that behind for children, grandchildren, and so forth. Maybe it makes their life more difficult than we could even think of because those things weren’t left behind for us. But I think it’s the ideas that I think are important. If I have any legacy, I think it would be hopefully the that some of my ideas live onward, and my inventions and creations and some of the things I made, if I was to die today, they’d still be on sale tomorrow.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:07:54]
Please don’t do that in my house.
Mark Bell [0:07:58]
Well, you’re a doctor, you’ll be able to save me.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:07:59]
Shane is working in the ICU today, so that would not be ideal. I think that is amazing. When I first met you, and I think when people first meet you, you’re very athletic. They might think, this guy is just an athlete.He’s just aknuckle dragger, meathead.But you are extremely smart and aware, and not to put you on the spot, but it’s true. I think people should know that about you. What are some of the ideas that have really been on your mind lately that you think can really change the world for better?
Mark Bell [0:08:41]
I really think that perspective is really critical. If you don’t have other people’s perspective in mind, it’s hard to relate to them. It’s hard to get them to relate to you. It’s hard to break the ice. It’s hard to get them to listen to a message that you might have. As much as I might say, I don’t really care how many people view this message or how many people like this message, I really do care. I do care that they consider the information that I’m sharing because what if that information can help change your life? Or what if that information can help change a relative’s life that’s in their life right now, someone they love, somebody care about? Those are things that are heavily on my mind, especially more recently.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:09:27]
Is there a reason more recently that has been on your mind?
Mark Bell [0:09:33]
It’s trying to give people tangible stuff that they can actually do, that they can actually follow through with. I think it’s easy for me to admit that I’ma maniac when it comes to certain things, when it comes to fitness. I love running. I love lifting.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:09:50]
Yeah, I know. You took me for a run.
Mark Bell [0:09:51]
It’s been a huge passionof mine. I enjoy all these things. But I’m open to listening to people that don’t enjoy those things. I’m open to understanding that people don’t enjoy those things. How do I get you to meet me in the middle? Okay, you don’t like exercise. You don’t like to sweat. But man, exercise can be so important. How do I communicate to you that I think this would be a great idea if you did it?Or maybe you hate exercise so much that we can have conversations of, hey, look, if you don’t really overeat, maybe you don’t need to exercise as much.What are some reasonable things as people get older?
Strength is a huge thing. I say strength is never a weakness all the time, and weakness is never a strength. If you look at a lot of the information that’s coming outnow, the book that you have out right now, and a lot of the things that you’re hearing a lot of people talk about right now, so much of it is a message of strength. You start to lose muscle mass because you’re not sending the same message anymore. That laundry bag that is in your room, maybe as you get older, you don’t want to lug it over to the washer and dryer. Maybe you take out half the clothes and move them. Maybe when you go to the grocery store, maybe you buy less stuffbecause you don’t want to haul as much groceries and stuff like that.Over a period of time, you send less and less of a message to your body to hold that muscle and have that strength. But so much of it starts with your degrading in your strength. Then the muscles start tofollow afterwards.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:11:34]
Let me ask you a challenging question. Why do you care about it so much? Here’s why.You’re very successful. You probably don’t have to be doing these things. You probably don’t have to be making the world a better place, but you do. You care a lot about people. You care a lot about relationships.You care a lot about this stuff. You’re always thinking about it. My question to you would be why?
Mark Bell [0:11:55]
One of the missions I have is to make the world a better place to lift. It’s something I’ve been saying for—
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:12:01]
I’ve never heard that. Have you been saying that for a long time?
Mark Bell [0:12:03]
Yeah, I’ve been saying that for a while. It’s important to me for multiple reasons. I know too many people close to me that I love and care about. You knowthe story of my mother.My mother, Rosemary, she died a couple years ago, three years ago, a couple days ago. She instilled so much confidence in me and helped me so much to realize what I am and what I could be; a typicalloving mother type situation saying, hey, look, you can be anything that you want. In the movie,Bigger, Stronger, Faster, she says to my brother, who wanted to be like Arnold, there’d be like this guy or that guy, Hulk Hogan, or these other people that we looked up to, and my mother said, how do you know someone doesn’t want to be the next Chris Bell?
A woman that’s that strong, that instills that into you from a young age, it makes me want to try to empower people to feel even just a microscopic version of that. If I can have people feel a 10th of the way that I feel every single day, it’s fair to say that I don’t think I’ve ever had a day where I felt bad about myself. I’ve never had a bad day. Even today that my mother died wasn’t necessarily a bad day. It was just a reminder of the way that she lived and the things that she taught me. The day my brother died, I don’t view it as a tragedy. It’s just a view of problems and certain situations that happen in life as they’re part of life. Death is a part of life. Life is a part of death. The two go together, they coincide.
It’s important for me to understand these things and to be able to communicate them out. I know that people have greatness inside of them. Even beyond that, I believe that each person has divinity within them. I believe each person has a godlike feature within them, and it’s just sitting there.I don’t think they really know or understand it.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:14:04]
Did that take some time to understand and develop? Years, right, because again, when you started, you were a powerlifter. I would say you were eating Twinkies, very overweight, and something changed and something changed over time for you.
Mark Bell [0:14:25]
My powerlifting career is probably a little misunderstood. Yeah, there was Twinkies involved and there was pizza and peanut butter cups and a lot of stuff like that. There was a disregard for health. But it was because I wanted to be as strong as possible. One of the things that’s a requirement of powerlifting is to just go all in and really commit to it. For me, it was to really commit to it all the way in terms of weight gain, in terms of performance enhancing drugs, just anything that could make me stronger. If I wasn’t committed to that, then I just felt like I wasn’t all the way in.
When it came to weight gain, and it came to getting bigger, I started to recognize that I needed to weigh more. I weighed 230,240, something like that, and I did well. I did well at 250 and 260. I did well at 270,but I did better and better and better the more weight that I gained, all the way to the point where I ended up getting up to 330 pounds, which ended up being a mistake because my performance started to drop off. My sleep started to suffer.
That’s when I startedfiguring out some nuances of training that I didn’t really know before. That taught me some of the lessons that I still carry with me today that I can’t even believe that training works this way. We just worked very hard, the training session that we just did. But if you’re going to train like that day in and day out, then what you’ll find is most people end up in this 70% range. You would think, I’m going to go to the gym, and I’m going to do 65%, 75% of my max. That’s most of what we’re going to do for the day. You would think, piece of cake. But to me, that’s really an important thing to point out is that’s, in my opinion, where people get better. When I was squatting over 1000 pounds and benching over 800 pounds and–
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:16:24]
Yeah, I did that yesterday.
