The famous martial artist, Bruce Lee lived young and died young. He was only 32, and he had inspired millions of people by then. It’s been 40 years since he has gone and people still look up to his style of training. The kind of strength and flexibility his body had is still coveted.
Lee had one standard principle that he used in his physical training and in his life – ‘Absorb what is useful and Reject what is useless.’ You just have to interpret carefully which is which. He never stopped learning and kept adapting whatever he felt was benefitting him his whole life. That is indeed the mark of a true hero.
Bruce Lee focused on specific areas – Strength, Speed, Flexibility, Coordination, endurance, and agility. He took knowledge and inspiration from wherever he could and created his routines. ‘To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities’ is what he believed in.
Bruce Lee’s Workout Routine
His Circuit Training
According to Lee, all his strength and power came from his routine of circuit training. The exercises and carefully chosen and Bruce Lee never gave it up
- 2 sets of clean and press (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of Barbell curls (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of behind the neck presses (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of upright rows (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of Barbell squats (15-20 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of Barbell rows (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of bench press (8-12 reps for each set)
- 2 sets of Barbell pullover (8-12 reps for each set)
His Muscle Building Workout
Bruce Lee certainly had the best set of lean muscles in that time. His secret is his self-designed workout routine for building muscle, and he practiced it religiously. And you wouldn’t believe, but this routine helped him increase his upper biceps by 2 cm in just 45 days!
- 3 sets of Barbell Squats (10 reps for each set)
- 4 sets of Lying Triceps Extension (6 reps for each set)
- 4 sets of Incline Dumbbell Curls (6 reps for each set)
- 4 sets of Concentration Curls (6 reps for each set)
- 3 sets of Weighted Push Ups (10 reps for each set)
- 3 sets of Barbell Curls (8 reps for each set)
- 3 sets of Overhead Triceps Extension (6-8 reps for each set)
- 4 sets of Dumbbell Rotation (up to the limit of exhaustion)
- 4 sets of Seated Wrist Curls (up to the limit of exhaustion)
- 4 sets of Reverse Wrist Curls (up to the limit of exhaustion)
- 5 sets of Sit-ups (12 reps for each set)
- 5 sets of Calf Raise (20 reps for each set)
He followed circuit style in his core work out. He performed one set of each exercise and moved on to next one. Once all his exercises were complete, he took a little rest and moved on to the second set and then to the third.
- Alternate Splits (Total 3 sets)
- Run In Place (Total 3 sets)
- Jump Squats (Total 3 sets)
- Shoulder Circling (Total 3 sets)
- Bruce Lee High Kicks (Total 3 sets)
- Push-ups (Total 3 sets)
- Waist Twists (Total 3 sets)
- Side Bends (Total 3 sets)
- Ab Crunches (Total 3 sets)
- Hanging Leg Raises (Total 3 sets)
Bruce Lee’s Diet Plan
All great fitness legends have one common thing to say. Maintaining your body is an equal combination or hardcore workout and clean eating. You cannot have a pumped-up body without either. You have to eliminate the unhealthy food from your diet whether you like it or not and feed your body a balanced diet full of nutrients.
Some of the precautions that Lee took in his diet were that he avoided refined flour and dairy products. He ate smaller portions of food in each of his meals but increased the number of meals. He drank protein drinks at least twice a day, and he also took vitamin and mineral supplements as there were not enough variety in food back then that gave him all necessary nutrients.
Bruce Lee’s usual day to night meals:
- Muesli cereal
- Whole grains
- Nuts and dry fruits
- Skimmed Milk
- Fresh Juice/ Green tea
- Fresh Juice
- Protein drink made with protein powder, powdered milk mixed with either water or juice
- Peanut butter and wheat bread
- Brewer’s yeast
- Meat or steak
- Fresh juice and protein drink on alternate days
- Cooked vegetables
- Meat / Chicken / Seafood
- Hot milk or tea