Bruce Lee’s Fitness Routine
It’s Bruce Lee’s 70th birthday! Although he isn’t here to celebrate his birth with us, his presence is still felt to this day, and his image forever in our minds as a symbol of wisdom, skill and power. Of course his physique makes it easy for him to be recognised. Although not a big guy, Bruce Lee had the strength of men many times his weight and a ripped mid-section that set a new standard for guys everywhere wanting to get a six-pack, and not just the ordinary folk or martial artists, but bodybuilders and world class fitness experts. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself is quoted as saying:
“Bruce Lee had a very – I mean a very – defined physique. He had very little body fat. I mean he probably had the one of the lowest body fat counts of any athlete around. And I think that’s why he looked so believable. There’s a lot of people that do all the moves and they do have the skill, but they don’t looks visually as believable or as impressive as Bruce Lee did. He was one of a kind. He was an idol for so many. The great thing about someone like Bruce Lee is he inspires so millions and millions of kids out there who want to follow in his footsteps.”
Why was Bruce’s physique so outstanding? What did he do exactly to attain such a body? Bruce used bodybuilding techniques and methods in his everyday routine. Bruce found bodybuilding training useful, but not with the goal of getting bigger, but stronger and develop better muscular endurance. He trained every muscle group he could, to achieve the maximum his body was capable of, to become a more powerful and effective striker and martial artist. His philosphy was that you need to be a complete fighter, proclaiming that “when you’re talking about fighting as it is, with no rules… Well baby, you better train every part of your body!” – which he did. Bruce trained every muscle group from legs to neck right down to forearms. He even designed equipment specifically to train his forearms and had them built, to improve punching power.
Bruce also incorporated isometrics, which involve performing a movement against an immovable force, making the exercise static, and contraction constant. Lee beleived this to be a highly effective way to develop strength without adding too much bulk. Since his goal was to be a stronger mor efficient martial artist, unecessary size would be a hinderence, not a benefit.
At 24, he was able to perform 8 reps of bicep curls at a weight of 70 to 80 lb (about 32 to 36 kg) for 3 sets. Lee could hold a 75 lb barbell at arms length from a standing position, horizontally, in front of his chest, for 20 seconds. it has been said that he performed pushups with upto 125lb of weight on his back. These are impressive feats for any man to accomplish, but what made a shocking difference? Bruce weighed only 130lb (59kg)!
In order to develop speed, endurance to keep himself healthy, bruce performed cardio exercise constantly at a very high intensity. He ran 4 miles everyday in 25 minutes or under ,constantly changing tempo, an awesome way to gain more fitness and burn more fat (interval training). After running he would hit the stationary bike -flat out for 45 mins 35 – 40 miles. Bruce also loved skipping, to stay light on his feet. He would skip with one leg raised to further develop balance. He would perform these exercises daily occasionally mixing things up with circuit training, which involves a 8 – 12 stations (an exercise at each station) typically performed for 30-60 seconds, switching between stations without rest.
It is indeed a combination of resistance training, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning that made Bruce Lee the athlete he was, along with a sound nutrition plan, there is no reason why anyone can’t get similar results. If you’re looking for more info, I get a lot of my personal routien from the book The Art of Expressing the Human Body. it details Bruce Lee’s methods in training, including why they work and how to and how often to perform them.
If you like Martial Arts Movies & Bruce Lee…
Check out Martial Arts Action Movies (.com)!