Mark Bell [0:16:26]
Yesterday morning, five o’ clock.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:16:27]
Yesterday morning,yeah, five o’clock, one kid in one arm.
Mark Bell [0:16:31]
When I was doing some of that stuff, I think there’s a misinterpretation because people see the big weights.They see the posting of big weights, or they see the competition that I did. But they don’t really understand that in competition, while this might sound like a lot of weight, I would only use 70% of that, sometimes 60% of that, sometimes even less. My training partners were always confused by it. They’re like, how are you able to do that? My response always was, it’s about the input that I’m giving to my body. You can’t overstress the body.I just have been fascinated over the last several years of what’s your body’s interpretation of stress, and just even that word, interpretation. If I have a reinterpretation of stress, well, now it’s game on. I can handle just about anything.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:17:21]
Are you talking about physical, mental, any of it, or are you primarily talking about physical?
Mark Bell [0:17:25]
I’m talking about all of it because I’ve seen so many friends succeed. We have mutual friends that we see just kill it, just crush it in business, and they’re crushing it on social media. But then I talked to them behind the scenes and sometimes they’re having a rough go of it because of life’s stresses, which is totally understandable. But once you learn how to have some stress mitigation, you’re able to sprawl against life.For a fighter, they learn how to sprawl.A wrestler learns how to sprawl. It’s basically just blocking someone from taking you down.
What an amazing asset that is. Imagine if you can just sprawl in your life. Imagine if you could defend and allow life to kick you here and there, allow life to punch you here and there, but it doesn’t ever take you all the way down. To me, the only way you’re going to be able to do that is have a reinterpretation because sometimes things are just difficult. People go through divorces. People go through breakups. People have people cheat on each other. People go through drug addictions, alcoholism. There’s a lot of stuff that can be really ugly and really nasty. But if you can reinterpret those things and just understand this as part of life– for my mom and her parents, maybe they didn’t necessarily choose to be alcoholics. Maybe they didn’t choose to treat her the way that she was treated for her toend up with the life that she had. I try to have perspective on those things, and then I try to teach other people that, in my opinion, is a choice to really work very hard on your mindsetand stress mitigation.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:19:05]
I love that you’re saying that. I couldn’t agree more. We were talking upstairs that people think about stress as this one thing.Think about it. We have one word to define breakup, divorce, death of a loved one, sickness, or my kid peeing on the wall or being at the DMV, forgetting your paperwork. We only have one word to define stress. To piggyback off of that, we typically only have one reaction. People think that there’s only one reaction to stress, and that one reaction is fight or flight. But actually, there is tend and befriend. There is the courage response. I think without even putting into words, you move towards this tend and befriend, which is reaching out to other people. That’s something that I’ve seen you do for years.
Mark Bell [0:19:55]
I love doing that. It makes you feel good. Our mutual friend,Bedros Keuilian, talks a lot about reaching out to other people and say, hey, I appreciate you.He’ll just send me something foul or weird because we have that kind of relationship. He’ll just say something funny, and then we go back and forth, and we both get a good laugh from it. There you are, from just a couple of words that were set on your phone, now you’re smiling or laughing. You’re just set off into a slightly different mood or mode.
I found that if you have a day where your energy islow, I think energy is an important thing to talk about. But when your energy feelslow,and your vibe is not great, check in on other people.They might think that you’re an awesome friend for checking in on them. But really, we’re always doing these things for selfish reasons. Being a doctor, you understand how important it is for people, they’re like, oh, I’ve gotto go see my friend; she’s in the hospital. Yeah, they’re going for their friend, but they’re really going for themselves more so than anything. They’re going to check on their friend, but they need to see visually that their friend is okay.
I think that those things are really important. We can get a lot of energy from the people around us. Checking in, being grateful, having some gratitude for the people that are around you, the people that do love you, I think, especially being in this podcast circuit, I’ve learned that you don’t want to chase people that don’t want to be caught. Don’t get yourself too caught up in that.If somebody doesn’t want to be caught, they’re not for you at the moment. It’s the same thing as dating. I mean, how good of a situation is that going to be if you barely got someone to go on a date or something?
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:21:40]
Right. You definitely don’t want that.
Mark Bell [0:21:43]
It’s not going to vibe very good. It’s not going to work. It’s not going to turn into the relationship that you wanted it to turn into. I think these things are just important to think about a little bit more in depth. But back to the idea of energy, I don’t know if we’re thinking about energy enough when it comes to food and when it comes to sleep because I could sit here and talk about stress all day, but if I didn’t eat, or I overtrained, now I’m really screwed. Now things are going to hit me so differently.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:22:15]
Meaning, the daily life choices impact one’s ability to manage stress, mitigate stress, or the interpretation?
Mark Bell [0:22:24]
Yeah,massively. Just as an example, let’s say one day you go to get in your car, and you go to close the door, and you spill your protein shake all over the place. I use that example because I’m a meathead.But another day, you go to get in your car, and your favorite song is on. As soon as you turn the car on, your favorite song is on. Oh, my God, it’s amazing. You start driving down the road, and maybe you’re moved to tears.Maybe you’re moved to laughter.Maybe you’re moved to just thinking of something nostalgic. I think nostalgia is another superpower. But when it comes to energy–
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:22:59]
How would you define energy?
Mark Bell [0:23:02]
I would define energy as you basically just not feeling tired and exhausted. But how many people do you know that they say, man, I’m exhausted? I’m tired. I feel this. I feel that. I think that when you’re not tired, when you are having a good amount of energy– I think occasionally food can leave you feeling energetic. But I think that in our society, they have too much of a disconnect for it to really do that, for your energy to be that high, unless maybe you’re on a keto diet, or you have been really experimenting with your food and your diet for a long time.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon 23:48
What I’m interpreting you say is that the energy from food, meaning you eat something and you feel more energeticor more vibrant.Is that the same thing?
