Marc Felix, the Grenadian-English Strongman Iconhas already forged a huge legacy over its 20-year career but, in an exclusive chat with M&F, ‘The Miracle’ appeared more excited than ever before the World’s Strongest Man Contest 2022 May 24-29 in Sacramento, Calif. We sat down with Felix, one of the most prolific strongman competition entrants in the world, to better understand his global grip, how this mountain of a 6ft 4in man prepares for competition and why age has no limits where dedication and passion exist.
Entering the world of strong men at the age of 37, Félix proved from the start that he could triumph over his youngest competitors. “Growing up, I always wanted to be fit and strong,” says Felix. “So I started bodybuilding and did a few competitions where I came in second and third.” Casting a big shade during his training sessions, Felix was soon noticed for his size and strength at his local gym in Accrington, Lancashire, and was approached by the owner to compete in his first man’s competition. strong. “He invited me to invent the numbers”, recalls Félix. “I did it and finished third in that competition. It all started from there. Now 56, Felix continues to prove that youth is no match for hard work, as he’s getting ready for Sacramento.” This year is going to be my seventeenth strongest man in the world [competition]so you’re never too old to start something,” says the big man.
‘Miracle’ Mark Felix moved multiple records
Incredibly, Felix has now competed in 100 strongman competitions, including 22 international wins, and has made 3 appearances in the World’s Strongest Man Semi-Finals so far. He also holds records for the Rolling Thunder lift and the Hercules Hold to name a few career highs, and he can bench press 530 pounds (240 kilos), squat 770 pounds (350 kilos) and deadlift 893 lbs (405 kg).
Turning professional as a strongman in 2004, Felix immediately rose to prominence when he finished third in England’s Strongest Man. In 2005, he took second place. That same year he won the IFSA British Championship, and in 2008 he won the first-ever Rolling Thunder World Championships by lifting 301 pounds (136.3 kilos). “Well, I trained hard for it and then I knew I was going to get it, because I could just feel it,” Felix recalled. “It was just like the adrenaline, and the rush, and the amount of people that were there, I could just feel it.
So, I went and did it, so all the training and stuff paid off. Indeed, intense training and relentless dedication to his chosen discipline has earned Felix his nickname “Miracle”. The “Rolling Thunder” is an awkward handle that is attached to the weight plates, designed to make it difficult for the challenger to lift the plates off the floor with one hand. After setting the world record in 2008 at Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire in Canada, Félix will improve his own score 4 years later in Birmingham in England with 323.5 pounds (146.7 kilos), an increase of more of 20 lbs. To top it off, experts agree that a new Rolling Thunder handful, added to the competition ahead of its second world record, made the feat even more astonishing. “The new grip is much smoother,” Felix shares. “I was very happy [with the record].” The Miracle was hurt when breaking that second record, but found that focusing on technique, to protect themselves, became a great advantage. “Because at the time I did it I had a torn calf so I couldn’t do anything else so I was just focused on this Rolling Thunder event. And I think, because I was trying to protect my calf, just had a major face lift.
Round formation ‘Get A Grip’
While Felix says he does a lot of squeezing motions to work on his hand strength, including lifts and squeezes while wearing tight gloves, the Miracle shares that a good grip also relies on strength coming from other areas of the body as well. “We do a lot of training, like the farmer’s walk and the deadlifts,” says Felix. “You will use your back, your legs and everything to make sure you get it right. We have to do a lot of work on the forearms. For the Rolling Thunder, Felix says it takes as much thought to push the legs and keep the arm straight as it does to perform the hold itself. “You have to have the right technique to lift those big weights,” says Felix.
Working the whole body is something Felix is passionate about as he gets closer to Sacramento. And for anyone looking to get into strongman on their own or improve their existing performance, The Miracle says it’s a good idea to seek out a reputable trainer. Many will offer a service where they will review your training videos to evaluate your form and make suggestions. “Strongman training had no plans [when I started out], but now you won’t have to take the wrong turn for too long. It’s easier to get it now because there are people there to guide you. To witness gargantuan feats of bravery and athleticism at WSM 2022, tickets and VIP packages are now available. available here!
The Life of Strongman Mark Felix
Away from the cheering crowds, Felix works full-time in construction. He loves his profession because it keeps him active, but he believes that years of lifting, as well as the repetitive movements involved in his daily work, contributed to a biceps tear suffered in 2008. Felix believes his quick return to the action, after the surgery, was the result of listening to his doctor and starting the backlight, thus recovering fully in about 6 months. “It never bothered me again,” he says, thankfully. When it comes to taking care of himself, Felix isn’t one of those competitors who just likes to throw calories from any source. Instead, he meticulously prepares meals before each workday, and he keeps them clean, preferring salads, fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, chicken, fish, and steak. “I eat very sensibly,” he says. “I also supplement my diet with protein shakes.” Plus, the legend takes glucosamine for its potential joint benefits, alongside a multivitamin, and is sure to stay hydrated at all times. In total, Felix consumes around 7,500 calories a day, from 5-6 meals, and he maintains that throughout the year. He doesn’t ramp up or lose much weight before competitions such as this upcoming World’s Strongest Man event. “My weight has just stabilized,” says Félix. But if you’re looking for evidence of some of those legendary strongman meal portions, the mountain man shares that he’ll eat 6 or 7 Weetabix for his breakfast. His choice of milk? “Semi-skimmed milk doesn’t have as much protein as whole milk, so I drink whole milk,” he shares.
After an 8 hour shift on site, Felix heads straight to the gym but still makes sure to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night. “After working hard all day and training at night, I sleep well!” said the highly decorated man. It’s a proven formula that has served this warrior well, as he tells M&F that there are currently no aches or pains and he feels better than ever. Still, one thing that Felix has changed about the way he trains now compared to how he trained when he was younger is to incorporate more warm-ups. “When you get older, you have to do a lot more warm-ups than some youngsters,” laughs Felix. “Your body tends to be a lot slower, so because the events are tests of speed, you have to be fast. So you have to make sure you’ve warmed up enough.
Mark Felix is always impatient
In terms of retirement plans, they are far from Felix’s mind as he plans to compete against Scotsman Tom Stoltman who won the event last year, his brother Luke, Brian Shaw, Robert Oberst and many other big names. “I always go strong,” he says. “My body will tell me when to stop.” But right now, Felix’s body is telling him to keep fighting.
“I feel very good at the moment,” rejoices Félix. ” I can not wait to be there. It’s gonna be a great show. It’s my seventeenth year at the World’s Strongest Man and I feel great right now. The training is going well. »