Dolph Lundgren Workout & Diet (Unveiling His Secrets)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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Hans Lundgren, better known as Dolph Lundgren, is an icon in Hollywood and the bodybuilding world, and it’s probably his appearance as Ivan Drago in the movie Rocky IV that really brought him to fame.

Even all these years later, he’s still an extremely fit and muscular man, and as a personal fitness coach, I was intrigued to find out how he handled his training over the years.

So, our team spent a day going through interviews and social media videos to see how we could structure Dolph Lundgren's workout routine.

Dolph Lundgren Career Highlights and Stats

Renowned Swedish actor and filmmaker Dolph Lundgren gained fame for his memorable portrayal of Ivan Drago in "Rocky IV," roles in "Universal Soldier," and playing He-Man in "Masters of the Universe."

Boasting a martial arts background and a Master's degree in chemical engineering, Lundgren has excelled in both action films and intellectual pursuits.

Now, let's explore his workout routine by first examining his stats.

  • Age: 66 (Nov. 3, 1957)
  • Height: 6 feet, 5 inches
  • Weight: 250 lbs.
  • Waist: 30 inches
  • Chest: 47 inches

The Dolph Lundgren Workout Routine

The Dolph Lundgren workout routine used to involve highly targeted weight training, especially for movies like Rocky and Universal Soldier.

 

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A post shared by Dolph Lundgren (@dolphlundgren)

But these days, he takes more of an old-school strongman approach to weightlifting.

Here is what his typical workout routine looks like:

1. Bosu Sandbag Chest Press (3 sets of 12–15 reps)

To perform this exercise, lie down with your shoulders on a Bosu ball and a sandbag on your chest.

Execute the standard bench press movement, and you'll observe your body constantly adjusting for balance.

This engages additional muscles, enhancing the effectiveness of this compound exercise, according to Physiopedia [1].

2. Spiderman Plank (3 sets to failure)

To perform this exercise, start in the standard plank position and pull your knees up to your chest one at a time.

Alternatively, bend your knee and execute a leg curl movement. Both variations enhance the engagement of your core muscles, offering effective results.

3. Heavy Sandbag Carry (3 sets of 30 yards)

Carrying heavy sandbag

This provides an excellent full-body workout, targeting your core and upper body during the sandbag lift and engaging your legs for a 30-yard move. To maximize effectiveness, use a very heavy bag, and the more challenging it is to lift off the ground, the better.

4. Light Sandbag Clean and Jerk (3 sets of 15 reps)

This exercise is ideal for those who feel uneasy performing a clean and jerk with a barbell. Utilize a sandbag with handles and focus on lowering your buttocks for a deep squat movement.

5. Side Plank (3 sets to failure)

As per KenHub, the side plank proves excellent for isolating the obliques, often challenging with other core exercises. To increase difficulty, fully extend your supporting arm, enhancing the exercise [2].

6. Heavy Sandbag Toss

Tossing heavy sandbag

This over-the-shoulder toss is highly effective for strengthening your core and back. You don't have to lift the heavy bag too high; simply bring it up to your shoulder and let it roll down your back.

7. Sandbag Shoulder Carry (3 sets of 30 yards)

For the shoulder toss, opt for the same or a heavier sandbag. Ideally, choose a long bag to rest across your shoulders and upper back. Avoid using a medicine ball, as it may be challenging to keep in place.

8. Martial Arts Training

Dolph is a martial artist holding a 4th black belt in Kyokushin karate. Although he no longer participates in challenging karate competitions, he continues to practice the art multiple times a week.

“I try to keep the martial arts up. It's a good thing, not just physically but also for your mind.”

- Dolph Lundgren

What’s His Diet Plan?

Top view of salad with chicken breast

The Dolph Lundgren diet plan is quite similar to that of a bodybuilder, and he adapts his calorie intake to the volume of training he does each day.

It’s heavily focused on protein and healthy carbs, and he has given several interviews with nutrition advice.

From those, we picked a few simple ideas for a meal plan:

  • Breakfast: 3-6 scrambled eggs on toast with a bowl of fruit
  • Snack: protein shake or bar
  • Lunch: chicken soup with a large bowl of salad
  • Snack: protein shake and cup of nuts
  • Dinner: grilled fish or lean chicken with a large portion of steamed vegetables

Does He Take Supplements?

Hand with supplements

Dolph Lundgren incorporates supplements to support his martial arts and bodybuilding goals.

He prioritizes a high-quality whey protein shake multiple times a day for optimal protein intake and muscle recovery.

Additionally, he relies on a premium pre-workout supplement to enhance performance, especially considering the impact of age on endurance.

As a fitness coach, I rely on a whey protein shake as my go-to for ensuring I achieve the right protein intake and promoting swift muscle recovery.

FAQs

How Much Did Dolph Lundgren Weigh in Rocky IV?

Dolph Lundgren weighed 248 pounds as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. He often speaks about the work he had to do to achieve that and how he felt a lot bigger than his training partners, who were heavier.

Was Dolph Lundgren a Bodybuilder?

No, Dolph Lundgren was not a professional bodybuilder, but he did train like one for many of his movie appearances. Looking at his physique in the 80s and 90s, there’s no reason he wouldn’t have been able to compete professionally.


References:

  1. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Compound_Exercises
  2. https://www.kenhub.com/en/library/anatomy/external-abdominal-oblique-muscle
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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