Mark Bell [0:23:57]
I think food can do a couple of things.Food cangive you energy in one way, in one sense. In another sense, food can make you feel tired. This is a funny example, but you can eat so much that you can’t have sex. You’re bothbloated, and you’re like, no, itain’t going to happen. That’s way too much. I think that realistically, we should do our best to try to eat a certain amount of food that would allow you to be able to get up from the table and go on a walk around the block without your stomach just absolutely killing you. I think you need to be a little careful with how much energy you can consume in a particular moment.
But in the case of energy, I think we get it from our sleep, and we get it from our food, but I think that we are viewing it sometimes the wrong way. You could be spending your energy, a lot of your reserve energy, on your phone. A lot of your energy could be spent on hating somebody else. A lot of your energy could be spent on a lot of negative things. When another stressor is poured into that, when another stressor comes at you, you don’t have the ability to defend yourself. Then you get angry, and you get frustrated. Now you’re angry and frustrated, and sometimes, you get angry that you’re frustrated. It just becomes this circle.
If you’re trying to diet, forget it.Your diet is toast at that point. Your decision-making skills are going to be really compromised. If your energy is screwed up, your sleep might be compromised. If you can take care of your sleep, and if you try to do some basic stuff, go out for a walk, love the people around you, have some gratitude, try to get ahead for a second. It’s not easy to get ahead. I think that it’s very hard for people to get their head above water to get a good breath. But if you can do that, if you can figure out a way to get ahead for a moment, you’re going to be able to breathe. You’re going to be able to relax. You’re going to have less stress. You’re thinking it’s going to be more stress because you’re thinking that’s too big of a hurdle for me to jump over. I don’t have the energy to jump over that hurdle. But you have to figure out how you can do that.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:26:14]
I like this. We’re actually talking about food energy. But in essence, we’re also talking about life energy. How do you mitigate the things that are coming at you?You are a public figure. I’m sure as much love as you get is probably as much hate as you get or discord. I don’t know, maybe everybody loves you, at least we do over here. How do you create somewhat of a shield? How would you suggest other people to do that?
Mark Bell [0:26:45]
Your interpretation is your choice.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:26:47]
Your interpretation is your choice.
Mark Bell [0:26:51]
It’s a beautiful thing, and I think it’s incredible. I think you have the ability to look at your social media, and you have the ability to laugh at somebody making fun of you. I’ve even had people make videos where they have literally mimicked me.Sometimes I’m just like, I’m way easier to make fun of than that. The guy should have done a way better job. There are so many more things he could have pointed out that I suck at that we could have all laughed about.
I think it’s when youlook at some of those things, it’s easy to get caught up in some of the negative. But I mean, how many people are commenting also that you helped change their life, they’re down 40 pounds?What is the impact of that person being down 40 pounds?That person isn’t only down 40 pounds, that person is down 40 pounds in bodyweight, hopefully 40 pounds of body fat, and they are now communicating to all of their friends at work, in their home, maybe it’s helping with their relationship, maybe it’s helping their spouse, maybe it’s helping another relative. It has this cascade of strength. If you allow the negative to get to you, I think you’re just allowing other people to win. You’re allowing a cascade of negative emotions.
Something that I’ve learned that I think is a really incredible thing to really think about is that negative emotions can only come from one place; they can only come from a negative interpretation. So it’s your own negative thoughts. That’s really pretty amazing. Someone can call you whatever name they want, but it’s your own negative interpretation, and it’s also you placing a value. Why are we placing a value? Was it from your husband? If it’s from your husband, then you have to consider why did he say that? What did I do to trigger that?Now we should probably have a conversation. If it was a friend or a loved one, that’s something you have to consider more, and that would be tougher to deal with. That would cut.That would hurt. I’m not saying that you can defend yourself against every single thing all the time because there’s things in life thatblindside us. But if you can pause on most things for a moment, which is another great strategy, which is really difficult to do, people sometimes say, see if you can sleep on it, shit, that’s hard. That can be really, really hard. But if you can give yourself a moment to think about stuff for a minute before you respond, the text message, the email, the negative comment in your Instagram thread–
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:29:29]
I think you told me once that unless you are ready to read the comments, then you should just not. You said something like, hey, unless you’re in a place where you feel that you have enough energy to go ahead and read both the positive and negative comments, then–
Mark Bell [0:29:48]
If I was to post a picture of me and Donald Trump on my Instagram, why in the world would I look at the comments?If I was proud of it, and I thought this was cool to share, and I just wanted to share it, or what is the real reason why I’m sharing? Maybe I’m sharing because I want to stir up some shit. Maybe I’m sharing it because I want to be inflammatory. Well, then I have to be ready for a lot of inflammatory stuff that come my way. You have to think about the context of, I like a lot of your videos because they’re fun. And I know what you’re doing. I know you’re not trying to make anybody mad.It’s like you’re having fun, and it seems like your fans understand that. It seems like for the most part, people are getting it, which is cool. But I think that we take ourselves way too seriously sometimes. Again, I think the value that you place on stuff, we have to be really careful. It’s a value assignment. Why are you giving so much power? Or why are you thinking that someone’s going to act differently?They always act the same: your sister, your brother, and your mom. Your mom acts the same way every time.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:31:00]
Did this take time to develop? Was there a moment, or you just recognized that there’s a choice, that you have a choice as to how you interpret information, and once you know that, it’s that simple? Or did it take time to build thick skin?
Mark Bell [0:31:16]
I believe that life is simple. It’s a belief of mine. I feel strongly about it. But I’m not to say that everyone’s life is simple. It’s my life that I feel is simple. I can’t speak for other people. I don’t know where they’ve been. I don’t know what they’ve been through. I didn’t grow up poor. I didn’t grow up without parents. I grew up with two awesome parents. I grew up middle class. I grew up with two awesome brothers. I grew up with a good, really solid, strong family structure. My dad was the coach of the baseball team, the whole thing. My uncles, my grandparents, everyone’s involved. If we’re playing a football game or something, the whole family would–
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:32:06]
By the way, I’ve been to your family reunion. How many Bells are there?
Mark Bell [0:32:10]
There was 60 of us, something like that. That’s my life experience, and so it’s easier for me to say that life is simple because when I was young, I didn’t have to worry about where the next meal was coming from. C.T. Fletcher has a story of every time he heard the keys, he knew was getting beating. That gives me goosebumps just thinking about it, almost makes me want to cry. I love C.T. so much, but that’s a horrible feeling to have as a kid. I was never abused and never had anything remotely close to that happen to me. So it’s easier for me to say that life is simple because I’ve been able to think about these things that maybe other people couldn’t afford to think about from their past.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:32:57]
You had space. Where do you get inspiration? How do you continue to evolve in this way?
