Callen’s Corner: Callen And Exercise


It is obvious from watching G Callen saving the day from terrorists and taking down the bad guys, that he does a lot of exercise. From chasing after suspects, running away from being shot at or from an explosive device, to combat fighting. But to be able to survive these encounters, a Federal Agent needs to be well tuned in skills and to be in great physical health. We have seen Callen train in the gym in the Office of Special Projects, mainly to train for the job and to be up to the daily tasks but not entirely so. He uses exercise to relax, to calm down, to ponder about things or maybe even to kill time. Such examples are: when he went for a swim at the beach (S4E01 ‘Endgame’) to fill in his free time while pretending to being a rogue agent;

he has joined his partner in going for a run when Sam needed him there for him (S1E11 ‘Breach’); and he’s used exercise to deal with emotions like the anger and hurt after Hetty told him about his Mother, where we saw him taking his frustrations out on the sandbag, boxing (S3E04 ‘Deadline’).

What he does NOT do is work out to look good. While this is the main reason for many people to exercise (looking good) this is not Callen’s main motivation. Although this may be an interesting fact about G Callen, it is also very suitable for his character.


Sam: “You don’t work out.”
Callen: “I run.”
Sam: “When people are shooting at us!”

(S1E16 ‘Chinatown’)


Callen: “I’m just running down a tip, Hetty.”
Hetty: “Run quickly.”

(S2E15 ‘Tin Soldiers’)


Yet his partner Sam Hanna is constantly at him for not looking after himself. In (S2E19 ‘Enemy Within’), Sam suggests Callen to take up Pilates to look after his body, from all the jumping out of cars and the injuries his body endures on the job. Watching a stiff and limping Callen did bring out some humor with his limp being liken to a ‘nice gangster walk’ by one member of the Callen’s Corner Dream Team. However, not surprisingly, Sam’s lectures seem to just roll off G.

Perhaps Sam is justified by his concern when Callen decided filling his belly with food (S2E09 ‘Absolution’) or staying behind while letting Sam and Detective Chin Ho Kelly do the chasing (S3E21 ‘Touch of Death’), instead of running.



Jumping fences, run to catch
real life is enough
sports for G. Callen himself
escaping the enemy
running is required
thin line between life and death


We’ve also seen Callen bike riding (S4E04 ‘Dead Body Politic’), indoor rock climbing against Hetty (S2E13 ‘Archangel) and Deeks (S5E04 ‘Reznikov, N’), playing basketball with Sam and the rest of the team (S3E18 ‘The Dragon and the Fly’), sparring with Sam and Kensi (S4E03 ‘Fifth Man’) and fighting the Avatar sparring machine called the nexersys system (S3E23 ‘Neighborhood Watch’)

Callen: “Do not mock the nexersys system. That thing will kick your ass.”
Sam: “What this faceless machine? I’m old school. No way a computer can give you a better workout than a real sparring partner.”
Sam: (Callen throws Sam some gloves) “Oh!”
Callen: “State of the art technology. More demanding than a human.”
Nell referred to it as “the real steel match.”

So what do you think about G Callen and Sam’s concern over him not taking care of himself? Should he need to workout more or take up Pilates? From the research we have down on this subject, Callen seems to do a lot of exercise.

Thanks to ChrisDaisy, Fan GCallen, Mary, Keviana, Richtsje, sindee and Chris O’Donnell (who shared the behind the scenes image of Callen running through the mall while chasing Janvier in S5E01 ‘Acension’), for their input on this very enjoyable post.

6 thoughts on “Callen’s Corner: Callen And Exercise

  1. Keviana Elliot

    This was a great write up!! Great Callen pics, too. Not going to lie: love to see Callen (and the rest of the Team) doing anything physical in their down time. The basketball scenes in the gym were some of my favorites. Ah me. Good memories of Hetty and a whistle.

  2. justdreaming-83

    Don’t know why Keviana’s comment reminded me of a great “exercise moment” – when Monty is introduced to the gang and causes Sam to lose “champion of the world” status – so cute!

    This was such a fun post!!!

  3. Vicki

    I forgot to credit @jacqniv for the image of Callen running from an explosion. There are so many images online we take for granted being there, yet we would miss so much if they didn’t share them with us. Thank you @jacqniv for all the images you share on twitter from NCISLA.

  4. LasiaMsinred

    For some reason this article and your comments made me wish for a undercover assignment,Callen and Monty in the dog park trying to win the trust of “Suspect XY”

  5. ChrisDaisy

    I could look at those pictures forever!!!
    I especially loved the ones with all the different running scenes! (Ok, I confess – I loved them all… 🙂 )
    Of course, they all need to exercise and work out to be up to the tasks their job brings. I just did not realize until now how prominent that is featured in the show!

    Great job putting all those scenes and everything together! Awesome!

    I would really like to see Callen doing some Pilates… and watch the team’s comments about it… 🙂

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