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Chiseled Abs With Mario Lopez – Fighting His Way To a Lean and Ripped Physique

Archive   ·   September 2, 2014

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The last thing that Mario Lopez needs is to change his appearance. His attractive and youthful face has been a constant throughout his television career and the last thing that any of his representatives want him to do is mix it up in the boxing ring, a place where good looks can be altered forever instantly.

But that doesn’t stop him from making boxing about three-fourths of his weekly training routine.

“In my work, it’s frowned upon, but I do it anyway,” the co-host of the popular entertainment news magazine show “Extra” says with a sheepish smile. “So far, there’s been no tragic accidents and it’s worked out well.”



Lopez, who turned 40 on October 10, does take some precautions by wearing full head gear during his sparring sessions. It may prevent his face from getting cut, but he has been bruised up quite often and opened up on the top of his head enough to require staples to close the wounds. “I might be getting a little too old for it,” he jokes.

Besides sparring at least twice per week, Lopez also performs other boxing skills such as hitting the bags and shadow boxing for a total of four boxing workouts every week.

“It’s very therapeutic [for me] because I grew up wrestling and I like the one-on-one contact,” he commented. “It’s a little physical and a little violent so I can take out my aggression [that way]. It’s very relaxing to me.”

As a matter of fact, Lopez frequents Gio’s Brooklyn Boxing Club near his home in Burbank, California (the location of the photo shoot and accompanying behind-the-scenes video that you can see on, an old-school style place that has murals covering their walls of all the legends of pugilism.

And while he knows that a black eye or a few missing teeth would not be a good career move, the competitor in Lopez overshadows any inhibitions he may have.

“The last thing that you want is to get your ass kicked by some Hollywood guy,” he added.



Besides lacing up the boxing gloves, Lopez also will lift weights to stay in the type of shape that makes him appear half his age. “I’ll use the weights two, maybe three times a week,” the San Diego native says. “But because I don’t use them on a regular basis [more days], I like to do full-body training each time.”

In order to keep his muscles guessing, Lopez will mix it up between a low-weight/high-rep style, to a heavier one and also a quick circuit/CrossFit type of functional training. He prefers to weight train with a partner for the extra motivation and to be able to push himself a little further.


Here are some of the exercises that Lopez does in the weight room:



*Smith machine shoulder presses


*Rope triceps pushdowns

*Seated cable rows

*Concentration curls

*Incline curls

*Cable curls

*Hanging leg raises



“I try to break a sweat every day,” Lopez says matter-of-factly and added that his activities include running, hiking, swimming and biking. He tries to stick to more outdoor activities when the weather permits but will not let the rain or cold keep him from getting some exercise in each and every day.

“In the winter time, I’ll be in the weight room more,” he says, further adding that he can also use conventional cardio machines when necessary. “Stuff like the treadmill and [stationary] bike are good, and the elliptical is my best friend. Stick a TV in front of that and the time goes by. I actually also read a lot [on these machines].”

Perhaps someone with less commitment would find an excuse to skip a day or two while on the road for work, but not Lopez. “I always have sneakers and an iPod, so I can run or do some exercises in the room,” he says. “Some push-ups, squats and crunches. Or hopefully the hotel gym will suffice.”

Even with his busy schedule, which Lopez describes as “crazy, intense, fluid and long all the time,” finding the time to fit the workouts in is a daunting aspect. But Lopez will make sure to structure his day so that it always includes it. “Ideally, I like to train in the morning,” he explains. “But a lot of people don’t like to spar and get punched in the face [that early in the day], so I have to do that in the afternoon.

“Whenever I can get it in, I make sure to get it in.”



When it comes to nutrition, Lopez has a more realistic approach to it. “I don’t believe in diets,” he says. “I don’t think that they work. I think that people work. I’m not a big calorie counter, although I try to [eat] pretty clean during the week and stay away from [eating] a lot of crap because it doesn’t make me feel good.

“But on weekends, I let loose,” Lopez continued. “I’m an excessive guy so when I work out, I work hard. When I play, I play hard, so I like to drink, have cigars and crush a whole pizza. It’s all about balance. If I have something that I have to be prepared for, then I’m a little more strict and focused with my diet.”



As far back as he can remember, Lopez was always an active person. His mother entered him into a number of different sports and activities when he was as young as 4 years of age, such as karate, wrestling and dancing.

The adolescent also joined the local Boys and Girls Club of America and within a few years, noticed that he could also help the people around him that he cared about the most with his newfound knowledge.

“My family was heavy,” remembers Lopez. “Maybe it’s my culture; Mexican food is delicious but it’s not exactly the most healthy thing [to eat]. You can’t eat tortillas and butter and beans at every meal and remain fit.”

The Lopez family went on a fitness program and they began to lose weight and get themselves into shape. Seeing that he can make an impact, Lopez was able to take this attitude to a higher level once he became a celebrity.

“It was important to me and [sic] to see people change their lives for the better,” he says proudly. “I was inspired to help my community as a whole, especially with inner-city kids like myself. A lot of it is lack of knowledge, not knowing any better. So now I feel that it’s a responsibility.”

The former member is now one of the chairs and a fitness ambassador of the Boys and Girls Club of America. Lopez looked to further his role and put out his first book, Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness in 2008. “I decided to keep it simple and really spell it out, make it more of a lifestyle and not just a diet,” remarks Lopez.

Two years later, Lopez published a cookbook titled Extra Lean, which became a New York Times bestseller. 2011 produced two more books, Extra Lean Family and Mario and Baby Gia, which is based on him and his real-life young daughter.



Lopez hosts “Extra” with Maria Menounos and the show is on seven days a week all around the country. He began co-hosting the weekend edition in 2007 and is in his fifth consecutive season as host on weekdays.

This year will be the second for Lopez as the host of “The X Factor,” and he is also on “Mario Lopez: One-on-One” (NuVo TV), and a children’s cartoon on the Sprout network titled “The Chica Show.” As if that weren’t enough, Lopez also hosts “On With Mario,” a nationally syndicated radio show.

“It’s a busy schedule and intense, but I like it that way,” he says. “I’m a motivated guy so I can do a lot.”

And it seems like a necessity with all the work that Lopez takes on and will be expanding soon, albeit at home as opposed to the television studio. He and his wife Courtney Mazza were expecting their second child at press time.



When it comes to staying in shape, Lopez treats it like one of his many jobs and puts even more effort into it than anything else that he does. “Health and fitness are top priorities in my life,” he says bluntly. “Working out complements everything else that I do, in every aspect of my life. It gives me more energy; it gives me more confidence. It makes me feel better about myself.

“I love the fitness community,” concludes Lopez. “I love what it’s all about, what it represents and I appreciate you featuring me in your magazine. It’s just a matter of [living] a certain choice in your lifestyle and making it a priority. Because if you don’t have your health, then what good is everything else?” Even at the expense of taking a few punches in the face every now and then.


All in the Family

Getting to spend quality time with your family members is always a good thing, even during a photo shoot. When you have a schedule like Mario Lopez does, every precious minute with the ones you love counts.

His father, Mario Sr. was on hand, as was wife Courtney Mazza and their 2-year-old daughter Gia. An impromptu opportunity to get some family portraits caused smiles all around.

“My dad just happens to be visiting me today,” says Lopez. “I’m looking forward to seeing those shots. My mom will enjoy them.”

Speaking of his father, Lopez continued, “He’s like 65 and has got a lot of energy. I finally got him into working out but haven’t been able to get him to curb his vices [smoking and drinking].”

One step at a time.

FitnessRX For Men magazine (November 2013 issue)

NY Sports Day

NY Sports Day


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