‘Bosch: Legacy’ star Titus Welliver shares what keeps him nourished and fit

As long as Harry Bosch keeps hitting the bad guys, Titus Welliver will keep hitting the heavy bag.

Welliver has plenty of pop in his punch, even if wear has delayed some of the spring in his step. Boxing exercises are part of Welliver’s renewed focus on year-round fitness, not just by need or by role, as he says he has been guilty of in the past.

If you’ve watched Welliver play the hard-hitting, jazz-loving LAPD detective over the past seven seasons of the hit show Bosch, it goes without saying that when Bosch: legacy starts streaming May 6 on Amazon Freevee, someone is bound to get hit. And Welliver has physically prepared himself to deal that blow.

In the spin-off series, Bosch leaves the department and goes into the private detective world. Often fighting not only criminals but also his bosses in the department, Bosch now comes into contact with another nemesis, lawyer Money Chandler (played by Mimi Rogers). As the two search for justice in the City of Angels, Bosch must keep a close eye on his daughter Maddie, who is now an LAPD herself.

While Bosch still has to do it on the street every now and then, Welliver delegated certain risky moves to his stunt team this season. However, Welliver explains how and why he made the decision to consistently keep himself in cop-ready shape through a multitude of training styles, from boxing to some martial arts to even yoga and Peloton.

You just turned 60. Does your body feel different now than it did ten years ago?
I’m moving a little slower, not because of my age, but more because of mis-spent childhood. I jumped off the roof of sheds, crashed motorcycles, boxed, things at a time in my life where I felt I was indestructible. That all starts to catch up with me as I get older. I don’t sprint like I used to, so these days I just navigate around those things.

Please, more details.
I crashed a motorcycle about 10 years ago, but when I was about 7 years old, I jumped off a shed, thinking I was Mary Poppins. I had two umbrellas in my hands and thought, “Well, this should work.” They folded, I hit the ground and broke both my legs – that obviously destroyed my summer that year.

About four years later, I tried again, this time with a large umbrella. It slowed my fall a bit and I just ended up twisting my ankles, but that was it. So yes, I was the original slow learner.

Courtesy of Amazon Freevee

You have your original karate dojo tattooed on your shoulder. Do you still practice so many martial arts today?
I don’t do it like I used to. I like hitting and kicking the heavy bag, and doing some stretching exercises, but the work doesn’t give me the same amount of time. It’s not an excuse, I just find that I can’t spend the same amount of time.

As a young child I was very devoted to martial arts. I studied jiu-jitsu and eventually came into contact with kenpo and Krav Maga, which is not really a martial art, but a great combat system.

Got my daughter into Krav Maga and my son really loves BJJ these days. I think martial arts are very important, not only to defend yourself, but also a great way to keep yourself in good physical condition.

Have you ever had to use martial arts in real life situations?
It was inevitable that something would happen — there’s always going to be a knuckle there no matter how many times you try to talk to him or stop him from being aggressive — and it’s usually when he’s had too much to drink — that won’t get the message.

Several years ago, a guy crashed at a party I was at, and he got really aggressive with one of the female guests and pushed her. Let’s say he took a nap afterwards.

So it seems that martial arts are a perfect fit for Harry Bosch.
Bosch’s background training was in Special Forces Fifth Groupso he’s had a significant amount of hand-to-hand combat training there.

In one episode, Harry goes undercover and is taken on a plane by drug dealers, and these guys will throw him out of the plane and kill him. He carries a sword stick, stabs the first man, then spins him around when he is shot by another man firing his rifle. The second man lets Bosch hang from the side door of the plane, Bosch hits him with his throat and sticks his thumb deep into the man’s eye socket, launching him out of the plane. That was a good fight.

What is a good Bosch fight scene?
When we do fight scenes like that, I always want to keep it messy and a little bit real. If I want to see great things, I’ll see Jet Li or Bruce Lee do it – they are worth their weight in gold. But when we fight things, we try to keep it authentic, but still a bit of a mess.

Actor Titus Welliver looks at film negatives as Detective Bosch in Bosch-Legacy
Courtesy of Amazon Freevee

What have been the biggest training adjustments for you these days?
I used to be like, “I have three months to train and get back in shape for any movie or show, whether it meant losing a few pounds or adding muscle. Now I don’t train with the same surrender, which was actually not very healthy after all.