Mark Bell [0:33:06]
I try to listen to a lot of different content. I love listening to Joe Rogan. I’m a huge fan of his. But I also will try to listen to stuff that contradicts a lot of the stuff that I’ve been thinking. And then I also will play a lot of head games on myself when I do listen to folks that have other things to say that are different than mine. I’m like, wait a second. Dude, what are you doing? Why are you getting mad? This is ridiculous.You shouldn’t get mad. This person has a different perspective. Listen to the perspective, what is their perspective from, and let’s see if they have a good point here.But the second that you get mad, you’re no longer really listening. You’re like, no, that’s dumb. No, my way is the right way. I know best. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I will listen to stuff that is sometimes boring and not super exciting. I feel that it’s necessary, though, because I feel that I’ll find a little nugget in there. Most of the time, most of the stuff that I’ll look at—I would say research, but I think that’s too strong of a word—is mainly just me messing around on YouTube,the intention is for me to help other people. But I know again, that’s not the real intention. The real intention is for me to help myself because I think that’s just the way that life is.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:34:30]
But it’s also upholding a standard.You mentioned that I know what it is to help other people. I do, and why did I become a doctor?To be of service.Does it make me feel good that I can help other people or step in when they need it? I still take care of patients. In fact, I still probably should be bothering you about your sleep study or whatever. But I suppose in a very particularly—
Mark Bell [0:35:01]
Sleep scores are up, by the way.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:35:02]
Mark Bell [0:35:02]
By a ton.They’re getting a lot better. I don’t know if you care about sleep scores, but I got some good sleep scores.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:35:11]
You’ve got to get Bedros on the sleep train. We’re going to have to send this to him. But you’re right.It is about feeling good for the person and also setting a standard for the way that you live your life. By doing something good for other people, you inevitably feel good. That is really important.
For you, this has definitely been a journey. You’ve sent me some things fromSadhguru. The first time you sent it to me, actually, I wasn’t surprised because I know you. But I think that maybe one of your other friends may be surprised by that. That is something also that you listen to. Would you say that is a more spiritual aspect, or is it just understanding– you’d mentioned that we all have something within us. We all have greatness within us.
Mark Bell [0:36:07]
A God-like feature.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:36:08]
Is it different for every person? Is it a Dharma? Is it a mission that they’re supposed to fulfill? For me, I know what I’m supposed to be doing, and I know how I’m supposed to be helping.
Mark Bell [0:36:24]
I’m sure you’ve had patients before say something to you that’s so profound, you’re like, what?You’re like, I went to medical school. I learned all this stuff, and then this random patient that you’re not thinking would really understand something so specifically, but they say something so profound to you that you’re like, Oh my god. I think each person does havea divinity within them. But part of the reason why I am in search of a lot of this information is to feel goodand help other people feel good. It’s really that simple. If I can think of three things that make me feel good, one is nostalgia, just playing an old song that you like. I’m going to be 47 years old, so just cranking out some Metallica or Guns ‘NRoses or something like that in my car feels great.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:37:16]
So you’re not talking about Cocomelon.
Mark Bell [0:37:17]
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:37:20]
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Mark Bell [0:39:49]
Another good one that I think works for everybody is that I think everyone can relate to some sort of music. Another good one is just taking a shower; taking a shower felt great. I know people talk about grounding and cold plunging and all these different things. If you can take a second to mess around with the temperature of the shower, I think that can give you a little boost, too. I think that can help. Another way tofeel really good and just good about yourself is to do something for the day; I think something physical. I think what things do for us physically has such a crazy impact and strong impact on the brain and the body that I don’t know if we’ll ever find out all the information on what it does. But movement, I think, is really crucial.
I said that motion is the lotion. If anybody that’s ever woken up before andjust had that really sore body like morning body where you’re just stiff and achy and you can’t quite walk the way you want to walk, you can’t move the way you want to move. There’s something on the ground, but you justleave it because you’re like, I don’t know how I’m going to pick that shit up. It’s going to have to wait till later. I think so much of that can be cured by just a quick walk around the block. As much as I love walking—walking is awesome, and it’s a great place to start—but unfortunately, I just don’t think it’s enough. Walking, again, great place to start; you’re overweight and you are not in good shape, you have no fitness practice, walking is a 10 out of 10 for you.That’s awesome. That’s a really good spot to start. But eventually, you have to progress into something a little different.
But I think fitness is huge. It will make youfeel really good about yourself; make you, I think that’s a really powerful word. I don’t usually use that.I have tried to work on correcting a lot of my own language to myself because nothing can make you do really anything. But in the case of exercise, it literally makes you feel better.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:41:55]
We were absolutely designed to move. You also mentioned something else: strength. Strength is something that declines over time if you don’t do something about it. What has changed for you, or what has changed in the trends? Or maybe you’re thinking about fitness over time, because again, you have been in some kind of fitness space for the last 30 years. You’ve seen everything from carnivore to keto to–I still can’t find a carbohydrate at your house. You guys have to fix that next time. What has changed for you? Is there anything profound where you really thought that this thing was the right thing and just had a moment where you were like, no, it’s not?
Mark Bell [0:42:45]
I have tried a lot of different things. I’ve leaned into certain things toexplore, to see if they are the thingbecause I love that; that’s powerful, and I’m a little bit of a sucker for that. It could be a product. It could be a specific diet. Some of the things of a keto diet sounds so awesome. We’re still to this day, I go back and forth, and I sometimes will do a ketogenic diet, or I’ll utilize ketones. For me, I feel like it has some efficacy. I think it can help with certain things. But diving into those things and doing those things more passionately has not resulted in any further increases in really much of anything. There’s like thatold 80/20, 90/10, those rules, I think they’re awesome. I think they’re great. Maybe you’re 80/20 changes over the years because you become more and more fitness-ey, you become more and more ingrained into diet culture, and so your80/20 gets stricter and stricter and to somebody else, it looks like you’re 100% compliant on your diet all the time. They think you’re just a total fitness nut.
