Dolph Lundgren has always been a motivation in my work out methods. While I'm not nearly as tall as the guy, he's always been an impressive mix of size, definition and flexibility in flicks like Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe, Red Scorpion and especially Showdown In Little Tokyo. His 1986 workout tape Maximum Potential has found it's way into my routine more than a few times and it's still frigging hard to keep up with. Coupled with consuming copious amounts of interviews, making-of's, documentaries and the like over the last at least 20 years, his new book was still a breath of fresh air.
In a way, it's kind of like Maximum Potential, just expanded. That one hour video went over warming up, stretching, body sculpting, meditation and nutrition. Fit Forever was a very quick read as I devoured it in just a couple of sessions. Not strictly a workout manual, the book gives you some brief yet in depth essays from the man himself where he talks surprisingly candidly about his abusive father, his struggles as a sickly youth, getting into trouble, growing stronger and finding solace in fitness and sports. Not solely a meathead, Lundgren achieved his Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering and studied abroad in places like Australia and the States, all while continuing his hardcore, old school karate training and becoming a champion.
His workouts are split up into various sections that range from quick, no equipment, no excuses routines to full on split workouts for the gym. It's comprehensive yet not too dense so it shouldn't scare anyone away. Lundgren also gives reader a look at some of his movie workouts utilized for Rocky IV and The Expendables and his reasoning to why it would help build his character. This is a big improvement on pal Stallone's book, Sly Moves, which was a total disappointment with nary a movie preparation routine and we get Stallone telling us to do incline presses. Bro, you did not get in Rambo shape by doing solely incline presses...
The book itself is gorgeous, hardcover with thick pages and lots of photos. Lundgren gives shout outs to sports and fitness legends like Muhammad Ali, Stallone, Steve Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terry Crews. No mention of frequent co-star Jean-Claude Van Damme though. That's one thing about the book, I wish it were longer and given Dolph's quick memories on some of his awesome movies like Universal Soldier, I Come In Peace, The Punisher, etc and how his he trained for those iconic roles. There's also several sections on self defense where you can learn to take people out with palms to the face and knees to the balls if necessary.
The big man is actually holding a signing this weekend in beautiful Huntington Beach in Orange County at Barnes & Noble. If you're local, get there!