Jean Claude Van Damme works out everyday. His day starts with his bicycle and later he continuous with kickboxing and stretching. When he works on chest he works on his back and tights. When he works out on his shoulders he works out on his upper arms and fore arms. He always works on his calves and abdominal s daily. He says “The leg muscles, including the gluteus muscles, are of the utmost importance in developing not only lower body strength, but also upper body strength and mass” He does cardio three times a week. He believes age shouldn’t stop training that is why he still keeps his body shape as the same as he was young.
Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday
Chest: 4 sets of barbell bench press of 8-10 reps, 4 sets of Barbell Incline Bench Press of 8-10 reps
3 sets of dumbbell flyes of 8-10 reps, 3 sets of parallel bar dips of 10 reps, 3 sets of pullover of 12 reps
Back: 4 sets of chin-ups of 8 reps, 4 sets of close grip chins of 10 reps, 4 sets of T bar rows of 12-15 reps
4 sets of bent over barbell rows of 8-12 reps.
Thighs: 5 sets of squats of 15 reps, 4 sets of front squats of 8-10 reps, 3 sets of hack squats of 10 reps
4 sets of leg curls of 10 reps, 4 sets of standing leg curls of 10 reps, 3 sets of straight leg dead lifts of 10 reps
Calves: 4 sets of donkey calf raises of 10 reps, 4 sets of standing calf raises of 10-15 reps.
Abdominals: 3 sets of crunches of 25 reps, 10 sets of bent over twists of 10 reps, 3 sets of machine crunches of 25 reps, 10 sets of half crunches of 10 reps.
Shoulders: 5 sets of behind the neck presses of 15 reps, 4 sets of lateral raises of 8 reps, 4 sets of bent over dumbbell laterals of 8 reps, 3 sets of dumbbell shrugs of 10 reps
Upper arms: 5 sets of standing barbell curls of 10 reps, 4 sets of incline dumbbell curls of 8 reps, 3 sets of concentration of 8 reps
4 sets of lying triceps extensions of 10 reps, 3 sets of triceps cable press downs of 8 reps, 3 sets of one arm triceps extensions of 10 reps
Fore-arms: 4 sets of barbell wrists curls of 10 reps, 3 sets of reverse wrist curls of 10 reps
Calves: 4 sets of seated calf raises of 10 reps,
Abdominals: 4 sets of reverse crunches of 25 reps, 10 sets of seated twists of 10 reps, 4 sets of vertical bench crunches of 25 reps
From an interview with GQ:
GQ: I was looking through your IMDB page and, man, you’ve been in a lot of movies. How has your approach to your diet changed over the three decades that you’ve been in the business?
Jean-Claude Van Damme: I came to a point where I understand nutrition, the pluses and minuses of it. Because we have so many different types of diets, there’s so many different types of ways of eating. Different books with different sequences, and this and that.
I think you should eat what makes you feel good. Not like cream cheese, and cake, and chocolate all the time. But your body knows. After so many years, my body knows what to eat. Believe it or not, I can feel it. For example, I wanted salmon, and for a week my body wouldn’t let me eat eggs. And then on Monday and Tuesday I would eat eggs. I just go by how I feel. I listen.
A lot of people say vegetable and fruit skins are actually pretty important and nutritious.
It’s BS. The food industry tries to fit us all into one model.
I’m awful at eating in the morning. What can I do to break that habit?
It’s best to eat berries in the morning. Blueberries, strawberries, all types of berries—antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. But when you go to a shopping center to buy groceries and they put it in front of you, it’s meat, meat, meat. Chicken, chicken. They say egg whites are good for you. Egg white is the worst. If you eat an egg, eat the yellow—two or three yellow, and one white.
Years and years ago, they had to wake up in the morning and go to the woods and pick out some berries first. If you find an egg, you will eat an egg. But to find an animal that has to run, you had to chase it. The hunt is difficult, and if the hunter catches his animal, he maybe will deserve the meat. We don’t hunt. You know what I’m saying. You have to think like in the old-fashioned way.
Are you one of those people who likes to eat a lot of smaller meals throughout the day?
Yes. I eat six, seven, eight times a day. Small portions. If you eat three times a day, the body will retain like 70% of fat to protect you against starvation. You should eat like five, six, seven times a day, and slowly your metabolism will change, and the body will retain only 30% of fat. If you’re eating every hour, and eat well, then you can have a piece of chocolate. Life is short. You should go for chocolate, and go for a good one. If one day you want fries, you can have four or five good fries instead of twenty that taste like shit.
But go easy on the meat.
Yeah. Meat is good once a month, maybe. It’s important to eat all kinds of food. I ask my grandma, I say, “Grandma, how have you been alive so long?” And she says, “It’s because I eat many foods.”
Can you see a time in your life when you might become fully a vegetarian? It seems like your philosophy is definitely moving away from meat over the years, right?
When I was young, I ate lots of meat. Now, I feel better. I know what I should eat now. I’ve had blood tests, allergy tests, to help me decide what to eat and what not to touch. A lot of it is mistakes, and time.