Do you remember the “Saved by the Bell” TV show? If you’re in your thirties or over, you probably do – as well as Mario Lopez and his iconic character A.C. Slater. Two decades after the show however, Lopez is still incredibly active in the entertainment industry, as he has hosted “Access Hollywood” and its spinoff “Access Daily” since 2019; as well as his own radio show “On With Mario Lopez”.
But here’s the thing – Mario Lopez has also been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 4 years and is a blue belt! In a recent interview for Men’s Health, he explained why he trains BJJ:
Jiu-Jitsu is like physical chess. You’re constantly learning and expanding your mind. I just love it! I love the community and everything that it’s about and that I get to do it with my kids. It instills such a great work ethic and confidence and physical toughness, as well as emotional, psychological toughness, and a lot of confidence. So I love all those things and all those attributes and it’s taught. It will compliment my day, especially when I’m rushing from my radio show to Access.
Lopez also went on to emphasize the importance of working out – not for the “looks”, but for life:
I don’t feel like I’ve even really woken up until I’ve broken a sweat and I think your health should be a top priority; because if you don’t have that, what does anything else matter? I want to just be healthy and be around as long as I can, to be able to be there for my family.
It [working out] is a lifestyle, really: it’s allowed me to handle this insane schedule at my age, and to have a lot of energy, like right now I’m going from the gym to Access Daily. And that’s a talk show, viewers want to see people who are happy and excited, and at the moment we have a lot of guests, so I can’t be low energy.
On another occasion – in a guest appearance for “The View” – he spoke about getting his son into BJJ training:
I’ve always loved martial arts. I always grew up wrestling and boxing. When I had my first son, he was very hyper and I wanted to teach him discipline, respect and self defense – all great attributes in life. Once I got him into it, I wanted to get into it too.
It’s like physical chess. I work out more for the sanity rather than the vanity, it helps with stress.