Jackie Chan is the professional name of Chan Kong-sang. His parents moved to Hong Kong as refugees from from the Chinese Civil War. Chan failed out of his first year of primary school, and was sent to the China Drama Academy where he spent the next 10 years practicing and excelling in acrobatics and martial arts. Chan has trained in multiple styles, including karate, tae kwon do and judo. He has a black belt in hapkido and has been improvising and performing his own stunts in films since the 1960s. He is also trained in opera and a pop star in Cantopop and Mandopop and often sings the theme songs to his movies. Chan has appeared in 200+ films. He is popular in both the East and the West, and has a star in Hollywood and Hong Kong. Chan has won may awards, including an honorary Academy Award for Extraordinary Lifetime Achievements. In 2016, Chan was the second highest paid actor in the world. He has a production company and a movie theater chain in China, a clothing line, gyms, and food lines. A percentage of the profits from all his businesses go to charity and he was named by Forbes as one of the most charitable celebrities. Chan is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, takes part in many other charitable campaigns, and he has also pledged to give away 1/2 his wealth upon his death. Chan has over 60 million followers on Facebook alone. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 160 lbs.
Jackie Chan’s Diet
Chan maintained a strict diet of high protein, low fat, low sodium and low carb for many years, but these days he has relaxed his rules a little and will occasionally indulge in ‘fun’ food such as ice cream or steak. That said, if he does eat foods that aren’t strictly necessary, he will add in an extra cardio workout to minimize the impact. He says he doesn’t believe in dieting, but rather eats sensibly and enjoys it. He also believes that keeping a positive outlook is an important component of good health.
- Low-Medium Fat 20% 20%
- Low-Medium Carb 30% 30%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
Eat Like A Kid
Chan loves to eat the Chinese food he was raised on, which is not the same thing as the fast food you find in the US.
Chan focuses on quality animal protein, fresh vegetables and fruit, and avoids processed foods and simple carbs including white bread, soda, and other sugary foods that contain few nutrients.
Chan watched his intake for most of his life, and now at 60+ has decided to let himself indulge occasionally in foods that aren’t only for fuel.
What to Eat
Quality protein: fish, poultry, etc
Ice Cream (cheat)
Everything in moderation
What to Avoid
Chan’s Health Philosophy
‘My health philosophy is to never go on a diet, eat everything I like and be happy.’
Chan on his Diet
Basically, I eat everything, but I just do more training.’
Chan on Cheat Foods
‘I know I have to run 20 more minutes if I eat ice cream.’
Chan on Discipline
‘When I was young, I trained a lot. I trained my mind, I trained my eyes, I trained my thinking, how to help people. And it trained me how to deal with pressure.’
Jackie Chan’s Fitness Routine
Chan was never much interested in academics, but he excelled at acrobatics and martial arts and spent hours training every day from the time he was 8 years old.
Strength + Flexibility
Chan’s early training in martial arts made him both incredibly strong and flexible.
At 60+, Chan still works out rigorously. In part so he can enjoy his food, but he also cares about maintaining his strength and physique.
Chan is proof you don’t need fancy equipment to get strong. He does things like fingertip pushups, acrobatic leaps, splits, and backbends every day.
In his 20s and 30s, Chan ‘westernized’ his workouts and added more running, push-ups and sit-ups to his regimen.
Now in his 60s and although he has sustained many injuries, Chan still jogs for 1 hour each day, lifts free weights and uses a treadmill for 2 hours 3 times a week. He also practices martial arts and boxing.
Chan takes a 20 minute walk outside each day, someplace where he won’t be recognized so he can enjoy the fresh air in peace.
A Jackie Chan Routine
Jog: 1 hour/day
Knuckle push-ups: 10 reps x 5 sets
Decline sit-ups: 20 reps x 5 sets
Bench press: 15 reps x 3 sets
Pulldowns: 15 reps x 3 sets
Incline bench press: 15 reps x 2 sets
Seated rows: 15 reps x 2 sets
Dumbbell or cable overhead press: 15 reps x 2 sets
Barbell squats: 15 reps x 3 sets
Dumbbell lunges: 15 reps x 2 sets
Leg curls: 15 reps x 2 sets
Dumbbell biceps curls: 15 reps x 2 sets
Cable triceps pushdowns: 15 reps x 2 sets
Thai pad or Focus work: 5 min x 3 sets. 2 min. rest between sets.
Treadmill: 2 hrs/3x week
Martial arts: 30 min./daily
Brisk outdoor walk: 20 min./daily
Chan on Bullies
‘I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared and didn’t know how to defend myself. I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself.’
Chan on Stillness
‘Being still and doing nothing are two completely different things.’
Chan on Martial Arts
‘Martial arts is for defense. It’s not for attacking. So when people are fighting, always, always, defend.’
Chan on Fighting
‘The best fights are the ones we avoid.’
Chan on Pain
‘Pain is my daily routine. As long as I don’t go to the hospital, it’s nothing to me.’
Jackie Chan’s Supplements
Jackie Chan’s Lifestyle
Chan says he hates to rest, but that lack of sleep doesn’t affect him. When he need to recharge, he takes a power nap.
Chan speaks multiple languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, American Sign Language, along with some Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish and Thai.
Following In the Footsteps
Chan says his inspiration for a lot of his comedic stunts is Buster Keaton, who also did many of his own stunts.
Chan has been injured many times while performing stunts. But he doesn’t waste a good blooper and often shows them in his outtakes at the end of a film. He holds a Guinness World Record for ‘Most Stunts by a Living Actor.’ He also has a hard time getting insurance.
Map of Injuries
Chan has been injured so many times, one of his movie posters showed an inventory of them. His most dangerous was a fractures skull after falling out of a tree. He was in a coma for a week.
Chan is an avid enthusiast of soccer (aka football). His favorites are the Hong Kong national team, the English national team and Manchester.
Chan on Life
‘Life will knock us down but we can choose whether or not to stand back up.’
Chan on Paying it Forward
‘I do small things. I try to do good things every day. If everyone does some good, think of what a good world this will be.’
Chan on Success
‘Nothing makes me more determined to succeed than someone telling me something’s impossible.’
Chan on How He Succeeded
‘Why did I become Jackie Chan? Mostly because I work very hard. When other people were sleeping, I was still training.’
Chan on Himself
‘I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.’
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