November 12, 2018

Exercise & Physical Health

#28 – Mark and Chris Bell: steroids, powerlifting, addiction, diet, training, helping others, documentaries, and living your best life

“If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re missing out on the big piece of the puzzle, because you’re never going to get the results you’re looking for.” —Mark Bell

Read Time 22 minutes

In this episode, Mark and Chris Bell discuss their love of powerlifting, their unbelievable personal records, and what prompted the making of their now iconic film, Bigger, Stronger, Faster. They also very openly discuss steroid use, their tragic family history with addiction, the many inspirations that lead to their multifaceted success, and their dedication to having a positive impact on others in fitness and life.


We discuss:

  • The impact of Bigger, Stronger, Faster, how it got made, and how it challenged Peter’s set of beliefs regarding steroids [4:45];
  • Chris’s personal story of addiction and how he’s using his experience to help others [17:30];
  • Importance of sharing your struggle, and the danger of comparing yourself to others [28:00];
  • Early life, their love of pro wrestling and what motivated Brothers Bell to be great? [33:45];
  • How they got started lifting weights, powerlifting vs Olympic lifting, and personal records [43:30];
  • Lifting weights: the importance of challenging yourself, how to avoid injury, monitoring progress, and staying motivated [1:02:30];
  • Chris on how changing his diet changed his performance and life [1:09:15];
  • Best resources for those wanting to get started lifting weights effectively and safely [1:14:00];
  • Teaching kids strength training early in life, the negative impact of sitting and how we can minimize it [1:18:30];
  • Benefits of bodybuilding, Mark’s prep for his first competition, and the role of the ketogenic diet [1:27:15];
  • The steroid controversy: Mark’s use of them and Peter’s perspective [1:42:15];
  • Testosterone: Peter’s approach to improving it in patients, and the impact of sleep, cortisol, and statins on production [1:51:00];
  • Upcoming nutrition documentary [2:03:00];
  • Parting advice from Mark [2:05:00];
  • Kratom, a powerful plant with the potential to help opioid addiction and more [2:06:15];
  • The many resources and ways to follow Mark and Chris [2:07:45]; and
  • More.


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Mark and Chris Bell

Mark Bell is an American professional powerlifter, patent holder, owner of Super Training Gym, and a former professional wrestler. His best lifts in competition (in powerlifting gear) include a 1,080 lb (490 kg) squat, an 854 lb (387 kg) bench press, and a 766 lb (347 kg) deadlift; he has also managed a 578 lb (262 kg) raw (unequipped) bench press. He is the younger brother of Mike Bell and Chris Bell (Director of Bigger, Stronger, Faster*). []

Mark on YouTube: Mark Bell – Sling Shot

Mark on Instagram: @marksmellybell

Mark on Facebook: Mark Bell

Mark on Twitter: @MarkSmellyBell

Chris Bell (born November 3, 1972) is an American director, producer and writer, known for his documentaries Bigger, Stronger, Faster* (2008 as Christopher Bell), Trophy Kids, and Prescription Thugs (2015). In 1997, Bell obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Film Production from the University of Southern California. Bell currently resides in California. He founded his film production company Bigger Stronger Faster Inc, which is devoted to producing educational documentaries, films, and TV shows. []

Chris on YouTube: Chris Bell

Chris on Instagram: @bigstrongfast

Chris on Facebook: Chris Bell

Chris on Twitter: @BigStrongFast


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  1. Another brilliant choice of subject! Made me rethink what I go to gym for. I started watching “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and I find it to be one of the best made documentaries I’ve ever watched.

  2. I hadn’t listened to this episode because I’m not interested in steroids, sports generally, or bodybuilding in particular. However, I just listened to Qualy #90 – “Testosterone: Peter’s approach to improving it in patients, and the impact of sleep, cortisol, and statins on production,” which was excerpted from this episode. It was amazingly useful and information-packed; thanks so much for excerpting this gem! (And yes, from the other Qualys exerpted from this episode, it does sound a lot more interesting than I had anticipated, so I may yet go back and give it the full play).

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