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He's a Man on the Run


Cobi Jones.

Besides being a midfielder for the 10-0 Los Angeles Galaxy, this 26-year-old--who grew up in Westlake Village--is a major heartthrob (young ladies park outside his home just for a peek) and host of MTV'S health show "Megadose."

On Sunday, Jones and the Galaxy will play at the Rose Bowl in a doubleheader that is expected to draw 75,000 to 100,000 fans. In the first game at 12:30 p.m., Jones and the U.S. national team will take on Galaxy goalie Jorge Campos and the Mexican national team. In the second game, the Galaxy will play the Tampa Bay Mutiny.

Question: It sounds like you're a busy fellow. Do you ever get home for a home-cooked meal?

Answer: Every once in a while I'll head back, see my parents and friends.

Q: Is that when you get to chow down?

A: There's rarely anything there. (Laughs.)

Q: Your mom is going to get you for saying that. How do you keep any weight on?

A: Eating a lot basically. It's actually difficult because sometimes you just get caught up. I'll start off the season probably about 150, and then toward the end of the season I start drifting down between 145 and 140. You know, you're training and training, you go home, you're too tired, you feel like grabbing fast food and that's like empty calories, so you get no energy and you're tired and getting skinnier.

That's a good question for Ivan, the trainer.

Q: I think Ivan scares me. Do you eat breakfast?

A: I rarely eat breakfast. I usually leave home at 8, go straight to training--we have to be here at 9--and see if they have anything to eat there. Then I have lunch, a nice lunch, which is salad and chicken and something to drink, like lemonade. I don't like carbonated drinks. I like juices a lot--cranberry, orange juice, pineapple.

Q: You hit the road at 8, start practice at 9 and don't eat until what, noon or 1 o'clock?

A: Lunch, yeah.

Q: Does Ivan know this?

A: He knows that's pretty much what everyone does and he just shakes his head. He brings in health bars, all kinds of fruit bars and healthy snacks to get the players eating.

Q: Why do you guys aggravate Ivan like that?

A: No one feels like waking up early enough and fixing breakfast. Maybe the married guys will have breakfast or something like that.

Q: So, how do you keep in shape?

A: Sunday will be the game. Monday the whole team goes to the gym for a stretching routine.

Q: What's that like?

A: Painful. About 30 to 40 minutes of stretching all the muscles in the body. It's good for the recovery after the game. And we work out with the weights.

Then Tuesday is working out in the field. Tuesday's usually the worst, like 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes I get up Tuesday morning and say, "I'll pass today." Then Wednesday off. Thursday, Friday and Saturday training again here at the Rose Bowl.

Q: Training on the field sounds rough.

A: We're always running. Always in motion. We start out with just a side jog to get the muscles warm, and then we stretch and then we go into the different drills. There's tons of drills to do.

When we're conditioning, we do a lot of sprints. The coach runs us until we drop. Five yards back, 10 yards back, 15 and up to 30 and that's sprinting. So the training is kind of game-like, but a little more tiring.

Q: Running around in Pasadena, you must drink a lot of water.

A: Yeah, a lot of water. Especially about two to three days before the games start, just drinking, drinking, drinking water. It's hot now, so when you're out there playing you don't want to be cramping up, so you just drink a lot of water, flood your body with water.

Q: What do you do for dinner?

A: I rarely cook; I eat out. A lot of times it will be Mexican food, like a chicken burrito or maybe I'll splurge and go eat seafood at Gladstones. But for the most part, it's been kind of hectic. Even dinner is meeting people for this or that.

Q: Business?

A: Yeah, there's a lot of business and getting home late, so I'll just order like a pizza or something.

Q: You don't snack on sweets?

A: No, not really. I guess it's discipline or I just grew out of it. When I was a kid, I used to eat candy all the time. Maybe I just got myself sick on it because now I don't like sweets at all. I do like some ice cream--butter pecan is my favorite.

Q: Do you eat fruit?

A: Any chance I get. Oranges are my favorites and a lot of bananas to stop the cramping.

Q: So where are you getting all this good fruit? I know you don't go to the grocery store.

A: I get them from Ivan. Or when I go to my parents' house and raid their place.

Guest Workout runs every other Wednesday in Life & Style.

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