But leaning into those things harder, I haven’t really found anything crazy profound that was a big result of anything extra. I guess what I’m trying to say is going more carnivore, like I did carnivore diet for 100 days, I didn’t have any extra energy.I didn’t have any crazy body composition changes, although there were some body composition changes, but I think carnivore diet is great. But what I’m saying is leaning into that 10 out of 10 and thinking thatyou can’t have a slice of pizza or you can’t come off the diet slightly here and there, you can’t have some rice or fruit or carbohydrates surrounding workouts and stuff I think is probably a stretch, and the same thing with a ketogenic diet. I’ve leaned into all those things a lot and haven’t found– and maybe it’s just what I was looking for. But I didn’t find that they did anything extra on top of what I was expecting.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:45:02]
What is your nutrition like now? Where have you landed? Because by the way, you’re fitter. Would you say that you’re fitter than you’ve ever been?
Mark Bell [0:45:09]
Yeah. I think I’m single digit body fat.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:45:11]
I’m definitely fitter, leaner, moving around, have great energy. What are you doing now? What have you landed on for this season?
Mark Bell [0:45:21]
I basically eat a lot of meat. There’s some fruit in there, here and there. One major change over the last couple of years—because I was such a huge keto fan, and I was a fan of low carbohydrate diets, but I would eat a lot of fat. When you’re a bigger guy, and you eat a lot of food, and you are trying to consume a lot of protein, protein and fats and nature are normally together.You got togo out of your way to find protein and proteinby itself. You need Piedmontese beef, or you need chicken breasts, which again, a chicken breast would normally even have the skin on it, and that would have more fat. Cutting back the fat calories was something that I did, but it was mainly for aesthetic reasons, and it’s mainly for weight loss because now, I’m running more, and as I’m running, all I can feel is every pound that I have.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:46:22]
How much do you weigh now?
Mark Bell [0:46:24]
I’m 220 right now. When I ran the Boston Marathon with your husband, Shane, I was still 240, and that just didn’t work. That was verydifficult. If somebody is trying to get leaner, the unfortunate bad news that Icould share with them is, I think, a lowercarb-style diet is a great way to go, high protein, and you’re going to cut the fats down, too.Now, you’re on a diet that’s pretty much protein.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:46:54]
Cleaner protein. When you say a lower carbohydrate diet, are you saying 100 grams or less? Or does it really just depend on the person?
Mark Bell [0:47:04]
I think that we could give people literal blanket information. Your protein should be about your body weight in grams approximately, give or take. If somebody’s very, very heavy, if they’re way overweight, then I can’t imagine a human being needing more than 250 or 300 grams of protein on a given day. Your protein would be your body weight in grams. Fat caloriesor your fat grams, I think that you have to be careful with the fat that you don’t go so low that it negatively impacts your hormones, and it will also really sink your energy. We talked earlier about energy. You can’t make something out of nothing—creativity, workload, just anything, workouts—they’re all going to suffer if there’s not a good backbone of nutrition. I’m not saying just submarine your calories to death so that you are just in a constant daze all the time. But I think people can probably be somewhere between 50 grams of fat to 80 grams of fat depending on their size. I also think when it comes to the carbohydrates, if you’re on the leaner side, you can probably go with one gram per pound of body weight. If you’re trying to lose body fatand you’re not on the leaner side, half your body weight, and you might even need to go a little lower than that at some point.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:48:32]
What about in terms of alcohol?Does that affect your body composition at all?
Mark Bell [0:48:43]
Some people just have a huge problem with alcohol. It’s interesting because I talk all the time on my podcast about nutrition and stuff, and we don’t really even talk about alcohol. We were talking the other day, and I’m like, we don’t ever talk about alcohol that my guys are like, yeah, because we don’t drink. I was like, but it’s a huge issue for a lot of people. I think you can drink alcohol and be in really good shape. I have a lot of friends that are still able to manage everything, and they’re still able to figure things out. But it’s just a lot of times, with alcohol comes just losing self-control. I think that people that are massively overweight, they don’t have good control over their nutrition. Anytime that most people tend to binge is when they’re in a moment of being out of control. That alcohol can really impair your judgment, and you can get a case of the eff its, where you’re like, eff it, I’m just going to do this.Eff it, I’m just going to do that. It’s usually not in a positive way. It’s usually not like, eff it, I’m just going to eat a really lean steak.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:49:53]
Like a great chicken breast, overload on chicken breast and broccoli.
Mark Bell [0:49:57]
Exactly. Drinking usually implies that you’repartying, you’re letting your guard down a little bit, and usually, that accompanies something else. For each person, they’re going to have to really judge, is alcohol a problem? I think it would be a good idea for most people to get away from alcohol for a whileand maybe even explore—this might not be the greatest recommendation—other options. THC, kratom, and try some other things because, to be quite honest, to really truly live in the moment sometimes is miserable for some people. I shouldn’t even say some people, I think, potentially for everybody. That’s why we have caffeine. That’s why we have these different drugs and different things we want to– I’ve been using TRT for a really long time. I think that just to be—I’m trying to figure out the right word—normal and idle is very difficult in this day and age.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:51:00]
Do you think it’s because of all the stimulation? Do you think it’s the busy mind? What do you think?
Mark Bell [0:51:08]
I think everyone has a little version of ADHD in a certain respect, not from a medical standpoint, but it’s not necessarily an attention deficit disorder. It’s almost more likeinformation overload disorder, like, I don’t know what to do with all this information. I saw this thing, now I want to talk about that. But then I saw this other thing. One of the reasons why people really struggle so much with their diet and with their trainingis because they’re not usually glued to anything for any period of time.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:51:42]
Not disciplined, and they’re not consistent.
Mark Bell [0:51:46]
Not following something for a really long time. I’ve heard people sayRonnie Coleman trained and did the same program for 25 years.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:51:57]
It worked for him.
Mark Bell [0:51:58]
Yeah, he went into that gym in Texas, and Brian Dobson trained him.He gave him a specific program, and he followed it forever. But most people now, I think, are really having a hard time.They might try a program. Again, stress mightget the better of them, and they’reon it, they’re off it. But then they’re trying another program, and they’re trying another diet, and they’re trying another diet. They’ll say this diet didn’t work for me. They earmark that one, and they say this diet didn’t work for me and then earmark that one. When they come to a doctor or physician or a personal trainer, the trainer says, what have you tried?What have you done? What’s your history? They’ll say, oh, I tried everything. Unfortunately, it’s great that you tried them, but you only did it forlittle bits and pieces, and you weren’t concentrated enough on anything.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:52:45]
Yeah, and that really affects people’s stress. If we even went back to the stress, it lowers their ability to feel good about themselves if they feel that they failed. Again, what you would say is that thought process is an option, that’s an optional thought process. So if you guys are out there listening, and you’ve tried these different diets and things, potentially, you can take a step back, and reengage, but reengage one thing.
