Wanna know about Bruce Lee’s training? Specifically, how he got so muscular and ripped? Then congratulations, because you’re reading the right web page!
I don’t know about you but Bruce Lee’s physique was probably the one thing that REALLY motivated me to start working out so much when I was younger. I wanted to be really muscular and ripped like he was… get those abs… and have a really cool scream when I kicked people in the head.
Bruce Lee’s Awesomeness:
Some other reasons why Bruce Lee was awesome and worth studying:
- He read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, and wrote his “chief, definite aim as “I will earn $10 million by being a famous American movie star” — and he did it on the timeline he set out to do it in.
- He had an awesome mustache (rare pics of this are in this article)
- When a lady on set saw him with his shirt off, she wanted to feel his muscles and Bruce (never a shy guy) happily gave her a flexed bicep to squeeze. She recoiled after grabbing it and remarcked it felt like “warm marble”
- He was just flat out COOL. In fact, if you watch a fight scene from a Bruce Lee movie and a fight scene from a Jet Li, Tony Jaa or even Jackie Chan movie — you know for sure who is a better martial artist… but Bruce Lee just EXUDED Awesome and Win in a way no other martial arts superstar did/does.
- He beat up a lot of punk-asses: there are at least two accounts of Lee breaking noses of guys that approached him while he was with his girlfriend(s). Friends said, “Lee didn’t suffer fools kindly”.
So I started studying a lot about ole Brucey, and reading all the books about him. One of the best books about Bruce Lee’s training methods is Bruce Lee’s The Art of Expressing the Human Body. It’s basically a book which was compiled from all of Bruce’s own notes about his training routines, his thoughts, philosophies, etc. Most accurate of all the stuff you’ll read about him.
So how DID Bruce Lee get so awesome?
It Started With Strength Training
Which Bruce calls bodybuilding because in the 60′s weight training was relatively new. In fact, Bruce was one of the first martial artists to really start doing it.
You can go grab the book if you want to read his specific weight training routines, but you’ll find that in the very beginning Bruce started training with full body weight lifting routines because he felt you needed every body part to be strong to become a better martial artist.
One of his favorite weight lifting exercises was the Clean and Press because it hit almost every muscle in the body. Bruce actually hurt his lower back doing weighted “Good mornings” early on in his weight lifting career and his lower back pain was always with him until he died. Protect you lower back, read my ebook “Amazing Abs 101 – For people with back pain or who never want to get back pain” (it’s yours free just for signing up to my site).
Bruce Did A Lotta Cardio
Besides his daily martial arts training of hitting stuff, mostly punching (he recorded over 2,000 punches thrown one day) which is a form of cardio in itself — Bruce was really big on cardio training.
There was a reason for this, and it’s the same reason that got Bruce obsessed with “working out” in the first place. He accepted a kung fu challenge by a rival school because he was teaching us White devils “ancient chinese secrets”. He beat the crap out of the guy at first but the guy tried running away and he had to chase him down to continue beating his ass — and although the fight only lasted like 3-5 minutes or something — Bruce was REALLY tired.
That’s when he realized his training was emphasizing all the wrong things: traditional stances wasted time and energy in fighting (laying the basis for his thought of “Jeet Kune Do”) and if a 3 minute fight tired him out he would have to start training to get in better shape (instead of focusing so much on just his fighting technique).
ANYWAYS, Bruce was really big on running. He called running “the king of exercises”. He ran a lot. This was during the “jogging craze” of the 60′s so you can imagine how overboard he went with it.
Nowadays, we’ve discovered it’s not so healthy to run so much like that and there’s quicker, more efficient, and overall, more healthier ways to get your cardio in (like interval training!)
High Energy, Active Lifestyle
Bruce was a hyperactive kind of dude. He was always doing something. (I know an asian like this). If he wasn’t working out, he was recording his workouts in his notebook and planning his next session. He would park farther away from buildings to walk more, or take the stairs and stuff like that.
He was also a movie star doing action movies, so that in itself was a workout. He also had a mistress late in his life (that’s where his body was found) so I’m sure that was some cardio activity in itself (sorry if that sounds disrespectful).
Seriously though, Bruce was always doing something. One guy reported seeing Bruce laying on the ground doing leg raises while watching a boxing match on T.V. while bouncing his son Brandon on his stomach, while simultaneously doing chest fly’s with dumbbells. That was Bruce.
Bruce Ate Good Stuff
Bruce liked the more “balanced” Asian diets with lots of vegetables… but knew from his research that athletes needed more protein. So in addition to a lot of Asian food he drank 2-3 protein shakes a day.
His wife Linda was in charge of cooking all the food and she made sure he ate well and that everything was healthy. The main key to Bruce’s diet was he ate good, wholesome stuff, and enough of it to get him by. He didn’t eat a lot of sugar, sweets, etc.
Combine that with his VERY active lifestyle and it’s no wonder why he was so ripped.
Awesome Video Of Bruce Lee’s “Super Kick”
This is one of my favorites scenes from ANY Bruce Lee video because he absolutely OWNS this guy’s head (this is what I referred to earlier when I said I wanted to be like Bruce when I was younger and “have a really cool scream when I kicked people in the head”)
That’s a primer on Bruce Lee’s training, like I said, if you want more info I suggest picking up The Art of Expressing the Human Body it’s a good read if you’re a Bruce fan or want to know how he trained.