How to be Bruce Lee
Everyone at least once has heard of the legend Bruce Lee. His inspiration on martial arts in the west is unlike anything we've ever seen. He was a near perfect athlete with the perfect body. Almost every martial artist strives to have a body like his, but what did he do to even get to that point?
There's no doubt that Bruce Lee's training was not for average people, however, there was a simple concept that was incorporated many of his training sessions. That was isometrics. Isometrics is key to any martial artist that wants to improve their skill. Isometrics works on strength, speed, explosiveness, body control, and posture strength.
What is Isometric Training
Isometric movements can be described as force being used against an immovable object. Things such as pushing against a wall or trying to pull a car while the parking brake is on are considered isometric. When it comes to training, isometrics utilize your entire body or target specific ranges of motion in the muscles. The great part about isometrics is that you can train at any angle you see fit and will get the same benefit.
Using different angles is essential for building strength because of change of force throughout the body. Why is this change of force essential though?
"For example, the hardest part is not from the start or the finish during a chest press. Instead, in the lower to the middle part of the press at the isometric position, it produces the greatest amount of force. When you lower the weight, your isometric strength is needed to reverse the direction and push the weight up. As you move the weight up above the midline, the force of the movement begins to get easier to the start position. However, your muscles only remain in this lower-mid position for about a second or two. And this part of the movement is where explosiveness starts. So, if your isometric base is not strong, then speed and explosiveness will not be effective." (Kelly, 2021)
If you need to solve any weaknesses in any specific motion, isometrics is the way to go. Weakness in particular parts of motion will hinder your training because you will end up compensating to finish your reps, making that rep less optimal and will slower the rate of increasing your strength .
Here is a video on the benefits of isometric training:
Bruce Lee's Isometric Training
Bruce lee used simple yet effective isometric exercises, completing each exercise once with a maximum effort time of 6-12 seconds.
Rise on toes-calf raise
Full body pull
If you want the best results of your training you have to pay attention to what you're eating. You must treat your diet the same as your training. Only then will you see the results you wish for. But what did Bruce Lee's diet look like?
Cut out "empty calories"
Bruce Lee only consumed calories that would benefit him. Products such as refined flour, biscuits, cakes, and pastry he considered empty calories and would stray away from them.
Bruce Lee felt that western food was bland so he often stuck to his ancestry food from China. Asian dishes primarily focus on carbohydrates from rice and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and excellent energy sources for the day, while western food is more emphasized on protein and fat. Spaghetti was regularly on his menu for food though as he was a sucker for Italian dishes. His favorite dish was beef in oyster sauce.
Eat less, more frequently
Instead of eating three big meals a day, Bruce Lee would eat four or five small ones added with some healthy snacks like fruit. Having too much food at a time can cause your metabolism to slow down, meaning it takes longer to burn off calories resulting in more calories being stored as fat at the end of the day.
Eating less and more frequent teaches the body that it does not need to store calories, preventing excess fat storage.
Drink royal jelly, ginseng, and tea
Royal jelly contains B-complex vitamins including high concentration of B5, B6, acetylcholine, hormones, and eighteen amino acids.
Mixing tea with some ginseng is thought, in Chinese remedy, to promote "Yang" energy which improves blood circulation and supply.
Brue Lee had two protein shakes per day with a mix of eggs, wheat germ, peanut butter, bananas, brewers yeast, and granular lecithin. Vitamin and mineral supplements were also thrown into the mix.
To become a legend like Bruce Lee, you must become the master of yourself in all aspects. Never take a day off and never go easy on yourself.
Black Belt Magazine - "Enhance Your Strength and Explosiveness with Bruce Lee’s Isometric Routine"
insure4sport - "Revealed: The Bruce Lee Diet"