Jean-Claude Van Damme Is 57 and Still Kicking the Bad Guys' Asses
Jean-Claude Van Damme has a new show premiering on Amazon Prime Video. It is what you'd expect—muscle pummeling flesh, bad guys getting their asses kicked, multiple high kicks—with a twist: Van Damme's role is that of an aging action star named Van Damme who is actually an undercover agent named Van Johnson. (You follow?) Despite the self-aware gimmick, the man hardly looks his age, which is 57 for those counting. Impressive stuff.
Van Damme's method for staying active and limber this long is straight-forward: He keeps moving. By following a training plan that includes weights, kickboxing, stretching, and cardio, he's still able to do all the things required of an action star, albeit with a bit more caution.
More specifically, Van Damme focuses on two muscle groups a day. "Let’s say, when I do my chest, I will do biceps and forearms, and [the next day] triceps and back and calves, and then my legs and abs. One day rest, one day train," he told Men's Health. His regimen also includes cardio three times a week he said, and of course, stretching.
In fact, he credits working on his flexibility early on for his ability to still practice martial arts at 57—and still being able to do the splits, he says. “I think it’s because I started training when I was very young. I was always into flexibility training, so it made my muscles very elastic. Also, I have good genes from my parents, and that DNA is very important. My mother and father’s skin is impeccable.”
So here's to starting young and never stopping—and being able to kick like that at 57 years old.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.