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:
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13. Donnie has major ups—Yen gets some elevation on this powerful kick:
12. Yen needed to add muscle to play his role in xXx—this post shows just how ridiculously cut he got for the movie:
11. Yen shows off his ripped delts and triceps while training in the studio:
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:
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.
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:
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.