Fitness: For 'Burn Notice' actor, it's not about winning a muscle contest – South Florida Sun Sentinel – Sun Sentinel

Coby Bell is a football player in BET’s “The Game” and an ex-spy in USA’s “Burn Notice,” which is set in Miami. This actor, husband and father of two sets of twins shuttles between his home in California and various production locations for work, but finds time to keep the muscles looking good so he doesn’t look like a “fluffy mess.”
Why do you keep fit?
When I was starting out in show business, I learned you gotta stay in shape. And then I started having kids and realized I need to stay in shape to keep up with them and have energy to do my job as a parent. Then you reach a point in life where you realize exercising and eating right make you feel good and keep your energy up, and make your life happier.
I’m not trying to win a posedown and get all oiled up and win a muscle contest. Even being on TV, when they give me the scenes with my shirt off, it’s not my favorite. But you don’t want to look like a fluffy mess.
What’s your workout routine?
It depends on if I have a scene coming up where I have to have my shirt off. That’s when I have to go hard. And it depends on the holidays. I slacked off last holiday season.
And it depends where I am. Right now in Long Beach, I have a VersaClimber. It’s challenging and works everything out at once. It’s not just a treadmill where you’re working your legs, or a StairMaster where you’re holding on with your arms to make it easier.
I love the perfect push-up. I don’t like going to the gym so I do them in my house. For the perfect push-up, I’ll do sets of 22 or 11 … 11 is my lucky number because I was born on May 11 and it was always my number in sports. I’ll do 110 or 88 push-ups with 30 seconds to a minute in between sets.
I also do arm curls with really light weights and a lot of reps. But when I first got [a role in] “The Game,” I needed to be a football player, so I did heavier weights and lower reps to build muscle. I have a multi-exercise machine with the pulley system where I do butterfly chest press and other exercises.
I’ll do sit-ups, as many as I can in one set. And I do yoga moves like the plank and downward dog. I’m half-a– on yoga, do it mainly for stretching.
What’s your Miami workout routine?
In Miami, my apartment has a [private] gym on the top floor so I’ll go there. And I’ll go on long-a– bike rides with Bruce Campbell, who plays Sam on “Burn Notice.” Usually we ride from Coconut Grove to Black Point. Bruce rode from the Grove to Homestead one weekend when I wasn’t there.
Are your acting roles tough physically?
“Burn Notice” is an action show, a drama-comedy thing, so there’s always a lot of running away from explosions and to explosions. In “The Game,” not so much. Twice in “The Game” we had to go out on the football field and pretend we were players.
With “The Game,” they’re quick to have you going around with your shirt off. I’ve had a couple of smoochy scenes in “The Game.” Not so much on “Burn Notice.”
Did you play sports in school?
I played basketball up through high school. When I was a little kid I played soccer, but in eighth grade chose basketball over it.
Does your family keep fit?
My wife stays in shape mostly by diet and running around with the kids all the time. We always like our kids to be involved with activities. Like one of the kids now is doing tennis and dance.
Do you have any physical problems that hinder exercise?
Every once in a while my back will misbehave, so I have do to exercises to keep it strong. My grandpa and dad have bad backs. Mine’s been messing with me since high school.
What’s your typical daily diet?
When I’m “on it,” I’m really into making green smoothies with kale and carrots and apples, bananas, blueberries, a little broccoli thrown in. I have a Vita-Mix blender that mixes it all up with water and ice.
A smoothie is breakfast sometimes. Sometimes I have quinoa for breakfast. It’s really good for you … Or I’ll do oatmeal for breakfast. Quinoa can be for any time of the day, but generally the rest of the day is some forms of salad, with maybe a little chicken in one.
Every once in a while, you got to have a burger or pizza or pancakes with the kids.
Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?
I add a little protein powder sometimes to my smoothies. And fiber powder sometimes.