In terms of training, what are you doing for training now? I’ve known you for many years. There was a time when I would come visit,and I’m tiny, so I’m not doing these heavy bench presses.
Mark Bell [0:53:31]
You’re pretty big. What are you talking about?Your shoulders, biceps were popping today.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:53:35]
Yeah, I’m about 5’1”, 110 pounds. But initially when I came, you guys were lifting really heavy at the Super Training Gym. Another time that I came, it was more stranger movements with the cable bars, and then maybe it was an alternative machine.
Mark Bell [0:54:06]
Alternative lifting. You’re getting ourselves in trouble here.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[unclear 0:54:08]
I was thinking to myself, what is this? But it’s constantly progressed into different things.
Mark Bell [0:54:14]
It’s just again a reinterpretation of strength. I was very strong at three movements: bench, squat, and deadlift, but something that might be simple to somebody else, like just getting off the ground without using their hands and just leaning, or just sitting crisscross applesauce and just leaning forward and getting up that way, is not an option for me. Is that alevel of strength, or is that just a level of mobility? Or is it a combination? I’ve been training my whole life, so I should be able to do something like that; being able to jump, being able to climb, and being able to hold yourself up for a long period of time.
One quick moment with someone that does gymnastics, and they’ll show you how weak you are.Here, just try this handstand, and handstand is just nothing to someone who does gymnastics.It’s like the beginning of something or even like a muscle up.A muscle up is the beginning of the whole routine that they do on the rings. They’re not even allowed tomake a face when they do that stuff. They just breathe in and out of their nose, and it’s very difficult.
Over the years, I started to reevaluate what I thought strong was, and I always recognized that there was a huge gap between the strength of somebody on a field in a sport versus the strength of somebody in the gym. Why is it more often than not that these guys that are so good in the gym, theysuck on the field or suck on the court? Not always. Sometimes you see you have tremendous benefit, but I just always felt like there’s something missing. I knew when I was done with powerlifting that I wanted to get into doing a lot of other movements.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:55:59]
Why did you finish powerlifting?
Mark Bell [0:56:02]
I just did it for as long as I could, and my luck ran out. I squatted 1,080 pounds. I was preparing for a contest. In training, I spotted over 1,100 pounds, and that was the goal. I went to do 1,085, just five more pounds than what I performed previously, and I fell with the weight. That fall waspretty gnarly. I hurt my ankle, my knee.I have unorthodox ways of wanting to heal from stuff, and so I didn’t go to a doctor. I didn’t go to a hospital. I went to somebody that I knew would give me the information that I wanted.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[0:56:57]
That you wanted.
Mark Bell [0:56:58]
Yeah, that I wanted. I went to a guy who does acupuncture-type stuff, and he was someone I would go toget fixed up here and there. He basically just said, do you think you had anything wrong with your knee and your ankle before you fell? I was like, yeah, probably.He’s like, what do you have to compare it to? He’s like, so you go get an MRI or X-ray, what are they going to tell you? I was like, they’re going to tell me that it’s messed up. He goes, then you already know it’s messed up, right? He’s like, I don’t see anything broken. I think you just got to live with this for a little while. So for three months, I was just in a tremendous amount of pain.
But I learned a lot from that process. I learned that if I just keep reaching and reaching and reaching to get stronger and stronger and stronger, eventually I could have something life-threatening. That nearly was, falling with that amount of weight. The weight could have easily killed me. People died recently from squatting and stuff like that. It was time to make a change, and I thought I couldn’t really lift it the same way.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:58:10]
Did you get down when that happened? Did you feel depressed?Because it’s not something that you were anticipating. Sometimes bad things happen, and we can anticipate it. This was a thing that there wasn’t an anticipatory experience.
Mark Bell [0:58:28]
Yeah, the anticipation was the exact opposite, that we’re going to do really good, and I was going to conquer the world.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:58:31]
I would still say you conquer the world,but did the way that you think about things mentally kick in at that time, or did that allow you impetus to really begin tocultivate that mind frame?
Mark Bell [0:58:48]
I would be lying if I said I’ve ever even felt depression. I just tend to shift gears a lot of times. At that moment, yeah, it was like, hey, this sucks. But then it was like, okay, recovery; think about how do you recover from this? Secondly, think about what changes can I make? What can I do? Okay, I can’t squat. I can’t squat for a while. Deadlifting is going to be hard.Some of the movements that I like and enjoy, they’re going to be hard.But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s over forever, so I’m just going to shift gears.The biggest shift right there was, well, now I’m pretty fat, so I should get in shape.I recognized that my energy was going to be lower. I wasn’t going to have the same energy output anymore, and so I was like, let me switch gears and let me just take this as a new challenge.Let me get in shape and see what I can do.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [0:59:45]
I want to point out something. I take care of many incredible entrepreneursand many warfighters and people that are just extraordinary, that are mavericks and move the needle. What you’re describing is what I see from them day in and day out. You’re describing almost, in essence, a neutrality of what is coming in.It wasn’t really good or bad, it was just a moment to pivot. The listener—or the watcher, if you guys are watching on YouTube, hey—can learn from that because you healed, maybe not physically in a rapid way,but you were able to get more resilience and more capacity. People think that there’s this allostatic load that’s constantly pushing them down. But it goes back to your initial framing of this idea of energy. You are showing people, if people can take away from this conversation, certainly a neutrality to get back up and also not interpret it as this is bad. It was just a time to pivot for you, which is amazing.
Mark Bell [1:00:56]
To comment on it even further, on a more nutritional side of things, I do think that some people, they get themselves in a position where they’remetabolically broken, and they don’t have that energy available. Like the walk around the block, you walk around the block is going to suck.It’s not going to feel good.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:01:16]
You have to prep yourself for that.
