Jean-Claude van Damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme: An Action Hero Who Managed To Fight Drug Addiction

Jean-Claude van Damme is a martial arts master who is known to all fans of action movies. He was born on October 18, 1960 in Belgium and was named Jean-Claude Camille François van Varenberg. No wonder he shortened his name later. His mother worked as a florist and his father was an accountant. Jean-Claude started playing sports at the age of 10. He was said to be very weak at the time, so his father enrolled him in a martial arts school.

Jean-Claude van Damme
Author of the photo: Georges Biard

He mainly engaged in karate. He soon joined the athletes at the National Karate Centre in Belgium, where he trained under Claude Goetz. After 4 years of hard training, he earned a place on the Belgian team. At the age of 15, he started his competitive career and in 5 years he achieved 44 victories and was defeated only 4 times. Of course, he has a black belt from this sport.

However, at the age of 16, Jean-Claude also began doing ballet. It helped him improve his balance, strength and coordination of movements, which he then used in martial arts. For some time, he was also actively involved in kickboxing and bodybuilding, thanks to which his strength grew and his body also changed. It is no wonder that over time he earned the nickname “The muscles from Brussels”. When he was 18, he even became a Belgian bodybuilding champion.

From martial arts to film

In 1982, when he was 22, Jean-Claude moved to the United States with his friend. Even then, he had a clear goal – to become a famous star. But the beginnings were not so simple. To make a living, he worked, for example, as a limousine driver or pizza delivery man. Thanks to Chuck Norris, he then worked as a bouncer at a club and also was given some small roles in the films Missing in Action and Breaking. At that time, however, he still did not attract anyone’s attention with his small acting performances. However, Jean-Claude did not take a step back and carried on forward. He met producer of Cannon Pictures and showed him his fighting skills. That secured him a role in the film Bloodsport, in which he played the warrior Frank Dux in the lead role.

The film was originally said to be very bad, so its release was delayed by two years. Jean-Claude helped to edit the film and persuaded the production to eventually release it. The film soon became a hit in the United States and made a lot of money around the world. People mainly fell in love with the new action star they saw in the film. His name was Jean-Claude Van Damme. Viewers could then see him more and more in dozens of other films, where he showed his typical splits and jump spin kicks.

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Drugs, alcohol, flight and bipolar disorder

Jean-Claude earned a lot of money even before he turned 30. However, the fast financial gains affected his mind, and according to the others, he began to behave literally like a madman. He was so addicted to cocaine that at one point he had to take up to 10 grams a day, otherwise he would not be able to function. In 1996, he even enrolled in addiction treatment, but left the clinic after a week. His drug use may have been related to some extent to his bipolar disorder. Narcotics help patients cope with unpleasant conditions. However, he was not diagnosed with this disease until 1998. At that time, he also started taking medication, thanks to which he felt much better mentally. He eventually recovered from his addiction. He basically stopped taking illegal substances overnight.

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Author of the photo: Georges Biard

However, drugs were not his only scandal. He often went outside naked and, for example, was detained for driving under the influence of alcohol. He also spoke negatively towards homosexuals. He also proclaimed his belief that the role of women is to take care of the house and children. Even this stereotypical view of the family arrangement may have had an impact on his family life. Jean-Claude has married 5 times, twice with the same woman.

From his marriages he has 3 children – a daughter and two sons. Everyone is also involved in film. However, even his descendants are not complete saints. In 2017, for example, the police arrested his youngest son for threatening his roommate with a knife. He was charged with grievous bodily harm and drug possession. Jean-Claude is known for his warm relationship with women, as there were always plenty of them running around him at the time of his biggest fame. Among his most famous affairs is, for example, his relationship with Kylie Minogue.

Because of all his scandals, filmmakers began to punish him by not casting him in major roles in major films. His movie JCVD, which was positively received by critics, can be considered his comeback.

How does Jean-Claude Van Damme’s eating routine look like?

