Sharing screen-time with director/producer/star Stallone was a dream-team of action aces, including Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Randy Couture… and the familiar face of one of Sly’s most iconic adversaries, “The Siberian Express,” himself—Dolph Lundgren.

Watching the big man throw down with his fellow Expendables, it’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since Ivan Drago crossed gloves with Rocky Balboa. Never far from the public eye, and constantly in front of the camera, how does Dolph stay in such incredible shape year after year, movie after movie, and leap back onscreen with the Italian Stallion looking more fit, fearsome and menacing than when he killed Apollo Creed a quarter century ago? What’s the secret of Dolph Lundgren’s Olympic level of fitness? Image


  • 10 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 3 Supersets of 30 sit-ups and 30 back extensions (30-0second rest between each superset)

Work the Circuit!
Perform four rounds of the following circuit training routine:

  • Running on the treadmill
  • Squat with Arnold Press*
  • Shadow kickboxing holding 5-pound dumbbells
  • Abdominal exercise (Each circuit features a different ab blast!)
  • Squat kicks
  • Push-ups
  • Bench dips
  • Dumbbell punches (alternate straights, crosses and uppercuts
  • * Named for the Governator who first developed it, the “Arnold Press” is an overhead double dumbbell press, but with the hands rotating during the movement.
  • Palms are toward the chest at the beginning. Turn to a palms-forward position at the top of the press, then turn back to a starting position as the weights lower. Arnold felt this variation worked his deltoids more than the standard overhead press and many elite body builders have followed his example.

Mix It Up!

  • First Circuit—Use light weights (60 percent of max) for 30 seconds per exercise, with a 15-second rest between exercises.
  • Second through Fourth Circuits—Use heavier weights, making sure to maintain correct form as well as intensity. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest period between stations.
  • Between each circuit—Rest two minutes.

After completing all four circuits, Dolph rests for 2 minutes, then finishes with two sets of chin-ups “to failure” (this just means doing as many as he can) with a 300-second rest between sets.

Do You Know?
Dolph and his trainer, Slavi Slavov are both avid martial artists and often follow their circuit training with five rounds of kickboxing.

Actor, Martial Artist, Olympian… Chemist?

  • Dolph has a master’s in Chemical Engineering (University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia—1982.) The following year, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.
  • Dolph is a third-degree black belt in kyokushinkai karate. He has served as Captain of the Swedish National Karate Team, winning several Swedish, European and Australian Championships in the Heavyweight Division.
  • Dolph was Team Leader of the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon Team in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. He is active in promoting the sport of Pentathlon, whose five military-themed events include pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, horse jumping, and cross-country running. Dolph later starred in an action film showcasing the sport (titled, appropriately, Pentathlon.)
  • Dolph’s trainer, Slavi Slavov, is also a kyokushinkai black belt and a mixed martial arts champion in his own right, who fights and teaches in both the United States and Europe.