With meaty roles on gritty shows like Prison Break and Sons of Anarchy, Rockmond Dunbar established himself as a Hollywood badass—and he’s doing it again on Fox’s high-profile 9-1-1, which follows first responders in L.A. Why watch? “There are great people behind it, there’s plenty of drama,” Dunbar says. “And I’m in it. I play Angela Bassett’s husband. What else do you need to know?” Now a family man, Dunbar must work smart to maintain muscle. Here are his secret weapons.


“I listen to guys like Kendrick Lamar when I work out, but when I’m on the elliptical, I watch motivational videos on YouTube. It’s all about positive thinking and pushing out negativity. If you want to be successful, don’t seek success. Wake up every day with a purpose, and be consistent and persistent in pursuit of that purpose. You can take breaks, you can go on sabbatical, but don’t ever give up.”

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“The best quick workout you can do to stay in shape is burpees. They’re not fun, and they don’t have to be pretty, but you’ve gotta go all the way down and all the way back up. There’s no better full-body exercise than burpees.”

Need a great burpee workout? Try “Death by Burpee”:

  • Start a stopwatch.
  • In Minute 1, do one burpee.
  • In Minute 2, do two burpees.
  • In Minute 3, do three.
  • Continue with this pattern until you can’t do the required burpees in the given minute.

Rockmond’s Top Fitness Tools

  • The right shoes: “After my third child was born, I had about 2½ months where I forgot about my body. I started to get a dad bod. And I hated running, but my Hoka Bondi 5 shoes changed everything. They’re so comfortable. I can run with no back pain and no knee pain. I just love them.”
  • Ab wheel: “I don’t keep track of time when I use the Perfect Fitness Ab-Carver Pro. It’s more about how many reps I can do. These days I try to do 70 reps.”
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