Mark Henry Weightlifting Career, Workout and Records

Mark Jerrold Henry (born June 12, 1971) is an American powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, strongman, and retired professional wrestler, who is currently signed to WWE under a Legends contract. Here’s Mark Henry background story about weightlifting, powerlifting and some interesting thoughts about steroids and powerlifting equipment, have fun – Mr. Berg!

Before wrestling Mark Henry was 3-times Texas State high school powerlifting champion. He started Olympic lifting in 1990 and started competing when he was 14, but he had to have started lifting when when he was 11. At the age of 26 Mark Henry was already a professional wrestler. 

In Powerlifting he held the World Record Squat in the drug-free federation at 954lb. His best official bench was 518lb and his unofficial best was 545lb. He held a World Record in the deadlift at 903lb. His best official snatch is 376 and his best clean and jerk is 485lb. In practice, he made 409 and 507. 

According to Mark Henry his greatest accomplishment in the sport is having some kids that he knows say that they’ve become better athletes because they’ve seen him compete. That’s what he considers his greatest accomplishment.

The deadlift is Mark Henry’s favorite lift because it’s the purest test of human strength, and in his early 20s he hoped to be the first human to be able to lift 1,000lb or at least close to 1000lb. He thought he could have deadlifted 950lb back in 1995. He doubled 900lb one day in the gym with no straps.

He thinks vitamins and supplements do help athletes as an improvement. He didn’t always believe that. He always thought it was a psychological thing, but once he was convinced by Mauro DiPasquale to actually try to take vitamins, he improved. 

Mark Henry thought’s about steroids and drugs

Mark Henry: “In powerlifting I can beat the guys that take drugs, anyway. But in weightlifting, it’s a little bit different. You have to have little bit more technique and that’s good for that sport, but those guys aren’t naturally that strong. You can have one or the other. That’s been my experience with Olympic weightlifting. If they didn’t take drugs, then I would blow them out by a substantial amount.

But since they are strong because they take drugs and they have the physical and athletic ability to do the Olympic weightlifting, it’s hard for me to stay in the top 5 or 6. I could be rated in the top 10 for the rest of my career – which I’m satisfied with because I’m competing against some guys who are cheating. But in powerlifting, you have some of the guys who take drugs and use equipment to enhance their performance, like super suits and this, that and the other. Well, I’ve thought about gearing myself up, but just don’t want to use equipment and stuff like that. Also, I’ll take the drug test any day for the rest of my life (as long as somebody else is paying for it!) and I challenge anybody else to do that.

And nobody else will do it because they know that if they can lift my weights, they’re dirty. So, the guys who admit that they drugs, I respect the fact they say, “Okay, I’m dirty, and I’m not going to compete against people that I know are clean.”

Training program for preparing wrestling in the 90s
He had a broken leg and a torn ligament in his ankle, so he usually started off about 12 weeks out. He did sets of 10, worked his way down to 5s, then down to triples, doubles and singles in the same period. That had always worked for him!

He trained six days a week. He took Sundays off for religious purposes, and recreational purposes. But he did not upper body and lower body workouts together. He did squats on one day, bench, then deadlifts, then squats, and all the auxiliary body parts on certain days.

Mark Henry: “If I were the President of the International and National powerlifting federations, I would ban super suits and bench shirts, so they better hope I never decide to run.

Assistance exercises
He did rows, curls, overhead presses, tricep extensions, sit-ups, hyperextensions.

Mark’s Strength Coach

Terry Todd mentored Mark Henry in the late 90s. At the age of 26 Mark Henry was already a professional wrestler. He was not married and his hobbies were music, movies, video games, and he is a good cook and likes to eat. Mark Henry wasn’t able to train for wrestling for a year because he broke his leg in November of 1996. It was a serious break for him.

Competition Bodyweight Squat Benchpress Deadlift Total Date
Men’s Nationals 903lb 496lb 848lb 2248lb jul 26 – 27, 1997
WDFPF World Powerlifting 406lb 953.5lb (WR) 518lb 865lb (WR) 2336lb (WR) oct 28 – 29, 1995
men’s USPF Senior Nationals 345lb 804lb 733lb 733lb 2006lb jul 7 – 8, 1990


Gene Bell, Dan Austin, Bull Stewart and there’s other guys who aren’t great lifters, but who I respect as men and as people that are competitors. Being that I’ve been out of powerlifting for a while, I don’t have a lot of friend that are powerlifters, but Judy Gedney (the woman at the top in the pic) and her husband, Roger, are real good people in the sport. As far as weightlifting is concerned, Mario Martinez is, by far, the person in weightlifting that I like more than anybody. I have to put Vasily Alexeyew right up there because watching him is what made me want to lift weights, even though I learned later about all of the drugs he took.”

Editor’s note: Use the tag-system below and click “wrestling” or “terry todd” for more great articles! – Mr. Berg

Old interview from PL USA

Mark Henry on instagram:

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