How can it be that some people scarcely appear to age and manage to remain as strong, agile and flexible as they ever were? Vin Diesel is one such character who, despite being in his 50s, continues to occupy the driver’s seat in the >Fast and Furious movies, the tenth of which will grace the big screens later this year. It’s true that he might have access to a very large anti-aging budget, but Diesel continues to set the bar for peak performance and youthfulness in the most cost-effective ways possible. He’s proven the impossible to be possible so we hunted down the diamonds of truth he’s shared with TRAIN and the world then mapped them against the latest research to give you Diesel-approved advice every man should be using every day.


Fast Food Facts

“I have become a lot more aware of my diet and nutrition over the last few years in particular. I do like to eat and I do like to feel good – so for me, my diet is about balance. My diet, like my weights regime I suppose, is very much your typical diet for people who want agility, lower body fat and higher muscle mass. Basically, it’s predominantly lean proteins, lots of complex carbs, lots of veggies and fruits, and then also a lot of water. I do try to eat natural food as well, and it’s not just to look a certain way, it’s to feel a certain way as well.”

Science says: Thumbs up

Food quality is everything, because junk makes you feel you’ve been hit over the head with a radioactive trashcan. A paper in >Scientific Reports found eating all-natural vegetables contributed significantly to levels of happiness after eating them for just eight days. Imagine what eating like for a lifetime would do? All love, like Vin so often says.


Brain Fuel

“When you’re doing long days on set or you’ve got a day full of meetings, you want to feel good and engaged, and I think eating well does that for me, for sure. I do try to eat every few hours and I try to make sure every meal has some protein in there and plenty of resourceful carbs.”

Science says: Thumbs up

Carbs are nature’s limitless pill for your brain. Dieters who cut out carbs performed significantly worse on memory-based activities than when they just reduced their calories and kept carbs high, says a paper at Tufts University. When carbs were eaten again, their high-powered cognition skills returned. Take Diesel’s lead and don’t just time your carbs around workouts, but eat them before serious work events or whenever you just need to think sharp – like when you tell your significant other you don’t want to go to brunch.




Rolling Wins

“When I was younger – especially when I was bouncing – it was about being as big as possible and it was about looking formidable. Now I’m much more focused on hitting every part of my body and my fitness in general. Also, there’s now a lot more fight training and then Pilates and yoga. Often, I adjust my training for each role, and on >Furious 7 I did a lot of jiu-jitsu, which really helped my fitness in general and stamina and agility.”

Science says: Thumbs down

Okay, so he is technically right, Vin’s always right, but has slightly under sold the benefits of jiu-jitsu. A systematic review in >Sports Medicine-Open found these incredible martial artists have low body fat, high aerobic fitness, dynamic, isometric and endurance strength and high levels of muscular power. Forever humble, Vin probably just chose to display the world all those skills on film, rather than brag. If treadmill running gets boring, a martial art is the best cardio and full body routine you can embrace to KO your weaker self.


Super Hero Sets

“I try to switch things up every so often and shock my body – but it is your typical muscle mass building moves that have been done for decades. Also, I try to hit every area of every body part, and I do supersets to shock my muscles. I’ll do two or three powerlifting sets and then I’ll go into high-rep sets afterwards. I really want to wear them out and get the most out of my time in the gym.”

Science says: Thumbs Up

Everything, including Riddick movies, is done better in sequels or threequels, says a paper in the >European Journal of Applied Physiology. These researchers found super sets and tri-sets will enhance your training efficiency while reducing training time, but to really make them work to your advantage you may need a little more R&R after each set. This is entirely understandable, because you’ll need to leave a little rest between the revs of your engine.


Muscle Car

“Generally week-to-week there’s a mix of weight training, jiu-jitsu, running around after my kids, calisthenics, Pilates and yoga, and free running training. However, when it comes to weight training I do a lot of different things. For example, for chest there’s bench press flat, incline bench press, bench press decline, dumbbell flys, push-ups. For triceps: various extensions, cable pull-downs, skull crushers. For biceps: hammers, bicep curls, barbell curls, preacher curls. For back and shoulders: shoulder press, lateral raise, front raise, lateral pull-downs, bent over rows. For legs: various squats, calf raises. That’s really just a snapshot.”

Science says: Thumbs Up

When the man gets a line right, he really nails it because while most experts suggest sticking exclusively to big compound moves, Vin does a mix of everything. A paper in the >Asian Journal of Sports Medicine pitted single against multi-jointed resistance moves and found both were equally effective in untrained men at building muscle. It’s how much effort you put in that determines precisely how much you’ll get out.


Head Strong

“Generally I want the character – especially characters like Dominic Toretto and Riddick – to not just look built. I don’t want them to look boxy. I want to be agile and I want them to look like they can really handle themselves physically against a range of opponents. And honestly, training is so important to me. Not just because on a lot of films I’m doing stunts and it helps with my look and physicality and stamina, but I do really believe in “healthy body, healthy mind.”

Science says: Thumbs Up

If you want a mind that maximizes its potential, you need your body to do the work. In fact, a paper in >JAMA Psychiatry found lifting weights, like Vin does, was incredibly powerful at uplifting mood regardless of a person’s health status and fighting off depression symptoms. It’s never too late to follow Vin’s lead because you’ll never see the man without that famously sly smile splashed across his dial and the world will continue to love him for it.