Strength Training Lessons From Jean Claude Van Damme

One of the most famous Belgians is martial artist and actor Jean Claude Van Damme. Similar rags to riches story as Arnold Schwarzenegger – started Karate at age 11, earned his black belt, became European Team Champion, then made it to Hollywood starring in movies like Timecop ($100 million gross). Respect.

Jean Claude Van Damme was also a successful bodybuilder and won the 1978 Mr Belgium competition held in Etterbeek, just a few kms from where I live. Look at the picture below of “The Muscles from Brussels” posing. I also included a picture of JCVD’s full split in my favorite movie of his, Bloodsport (1988).

Jean Claude Van Damme first Mr Belgium (1978), then doing a full split (1988).

Jean Claude Van Damme first Mr Belgium (1978), then doing a full split (1988).

Isn’t it amazing that Van Damme could perform the full split in Bloodsport even though he was lifting weights for at least 10y before that? Because if you listen to those idiot coaches, lifting weights makes you slow, bulky and inflexible…

Bullshit piled high and stinking strong I say.

In fact, StrongLifts Member Scott O’Neill (“Scotton”, 19, Scotland) does parkour. And he also used to be an advocate of body-weight exercises only because he believed that lifting weights would make you slow, bulky and inflexible. Luckily, Scott was smart enough to give StrongLifts 5×5 a try anyway. Here’s what boosting his Deadlift beyond 400lb accomplished for him:

With regards to Parkour my added strength has launched me to new levels. Developing my maximal strength has helped my explosive power. I have a much high vertical, and a larger broad jump ““ largest within the group of people I train Parkour with. I now recommend heavy compounds to everyone I train with.

Lifting weights will NOT make you slow, bulky and inflexible.That’s just a myth spread by guys who never lifted weights at all. Think about it – how could Jean Claude Van Damme do a full split if lifting made you inflexible? He knew.

Like this post?

Signup for my daily motivational email tips. I'll send you free tips every day to help you get stronger. These tips are free and you can unsubscribe anytime. Get access by going here.

Fed Up Being Weak?

So was I. The best routine I've found to get stronger is called "5x5". It's simple and easy: three exercises, three times a week, 45 minutes per workout. This 5x5 routine works whether you want to gain strength, build muscle or lose weight. And it's 100% free. Give it a try by clicking the button below.

Get Stronger