“One of the biggest barriers for a lot of people is that fitness is scary and inaccessible. I want to help break down that barrier by making it more accessible to a wide range of people. A lot of my focus will primarily be on the LGBT community and those who don’t have access to a personal trainer.”
By day, Mark is Head of Product Marketing in London. By night, he is a drag queen, hosting club nights and educating people in LGBT, causes and rights.
Mark Whistler - who performs under the name of Cybil War is best known for his recent appearance on the TV’s toughest programme, SAS Who Dare Wins, where contestants are put through a brutal regime of SAS drills.
In his spare time, Mark is also studying to become a Personal Trainer with Future Fit!
What was your experience of SAS Who Dare Wins?
“My dad spent 20 years of his 37-year career in the Special Forces. He was in the Army from the age of 18 with a large amount of that time serving in the SAS.
Last year, I was sat watching the TV show and thought I could do this! So, I applied. The whole application process was strange, and I only received confirmation that I was taking part in the show two weeks before we left to film!
I lasted 5 out of the 11 days on the show. It is much harder than you see on TV. What you don’t see if that you are on a massive calorie deficit. You are also being woken up at least once every night to do an hour workout. And on top of that, you have to do watches throughout the night.”
It was a fantastic experience and would recommend it to anyone!”
What led you into an interest in fitness?
“It all happened when I discovered Cross Fit. I have always been naturally quite active but never found a sport that I was interested in to stick with. When I started doing Cross Fit, I really enjoyed the variety of it.
Cross Fit peaked my interest of understanding of how the body moves and what I needed to do to train. My interest grew and I thought it would be interesting to be able to coach other people and help others with their own fitness journey.
One of the biggest barriers to a lot of people is that fitness is scary and inaccessible and that is particularly true with CrossFit. I want to help people understand that fitness can be for everyone and should be widely accessible.
What courses are you studying?
How have you found studying alongside a full-time job?
“I’ve had to extend some of the submissions and test dates when I’ve been unable to study and fully prepare.
Future Fit have been very flexible with the learning which has been invaluable for me.”
What interests do you have outside of fitness?
“In my spare time, I am a drag queen by the name of Cybil War. I host events which I plan and produce and also appear at other’s where I educate people in LGBT, causes and rights.
Over the last 6 years, drag has become more mainstream. Through the interest of the media, it has really been put in the forefront of understanding again. It has such an important and deep history within the LGBT community.
While the dressing up part is always fun, it also presents great opportunities. It is a creative outlet and a job. I always try to change people’s perspectives and assumptions of what masculinity and femininity are.
I’m a drag queen, soon to become personal trainer, and have appeared on SAS which are all considered quite masculine. If I able to do these things, anyone who is LGBT should be able too.”
What are your future goals?
“I want to take my 15 minutes of fame from SAS and build a drag and fitness career.
Once I have the qualification, I want to train as a CrossFit coach and start personal training people.
I also want to make fitness more accessible to a wide range of people that don’t necessarily have access. A lot of that focus will be on the LGBT community.”