mark wahlberg cheesin' for the camera

Mark Wahlberg Wakes Up at 4 a.m. to Workout. Should You?

At 51 years old, Mark Wahlberg operates like an otherworldly specimen. Before you even open your eyes, he’s up getting after his daily workout.

His schedule, while extreme, is toned down to what it once was. Recently, he’s shifted his 2:30 a.m. wake-up call to a cozy 3:30. After he prays and downs a few supplements—turmeric for inflammation, vitamins D and C, and a protein shake—he hits the gym at 4 a.m. for a 90-minute sweat. His shredded six-pack can attest.

A recent Instagram post confirms he’s still in what he’s dubbed the “4 a.m. club.” Wahlberg flashes his insanely ripped abs at the camera and says “friends don’t let friends skip leg day,” before repping out a set of heavy kettlebell deadlifts. Apparently, he doesn’t skip leg day either, per his monstrous quads.

In the clip, Wahlberg stands on a pair of wood boxes to execute an elevated variation of kettlebell deadlifts, also known as deficit deadlifts. Never one to cheat the hard work, this setup ensures he gets the most out of every rep by opening up his range of motion (which can easily get cut short by a big kettlebell). You’ve got to love the grind.

Mark Wahlberg’s 4 a.m. Workout Routine

For Wahlberg, every day is different, but he sticks to the same guiding principles. “My workouts start with RAMP, which stands for range of motion, activation, and movement prep—things like Spiderman stretch and hip bridges, plus foam rolling,” he told Men’s Journal.

If he’s not at F45, he dives into his main work sets: “bilateral and unilateral strength moves using mostly heavy bands, TRX, dumbbells, and kettlebells,” Wahlberg said. “The lower body work includes balance and agility drills.”

Thanks to his new intermittent fasting regimen, he gives cardio a pass more often than not. “I don’t have to do as much cardio, I don’t have to spend as much time in the gym, and I feel like I’m getting better results,” he told Wall Street Journal. “I’m trying to share that information with everybody because I’m really, really seeing the benefits and pretty quickly.”

Other Celebs That Work Out Early AF

Wahlberg isn’t the only celeb who likes to get up at the crack of dawn to pump iron. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been known to hit the Iron Paradise at 4 a.m.—although, only in an attempt to make his insomnia more productive.

On the other hand, Jocko Willink—a navy veteran and host of the Jocko Podcast—embraces his daily 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls. His Instagram feed is peppered with photos of his watch, captioned with a motivational jab of the day like “Them belly full, BUT WE HUNGRY”, “Mule kick that door,” or our personal favorite: “Not a creature was stirring, except people going to get after it.”

Should You Work Out at 4 a.m.?

The best time to work out is the one you can stick to—any exercise is better than none. However, joining the 4 a.m. club comes with perks.

Working out before breakfast might tee up your metabolism better for weight loss, per a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (1). Another suggests exercising in the morning may help you lose more weight than working out in the afternoon or evening (2). Plus, those who work out in the morning tend to be more consistent (3, 4), get better sleep (5), and be more productive throughout the day (6).

And, before you make the excuse that you need the extra sleep, hear us out. Even if you get less than six hours of sleep per night, one study found exercise can offset the health risk that typically comes hand in hand with sleep deprivation (7). 

However, if you’re after performance gains, the afternoon or evening might be a better choice. Your body’s window for peak performance—when focus, strength, flexibility, and reaction time are all greatly enhanced—occurs in the late afternoon or early evening. Many studies have confirmed this peak happens from four to eight p.m. (8).

Although, Wahlberg, Johnson, and Willink are proof you can make significant gains any time of day.