Powerlifter Mark Bell Says a Charles Poliquin Workout Made John Cena Puke

·2-min read

In a recent episode of Mark Bell's podcast, Mark Bell's Power Project, the powerlifter discussed the legacy of Canadian strength coach Charles Poliquin with bodybuilder Nsima Inyang and former CrossFit Games competitor Marcus Filly.

Filly described first trying Poliquin's training techniques as a teenager when he first started working out with his brother, and getting absolutely ruined by the intensity. "I'm crapping out, and he's like 'you got to stick to the tempo,' he's crushing me on this tempo, and the rest periods were short," he said. "On set three, we had just started, I threw up. I threw up, I was on the floor in the bathroom upstairs for a while, my mom and my aunt come, they're like 'what did you do to Marc, what happened to him, he's on the floor!' I was just wrecked."

Filly tried the same workout again another two times, and hurled on both occasions. "It just kept crushing me," he said, although he noted that later in life, as his fitness improved, he returned to those programs and "got in the best physical shape of my life."

Bell, meanwhile, said that he has found great benefits in applying Poliquin's tempo training to his own workouts. "Take any exercise, just a hammer curl, and go three or four seconds on the way up, hold it for a second, then three or four seconds on the way down, I mean, it just makes the exercises really brutal," he said, adding that he has also followed Poliquin's method of supersetting together exercises which target opposite muscle groups.

Another less predictable benefit that Bell found to the Poliquin style of training? Revenge. He explained to Filly and Inyang how, after years of getting crushed by his occasional workout buddy, wrestler and actor John Cena, he used Poliquin's tempo approach to get even.

"He used to kill me, he loves to do straight up bodybuilding stuff," said Bell. "He's a fucking animal. He's just knocking the shit out of me here and there... so I'm like, 'OK, we're going to do some squats, and we're going to do some leg curls in between the squats, Poliquin-style. So we're doing this tempo stuff, and he's never messed with any of it before, and he ends up throwing up. He ends up turning just really pasty white, and I'm like 'I got this motherfucker, this is fucking great!'"

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