Surely, you’re wondering what you would have to eat to look like Jean-Claude Van Damme, aren’t you? It is important to mention that his dietary philosophy has changed dramatically over the years. In his youth he loved his meat and consumed it in large quantities. Today, he eats differently, but still maintains great shape. According to him, he doesn’t eat much meat or fish now. However, he takes care of a sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which he tries to supplement with fish oil. He likes to eat a lot of vegetables, which he thinks you always need to peel, pasta, salads or hummus. Moreover, on his menu, you will also find berries that are very popular worldwide. He has them mainly for breakfast as they are loaded with antioxidants. He eats 5-7 servings of food a day and treats himself to chocolate from time to time. He is not a supporter of strict diets. He tries to listen to his body and consume food his body wants.

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Author of the photo: Daniel Colin

How does Jean-Claude Van Damme’s training routine look like?

In order to stay in good shape, he is still involved in sports. He used to go to the gym 6 times a week. He worked on his chest, back, thighs, calves and abs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, he focused on his shoulders, forearms, and again calves and abs. Already at the age of 19, he was able to lift 166 kg on a bench press. He also did cardio several times a week to improve his physique. He did not give up on strength training even at a later age, as evidenced by the fact that he is in great shape, even though he is over 60 years old. He is said to go to the gym every day. However, he also rides a bike and does yoga. In short, he tries to be active in many ways. He even shot a series of Train with Van Damme videos on his YouTube channel, where he tries to help fans with home exercise.

Given that Jean-Claude is in great shape, we can definitely look forward to what more movies we will see him in. If you liked the article, don’t forget to share it with other fans of this action movie star.


[1] Jean-Claude Van Damme Biography (1960-) – www.filmreference.com/film/93/Jean-Claude-Van-Damme.html

[2] BIOGRAPHY – https://www.jcvdworld.com/biography.html

[3] DAMME HE LOOKS GOOD Jean-Claude Van Damme has still got it at 59 and works out FIVE times a week – https://www.thesun.ie/tvandshowbiz/5172312/jean-claude-van-damme-has-still-got-it-at-59-and-works-out-five-times-a-week/

[4] Jean-Claude Van Damme – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000241/bio

[5] Jean-Claude Van Damme's wild life - Kylie affair, £10k cocaine habit and bitter feuds – https://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/jean-claude-van-dammes-wild-22541819

[6] The muscles from Brussels – the story of Jean-Claude Van Damme – https://www.worldation.com/stories/muscles-brussels-story-jean-claude-van-damme/2/

[7] Jean Claude Van Damme turned 60, his career and scandals – People – Culture – https://www.archyde.com/jean-claude-van-damme-turned-60-his-career-and-scandals-people-culture/

[8] Nicolas Van Varenberg – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9056709/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

[9] Kristopher Van Varenberg – https://www.csfd.cz/tvurce/69156-kristopher-van-varenberg/prehled/

[10] Bianca Brigitte Van Damme – https://www.csfd.cz/tvurce/69155-bianca-brigitte-van-damme/prehled/

[11] JCVD – https://www.csfd.cz/film/236005-jcvd/prehled/

[12] The Real-Life Diet of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Who Is Still Jacked at Age 58 – https://www.gq.com/story/jean-claude-van-damme-real-life-diet

[13] JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME WORKOUT AND DIET – https://fitnessclone.com/jean-claude-van-damme-workout-diet/

[14] Jean-Claude Van Damme Workout Routine and Diet Plan – https://streetworkouts.net/celebrity-workouts/jean-claude-van-damme-workout-routine-and-diet-plan

[15] Did Jean-Claude Van Damme Take Steroids? – https://muscleandbrawn.com/celebrities/van-damme-steroids/

[16] Jean-Claude Van Damme Is Still Kicking – https://www.menshealth.com/trending-news/a36800424/jean-claude-van-damme/

[17] JCVD™️ - Train with Van Damme – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3vSFI-d4Fctp7WT9lIrgCjWZU3S35a0p