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I was at a Christmas party a few years ago with a group of twenty-something dudes. Part of the evening included a white elephant gift exchange, and the coveted item that emerged from a carefully wrapped package was a framed movie poster of the legendary martial arts master Bruce Lee who starred in the 1973 movie Enter the Dragon. He was mid-air aiming to deliver a flying roundhouse kick to the head, and it looked like every muscle in his body was firing on all cylinders with the force of a 1,000 men. I didn’t end up with the poster, but it reminded me of Lee’s lifetime pursuit of excellence.
He was a martial arts master, accomplished actor and filmmaker, philosopher, and innovator of what some people now call Bruce Lee Calisthenics. And even though its been nearly 40 years since his untimely death, his training techniques, muscle strength and endurance, and pure power remains a legendary icon in the world of martial arts and fitness. Today a wide range of training programs are based on the principles of Bruce Lee calisthenics. And he’s a testament to the fact that you can get ripped by turning your own body into a workout machine.
Begin with Mental Toughness
Bruce Lee calisthenics is as much about strength training and conditioning using your own body weight as it is about focus, determination, and mental toughness. Bruce Lee said:
“…if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
That part of his guiding principles and philosophy that helped him achieve incredible feats of strength and demonstrate the kind of power and self-mastery that few have ever rivaled. If you want to be like this martial arts master, start by thinking like him and training like him. You might not be as strong as you would like or have the body you want yet, but the only way you’ll reach that goal is by trying.
Ultimate Power is Possible
Bruce Lee calisthenics is based on his training principles that included bodyweight workouts designed to build speed, muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. And he did it all without a gym membership, piles of equipment, or the kind of gimmicky exercise gadgets that are now collecting dust in garages and storage units around the world. The Bruce Lee calisthenics training regiment helped him achieve incredible power. Some of his feats of strength and speed included:
- Performing push-ups using only his thumb and index finger
- Holding an elevated V-sit position with his legs at 45 degrees, and bottom off the ground, supported only by his hands for 30 minutes or longer
- Catching grains of rice in mid-air with a pair of chopsticks
- Breaking through wooden board six-inches thick with a single punch
- Cranking out 50 one-armed chin-ups
Train the Bruce Lee Way
Even though many Bruce Lee calisthenics principles are based on ancient Chinese warrior training tactics, and Jeet Kune Do martial arts moves, they remain a proven way to get fit. And the only piece of equipment you really need is an inexpensive pull-up bar you can place in a doorway. Pull-ups, chin-ups, hanging leg raises, and all their
variations are Bruce Lee calisthenics that can help you develop powerful upper body strength.Lunges and squats will help you develop your lower body. You can strengthen your core with exercises like crunches and planks. Every compound exercise you perform that engages multiple muscle groups will help you build strength and burn more fat. And with a progressive and dedicated effort, you’ll develop the kind of muscle strength and endurance that made Bruce Lee a martial arts and fitness icon.
And instead of reading this and thinking about changing your workout tomorrow, next week, or next month, Bruce Lee would encourage you to begin your transformation right now. He said:
“To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.”
A great place to get started mastering Bruce Lee calisthenics and his other training methods is found in the book The Art of Expressing the Human Body.
To get more details abot the book click here: The Art of Expressing the Human Body