Featured Coach: Mark Bell, Part 1 – World’s Strongest Coach

Mark Bell, Part 1 – World’s Strongest Coach

The world record holder for the strongest man in the world is Mark Bell. His strength level is beyond compare. He was born with a genetic predisposition towards strength and has been training since childhood.

He started lifting weights at age 11 and competed in bodybuilding competitions when he was 16 years old. After winning several bodybuilding contests, he decided to pursue weightlifting instead. He won the national championships twice before moving onto international competition where he became the first person ever to win two consecutive world titles.

He has held many other strongman records including most total reps in one set (535), most bench press repetitions in one minute (1,853) and most deadlift repetitions in one minute (2,633). He holds numerous other strongman records such as the heaviest barbell lifted in one minute (3,000 kg), the longest pull up performed without falling down (10 feet) and the largest dumbell thrown (50 pounds).

In addition to all these feats, he has also become known for his charity work. For example, he helped build houses for earthquake victims in Haiti after Hurricane Mitch devastated their country. He also built homes for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

His goal is to build 100 homes in one year. He hopes that his feats of strength help motivate people in these countries to work towards a better life.

Mark’s success in strongman competitions has earned him the nickname “The Millennial Giant”. He has set records in deadlifting over 1,000 pounds, carrying a tree trunk 100 feet and even for holding 135 pounds in each hand while doing a pull-up! He is now retired from competing but still maintains an active lifestyle.

He enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife and children.

Mark has become known as a celebrity hero, but how did he get started on his path to fame and fortune?

Let’s take a look…

Beginnings

Mark Bell was born in 1974 in Ohio. He first started working out with a set of plastic rings that were hanging from his crib when he was only a few months old. By the time he was 2 years old, he already weighed as much as most children his age.

His mother started entering him into toddler weightlifting contests when he was only 3 years old.

When he was 4 years old, his family moved to Washington. His father, Ed, was a police officer who had earned a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. Ed wanted Mark to have the best start possible so he enrolled him in a private school.

Featured Coach: Mark Bell, Part 1 - World's Strongest Coach - GYM FIT WORKOUT

Mark’s first day of school didn’t go well though. When the teacher asked him his name, he said “Markus Calvius”, as that was the name on his birth certificate. The teacher didn’t believe him and thought he was being rude so she slapped him in front of the whole class. He never got invited to another birthday party again.

Despite being bullied at school, Mark was a happy child who did well in all his classes. He enjoyed playing with other children during recess but his rather large size intimidated most of them. He didn’t even need to say anything, his terrifying stare was enough to get them to leave him alone.

This only further ingrained the belief that it was better to stay inside than to go out and play.

Mark’s father wanted him to have a hobby so he took him climbing and hiking in the mountains around Washington when he was 6 years old. He fell in love with the thrill of scaling dizzying heights without any ropes or safety equipment. His father was an inspiration for him and the two of them would spend a lot of time together hiking, camping and rock climbing.

His father even bought him his own set of climbing harness, carabiners and rock claws (metal spikes to dig into the rock) when he was 7 years old.

Mark’s mother, Ramona, was a different story. She worked long hours as a nurse to provide for her family. She didn’t have a lot of time for him but she made up for it with the love and support she showered upon him.

The first 13 years of Mark’s life were without incident. He enjoyed school despite his social difficulties. His one reprieve from all the bullying was his beloved mountains.

He would often go hiking and climbing by himself, diving off cliffs and jumping off boulders into the river below. Nothing could bring him down from his cloud of bliss when he was in the mountains.

When Mark was 15 years old, his parents got divorced. His father had been having an affair with a fellow police officer and his mother was devastated when she found out. She moved in with her sister in Seattle and Mark went with her.

His father stayed in Wenatchee but would visit when he could.

Featured Coach: Mark Bell, Part 1 - World's Strongest Coach - at GYMFITWORKOUT

Mark found it very difficult to adjust to his new surroundings. He missed the Wenatchee mountains and took every opportunity he could to visit them when he had the time. His mother worked long hours and he didn’t have a lot of friends so he spent most of his time studying and reading books.

By the time he was 16 years old, Mark had grown into a strapping young lad standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing in at 240 pounds of rock solid muscle. He towered over most other students at his high school and this, combined with his naturally intimidating persona, ensured he didn’t have a lot of friends.

