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Bruce Lee's Workout and Fitness

Updated on January 30, 2015

Bruce Lee's Workout

It's well known that Bruce Lee took his workouts very serious; there was no playing around when it came to his training and fitness development. He sought out everything he could to push him further in his quest for physical conditioning and his perfection of Jeet Kun Do. Over the years he did things that for the times, was ahead of anyone else in his pursuit of perfection.

Those of us today looking for some inspiration can learn from Bruce and apply some of what he had learned in our own pursuit of fitness or our outlook on life. Hope you enjoy these little bits on Brice Lee below.

Bruce Lee Philosohy

Bruce Lee had his own way of defining martial arts and how to train to really fight. He did not go along with the traditional methods of other martial art styles where you follow set moves and methods, he believed in using whatever worked best from every style and putting them together. Bruce Lee's fitness training also followed that thought and he worked hard at it to be the best he could be.

In a way he was ahead of his time, what he tried to do in the 1960's is kind of what has become popular today, mixing different exercises to strengthen the body in a more realistic way. Only he took it to the next level.

New Amazon

Tao of Jeet Kune Do: New Expanded Edition
Tao of Jeet Kune Do: New Expanded Edition

This is the expanded edition of Bruce Lee’s great book on his science and philosophy behind his fighting system.

 

"If you're talking about combat -- as it is -- well then, baby you'd better train every part of your body!" -- Bruce Lee (from the video, Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview)

Bruce Lee Physique

Bruce is well known for his incredible physique. His body fat level was very low. Many Bodybuilders - Lou Ferrigno, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Rachel Mclish, Lenda Murray and Flex Wheeler to name a few have all talked of Bruce's influence on them. Keep in mind he only weighed about 140lbs and stood 5' 8" tall, he was not a large person in size but was huge in confidence.

Bruce Lee Training Methods

Bruce Lee was known to try everything and anything to achieve his goal of perfection in his physical fitness. He would experiment with his workouts trying to find the best way to reach his goal. He liked to always keep his muscles guessing as to what was coming next. He was big on improving his cardio vascular condition, he believed running to be the best way to achieve this.

Bruce Lee trained pretty much every day for hours; someone once said that he never turned his engine off. He would lie in front of the TV in the evening with his son Brandon sitting on him while he worked out. He was a big reader and had an extensive collection of books on exercise, fighting techniques and philosophy.

Short clip of Bruce Lee doing two finger push-up with one hand.

The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee
The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee

Lee’s philosophy compiled from his personal notes

 

Some Bruce Lee Feats of Strength

It has been said that Bruce could:

Jab his fingers through an unopened Coke can at a time when they were still made of steel.

Bruce's striking speed from 3 feet away was 500th of a second

Bruce once caved in a protective headgear made from heavy steel rods that had previously withstood several blows from a sledgehammer.

He could hold an elevated v-sit position for 30 minutes or longer.

He could use one finger to leave dramatic indentations on pine wood.

Bruce could break wooden boards 6 inches thick.

He performed 50 reps of one-arm chin-ups.

Bruce Lee Quotes

Let me give you a bit of warning: just because you get very good at your training it should not go to your head that you are an expert. Remember, actual sparring is the ultimate, and the training is, only a means toward this. Besides running, one should also do exercises for the stomach - sit-ups, leg raises, etc. Too often one of those big-belly masters will tell you that his internal power has sunk to his stomach; he's not kidding, it is sunk and gone! To put it bluntly, he is nothing but fat and ugly.

Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.

Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

From some of his Friends

In Jeet Kune Do, physical conditioning is a must for all martial artists. If you are not physically fit, you have no business doing any hard sparring. To me, the best exercise for this is running. Running is so important that you should keep it up during your lifetime. What time of the day you run is not important as long as you run. In the beginning you should jog easily and then gradually increase the distance and tempo, and finally include sprints to develop your 'wind.'

Jesse Glover - "When he could do pushups on his thumbs and pushups with 250lbs on his back, he moved on to other exercises".

Herb Jackson - "The biggest problem in designing equipment for Bruce was that he'd go through it so damn fast. I had to reinforce his wooden dummy with automobile parts so he could train on it without breaking it. I had started to build him a mobile dummy that could actually attack and retreat to better simulate "Live" combat, sadly Bruce died before the machine was built. It would have been strung up by big high-tension cables that I was going to connect between two posts, one on either side of his backyard. The reason for the machine was simply because no one could stand up to his full force punches and kicks, Bruce's strength and skill had evolved to point where he had to fight machines. Bruce was very interested in strength training; you could say that he was obsessed with it".

Joe Lewis - "Bruce was incredibly strong for his size. He could take a 75lb barbell and from a standing position with the barbell held flush against his chest, he could slowly stick his arms out, lock them and hold the barbell there for 20 seconds, that's pretty damn tough for a guy who at the time only weighed 138lbs. I know 200lb weight lifters who can't do that."

Wally Jay - "I last saw Bruce after he moved from Culver City to Bel Air. He had a big heavy bag hanging out on his patio. It weighed 300lbs. I could hardly move it at all. Bruce said to me "Hey, Wally, watch this" and he jumped back and kicked it and this monster of a heavy bag went up to the ceiling, Thump!!! And came back down. I still can't believe the power that guy had".

Jesse Glover - "Bruce was gravitating more and more toward weight training as he would use the weighted wall pulleys and do series upon series with them. He'd also grab one of the old rusty barbells that littered the floor at the YMCA and would roll it up and down his forearms, which is no small feat when you consider that the barbell weighed 70lbs".

From Linda Lee

Linda Lee - "Bruce was forever pumping a dumbbell which he kept in the house. He had the unique ability to do several things at once. It wasn't at all unusual for me to find him watching a boxing match on TV, while simultaneously performing full side splits, reading a book in one hand and pumping the dumbbell up and down with the other. Bruce was a big believer in forearm training to improve his gripping and punching power. He was a forearm fanatic, if ever anyone came out with a new forearm course, Bruce would have to get it."

Linda Lee - "He was a fanatic about ab training; he was always doing sit ups, crunches, roman chair movements, leg raises and V-ups".

Linda Lee - "Bruce's waist measurement certainly benefited from all of the attention he paid to his ab program. At its largest, his waist was 28 inches. At its smallest, his waist measured less than 26 inches".

The Power of Positive Thinking

Did Bruce learn about the power of positive thinking? One would think he did by reading this letter he wrote to himself. I believe he carried it with him and would read it to himself from time to time to help reinforce the belief that he would reach the fame he was seeking.

The letter reads...

My Definite Chief Aim

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.

Bruce Lee

1969

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    • fitnessbuzz profile image

      fitnessbuzz 3 years ago

      He is a real legend. He was perfect not only physically, but mentally as well. Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I own "The Art of Expressing the Human Body" and it's an incredibly well done book. So many exercises a person can learn and try, with excellent explanations. Superb.

    • divinenutrition profile image

      divinenutrition 3 years ago

      Bruce Lee was (and still is) truly a Legend. He was far ahead of his time, and to this day, many still don't fully appreciate his outstanding contributions to the Martial Arts. May his legacy live on.

    • profile image

      Niktravelfit 3 years ago

      Such a legend. One of my favourite philosophers.

      Nice lens.

    • brianvallois lm profile image

      brianvallois lm 3 years ago

      But could he do quadruple unders?

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      His close range punches were epic! I still watch the 6" punch video in amazement.

    • profile image

      jeremycrown 3 years ago

      IT SEEMS IM A LOT LIKE BRUCE LEE IM JUST NOTHING COMPARED TO HIS STRENGTH AND FIGHTING SKILL

    • profile image

      dwelburn 3 years ago

      Bruce Lee was amazing. Could he really do 50 one arm chin-ups?

    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 4 years ago

      I like Bruce Lee. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      AmericanNinjaWarrior 4 years ago

      Ah Bruce Lee, I feel that martial arts was brought to the world from this talented force.

    • profile image

      ChanKaMun 4 years ago

      My all time hero. A legend who can never be replaced.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Enter the Dragon I watch it over and over. So great.

    • thestairmaster profile image

      thestairmaster 4 years ago

      great lens. bruce was very fit and a real inspiration even today!

    • profile image

      ernisz 4 years ago

      Bruce Lee is very inspiring person, I love hes mindset and philosophy..Nice lens.

    • profile image

      bengraham 4 years ago

      great lens about one of the coolest guys ever :)

    • stretchaflex lm profile image

      stretchaflex lm 5 years ago

      A very interesting read - thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You can check out "The Warrior Within" for a Chuck Norrris tribute to Bruce Lee featuring many of the world's greatest martial artists.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks for the matter which could help me a lot in making my body fit and strong..

    • QBXFitness profile image

      QBXFitness 5 years ago

      A very enjoyable read. You gotta love Bruce Lee.

    • FastFistCity profile image

      FastFistCity 5 years ago

      I love the two finger push up, Bruce will always be the man.

    • Godweeno profile image

      Godweeno 5 years ago

      Thats an awesome old school video for Bruce!

      Martial arts training is some of the best you can do, it also crosses over into many other sports as it develops your balance and core strength. Great lens!

    • profile image

      NewUsedCarsSacramento 5 years ago

      He was a legend. A true motivation for all the body builders of recent times...nice lens!

    • profile image

      jo-white 5 years ago

      Yeahh Bruce Lee the greats fighter

      unique content I like it

      http://ellipticalcaloriesburnedfast.blogspot.com/

    • behealthycoupon1 profile image

      behealthycoupon1 5 years ago

      I have to be one of the biggest Bruce Lee nerds around. Bruce Lee is the sole reason why I (and I'm not the only one) to start getting into a health conscious lifestyle. Bruce Lee of the fictional movie character Rocky made being a health freak seem cool for a while :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      his pee wee was only 2 inches

    • profile image

      Antoniolivia 5 years ago

      wow really amazing, pushup 2 finger!!

    • profile image

      GettingPregnantNaturally 5 years ago

      I really like the Bruce Lee Quotes part. He was one of the most inspiring figure ever excited.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Sharon from Hamstring Exercises

    • profile image

      rongreenwood 5 years ago

      I love Bruce Lee, the kungfu and her movie. Very entertaining, interesting, and fun too. Thanks for the information!

      http://kettlebellworkoutshub.com

    • profile image

      BenBsimpson 5 years ago

      Bruce is a legend in many ways. he changed the fitness world

      follow me

    • fitnessjunkie8 profile image

      fitnessjunkie8 5 years ago

      Excellent lens to inspire us all to action!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      bruce lee is supercool!

    • profile image

      jhedberg 5 years ago

      Bruce's dedication to training his body and his mind is mindblowing. I admire his drive and determination. Those quotes about him are awesome. Cool lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      No Doubt that Bruce was a Master. No one can beat him in his techniques. Incredible.

      Mobile Personal Training Perth

    • profile image

      tinamahan 5 years ago

      My family has always been Bruce Lee fans. He was an incredible athlete! We watched his movies just last week.

    • HenkWillemse profile image

      HenkWillemse 5 years ago

      He certainly was great, my favourite Bruce Lee film still remains enter the dragon

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Bruce Lee was an extraordinary martial artists, his skill, fitness, dedication and work ethic were second to none. These attributes have influenced many athletes from all sports, disciplines as well as everyday people. Bruce is missed by everyone even the people that did not know him. Definitely the greatest of all time.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Bruce Lee is one and only!

    • profile image

      Black_Eagle_Martial_Arts 5 years ago

      Bruce Lee! What a hero!

    • profile image

      Black_Eagle_Martial_Arts 5 years ago

      Bruce Lee! What a hero!

    • profile image

      mmatrainingrevolution 5 years ago

      Bruce Lee, master of masters! I liked the feats of strength and the links you provide,

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Bruce Lee really is the only guy who deserves to have death by adventuring on his tombstone.

    • profile image

      annmurray2 5 years ago

      I always love Bruce Lee!

      Personal Trainer

    • profile image

      Airyu2011 6 years ago

      Love the BL push up video, grean lens!

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 6 years ago

      I had no idea - thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      nerdterd28 6 years ago

      pimp stuff lol

    • profile image

      travelerme 6 years ago

      thanks for the info

    • Elhamstero profile image

      Elhamstero 6 years ago

      Brilliant. Love the quotes

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Bruce lee info site and loved the quotes. Although not alive - he still has so much to teach us about dedication to training.

    • mcarter08 profile image

      mcarter08 6 years ago

      I am a huge fan of Bruce Lee, I enjoyed this page.

    • Optionstradingiq profile image

      Optionstradingiq 6 years ago

      awesome stuff

    • profile image

      HuntAndFishGuides 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee was decades ahead of his time. Great lens, love the 2 finger pushup video!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading about the late great Bruce Lee. Thank you for the info here.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Great information - love the quotes from those who knew him as well - very interesting! :)

    • creativeinc lm profile image

      creativeinc lm 6 years ago

      I was around 12 when Bruce Lee was so famous!

      Please check :https://hubpages.com/entertainment/popular-forms-o...

      I;m trying to help Kipsy

    • creativeinc lm profile image

      creativeinc lm 6 years ago

      I will never forget his movie Enter the Dragon. Nice lens!

    • Mermaiden profile image

      Mermaiden 6 years ago

      Great lens. My husband is a big fan of IP Man

    • profile image

      shaw4991 6 years ago

      I'm a MASSIVE Bruce Lee fat.

      Love the lens, keep up the good work.

    • PainMan1 profile image

      PainMan1 6 years ago

      Cool lens! Good job!

    • seedlingspublis profile image

      seedlingspublis 6 years ago

      Super!!!

    • profile image

      jvernier33 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee was my first fitness role model. I've changed a lot since I first discovered fitness, but I always go back to the wisdom Bruce so freely provided. Your lens is very well-organized and I found information that even I didn't know. Well done!

    • beta21 profile image

      beta21 6 years ago

      This is great, I actually recently ordered The Art Of Expressing The Human Body from Amazon, but I have yet to actually read it. This lens definitely makes me want to open it up now. (As well as actually watch all his movies)

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 6 years ago

      I had no idea how much he worked out to keep his physique. I wish I had his discipline. It is hard with a wife and kids, but he obviously did it. I thought your lens on Bruce was inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • robertjcook lm profile image

      robertjcook lm 6 years ago

      I love Bruce Lee, although I think he may have pushed his body too much. He is surly an icon.

