Muscles by Mario

If Extra host (and new dad) Mario Lopez can make time for fitness, so can you

January 11, 2011
Mario Lopez

Trick Your Muscles
"I like to keep my muscles guessing," he says. "I run, I swim, I box at least three times a week, I do a little jujitsu, roll around." Lopez could be a lab rat at Arizona State University, where researchers found that mixing up reps, sets, and loads helps you speed gains by not allowing your muscles to adapt to a routine. For best results, try lifting 3 days a week. Alternate among heavy days (2 to 6 reps), moderate days (3 to 7 reps), and lighter days (5 to 9 reps).

13 new ways to challenge your body for better results.

Count on Cardio
He competes in sports, but even if Lopez misses a practice, he never skips cardio. "A lot of times, whoever's in better shape is going to win," he says. For on-the-go cardio, especially if you're traveling, use an easy-to-pack jump rope. Jump 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds. Do this 5 times total--and switch jump patterns (both legs, one leg, alternating legs).

Time Your Workouts
Lopez loves fighting three-round jujitsu bouts called smokers. "Physically, emotionally, and mentally, it's very draining," he says. That's because working against a clock (instead of counting reps) makes him push harder. Mimic your own smoker: Set a 5-minute timer, pick an upper-body and a lower-body exercise, and do 4 reps of each, using a weight you can lift 8 times. Alternate until time's up, with little resting. Break 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat twice.

Use Your Body
No gym, no worries: "I live up in the hills in L.A., so I run a lot of them," he says. Snowed in? Do your cardio at home. Conduct 10 reps of explosive pushups (press up so your hands leave the floor) followed by 10 reps of alternating lunges (on each leg). Without resting, do 9 reps of each. Then 8, 7, 6, and so on to 1. You'll do 110 reps and blast every muscle.

Fix your form to build muscle faster than ever.


"I like to keep my muscles guessing. I run, swim, or box at least three times a week."

10-Minute Workout
It's easy to turn any routine into an arm-swelling experience, says Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S., a fitness coach with Results Fitness. Add these two exercises to the end of any workout, and you'll stretch your shirtsleeves in only 4 weeks.

Do This To achieve the best results from this two-move combo, select a weight you can lift 10 to 12 times for each exercise. Do 6 or 7 reps of one exercise, and then switch to the other. Repeat until your 10 minutes have expired, resting as little as possible. Repeat this combination once a week for up to 4 weeks.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

EZ-Bar Lying Triceps Extension