It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube.
You know how it goes: you’re trying to get a few more minutes of shut-eye when your fake cousin barges into your room, promising that Neil is downstairs “making some shakes and stuff... fuckin’ pancakes, the whole nine yards.” The catch? You’ve got one minute to get out of bed: “Let’s go get that pump cuz, come on!” You have entered the world of The Marky Mark Workout: Form, Focus, Fitness, a place where the workouts are “pow,” the honeys are fly, and the music is produced and arranged by Donnie Wahlberg.
You’re probably not wondering why Mark Wahlberg made a VHS workout guide in 1993, as that would seem extremely self-evident. Regardless, Marky Mark will explain.
“The biggest question people ask me is why am I doing a fitness video? You know, I’m a rapper, but um, I’ve been into fitness for a while, I’ve learnt a lot, I know that you really have to learn to really key in on the strong points, which is form, focus, and determination,” he says, forgetting the title of his own workout video less than two minutes in.
Whether your dream is to become a rapper, an actor, or just, say, beat a man unconscious with a stick, Marky Mark is here to help you build the strength and flexibility you need to achieve your goals. “Everybody’s beautiful man, go out and get yours,” he says.
(Also of note here is that Wahlberg’s “cousin” is actually his friend John “Drama” Alves, the real-life inspiration for Entourage’s Johnny Drama, although here he seems to refer to him as “Cousin Jizz” throughout. From the very start of the video you can see the lifelong obsession with ensuring Mark Wahlberg has adequate breakfast foods that became a hallmark of the fictional Drama. Alves can currently be seen as a recurring cast member on A&E’s Wahlburgers.)
Before you can hit some fat weights and all of that, though, you need to stretch. Thankfully, Wahlberg’s cousin (again: not his cousin) has developed a stretching routine for both before and after your workout that goes a little something like “POW!”
Once you’ve got the lame-ass stretching out of the way, it’s about time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme and get your pump on. For Wahlberg, that means we’ve “Finally got to the fun part—see I’m macking by the pool with some fly honeys.”
The whole thing has a vaguely pornographic feel to it, especially whenever Wahlberg is left alone with one the various female workout assistants. The presence of these women seems as much designed to keep Wahlberg from getting bored and wandering off the set as it is to titillate the viewer. At the end of more than an hour of a home routine, a gym routine, and a nutrition guide, you are “rewarded” for your efforts with a scene in which Wahlberg relaxes with “six fly honeys in a jacuzzi.”
Still, The Marky Mark Workout is perhaps emblematic of Wahlberg’s entire career. He’s corny as hell, but there’s a certain appeal and magnetism to him, and you cannot deny he believes what he is saying and is working hard for what he has.
As for the actual workout itself, it seems to be a pretty straightforward aerobics and weight-lifting regimen that promises results only if you put in the work. Fitness, form, and function, all in one VHS workout tape? Now that’s a sweet sensation.
Watch the “highlight” reel above or take your fitness to the next level by checking out the whole thing below: