|According to 1996 article from Iron Man, Bruce
Lee utilized an weight lifting schedule on an every other day
basis to allow for recovery. Lee coordinated his bodybuilding
workouts so they fell on days when he wasn't engaged in either
endurance-enhancing or overly strenuous martial arts training.
He increased his body weight from 135 pounds to 165.
Lee geared his training for function rather than muscle size.
Three areas most important in Lee's physical fitness program
were stretching for flexibility, weight training for strength,
and cardiovascular activity for his respiratory system.
The Weight Training Program
Bruce Lee weight trained on Tuesdays,
Thursdays, and Saturdays using this plan.
2 x 8
2 x 12
2 x 8
2 x 6
2 x 8
2 x 8
Clean and Presses
Lee would take a shoulder wide grip on an
Olympic barbell. Bending his knees, he squatted in front
of the resistance, and with a quick snap of his arms and a
thrust of his legs he cleaned the barbell to his chest and stood
up. After a brief pause he thrust the barbell to arm's length
overhead, paused briefly and then lowered it back to the top of
his chest. After another brief pause he lowered the bar back to
the floor. After eight reps Bruce Lee would take a very short
rest and do his second final set.
Lee's squats were done with a
barbell on his shoulders and his feet shoulder width apart. He
slowly descended to a full squat position and with no pause came
back up to the starting position. With a short breather he would
then do set two.
performed pullovers by lying on his back on a flat bench and
taking a shoulder-width grip on a barbell that he pressed out to
full extension above his chest. From this position he lowered
the barbell behind his head-making sure to keep a slight bend in
his elbows so as not to strain his elbow joints-until it touched
the floor ever so slightly and provided a comfortable
stretch in his lats. From this fully extended position he
slowly reversed the motion by contracting his lats, pecs
and the long heads of his triceps.
The bench press was the only direct
barbell movement Bruce Lee used for his chest according to his
personal records. He used a shoulder wide grip on an Olympic
barbell. He pressed the weight off the support pins to arm's
length above his chest. From this locked-out position he then
lowered the bar to his chest and exhaled as he pressed it backup
to the fully locked-out position.
Good mornings should be done
carefully and only after a good warmup. Lee did this exercise to
strengthen his lower back but in 1970 he damaged his fourth
sacral nerve in his lower back doing this exercise with 135
pounds and without a warmup. This caused him terrible back pain
for the rest of his life. So if you do this one be careful.
mornings are done by placing a barbell across your shoulders and
positioning your feet three inches apart. Bend at the waist,
keep your hands on the barbell. When you get your back at a 90
degree angle to your hips, return to the upright position.
Personally this is one I don't do.
Lee took a comfortable shoulder-width
grip on the barbell with his palms facing forward. Keeping a
slight bend in his knees, Lee contracted his biceps and curled
the barbell up until it was on a level with his upper pecs.
Pausing briefly in the fully contracted position, he then slowly
lowered the barbell back to the starting position.
Bruce Lee Training
Bruce Lee incorporated
weights in his martial arts training. Lee would shadow box
with weights in his hands.
Lee trained his abs daily, believing that if your stomach wasn't
developed you had no business in the ring.
was always doing situps, crunches, Roman chair movements, leg
raises, and V-ups. Chuck Norris went on record saying he saw
Bruce bouncing Brandon Lee on his abdomen while simultaneously
performing dumbbell flyes, and leg raises while watching tv.
order to improve his gripping and punching power, Lee became an
avid forearm trainer. He trained his forearms daily and had
several gripping machines built for him.