How Mark Long Stays In Competitive Shape At 51 - Exclusive

Mark Long has been a competitor on "The Challenge" since 1998. Over the years, he's shown himself to be a serious competitor and a "godfather" figure to the franchise. Recently, his role expanded when he became an executive producer on the Paramount+ spin-off series, "The Challenge: All Stars." For the past three successful seasons, "All Stars" has brought back viewers' favorite challengers from past seasons to go up against each other.

Along with producing the series, Long has competed as a cast member in the first and third seasons. At 51, Long is a lot older than many of the other cast members he's gone up against. However, you wouldn't know that based on his performance. Long has stayed in excellent physical shape, made it to both finals, and never lost an elimination. During an exclusive interview with Health Digest, he shared how he's stayed in competitive form and why he doesn't see his age as a block to success.

Why Long feels better about exercising now than he did in his 20s

Mark Long doesn't see his age as something to hide or as any real disadvantage to him. He told Health Digest, "Listen, I know I'm 51 years old. I'm not going to hide from that, but I never equated that with how you should feel when you're 51. I've never physically felt my age in terms of breaking down, or being less competitive, or not having the energy or motivation to go exercise." He added that, if anything, he exercises more than he did in his 20s — and on top of that, he enjoys it more because his mindset about exercising has changed for the better.

Long went on to explain that when he was working out as a younger man, he was thinking a lot more about how it would make him look. "I was exercising, trying to look good and to have girls notice me on the beach and feel cool," he said. While it still gives him the benefit of looking good in his uniform on the show, these days, exercise is more so a "mental release" for him. "It's my mental therapy, my mental church. When I'm in the gym, and I put my earphones in and think about work or think about different things in my life, it's definitely a release," Long said.

Consistency is key at any age

Mark Long's philosophy is that "Consistency is the key to anything." He advised finding a consistent workout routine that you can keep up with rather than setting an unrealistic goal that you may fall short of. The routine that works for Long is a morning workout. "If you go to work out in the morning, do it, get it over, it sets the whole table for your day. Anything else after that is a bonus," he said.

Long pushes himself to exercise even when it's not convenient. He shared a story about being stuck in his hotel room during COVID lockdown: Instead of letting the lockdown stop him, Long stayed consistent by turning his room "into a fitness center." He managed to jog four miles a day. 

"I looked like a psycho doing it, going back and forth in the room. But after I did it, I felt amazing," he said. Thanks to his consistency and commitment, Long has stayed in peak physical condition. He's able to go head to head with competitors much younger than him on "The Challenge," and he never sees his age as something that will stop him. "I never feel like the old guy, I never feel the weakest, and I never feel like I'm not mentally fit and deserving of being there. That's why I made both the finals, and that's why I'm undefeated in eliminations," he said.

You can stream "The Challenge: All Stars" on Paramount+.