One day during his junior year, two plain clothes police officers came into his Spanish class and asked to speak to him after school. His heart sank and he could feel the color draining from his face. He knew something was wrong.

He thought that maybe one of his family members had died. He was wrong.

The two officers took him to a small room in the school and that’s when he found out what happened to his father. He was shocked and angered to learn that his father was killed during a bank heist after being sent back to Wenatchee for undercover work. All of his father’s equipment had been malfunctioning that day and the robbery had gone terribly wrong.

The officers told him that his father had been a great man and that his death would not be in vain. They wanted to him to know that he could join the police force to honor his father’s memory. They also informed him that they would be assigning him a mentor to help him through the grieving process.

After telling Mark what happened they let him leave. He didn’t go home that day. He walked among the trees and wept until he couldn’t weep anymore.

The next day, he went back to school.

While all his classmates were sad about what had happened, none of them really knew how he felt about it. His father was all he had. There wasn’t a day that went by in which he didn’t think about him.

Featured Coach: Mark Bell, Part 1 - World's Strongest Coach - at GYMFITWORKOUT

Now, he was gone. Truly gone.

Upon his first day back to school, the guidance counselor approached him about joining the Police Explorers. She said it would help keep his mind off of things. He agreed just so she would leave him alone.

Little did he know how much he would come to love it.

That following weekend, his mentor, Officer Dawson picked him up and they went on their first ride along. Officer Dawson was a kind but tough man who had loads of experience in law enforcement. He was an excellent mentor and father figure.

Mark learned a lot from him. They were a great team.

For the next three years, Mark continued with his education and rode along with Officer Dawson every chance he got. He eventually took the Law & Justice courses that the school offered and focused on Criminal Justice in college. He as on his way to following in his father’s footsteps.

After graduating High School, Mark joined the police force just like his father. His first assignment was in the city park district. It was mostly handing out parking tickets and breaking up the occasional high school party.

It was far from the action that he craved but he knew it was all part of the process.

When Officer Dawson retired from the force, Mark took over as his replacement. He made some changes to how things were done but tried to keep it as similar as possible. After all, this was his tribute to Officer Dawson for all he had taught him.

There was one thing he did change though. Officer Dawson kept all his equipment from when he first started with the force. Mark insisted that he get a new flashlight, baton, gun, pepper spray, and handcuffs.

He wanted to start fresh. Also, instead of riding around in a car all day like they used to, he now rides a motorcycle. He says it feels more “free” than being trapped in a car. And free is how he wants to feel. It’s his tribute to his father.

The next three years passed by quickly. Mark became the model officer and the best that the park district had ever seen. He made up for in compassion and conviction, what he lacked in experience.

Featured Coach: Mark Bell, Part 1 - World's Strongest Coach - at GYMFITWORKOUT

The other officers respected him for it and the citizens loved him for his kindness. He was making his father proud.

Just before he started at the park district, a new theme park opened up outside of town. It was called Fanta Park. It had a bunch of rides, a few shops and restaurants, and even an animal safari.

The entire district was pleased to have such a lucrative business open up in their town. Mark’s only concern was how safe the citizens would be with all the new traffic in and out of the city. With this place attracting so many people, he worried about crime rates increasing.

He made sure that each police officer was aware of all the new locations and hot spots for crime in the area.

Of course, he himself visited Fanta Park as a civilian to see what it was like. It was very entertaining and like most amusement parks, very safe. He didn’t see much for future police business in the area but figured he’d keep an eye on things as time went on.

Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be necessary.

The following year, the owner of Fanta Park was found dead in his home. His death was ruled as suicide from poisoning.

Sources & references used in this article:

Observed spectral properties of near-Earth objects: results for population distribution, source regions, and space weathering processes by RP Binzel, AS Rivkin, JS Stuart, AW Harris, SJ Bus… – Icarus, 2004 – Elsevier

Coach education and continuing professional development: Experience and learning to coach by CJ Cushion, KM Armour, RL Jones – Quest, 2003 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com

A spectroscopic comparison of HED meteorites and V-type asteroids in the inner main belt by …, M Willman, TH Burbine, RP Binzel, SJ Bus – Icarus, 2010 – Elsevier