How Mark Wahlberg beefed up his biceps for ‘Pain and Gain,’ rep responds to steroid rumors

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Pain and Gain topped the box office this weekend with it’s masculine muscle power. Everyone knows Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (40) is literally solid rock, but Mark Wahlberg (41) beefed up his guns for the part, gaining 40 pounds.

He told Muscle and Fitness magazine that he ate ten meals a day to compete with The Rock’s muscle mass. “It took a lot of getting up at 2 in the morning to eat another meal and I was still full from the meal at 10 o’clock,” he says.

He told Men’s Fitness that he packed on the weight in just two months, and set goals for himself that exceeded his lifting goals when he was younger. “I had two months to get into shape for the role, I was pounding heavy weight, and I packed on about 40 pounds for it,” he says. “I wanted to surpass the goals I had when I was younger – right now I’m benching 335.”

There have been some rumors that Wahlberg used steroid to get so big so fast, especially since that’s exactly what his character in the movie did, but his rep told US Weekly that he’s never used steroids in his life. An unnamed source also corroborated “Mark Wahlberg definitely is not using any kind of enhancements to pump up. Even though the film is about steroid abusing gym rats, he took it as a personal challenge to get to the size he is at now and has been training non-stop.”

The actor also had to get in shape for The Fighter, but he didn’t get anywhere as big as he did for Pain & Gain.


The storyline of the Michael Bay flick is based on a true story about the Sun Gym gang, Miami bodybuilders who attempted a kidnapping and extortion plot in the 1990s. It took over the box office this weekend, but was the lowest budget Michael Bay film since his first movie Bad Boys. Wahlberg reportedly took a pretty big pay cut to participate, but since it’s doing so well in theaters he’ll probably see something on the back-end.

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  • ajhnson

    Um I’m not buying this at all. Anyone who’s ever lifted knows that it’s impossible to pack on that much muscle in just two months. Only the naive will believe this story.

  • Dirk Digler

    It’s possible, but the lengths that you would have to go to get there and genetics plays a huge part. When I played football…I left high school in june and went to college conditioning, no juice just straight hard work and i gained 36 pounds of muscle mass…I couldn’t believe it..but that was literally working out everyday 5-8 hours a day and someone forcing my nutrition. If you have Marks money and all you have to do is work is possible..but no way in hell would i want to do it again.

    • Shizuppy

      Walberg’s in his 40s. Ain’t no way he’s going to put on 20 lbs of muscle a month for 2 months without 1) turning into a fatass or 2) using steroids. Since he wasn’t a fatass in the movie, the only logical conclusion is #2.

      • ex juicer

        Period any amount of that fast of muscle gain, leaves a ton of stretch marks so realistic he has very little. I therefore don’t believe he actually put on more than 10 to 15 pounds muscle A. And B. He could achieve it but I believe he would be more bulky the ripped and since he is ripped. I think now that he did use at least a cutter shot.

  • Ross80

    You can tell just by the way his muscles look that he used ‘roids. Just be honest about it!

  • Mike McTighe

    Just to get technical: he could’ve used HGH so technically his rep told the truth. HGH is legal and expensive and tons of doctors in LA basically make their careers giving it to actors who want to look young/beef up for roles. Steroids are illegal after all. Probably best to keep hush if you are using.