Van Damme’s epic split in the Volvo ad has renewed the world’s interest in the fitness genius. Everyone wants to know what keeps him fit as a fiddle at the age of 53, with strong and powerful legs, as it was in his youth. He is possibly one of the few actors with a strong physique and fitness and agility of a martial artist. His legs splits and high kicks remain individualistic to his personality even now, as it was in his movies like Blood Sport, Double Impact and Hard Target.
Van Damme focuses on balanced workout. He says, “Do not follow a program. Listen to your body and you will be incredibly fit. I do weight training, flexibility and cardio. The problem with people is that they go to the gym and only do weights. It is like putting a little engine in a big vehicle, you have to be balanced.”
To be able to do splits and get powerful legs like Van Damme, you have to do a lot of stretching exercises, calf muscles and do a lot of squats.
Van Damme – diet tips
He says that though he eat meat occasionally, he veers towards a vegetarian lifestyle. When he is training, he likes to eat lots of vegetables, rice, beans and bread. He says, “You are what you eat. My body is a different machine today. I am not putting into my body the things that I did 10 and 15 years ago. When you put good things into the body, you nourish your red cells and feed your muscles. I like to go for cardios to the tune of 168-170 beats per minute. I like to train to the fullest. I need to work up a good sweat. As a man grow older, stamina matters more than strength. It is not about going fast and maxing out. It is about lots of reps. I do not count when I train, I simply listen to my body. “
The Volvo-commercial also has a lot to thank ‘ballet’ for his flexibility. He swears that this form of dancer is sheer hard-work and it takes a lot of practice to make it effortless. He has strived to incorporate ballet in his style of fight in movies that give grace to his action moves.
Van Damme says that he looks up to his contemporary Sylvester Stallone as an inspiration, someone who has an inspiring body even at the age of 67.