Bruce Lee's impressive body is an icon of physical fitness: his ripped abs, cobra-like lat muscles and nearly superhuman flexibility serve as testament to what focus, discipline and scholarship can do for the physique. However, the Bruce Lee workout method isn't for everybody. The workout aims for specific goals that may or may not match your own.
Results of Bruce Lee Workouts
Bruce Lee weighed 136 pounds for most of his career. His muscles, though strong, were neither large nor bulky. His workout methods are best for those who want to maintain a healthy weight and build a strong, defined physique. It's not congruent with established best practices for putting on mass and size. His methods were also aggressive in the extreme -- not a good workout choice for those wanting to get back into shape after a long sedentary period; rather, it's a way to further improve the body of somebody already in impressive shape.
One challenge when discussing "The Bruce Lee Workout" is that Lee was always learning. His library on exercise and physiology was said to be wider than those of medical doctors he knew. Thus, his workout method changed every time he learned something new, or when he got excited about experimenting with something. Some of his ideas were decades ahead of his time: his isometric and plyometric exercise techniques are just now beginning to gain recognition, while others, such as electrostimulation of muscles, have since been proven misguided and ineffective.
In his classic "The Tao of Jeet Kun Do," and a posthumous collection titled "The Art of Expressing the Human Body," Lee emphasized the value of exercising during idle moments throughout the day. He advised keeping a book in the car for striking on while waiting at stoplights, stretching your legs on a desk while on the phone, and parking your car blocks from your destination so you can get in a good walk. Of all of Lee's workout methods, this advice is the best choice for those who want to get back into shape rather than improve an already athletic form.
Based on his workout journals as published in "The Art of Expressing the Human Body," Lee's exercise regimen includes flexibility training, resistance workouts, cardiovascular exercise and martial arts study. His personal routine seemed to most consistently include stretching while reading, working, walking, even talking with friends. Resistance workouts used weights -- doing sets of medium weights with repetitions in the middle teens to low 20s. Cardio and martial arts studies were wide and varied, but happened regularly and without fail.
- The Tao of Jeet Kun Do; Bruce Lee
- The Art of Expressing the Human Body; Bruce Lee and John Little