Lopez finds the time to maintain the type of physique that a guy 20 years his junior might be envious of. But he swears he exercises for “sanity, and not vanity,” and that exercising every day helps him keep his energy up that’s required for his numerous commitments.
“I don’t feel like I have even really woken up until I have broken a sweat,” he told Men’s Health during a phone call. “I think health should be your top priority, because if you don’t have that, nothing else matters. I just want to be healthy and be alive as long as I can, to be able to be here for my family. It is a lifestyle, really: it has allowed me to handle this crazy schedule at my age, and to have more energy, like right now I am going from my gym to my Access Daily T.V. show. And that is a talk show, viewers like to see people who are excited and happy, and at the moment we have many guests that come on our show, so I cannot be low energy.”
When it comes to his diet, however, Lopez isn’t about to deny himself foods that he likes, instead taking an “everything in moderation” type of approach. “I am not really a calorie counter,” he said. “I try to not eat a ton crap during the week, and I practice portion control and have a fair looking plate with protein, carbs and fat, and try to not get too crazy. But on the weekends, I do get a bit crazy, because I am just an excessive kind of guy. So I eat it all, I’ll smoke and drink everything, then when Monday comes it’s back to it. You have got to balance.”
Even on the weekends, though, you are more likely to see Lopez in a gym instead of propping up a bar somewhere. In particular, his affinity with martial arts and boxing goes far beyond the physical benefits.
“Jiu jitsu is kind of like physical chess,” he said. “You are learning and growing your mind constantly. I really love it. I love the jiu jitsu community and everything about it and that my kids get to participate with me. It instills an awesome work ethic and physical toughness and confidence, as well as psychological, emotional, toughness, and a ton of confidence. So, I do love all those things about it and all those attributes that’s taught. It compliments my day, especially when I am running from my radio show to Access.”
Fitness is a family affair for Mario Lopez: in addition to participating in martial arts with his children, who are also into dance and gymnastics, he will go to spin and yoga classes with his wife. He also has a few famous gym partners, and will routinely spar with Frank Grillo, or do an F45 work out with Mark Wahlberg.
“Mark is a great guy,” he said. “We have a lot in common, both with our families, with our fitness, with our faith, everything. We both really love martial arts, we are around the same age, and we both refuse to allow age dictate the way that we train, and we really push each other.”
You probably don’t think age would be on Mario Lopez’s mind; after all, he does look uncannily similar to his young Saved By the Bell self. But he did just turn 48 this year, and while he seems adamant that he will continue working out each day as long as his body will allow him to, he admits that he had to change up his regime and make a few concessions.
“I’ve forced myself to slow down a little,” he says. “As you age, you cannot necessarily match the same high intensity, you have to exercise a lot smarter, especially in the very intense sports that I participate in. I was getting hurt a lot. I tore my rotator cuff, my Achilles, and my biceps all within a few years. Possibly with someone else, that would’ve been a sign to change it up and start playing some golf, but that is not who I am. It didn’t set me back too much. You have to be really limber, and I am stretching a lot more and attempting to dedicate a little more time to that in my daily routine. But I am going to keep doing it until I literally can’t!”
Author: Scott Dowdy