10 Questions With LL Cool J

The actor and rapper talks about staying in shape, eating right, and the joy of lip syncing.

From the WebMD Archives

1. Lip Sync Battle, which you host, has been a huge hit. What do you think draws people to fake singing?

It's a silly thing we all do, whether we're singing in the shower or lip syncing in our cars or getting dressed in the morning. It's part of who we are as human beings, the love of music. When the celebrities come on, they choose whatever song from whatever genre they like, and their passion translates. It resonates.

2. If you could challenge anyone to a lip sync battle, who would you choose?

I try not to give it too much thought. I try to stay in host mode. But it could be anybody. It wouldn't matter who it was. That's the fun of it.

3. You've played an ex-Navy SEAL, Sam Hanna, on NCIS: Los Angeles for six seasons now. How do you stay in shape for it?

It's a very physical show, with a lot of fight scenes. With my character, I don't try to lose weight. I work to put on muscle. I run outside and on the treadmill. I use the elliptical machine, I jump rope, and I do a lot of sprints to elevate my heart rate. I also do weights.

4. Has fitness always been important to you?

I've always loved exercise. It was part of growing up in Queens (New York) and seeing guys running around with tank tops on. I was always inspired to be in shape and be the best I could be. I wanted to be bigger, stronger, faster. It's about making choices, about choosing what's right even when you don’t want to.

5. Do you have a favorite workout routine?

You've got to mix it up or your body gets used to it, so I try not to fall in love with any workout routine. But I like to do sprints combined with weights.

6. What's your diet like?

I do chicken breasts, fish, vegetables. In the morning, I have oatmeal. If I want to treat myself and have something more fun, more pleasurable, I'll do cream of wheat. I have my cheat days on the weekend every now and again, but I only go crazy once or twice a year.


7. What's your best health habit?

Being happy for other people, being grateful, having faith in God, and being joyful inside. Your spirit carries a lot of weight when it comes to your overall health. I should sleep a few more hours a night than I usually do.

8. Is there anything about health you wish you had known 20 years earlier?

No. I treated myself well, and I'm OK where I'm at. I wasn't living hard, I wasn't a party animal, and I think that really helped my career longevity. I was up till 5 a.m. yesterday, but I wasn't partying. I was watching The Tudors.

9. What do you like to do during your downtime?

I read my scripts. I watch documentaries, I read something to keep my mind sharp on some level. I rarely do anything that's a complete and total waste of time.

10. Your Jump and Ball summer program for kids in Queens just had its 11th anniversary. Why is it so important to you?

I know what it's like to be there and have absolutely nothing to do in the summer, and when you have nothing to do, it can lead to mischief. So we give these kids an opportunity to do something. This is a hugely important thing to me, and I'm very passionate about it.

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WebMD Magazine - Feature Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on June 15, 2015



LL Cool J, actor, rapper.

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