By Hamed Hamad
Born in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, Mark Basehart grew up in a very regimented household. His father was a WWII veteran and learning how to ration everything from food to finances taught the family discipline and conservation. However, Mark’s parents still encouraged him and his brother to play sports and participate in extracurricular activities, which they believed “was not just good for your body, but necessary to become a good leader.”
Mark’s brother became the first in the family to spearhead a successful life in fitness. He ran marathons, won sports scholarships, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, just to name a few of his accomplishments. According to Mark, his brother “embodied the spirit of what life should be.” Although born with Poland Syndrome, Mark used his birth defect as a catalyst to live an abundant life just like his brother. Poland Syndrome is the absence or underdevelopment of the pectoral muscle.
Even though he did not go straight into personal training, Mark knew that his career would somehow lead him to teach and help other people. After majoring in History and Education, Mark landed his first job as a teacher at an Indian reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. There, history books were only used as a guide while the rest of the teaching involved “human interest stories,” which added to the more humanistic side of American History through the eyes of children and their ancestors.
Shortly after teaching and returning to Buffalo, Mark got married and started a family. As it is the case for many parents with active children, Mark became the extracurricular activities of his kids. Weight piled on over the years, making him reach 280 lbs. and affecting the overall health that the family was aiming for. His wife Eva, who was physically active herself, served as a catalyst for Mark to redeem his health. That motivation and loyalty to the gym helped him drop nearly 80lbs. In 2015, Mark entered a contest with the WBFF and made it to the final round. The following year, he took home 1st place at The Mr. Buffalo Contest in the men’s physique category over 50. He also worked out for marathons, Spartan races, and mastered weight training on his own. For 2016-2017, Mark became a national qualified competitor under NPC’s Masters’ Classic Physique, Bodybuilding, and Male Physique.
After those accomplishments, that is when the momentum continued and Mark embarked on his personal training journey. Recently, he joined Fitness 19, which is one of the nation’s largest family funded franchised gyms and follows a simple mantra: “Inhale gratitude and exhale love.” Mark’s clients range anywhere from people with diabetes to aspiring bodybuilding building contestants ages 20 to over 50. Although he likes to use dynamic exercises and the push/pull techniques, he tailors the routines depending on the needs of his clients.
While at Fitness 19, Mark and Eva learned about NCCPT and both became certified personal trainers. Mark says, “The level of support was great, the training material was spot on and I was impressed with the organization.” Aside from his general CPT, Mark is currently working towards his Youth Specialist Certification.
Looking forward, Mark aims to continue his career as a personal trainer, mentoring kids and start his own business one day. He believes that no matter where you are in life, there should be no compromise to achieving goals and higher heights. “Continue until you arrive where you want to be,” he says.
To connect with Mark Basehart, join him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mark.basehart