UPDATE: In a tweet linking to this story, Yen said he doesn’t play the “villain” of the movie. We have updated our story to more closely reflect the official synopsis, which refers to Yen’s character, Xiang, as a “deadly alpha warrior” on a collision course with Vin Diesel’s Xander Cage.
Donnie Yen has already dominated Chinese cinema. Now, the actor and martial arts expert is coming to take over Hollywood.
After earning legions of fans in the Ip Man movies and channeling the Force in a scene-stealing role as blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Yen is about to take on an even bigger role—going head-to-head with Vin Diesel as Xiang, a “deadly alpha warrior,” in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
And if there’s anyone prepared enough to take on the musclebound Fast & Furious actor, it’s Yen.
The 53-year-old Ip Man star is trained in a wide range of martial arts disciplines—he can handle kickboxing, Muay Thai, karate, Taekwondo, Tai chi, Jiu-Jitsu, and judo, just to name a few. And, oh yeah: Did we mention he’s shredded, too?
Yen previously dropped nearly 30 pounds while preparing for his role in Ip Man 3 and Rogue One, but once he started prepping for xXx, the actor started packing on slabs of muscle again—and just like his co-star Vin Diesel, Yen enjoys showing off the fruits of his labor, giving a peek at his workouts and his muscular physique to fans on social media.
Here are 15 of Yen’s best workout posts from Instagram:
15. Yen blasts his chest with diamond pushups:
Check out the 15 best pushup variations from Men’s Fitness and build your upper body.
14. Yen gets in some boxing training for xXx: Return of Xander Cage:
Looking to add some boxing training to your routine? Try this workout that helped former Men’s Fitness cover star Michael B. Jordan get shredded for his role in Creed.
13. Donnie has major ups—Yen gets some elevation on this powerful kick:
"Kung Fu" isn't two words! 44years16060days385440hoursNonStopLivinginTheMartialArtsWorldStretchingPunchingKickingWeightsPainSweatStrainsBruisesBloodMorePainAgainAndAgainStretchingPunchingKickingWeightsPainSweatStrainsBruisesBloodMorePain……………………….🤒 #DonnieYen #甄子丹 #action #martialarts #kungfu #kungfumovies #kicks #ipman3 #XXXTheReturnOfXanderCage #nike #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
12. Yen needed to add muscle to play his role in xXx—this post shows just how ridiculously cut he got for the movie:
In this new Triple X 3 movie , we got great talents from all nationality , to exhibit their acting skill as well as their physique , show-down . As an Chinese actor I feel responsible to represents, and like to say the moon isn't more fuller than ours , we can excel as good as anyone else. Too tired , no time , can't do it… r only excuses . I believe the essence of the art isn't about your nationality , color of your skin, social status nor age! If i can do it you too can ! 😊 “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like."👌 #donnieyen #甄子丹 #ipman #xxxthemovie #actionmovies #xxxthereturnofxandercage #xxx3 #sport #nike #dsquared2 @dsquared2 #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
11. Yen shows off his ripped delts and triceps while training in the studio:
Each movie each transformation , my character in this new movie – well-developed physiques obtained by extensive physical training and strict exercise accompanied by a strict dietary regimen – We need to be a complete athlete before becoming a true master in the martial arts! ✌️ #donnieyen #甄子丹 #actionmovie #ipman #martialarts #xxxthereturnofxandercage #xxxthemovie #xxx3 #nike #nikerunning #athlete #training #sport #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
10. Yen trains for his role in xXx with some overhead dumbbell moves in the gym:
If you’re looking to build and sculpt your body, check out this 30-minute dumbbell workout program from Men’s Fitness to help get it done.
Still want more? Check out these 10 great at-home dumbbell routines.
9. We weren’t kidding about Yen getting in shape for xXx—check out his rock-hard six pack and shredded core:
8. Yen can hit ’em high and low when he goes for the kick:
7. Yen shows off his transformation from Ip Man to xXx star:
6. Yen takes a break from working out to show off his musclebound upper body:
Keeping top form for my role!👌 #Repost @sweetcil ・・・ Muscles… 😍 #myman #sexy #Repost @donnieyendaily with @repostapp. ・・・ Got this from Donnie's fans over at weibo. Damn, he looks so ripped 😍 #DonnieYen #甄子丹 #fit #muscles #wow #hot #handsome #idol #health @donnieyenofficial #nike#xxxthereturnofxandercage #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
5. Even when he’s on the set, Yen is always working out. Donnie shows off some knuckle pushups and more diamond pushups:
Note the pistols in the shot.
4. You need to have some flexibility to kick ass—Yen proves he’s got it:
Looking to get a bit more limber? Check out these 7 ways to improve your flexibility from Men’s Fitness.
Flexibility is a personality trait — the extent to which a person can cope with changes in circumstances and think about problems and tasks in novel, creative ways. This trait is used when stressors or unexpected events occur, requiring a person to change their stance, outlook, or commitment. ✌️ #DonnieYen #甄子丹 #martialarts #kungfu #action #stretching #flexibility #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
3. Yen shows off his cannon-like biceps as he adds muscle for xXx: Retun of Xander Cage:
2. Yen takes out his aggression on the heavy bag with some powerful kicks and punches:
Born in 1963, started martial arts at 9, first movie at 19, countless stitches and fractured bones, back pains and pinched nerves . Hey, roll with it and don't let anyone tell you what YOU r! Breathe , live, throw them out and be what YOU want to BE. 💪 #DonnieYen #甄子丹 #kungfu #martialarts #actionstar #action #XXXTheReturnOfXanderCage #ipman3 #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms
1. Yen got his traps and lats completely shredded during his body transformation for xXx:
Looking to get your back muscles ripped too? Check out the 30 best back exercises of all time and build the back you always wanted.
In this new Triple X 3 movie , we got great talents from all nationality , to exhibit their acting skill as well as their physique , show-down . As an Chinese actor I feel responsible to represents, and like to say the moon isn't more fuller than ours , we can excel as good as anyone else. Too tired , no time , can't do it… r only excuses . I believe the essence of the art isn't about your nationality , color of your skin, social status nor age! If i can do it you too can ! 😊 “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like."👌 #donnieyen #甄子丹 #ipman #training #xxxthereturnofxandercage #xxx3 #xxxthemovie #sport #dsquared2 @dsquared2 #actionmovies #trainwithdonnie #宇宙最強 #宇宙最強甄子丹 #bulletfilms