My Body

Jon Togo of "CSI Miami" on L.A. Gyms, Boxing, and Body Dysmorphia

Golden Oldie alert! Reaching back to late summer 2009 for a classic from our My Body series. ~ The Eds.

I used to do Pilates for exercise when I first moved to L.A. I was really good at it. It was all the Beverly Hills housewives and me. The place was called “Pilates Plus.” This French guy ran it, and he used to grab all the cougars' asses who were in the class while they were working out. It was a great workout, but I couldn’t take all the yentas. It was fifteen Joan Riverses and me.

I haven’t been to the gym in a long time. I box now. The regular gyms in L.A. are horrible. Literally, Fabio works out at my old gym. Once I saw Vin Diesel working out with a giant wooden staff. It's so douchey, it's unbelievable. It’s irritating and horrible. Once I was in a spin class and the teacher was like, "This is why you don’t work as actors! You don’t push yourself!”

I like the idea of going someplace where what you do for a living doesn’t matter. When you go to a boxing gym, you’re treated the same same no matter who you are. There’s no posturing in boxing.  You can put on any front you want, but, once you get in the ring, you have to back it up. Everyone is really friendly, but they beat the shit out of each other. I get my ass whipped all the time. Some of the guys I train with fight for a living, and they have nothing to prove. There’s something very America about it. It’s like jazz. It’s a throwback sport. It’s the hardest workout there is. Because you’re working out and trying to not to get punched in the face at the same time. It would be like if you were holding a position in yoga trying to breathe and relax, and at the same time the yoga teacher was kicking you in the face. But boxing doesn’t hurt. It’s not a painful experience. You wear so much padding. You learn how to do it.  I got the shanan punim. I got the money maker. I can’t get hit in the face. All the actors wear headgear because they don’t want to get punched in the face.

If I can’t work out I get really depressive. I'm obsessive compulsive about it. I do it five days a week. When I first moved to New York, I was really broke, and I would eat pizza. I smoked a lot, and I was bartending 'til four in the morning waiting tables and drinking every single night for a year straight. In those days we would go to a bar every night for a year. It was horrible. I was young enough that I could do it. Now, if I do it for one night, I feel like shit. I used to smoke for ten years and I don’t smoke anymore.  I quit when I came to L.A. I don’t do drugs anymore. I work out a lot more. The irony is that I have a discipline now to work out a lot more, but not the physical ability. When I was 19, I didn’t have the will or desire to work out.

I didn’t hit puberty until freshman year in college. I got a lot taller. Then I worked as a waiter in Chelsea, and I got body dysmorphia because they started making fun of me. All the Chelsea boys thought I was puny. So I started lifting weights. One of the queens was The Hulk for Halloween. A lot of those guys take steroids because they’re HIV positive.

I think health is feeling good. I think there’s a lot of people that look great, but don’t feel good.  When you pursue physical health, your mental health falls in line with that.

I have a hard time making food for myself because I work ten months out of the year, and they feed me all day. I don’t know how to feed myself when I’m not at work. We have really good food at work. I just had tuna steak with rice and broccoli. I had some hard boiled eggs with hot sauce for breakfast.

I think right now is the healthiest time in my life.. There’s no creative or cultural stimulus in L.A. so all you do is work out. I spent my whole day off walking the dog or going to the gym.


[This interview was originally published: 2009-09-24 18:09:13.] 

jon! (via <a href=""></a>.)


no creative or cultural stimulus in LA......that's no fun...i need creativity and culture even AT the GYM. Come play with us in nyc so we can show you the east coast color.

sassletics82's picture

this is either the most interesting or the strangest interview you've ever posted. or both.

sandyliz's picture

i'm with sandyliz...

msh258's picture

Everything I read or see pretty confirms the fact that I would hate LA. Sigh.

erikka's picture

um wait hi? i disagree. There's definitely creative AND cultural stimulus in LA, you just have to look for it. Hasn't anyone seen Lords of Dogtown?

LA has good museums, a really shitty and therefore funny underground art scene at the Downtown Art Walk, awesome indie music in Silverlake, lots of hippies doing interesting things in Topanga Canyon. Weirdos in Venice. More weirdos in West Hollywood. Good mexican food everywhere. And the ocean is here, what's more creatively stimulating that that? ... alcohol not included... Plus, the Hills is filmed here. What's not to love?

ashleigh0723's picture

I agree with the "doucheyness" about gym scenes however. Why does one need to workout with sunglasses on??

ellalopez's picture

2 points resonated:

"If I can’t work out I get really depressive. I'm obsessive compulsive about it. I do it five days a week."


"I think health is feeling good. I think there’s a lot of people that look great, but don’t feel good.  When you pursue physical health, your mental health falls in line with that."

michlny's picture

those were the days

mar's picture

Is LA more or less culturally stimulating than Hingham, khed?

character747's picture

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