Meeting the World's Strongest Man

By Sarah Snyder – August 1, 2013

When Austin Fit Magazine emailed to ask me if I would like to interview Mark Henry, I couldn’t believe it.  Henry is known as the “World’s Strongest Man.”  He has won many awards and competitions, including a gold and silver medal in Olympic Lifting; he has set multiple powerlifting records that still stand today; and he won the official title of “World’s Strongest Man” at the 2002 Arnolds.  When it comes to lifting, Mark Henry is the man.  He is also known for his extremely successful WWE career.

Henry was in town for a “Back to School Bash” hosted by Agape Christian Ministries.  The event focused on fitness and education for kids, getting them excited about starting school and making sure they had appropriate school supplies. Henry chose to bring many of his friends with him, including Ann Wolfe, Dennis Rogers, and Omarosa; he is clearly a man of diverse interests with interesting and inspiring friends.

When I was introduced to Mark Henry, I couldn’t help but notice his presence in the room.  He is a large man with a gentle presence, but when he speaks, others listen.

My first question for him was about his championships:

Out of your Champion Strongman, powerlifting, and weightlifting competitions, which one did you enjoy the most?

Henry reported that his favorite competition was the ‘95 Nationals when “I broke the world record.”  However, he added that he also loved winning his Olympic gold medal and is proud of his achievement of lifting the “unliftable dumbbell.”

What is your favorite lift?

That would be the clean, but without the “jerk.”  Henry added that since that’s not really a lift, he’d have to say the deadlift.

What record are you most proud of?

Being “drug free” at the ’95 nationals and lifting 903 pounds.

How often do you currently train?

Henry reported that he trains five days a week and does “cross training.”

What do you feel before a competition?

He explained that he feels “anxiety” but that is because he is worried about his surroundings, if the equipment is right, if the is chalk ready, and so on.  Henry added that “I know what I can do.”

What advice would you give to people looking to get fit?

“Start slow,” he stated.  “Start with a short walk” and build up every day.  Henry advised starting with ten reps of an exercise before moving to 20.

What’s your favorite Austin activity?

He and his kids love playing in the pool; they have been to Barton Springs and Deep Eddy.

What keeps you motivated toward your goals?

Henry explained that he hopes to inspire young people and that, to inspire young people, you have to be “first in line.” He likes to be first in line.

Tell me about your Uncle Chudd (who was reportedly 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighed over 400 pounds, and had feet so big he never owned a pair of manufactured shoes). 

Henry noted that his uncle died before he was able to know him, but his grandmother and mother told him stories about his uncle and that, as he got stronger and heard their stories, he knew “I’m on the right track.”

Who would you like to see most in the "Hall of Pain"? (I had to ask at least one question about his WWE career!)

Henry asserted that at this time he would most like to see Daniel Bryan in the Hall of Pain, if he can beat John Cenea.


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