Mark Bell [1:01:18]
Yeah, it’s not going to be comfortable, but it will be over a period of time, and it will feel better over a period of time. It will help you advance over a period of time. Anything that you’re working on or doing,back to that70% rule,you canlive in the 70% range and gain tremendous amounts of strength and make tremendous amounts of progress. Being someone whohas a medical background, going through school and stuff like that, if you just tried to do every day at a 10, you might have burnt out. You might have seen a lot of other people burn out. You’re like, holy crap, this girl is ahead of me, and that guy’s ahead of me. Oh, my God, this is overwhelming. But if you’re putting in a seven every day, even though it might not feel as productive as what you’re seeing somebody else do, you’re there every day.Then they fall off after year one or year two, and you’re still there however many years it takes.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:02:16]
Where did the development of the Sling Shot come in? Because that’s innovative. You’re supposed to be a meathead. We’re having this deep conversation about energy and how the energy actually translates to stress and the interpretation. You’re not supposed to be an inventor, but you are.Where did that come from?
Mark Bell [1:02:42]
I owe everything to the Sling Shot because the Sling Shot is what afforded me to even start to think this way. It allowed me to gain some financial freedom, and that financial freedom led me to investigating and looking into these things in the first place. I wasn’t this waybefore I invented the Sling Shot, but after inventing itand after having some success with it, it was really helpful.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:03:08]
Wait, before you go on, I have to ask a question. Do you think that was—and I don’t know a different way to phrase that—your destiny, that you were going to make this thing? Do you think that there was a flash of insight? Do you think you were meant to do this, that invention?
Mark Bell [1:03:27]
I’ll explain the ways thatsome of it came to be. I had the idea in my head for a long time. I went to a few different companies, and theydon’t understand what I was talking about.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:03:38]
For the listener, you have to explain what the Sling Shot is.
Mark Bell [1:03:41]
The Sling Shot is a supportive upper body device for benchpress, push-ups, and dips. It’s an elastic material, slides up over your arms. As you go to do a bench-pressing motion, it stretches across your chest and acts as double muscle. As you go to push your elbows back behind the midline of the body, the Sling Shot opens up, it stretches, it elongates as your muscles are elongating in the eccentric portion of a lift. As your muscles are contracting in the concentric portion of the lift, the Sling Shot is doing the same thing. I’ve alwaysjust worded it as it acts as double muscle. It gives you assistance in areas like a push-up, a dip, a benchpress. Bench pressing can be dangerous to some degree. When you get the elbow start to go past the midline of the body, you get in thiscompromised position where a lot of people complain of shoulder and elbow pain and things like that.
Being a powerlifter and doing that for so long, I wanted to create something that allowed people to train through and around their injuries. I hurt my pec several times preparing for competitions and things like that. I was trying to think of a way, how do I avoid this? What’s the solution for this? I was in my gym one day, and I was just trying to work on some different things. I ended up taking some wrist wraps and messing with them. Then I went over to my dad’s house that day, and I was like, Dad, hold these wrist wraps like this. I would wrap one wrist, wrap around the elbow and wrap the other one around the other elbow. He holds it in front of my chest, and I push my elbows back, and then the velcro snaps and hits him in the face. He’s like, oh, shit, that didn’t work. I was like, no, but that’s exactly what I need, that support behind the elbow for me to create this product.
I had the idea for a while and went to a few companies. They didn’t know what I was talking about.A few companies just thought it was a bad idea. They’re like, no one cares that much about bench pressing. I was like, bullshit. People love the bench press. What are you talking about?
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:05:55]
That is the universal bench press day is Monday.
Mark Bell [1:05:58]
It’s a huge thing in my world. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I had the idea for a little while, and I heard that it was a bad idea so many times and that it wasn’t going to do anything that Istarted to agree with that. I even went to a friend of minewho’s a lifter and an entrepreneur; he had lots of money. He’s like, I wouldn’t invest in that. He’s like, I don’t think that would be a popular thing. I can’t see how it’s going to. I’m like, man, but a lot of people have hurt shoulders, and people love to bench press.If we can get people to continue to do the thing that they love, they’ll be pumped about it, they’ll be excited.
Anyway, I rested on the idea for a little bit. My oldest brother, Mike, he was bipolar. He had drug addictions and a complicated life in a lot of ways. He was in a rehabilitation center. I got a call from my dad that he had passed, that he died. That was on a Sunday after I came home from the gym. I don’t know if it was like a stress response, or I don’t really know exactly what it was. But it was a couple of nights later, I was sleeping, and I had a whisper in my ear that felt like it was from my brother. I still don’t really know what it is. I don’t know if I believe in ghosts or anything like thator if it was just a dream. I have no idea, but it seemed really real. When I woke up from the dream, I had goosebumps. I was sweating, and it just really freaked me out. But he whispered in my ear, and he said, think.
From that moment on, I was like, what the hell does that mean? To me, it meant, think more about what you’re doing. The stuff that you have in your life right now is really important. Think more about the stuff that you have going on, and do something with it because I’m gone. I’m not here.My brother, he died. My brother always wanted to do something great. He had a hard time being consistent with anything with being bipolar and having drug and alcohol addiction, so it washard for him to turn himself into what he wanted to be. But I was like, well, I don’t have those addictions, and I think that I can make an impact. So I’m going totake the reins and take the good qualities that he had. I’m blessed to not have the bad qualities that he had. So I’m going to forge forward with the ideas that I have.
From that point on, it was, how do I think about this more? How do I actually make this Sling Shot? How do I turn this into a thing? Then just resources. I think some people might think that it’s lucky. I think that it’slucky. I think that I’m very fortunate person. I don’t mind looking at life that way. I don’t mind someone saying like, oh, you’re rich because you’re lucky. I’m like, yeah, I am very, very lucky. I’m really lucky to have the wife that I have. I’m really lucky to have the children that I have, the parents that I have, the brothers that I’ve had, just all of it; I’m very fortunate, the friends, everything. The idea from there was just, how do I get this thing made? I talked to my wife.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:09:23]
Andee Bell, who is a friend of mine, she is incredible.
Mark Bell [1:09:30]
She got our ass kicked on the workout today.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:09:33]
I would love to have Andee on the podcast.
Mark Bell [1:09:38]
My wife’s a swimmer.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:09:42]
Was she a collegiate swimmer, too?
