Mark Wright on how trying to achieve abs like Brad Pitt left him depressed

RIPPLING abs have become an obsession in men’s fitness ever since Brad Pitt’s eight-pack hit screens in 1999 flick Fight Club.

But TV’s Mark Wright warns he too tried to achieve the look — and ended up depressed.

Today the pro footballer and former Towie cast member launches his fitness app Train Wright to help others find a healthy balance.

Mark’s regime is good enough for his wife Michelle Keegan, 33, who previously told fans she had been joining in with Mark’s high-intensity training (HIIT) sessions.

But during a break from his latest modelling shoot, Mark, 34, dangles a packet of sweets in the air as he exclusively tells Fab Daily why he is not looking to replicate Brad’s Hollywood body.

He says: “Everything should be in moderation and that’s why I haven’t got an eight-pack.

“I don’t look like I’m starring in Fight Club because to get to that, it would just make me depressed.

“I did it once before and it was the worst six weeks of my life.

“Yes, it was the most ripped I had ever been. But I was constantly hungry and angry, so I’m not prepared to ever do it again.”

Mark hopes his latest venture will help men see they don’t need to go to extremes to be healthy.

He knows how mentally and physically damaging it can be to overdo things, having recently suffered burnout due to a relentless routine while preparing for his debut with League Two side Crawley Town FC.

He says: “It’s so important to have a balanced lifestyle to stay on track.

“In the summer, when things are back to normal, if my mates invite me for a pint I’ll never say no because of my diet or exercise routine.

“Of course, I won’t be going seven days a week. But if I work out on a Saturday morning, I can go out that night. You don’t need to be so strict on yourself so long as you feel good and look good.

“It really can be as basic as making sure you’re eating the right foods, drinking the right fluids, getting enough sleep and keeping fit. That’s what I wanted Train Wright to be all about.”

The app, which Mark says can be used by anyone anywhere, is designed to teach beginners and fitness fanatics alike techniques to improve their lifestyle.

It offers more than 100 workouts featuring techniques including weight-training, boxing, HIIT and yoga — as you train in real time with Mark.

Besides four and six-week plans for those who want to transform their bodies — via fat loss or muscle gain — it includes guided meal plans and a collection of healthy recipes.

Get the Train Wright app

The Train Wright app is available on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit thisistrainwright.com.

Having struggled to get the right information and help when he first started training, the Heart radio presenter was keen to provide everything you need on one accessible platform.

He says: “When I started training I was about 19 and I went round the whole gym asking everyone what they did to build muscles and everyone had a different answer.

“In the end I walked out because it was so confusing and I struggled to go back to the gym for months after that. Not knowing and not having a routine can be overwhelming.

“That’s why with Train Wright I wanted to create plans that people can follow which have all the information they need. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to create healthy habits.”

Mark qualified as a personal trainer and began hosting workout sessions live on Instagram with his younger brother Josh, 31.

A community quickly formed around their daily videos and Mark adds: “We had so many messages from the Train Wright fam saying they couldn’t live without it.

“Now the world is opening back up, slowly but surely, I sadly can’t be there every day on Instagram. But I wanted to make sure people could keep pushing with it. It’s about getting fit, being healthy and feeling happy.”

Mark’s new book Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Happy, which is due out in May, has more advice.

Mark says: “I guarantee that if you’re eating well, you’re exercising and you’re keeping fit, you will feel good and you will mentally feel much happier.”

  • The Train Wright app is available on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit thisistrainwright.com.

Getting in shape without feeling burnt out

FROM Towie to footballer, Mark Wright is used to feeling the pressure to look good.

But after his relentless regime left him on the brink of burnout, the star shares his tips on how to get fit AND feel good on his new app to help get you back on track. Mark and his brother Josh, also a footballer, show off some of their fitness moves.

Knee slams

Stand up straight and lift your arms above your head. Bring your hands quickly down towards your right knee as you powerfully drive it upwards to your chest.

Return to the starting position before repeating with your left knee. Continue alternating for 40 seconds. Rest.

Shadow boxing

Great for burning calories. Clench your fists, hands by your chin. Take a fighting stance with one foot ahead.

Jab with your front hand, cross your body with your back hand and shuffle two paces forward. Throw two more punches then shuffle back. Continue for 40 seconds. Rest.

Speed skaters

Start with knees bent and body leaning forwards. Push sideways off your left leg and hop on to your right foot. Focus on that core to keep balanced!

Then push off your right foot and jump on to your left. Let your arms move naturally to keep you steady. Continue for 40 seconds. Rest.

Lunge jumps

Get into a lunge position with your front leg bent and your back knee touching the ground. Push through your feet and jump, ensuring your feet leave the floor.

Stretch out your legs before landing then lower back into lunge position. Continue for 40 seconds. Rest.

Mountain climbers

Get into a press-up position with your legs straight, back flat and hands directly under your shoulders. Lift one foot off the floor and bring that knee to your chest.

Return to the starting position before repeating with the opposite foot. Continue alternating for 40 seconds. Rest.


Top tips

Each of the five exercises should be done for 40 seconds before taking a 20-second rest in between.

After completing the fifth exercise, rest for 40 seconds before starting the circuit again. Repeat the circuit three more times.

It takes just 25 minutes and burns 300 calories. So get your sweat on . . . 

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