Jean Claude Van Damme popularly known as JCVD was the face of action movies in the late 80s. In those years, he acted in numerous Hollywood action flicks like ‘Bloodsport‘, ‘Kickboxer‘, ‘Lionheart‘ and many more. In those years, he sported a physique that was lean, muscular, and immensely athletic.
Even today, JCVD has not gone out of shape. He still maintains his aesthetic physique and is still able to throw in some head-level flying kicks.
If you’re reading this, there is a great possibility that you must have been a JCVD fan and are willing to know about the secret behind his amazing fitness levels. Isn’t it? So let’s dive deep into Jean Claude Van Damme’s workout routine and diet plan which has played a significant role in keeping JCVD ‘fighting fit’ over the years.
Jean Claude Van Damme’s Workout Principles
JCVD is in his early 60s but he is as fit and active as he was in his 20s. All this has been possible owing to his dedication to following a strict workout routine.
No matter how busy his schedule is, Van Damme makes it a point to dedicate at least 45-60 minutes to his training sessions. He trains 5-6 times a week. Jean Claude Van Damme’s workout plan primarily involves the element of weight training as well as a little bit of cardio.
Practicing martial arts has always been a crucial part of his training program. Well, that’s how even in his 60s his head-level kicks can easily knock someone out.
Jean Claude Van Damme’s Workout Routine
Van Damme’s fitness journey started at a very young age when he got enrolled in a martial arts class. It not only taught him professional fighting skills but also elevated his overall fitness levels.
Jean Claude Van Damme’s training routine is not just targeted toward building big muscles. It is also focused on working on improving and maintaining his overall flexibility and agility. And that’s how despite having a decent amount of muscle mass, Van Damme is extremely flexible as well.
Van Damme follows a high-volume training approach. He hits each of his muscle groups with numerous exercises that enable him to optimally develop his muscles.
So let’s have a look at all the exercises that Van Damme performs for each of his muscle groups:-
- Barbell bench press- 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline bench press- 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Parallel bar dips- 3 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell flys- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Dumbbell pullovers- 3 sets of 12 reps
- Pull-ups- 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Close grip chin-ups- 4 sets of 10 reps
- Barbell rows- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- T-bar rows- 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Behind-the-neck barbell press- 5 sets of 12-15 reps
- Lateral raises- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Bent-over dumbbell lateral raises- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell shrugs- 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Quadriceps and Hamstrings
- Barbell back squats- 5 sets of 12-15 reps
- Front squats- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Hack squats- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lying leg curls- 4 sets of 10 reps
- Standing leg curls- 4 sets of 10 reps
- Romanian deadlifts- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Standing calf raises- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Seated calf raises- 3 sets of 15 reps
- Crunches- 3 sets of 25 reps
- Reverse crunches- 4 sets of 25 reps
- Russian twists- 5 sets of 20 reps
- Leg raises- 3 sets of 20 reps
- Lying triceps extensions- 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Tricep pushdowns- 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Single-arm tricep extensions- 3 sets of 10 reps
- Barbell curls- 5 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline dumbbell curls- 4 sets of 10 reps
- Concentration curls- 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Barbell wrist curls- 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Reverse wrist curls- 3 sets of 15 reps
Van Damme trains at least two muscle groups in a single training session. But at the same time, he also ensures that he doesn’t subject his body to overtraining and hence programs his workout routine accordingly.
To keep his overall body fat percentage low, Van Damme relies on performing cardio. His cardiovascular routine primarily consists of running either on the treadmill or outdoors. He also performs cycling at times.
Van Damme performs cardio three times a week. It also enables him to work on his agility as well as his cardiovascular endurance.
Martial arts training
JCVD’s training program will be incomplete without the element of martial arts in it. Van Damme is a trained karateka and kickboxer.
To work on his martial arts skills, he relies on performing shadow boxing, kicking drills, heavy bag work, etc. All these also contribute to improving his overall agility and mind-muscle coordination.
Stretch it out
Flexibility training has always been a key component of Jean Claude Van Damme’s workout routine. And to serve that purpose he performs different kinds of stretches. He even claimed once,
“I was always into flexibility training so it made my muscles very elastic”
Well, that’s how Van Damme is still able to perform ‘the splits’, and that too with great ease.
Training as per INSTINCTS
Van Damme has training experience of many decades. And owing to this reason he understands his body well.
So when it comes to exercising, he goes by his instincts and trains his muscle groups with as much intensity and volume as he feels right. His exercise routine has always prioritized muscle building over gaining brutal strength.
Jean Claude Van Damme’s Diet Plan
To maintain his lean and muscular physique, JCVD has always been pretty disciplined about what he feeds his body. He claims that if one keeps the gut healthy, it will surely have a positive impact on improving the levels of one’s overall health.
- Jean Claude Van Damme’s diet plan has plenty of whole food items that are loaded with essential nutrients. Some of them are fresh fruits and veggies, whole eggs, berries, salad, pasta, and hummus.
- His diet plan has medium amounts of carbs, proteins, and fats.
- Instead of feeding his body with 3-4 heavy meals throughout the day, he prefers to do so by having 6-8 small meal
He claims that this approach not only keeps one’s metabolism in check but also enables the body to get rid of excess fat.
Talking about the snacks that he eats in between his major meals, JCVD likes to choose healthier food items. His favorite snack is having coffee with an oatmeal cookie.
No matter how disciplined Van Damme has been with sticking to his diet plan, at times, even he likes to satisfy his taste buds by eating his favorite cheat meals.
He loves to munch on chocolates and French fries on his cheat days. But at the same time, he also ensures that he consumes them in moderation.
Jean Claude Van Damme’s Supplements
Van Damme has never been over-reliant on supplements. He always prefers fulfilling his body’s nutritional requirements by having whole food items.
However, there is one supplement that has been a part of Jean Claude Van Damme’s supplements stack over the years. And that supplement is:-
- Omega 3s
Van Damme even advises others to have omega 3s supplements as it not only combats inflammation but also contributes positively towards improving the brain and heart health.
So that was all about Jean Claude Van Damme’s workout routine and diet plan. We are sure that you would have learned a lot from it. If you too wanna be as fit and athletic as JCVD, you can rely on the info mentioned in this post to structure your training program and nutrition plan.
Just make sure to make slight modifications to it as per your training experience and fitness goals. Also, you will need to be consistent with following your fitness regime just like JCVD. If you do so, we can assure you that you will be gaining the most out of it.