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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

“Nicky Nick and the Funky Schedule”

Nicholas Klingman ’22 works his shift at the Writing Center. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Student tries Mark Wahlberg’s daily routine

My alarm went off at 2:30 a.m., just as my roommates were turning in. 

“Good morning,” I mumbled as I climbed out of bed, ready to start the day. 

Back in 2019, Mark Wahlberg, star of the 1990s hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and later a two-time Oscar nominee, posted a story on his Instagram account that got my attention. It detailed Wahlberg’s daily routine, which included waking up at 2:30 a.m., eating six times a day, working out twice and going to sleep at 7:30 p.m. 

After Wahlberg’s schedule began recirculating on the internet again last year, I decided to follow his routine for a week. Why? Curiosity more than anything. I wanted to see if it was sustainable for a college student. 

I kicked things off on a cold winter’s Saturday late last semester. Wahlberg dedicates 30 minutes of prayer time after waking up. While I’m not the most religious person, I decided to meditate instead. The biggest issue was trying not to fall asleep as I closed my eyes and listened to a guided meditation on YouTube at 2:45 a.m.

At 3:15 a.m., Wahlberg eats breakfast. At 3:40 a.m., he starts a 90-minute workout, then eats again.

Wahlberg’s diet involves an insane amount of food prep as well as expensive foods, such as fresh salmon. For my first breakfast, I scrambled some eggs instead.

Dr. Robert Adamenko, M.D., a pediatrician at ProHealth Physicians in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and a neighbor of mine, cautioned that Wahlberg’s unusual diet could create some challenges because science is mostly behind eating three times a day to accommodate the body’s hormonal system. 

“You start messing with your body’s natural hormone responses to food where if you always have it turned on because you’re always eating, you might actually be messing with it,” Adamenko said.  

My belly full of eggs, I headed off to the gym after breakfast. Lucky for me, the apartment I currently live in has a gym in the basement, and since no one in their right mind works out from 3:40 a.m. to 5:15 a.m., I had the gym at my full disposal.  

At 7:30 a.m., Wahlberg plays golf for 30 minutes. While I would love to start my day off with a round of 18, I don’t have a car to get to the nearest course, nor a spare set of clubs lying around, so I opted for a run instead.

At 9:30 a.m., Wahlberg uses his cryo chamber, a device where the user steps in and is surrounded by liquid nitrogen vapor, designed to expose the body to low temperature as a form of medical therapy. According to the Da Vinci Medical shopping website, a cryo chamber costs $99,995 — a little out of my price range. I contemplated replicating the chamber with an ice bath before deciding against it.

When he’s not working out or chilling in his chamber, Wahlberg spends his time with his family or doing whatever a 50-year-old Hollywood actor does to fill his time. He doesn’t cook as he has a personal chef to prepare his six meals a day. Since I’m a 22-year-old college student without a chef or a meal plan, I had to add homework and food prep to my own schedule.

Kristen Goldberg, M.S., director of the Office of Learning Resources, acknowledged that following Wahlberg’s schedule would be hard for a full-time student like me with significantly less freedom to manage my day.

“Part of what makes it work for him is the idea that he can consolidate his work hours into two, three hours, and that he has control over when those are,” Goldberg said. “The average person with 15 credits is going to class somewhere between 12 and a half and 15 hours a week. Typical study load beyond that is 15 to 25 hours, so your college work is like a job.”

And then there’s the 2:30 a.m. wake-up.

Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., professor of psychology, director of the graduate psychology program and associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said Wahlberg’s schedule pits our bodies against both circadian clock process and sleep pressure, as his schedule aligns more with a shift worker. 

“We know from shift workers, even with getting enough sleep and all that, that they’re at a very high risk for many health problems,” Mindell said. 

Napping can make things worse, Mindell told me, because it causes your sleep pressure, the biochemical urge to sleep, to drop and can make it hard to fall asleep at bedtime. 

“You’re trying to go to bed at a time that your body doesn’t want to go to bed anyway, so if you drop your sleep pressure, it’s going to make it even more difficult to be able to go to bed at a time that does not align with your circadian clock,” Mindell said. 

But as Wahlberg pointed out in a 2018 interview with James Corden on the Late Late Show, waking up so early is more “peaceful” and allows him to “attack the rest of the day.” While working out, I noticed that my sleepiness began to wither away and that I felt more awake, a good sign considering I still had a Saturday full of catching up on work for the week. 

By the time I hit my pillow at 7:30 p.m. that first night, I went out like a light. For the rest of the weekend, following the schedule wasn’t too difficult. I had the time to follow Wahlberg’s morning routine while also being able to get my school work done.

But Tuesday I hit a snag. I work in the Writing Center from 6-10 p.m., well past my Wahlberg bedtime. By the time I remembered this, it was too late for me to call out. 

I fought to stay awake the entire shift. By the time I got home from work around 10:30 p.m., I was faced with two choices: either go to sleep and wake up again at 2:30 a.m. or push the schedule back and wake up at 4:30 a.m. instead.

Since I had work the next two days, I decided to give the schedule one more day and elected to just get up at 2:30 a.m. When I woke up that next day, I felt the most tired I’ve ever been in my entire life, and that’s including consecutive all-nighters during finals week.

I struggled working out as well, as I was dreading the second workout only a few hours later. I spent my 20-minute walk to my class thinking about the last time Wahlberg had to walk to a movie set. I checked his Instagram account right before I got into class and what did I see? A picture of Wahlberg in a private jet. 

I abandoned the experiment that night. I think it’s safe to say that this schedule does not align well for the average college student.

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