    • profile image

      ronthoughts 6 years ago

      Thanks for these great lenses, best wishes!

    • ResJes profile image

      Jessi 6 years ago from United States

      Nice lens...damn Bruce Lee was intense..obviously haha.

    • anticloud profile image

      anticloud 6 years ago

      Great lens with a lot of good information. Thanks for putting this one together!

    • articol profile image

      articol 6 years ago

      I own the whole Bruce Lee library. I wish more people knew what an amazing guy Bruce was, shows what the rest of us can be capable of!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens on Bruce Lee's work out and fitness we have to learn so much from him the physique and the fitness of Bruce Lee is awesome. forearm workouts

    • JessStone profile image

      JessStone 6 years ago

      Love the video!!

    • RiverCygnet profile image

      RiverCygnet 6 years ago

      this is amazing Lens!! ^_^

    • profile image

      AlexRomanov 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee was an amazing individual.

    • littlelotus profile image

      littlelotus 6 years ago

      wow.... this is one good lens .... well done :) martial arts does need you to be very diligent in practice I suppose.... but I never had any idea ..... wow...!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I could only hope to be a fraction of how great he was. Incredible lens!

    • profile image

      jayneal 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee was a master in his work. And he had some tight abs. do you think his abs was tight because of his size or like you said he had his own way of exercising?

    • aborenegade profile image

      aborenegade 6 years ago

      wish i was as strong as him

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      promotional-coupons-codes 6 years ago

      I wonder how can a person be so strong.

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      LensSeller 6 years ago

      An excellent tribute to one of the all-time legends.

    • profile image

      reynoldsperformance 6 years ago

      This is one sick lens on Bruce Lee, nice work and a lot of well put together information. Are you going to be adding more information about his workouts and stuff like that too? That would be a cool module addition.

    • stirko profile image

      stirko 6 years ago

      this person is my role model

    • HomeGym LM profile image

      HomeGym LM 6 years ago

      I love this lense great content and facts about Bruce Lee great page.

    • BladeOps LM profile image

      BladeOps LM 6 years ago

      awsome lens!

    • profile image

      simplymedia 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee also became a legend in Wing Chun Kung Fu by Yip Man. I love Wing Chun, one of the best kung fu style I tried.

    • profile image

      onlinecertification 6 years ago

      great lens!

    • itsmuzza2011 profile image

      itsmuzza2011 6 years ago

      manmy try to be him but there was ONLY ONE Bruce Lee and such a shame he died so young , great lens

    • profile image

      p90xlean 6 years ago

      Cool lens on a legend!

    • profile image

      Goodie-V 6 years ago

      Cool post! For those who don't know, he was the original Kato in the Green Lantern TV series and became more popular than the main character because of his on-screen stunts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I know what I know thanks to him

    • ReccoR profile image

      ReccoR 6 years ago

      Great Lens. I read every word! im more of a skim over things kind of person, Well Done.

    • zlipztream profile image

      zlipztream 6 years ago

      The master. doing bodyweight exercises and achieving that kind of physique, my hat's off to the man. Awesome lens.

    • venitalynn profile image

      venitalynn 6 years ago

      Bruce is the first person I think of when I hear "martial arts" - well, after my boyfriend (4th degree blackbelt). I wish he was still around. Bruce, not my boyfriend - he's still here. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Bruce Lee is a legend!

    • com2 profile image

      com2 6 years ago

      He's the greatest. I have wondered what he would be like today if he was still with us. Would he still be an action star in the movies?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens. I love Bruce Lee!

    • profile image

      tonysharp21 7 years ago

      nice lense. wow! you actually went through the whole life of bruce lee. nice. i love the workouts he does its crazy. i started a program called insanity workout and it gives me a killer workout i can only imagine what bruce lees workouts were.

    • MuskyJim LM profile image

      MuskyJim LM 7 years ago

      great information stuff I never would of known about.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens. Thumbs up and lens rolled to my Green Lantern lens where I have Bruce featured on a module or two since he played Kato in the 1960s TV Series. Crazy - I just saw a video of Bruce whooping two ping pong masters at ping pong using only his feet and a pair of numchucks.

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      yourpersonaldiet 7 years ago

      I'm a fan of Bruce Lee.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens though his conditioning exercises seem a bit too extreme for me :)

    • profile image

      tzaction 7 years ago

      Bruce Lee was a master! I used to really enjoy his dragon movies.

    • willypo profile image

      willypo 7 years ago

      Amazing lens. Love Bruce lee. Just still curious how come he and his sons dead, does it call curse?