Some friends of mine who are trainers would always notice this and say to me, “Dude, you know why you’re always hurt and can’t lift your arms? It’s because you’re not supposed to take 45-pound dumbbells on Day 1. So now I try to be more like water and less like rock.

So what else do you do?
I think it’s best to change the regime a bit. Now I’ve added more bodyweight exercises, changed my cardio and not as much free weight training. I’ll add some yoga, I’ll hit the heavy bag, some speed bag work, treadmill, jump rope and have found it to be just as effective as strength training. I actually think I’m stronger from bodyweight work than from lifting.

Depending on my schedule, I try to do at least 40 minutes of cardio four or five times a week.

What does your home gym look like?
I just got a Peloton, I got an infrared sauna. I have a station, dip bar, pull-up bar, push-up bars. I have a round, heavy bag. I have a kicking standing kick bag. I have an elliptical trainer and I have a treadmill. And I have one of those exercises called the mirror. I can do, you can do lessons. So and a lot of heavy ropes, different weighted ropes and that kind of focus mitts.

Yes, I have some free weights, but nothing too heavy. I think the heaviest is a 30lb barbell.

How does Bosch stay ready for the police?
This season there were some chase scenes where I got my cardio in a little better shape. We were also shooting in downtown LA and it was about 105 degrees outside which was very intense. I will do as many of those things as possible.

I always think it looks better to let the actor go and do stuff like that, but now I have an awesome stunt double, who does jump off a fire escape onto a building roof, which I might have wanted to do in my twenties. Now I have enough sense to leave that to the professionals. There are a lot of people in our crew who depend on me to be whole so they can earn a living, so I’m not as big on taking risks as I used to be.

Bosch is big on jazz, what do you listen to when you train?
Sometimes I train to jazz it up depending on when I do cardio. I actually listen to some pretty hardcore music, I listen to the Deftones, Tool, Filter, Nine Inch Nails because I think that will really drive me.

But when I meditate or do yoga, I listen to Japanese shakuhachi flute music. If I’m on the right track, I’ll try to find some R&B, hip-hop or something else that just got a different impulse. But at the same time, you know Tool of Filter of Nine Inch Nails is great if you’re really whining about the bag and just trying to work up a sweat. That works for me.

I think I’ll get too soft when I put on the jazz – that’s good for the sauna. I get in the sauna and I put on some Coltrane, which Miles Davis and I decompress.

Titus Welliver in Bosch Legacy
Courtesy of Amazon Freevee

How important is yoga and meditation for your recovery/recovery?
Yoga has been really helpful for my old broken bones and issues like that. I like that a little yoga before and after a good stretch, and I dip into the infrared sauna, which is worth its weight in gold. Swimming has also helped me a lot. And I’m thinking about taking one of those ice baths, but man, those aren’t for the faint of heart.

Meditation also helps. When I’m filming, I basically get about 20 minutes for a meal break. I usually use that time to go through my material for the next day, but a lot of the time I go out and meditate for five, ten, fifteen minutes, maybe a little stretching too, and it really energizes me.

What does your diet look like now?
I just try to eat sensibly. I’ve tried to cut back on eating processed foods, although I wouldn’t be honest if I said I don’t enjoy the occasional Big Mac. I like red meat, but I try not to eat much of it. Now it’s more lean protein, a lot more fish and more green vegetables, except for kale, I can’t do kale anymore. I’ll be fine if I never have kale again. But I eat a lot of spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower.

I’ve never been a big milk drinker, probably not since I stopped growing, but I try to stay away from dairy as much as possible, but I love cheese. Again, I was just trying to be a bit more mindful about what I eat and trying to use clean organic foods as much as possible.

Every once in a while, I love a jar of Skippy peanut butter more than anyone. I love peanut butter, and normally I take the healthier stuff, but every once in a while I treat myself to a jar of Skippy I know it’s not great, I’ll just train a little harder and get over my guilt quickly.

On set, I live off this juice – 50 Shades of Green Juice – which is just full of veggies. I’ll pound those all day, about four to six of them. They really hold my energy to the point where the bottom doesn’t drop.

Leave a Comment