When it comes to perfecting body image, Mark Jenkins sets the standard for not only looking good, but feeling good as well. The highly recruited fitness trainer and motivator has worked with an array of prominent figures including Bad Boy CEO (Sean “Diddy” Combs), business executives (Benny Medina, Chris Lighty & Andre Harrell), former Essence director (Susan Taylor), famed lawyer (Johnny Cochran), director (Tyler Perry), radio personality (Angie Martinez) and A-list entertainers (Mary J. Blige, Beyonce’, Busta Rhymes, L.L. Cool J, Eve, Q-Tip, Anthony Hamilton, N.O.R.E, Missy Elliott, Brandy, D’Angelo). To sum it up Jenkins has been whipping some of the most well known names and multi-platinum artists into peak shape since his former days of serving in the Navy.
After serving in the Persian Gulf War, Jenkins continued his work-out regimen at a nearby gym, which as fate would have it was located directly across the street from Worldwide Plaza, home to top record label executives and superstar artists including R&B sensation Brandy. The Moesha star recruited him as her personal trainer and his career trajectory began. The next big break came in 2000 when he became known as the man behind the sculpted and chiseled body of Soul crooner D’Angelo during the release of the platinum album Voodoo. Mark shadowed D’Angelo’s every move, intercepting food and adding martial arts to the singer’s physical regimen. Although the hit song, “(Untitled) How Does It Feel” was an instant classic, it was the star’s defined physique in the groundbreaking music video that gave rise to his newfound “sex symbol” status with adoring female fans across the country.
Giving male entertainers popularity with the ladies comes naturally to the gifted instructor. In 2003 Jenkins became the force responsible for transforming music, fashion and entertainment mogul P. Diddy into a well-tuned running machine for the New York City Marathon while additionally appearing in the highly rated MTV docudrama “Diddy Runs the City.” With the entrepreneur’s jet-setting lifestyle, Jenkins found himself flying to global paradises, including St. Tropez and Ibiza to keep the CEO on track, but jokingly added that “Diddy wasn’t used to taking orders.” Celebrity stories remain abundant, recalling Tina Knowles phoning him daily to check on the status of her starlet daughter while Jenkins was giving Beyonce’ a 30-day intensive on the set of the film “The Fighting Temptations.”
Lately however the traveling and in-demand trainer’s time has been limited. Currently on the road alongside Mary J. Blige during her 2008 landmark global tour Jenkin’s spends his mornings waking up Blige with a strenuous workout routine to maintain her slim waist, trimmed thighs, toned abs and overall endurance on-stage. Recognized for his signature Japanese fire dragon and yin yang tattoos on his upper arm the cultural fitness ambassador has a distinctive way of incorporating his travels abroad into workout routines.
Known to recruit West African drummers and other rhythms for motivation and energy, his unique blend of skill and creativity is what sets the trainer apart from others. Jenkins claims that anyone can change their body type if they can survive his program, often consisting of an innovative fusion of pilates, calisthenics, sports drills, weight training and high intensity cardio. He additionally keeps the custom-fit workout sessions fresh by incorporating a wide range of sweat-inducing activities, such as boxing, bungee cords and kettle bells. “I never give the same workout session twice. Staying away from routine keeps the muscles and mind constantly stimulated.”
Through the lifestyle brand InFitness, the unorthodox health guru is determined to assist people with becoming their phenomenal best. In his book, Jump Off: 60 Days to a Hip Hop Hard Body (Harper Collins) with a forward by Blige, Jenkins narrates his career timeline, which is an inspiring success story about the benefits of discipline, following one’s dreams and opening up people’s minds to look at exercise as a habit as natural as breathing. The book is chocked full of important diet information for various sizes and also contains fitness tips from a few celebrity clientele including Beyonce, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J to Susan Taylor, Andre Harrell and Angie Martinez, literally encompassing every body type.
In addition to his personal training schedule, Jenkins also has his hands full in various facets of the fitness business. He developed his own limited edition supplement sold at GNC stores nationwide in 2004. He has lent his expertise to various networks including BET, VH-1 and MTV as well as shows such as Fit TV, E! Entertainment, EXTRA and recently appearing alongside Mary J. Blige on The Tyra Banks Show. Having graced the pages of countless magazines as well as acting as a contributing editor to Cargo Magazine and writing a weekly fitness column for New Nation (UK) the highly praised fitness star has come a long way since his Navy days. and released a 90-Day Transformation DVD which will also be available overseas this Fall.