Mark Bell [1:09:44]
Yeah, she swam at the University of Kansas, scholarship athlete. She’s a badass.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:09:48]
Yes, she is, and she’s very tall.
Mark Bell [1:09:52]
Super fit. I was telling her about the idea, and she wasn’t totally understanding exactly what I was talking about, but I was like, I need someone to just sew this together. I know the material. I know what it should be. She’s like, oh, my friend, she sews our swimsuits together. I met her friend outside of a Starbucks in front of a Fitness 19.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:10:18]
Were you guys in Sacramento at the time?
Mark Bell [1:10:20]
They were in Sacramento. This was in Woodland, California, which is near Sacramento. I was like, hey, sew these things up; it was basically just knee wraps, this elastic material. Sew these things up this way. If you could do that, that would be awesome. She’s like, I have an industrial strength machine, so it’d be real strong and real sturdy and stuff. I came back and met her there the next week. When I met her there the next week, she had these early versions of the Sling Shot sewn up. I said, can you wait right here for a minute? I need to go try this out. So I run into the Fitness 19, and just like any veteran lifter, you just pretend that you belong in the place. You don’t actually have a membership there.You just wave to the guy on the front a little bit, and youpass on by.
I go and I bench 135 for a couple reps with this Sling Shot on. That went really well. Then I put 225 on there, and it just felt incredible. The weight was just cruising. It felt the way that I was thinking that it should feel. When I got up off that bench, I was just covered head to toe in goosebumps and emotion. I was like, holy shit, this works. I made it. This is the thing that I’ve been thinking about for a really long time. Then from there, it was a matter of logistics and figuring out who’s going to make it and how much to get and a lot of those things.
But I remember showing it to my brother-in-law. Mybrother-in-law recently just started a business as well. He’s working on distilling some gin. I showed him in our kitchen. Mybrother-in-law used to play football. I was like, I’m not going to say anything. I’m just going to hand it to him and tell him how to wear it. I give it to him, andif he gets it, then everybody else will get it. He used to be an athlete, and he understands enough about working out to where he’s going to get it. He puts it on, and he’s like, holy crap. This feels really great. He’s like, I want to try some push-ups with it. He gets on the ground, and he does some push-ups. He’s like, holy shit. He’s just like, staring at me in disbelief.He didn’t know that I even had that idea. I don’t think he heard me really talking about it a whole lot, but he was looking at me in a way that I hadn’t seen him look at me before.Dude, you made some amazing.This is incredible. He’s like, you’re going to be able to do something awesome with this.Everyone’s going to get this. This is awesome.
At that moment, I knew that it was going to sell really well, and I knew that it was going to be something that would make a big impact.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:12:59]
Just to be clear, you didn’t name it Sling Shot because it hit your dad in the face, right?
Mark Bell [1:13:04]
It was named Sling Shot just for the simple fact that when you go to bench press, the way that it slings it up,slingshots you up.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:13:14]
What is next for you?What is on your mind moving forward?
Mark Bell [1:13:19]
I love this question.I was in Icelandnot too long ago, and I had the opportunity to hang out with HafþórBjörnsson – The Mountain.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:13:31]
Who is that?
Mark Bell [1:13:32]
Hafþór Björnsson is in the Game of Thrones. He’s seven feet tall. He’s The Mountain on the Game of Thrones show, I don’t know if you ever watched the show, but an incredible World’s Strongest Man competitor. He’s won the world’s strongest man, and he’s somebody I’ve been friends with for a while.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:13:51]
Before he was on Game of Thrones or after?
Mark Bell [1:13:55]
I’ve been friends with him the whole time. I’ve been friends with him even before he was on Game of Thrones. That was really interesting towatch some of that go downbecause it’s one of the best shows of all time. But I asked him the same question. We didn’t even podcast; we were just hanging out. He has kids as well. He’s like, I got no goals. It’s going to be just hanging out. That’s the way I feel. I think that sometimes people get like, what, you don’t have aspirations? No, it doesn’t mean anything like that. It just means that I feel really good. I feel really good with where I’m at. I don’t mind living in the moment. I’m not necessarily, even though there are plans to do other things, and there are plans to do bigger things,that’s not my focus. My focus is now.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:14:49]
In the moment. Well, Mark Bell, I just absolutely love and adore you as a friend and just as a human, and a shout out to your incredible wife, Andee.We are so grateful to call you friends and family. Thank you for being on the show.This is going to be so eye-opening for people. The goal was I wanted people to, number one, get to know you, and number two, get to know you in a different capacity. I am 100% sure that we have achieved those goals.
Mark Bell [1:15:21]
Has your husband ever been on the show?
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:15:22]
I tried in the beginning. He was a little stiff. But we’ll get him on.
Mark Bell [1:15:28]
He’s amazing. I remember he’s the only person I ever asked about BUDS training.I was like, what, it’s not hard or whatever? He’s like,yeah, it was difficult. But he didn’t say much. Man, this guy’s actually a real badass.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:15:49]
Yeah, and he’s very quiet and humble.
Mark Bell [1:15:51]
He did so great at the Boston Marathon. That was such a fun experience, running the Boston Marathon with him.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:15:56]
He is incredible. Hopefully, he’ll get off work a little earlier than sevens.
Mark Bell [1:16:03]
I get to hang out with him.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon[1:16:03]
Yes. I’m going to link everything as to where people can find you. Is there anything that you want to say, anything more?
Mark Bell [1:16:11]
Yeah, just that my brother is working on another movie, so hopefully,we’ll get an opportunity to talk to you. I know that this podcast has taken off, and your book has taken off, so hopefully you can make time for us.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:16:22]
Are you kidding? I’ll always make time for you. Big shout out to Chris. He’s amazing, too.
Mark Bell [1:16:28]
Yeah,he’s working on another Bigger, Stronger,Faster. I’m super excited for him and can’t wait to see what happens with all that.
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:16:35]
You have a podcast, and it’s the Power Project with your co-host,Nsimaand Andrew, both incredible humans, and we will link everything. Again, I’m so grateful for your time and for coming on the show.
Mark Bell [1:16:56]
Dr. Gabrielle Lyon [1:16:58]
The Dr. Gabrielle Lyon podcast and YouTube are for general information purposes only and do not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice. No patient-doctor relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast YouTube or materials linked from the podcast or YouTube is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professional for any such conditions. This is purely for entertainment and educational purposes only.