How does William Beteet build his abs

Bruce Lee's deadly physique

Introduction of Mike Mentzer

The impact Bruce Lee's strength and physical development has had on athletes, bodybuilders and the average person around the world is impressive. When I went to school, my friends and I had talked a lot about the great Bruce Lee. Everyone knew his films down to the smallest detail and not only his martial arts skills were discussed, but also his incredible power and definition.

As Mr. Little will write in this report, even a person like Joe Weider was impressed with Bruce Lee's muscular development and definition. In particular, from the master's abdominal muscles. Mr. Little will also explain the remarkable impact Bruce Lee's physique has had on top athletes today. Bodybuilding luminaries such as Lou Ferrigno, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Rachel Mclish, Lenda Murray, Flex Wheeler and Shawn Ray have all described the enormous influence Bruce Lee's physique had on their own development. How so? How can it be that the physique of this "mighty tiny man", who does not correspond to the ideal of bodybuilding at all, has such a great influence on the sizes of bodybuilding? While his body has been described by some as "the most defined body shape in the world," I leave the answer to that question to the author, John Little. He will give us an accurate and eloquent answer.

Some sections of the article are sure to please the host of Lee fanatics, as well as whet the appetite for those first encountering the subject. Keywords like functional strength, incredible strength, a battle in San Francisco, the bodybuilding connection, and the workout regimen will captivate the reader in a way that will make them read the article through in one piece and want to read it over and over again.

For several years now, I've been extremely impressed by how many bodybuilders are also highly talented martial arts artists. In fact, I have overseen the training of several martial arts artists over the years. Many of my phone clients are already Lee fans because martial arts seem to be the most efficient training for strength and speed. And that was exactly what Bruce Lee wanted. In addition, I received more emails, letters, and phone calls from Marital Arts fighters than from any other type of athlete. This is the result of Lee's well-known belief that weight training can develop a lot of strength and efficiency.

I am extremely proud to announce that one of my best friends (and has been for 22 years) wrote this article. The article is an excerpt from one of the 11 books he has written on the subject of Bruce Lee. I first met John Litte in 1979 at Eaton's Department Store in Toronto, where Arnold, Franco and I were performing for Weider at IFBB. We got along well from the start as John was philosophical and passionate about bodybuilding. After that first meeting, we saw each other again in 1980 at Lou Hollozi's Gym in Toronto. I was giving a seminar at the time, and this renewed meeting strengthened the friendship between us. Later John came to Los Angeles a few times, where he usually lived with me in my West Hollywood apartment. The main reason he traveled to California was for the objects he wrote books about, such as Steve Reeves and Lou Ferrigno.

In 1992, Joe Weider finally brought John to L.A. to write for Flex. This agreement only lasted for three years as John much preferred to write freely about his passions, which were: philosophy, martial arts and Bruce Lee's philosophies. Lee himself was passionate about philosophy. In his personal library, philosophy books piled from floor to ceiling. In search of the truth, he studied the philosophies from Krishnamurti to the most revered, Ayn Rand.

Bruce Lee's life has been the most interesting as he went from being a starving poor Hong Kong boy to becoming Hollywood's greatest movie star. His influence on people was greater than that of Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe combined.

I am sure that the dear reader will draw a lot of knowledge from John Little's article, and will also experience an inspiration that will help carry out your own training with more inspiration and motivation.

In addition, I wish that you read John Littles's brilliant articles for the sheer joy of reading.

Mike Mentzer

"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)
Translation: Baby, if you're talking about a real fight then you should train every part of your body.

There is an anecdote that has been going on for 28 years about the nature of the muscles that adorned the martial arts pioneer / philosopher, Bruce Lee. It's about a lady named Ann Clouse. She is the wife of Robert Clouse, the director of Lee's latest film, Enter the Dragon, produced by Warner Bros. Clouse's wife who dared to go on the set of the film and was fascinated by Lee's incredible physique there he was just choreographing the movie scenes, half-naked and under the scorching Hong Kong sun.

Between the takes, Ann went up to the young superstar and asked if she could touch his biceps. "Of course," replied Lee. He has been asked the same question in many other situations. So he tensed his arm and asked her to convince herself of the muscles. "Oh my god", she yelled and pulled her arm back, "That feels like warm marble".

It's fascinating that even after three decades people are still talking about Bruce Lee's body. Strictly speaking, this is by no means surprising. "The Lee physique," described by none other than bodybuilding magnate Joe Wieder himself, as "the most defined body I've ever seen," has gained a following that greats like Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe have not only makes competition, but far surpasses it. And even if you add up their following.

His following was larger than that of any bodybuilder at the time. And the most fascinating thing is that almost everyone gets something different from Bruce Lee. Martial artists revere his skill / agility, strength, speed and the genius with which he brought science to the world of martial arts. Moviegoers are impressed by his screen presence, animalistic appeal, and the fact that he independently launched a new genre of film that opened the doors to Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan. Philosophers are impressed with Lee's ability to bridge the philosophical divide between East and West and to bring out the best points from each culture. But there is another human group that sees something completely different in Lee - even if not completely unrelated - the bodybuilders. Bodybuilders, young or old, know from the first sight of Lee's physique how much work there is in this appearance, and they are all very impressed.

Paradoxically, it is no less a luminary than Flex Wheeler, Shawn Ray, Rachel McClish, Lou Ferrigno, Lee Haney, Lenda Murray and former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates (and the best in the field) who talk about Lee's influence Body shape on their own career in bodybuilding, talk about it. I can almost hear you ask in disbelief: "How can that be?"

After all, Lee was only 5'7 "tall and competed between 126 and 145 pounds. For example, what would inspire a giant like Dorian Yates about the shape of Bruce Lee? The answer is just one word: quality.

Such an incredible body shape, sinewy and "ripped" to the bone as Bruce Lee had, has rarely been seen. It was "ripped" in places that today's bodybuilders (28 years later) are only now learning how to train. Each muscle group in his body was clearly separable from the neighboring group, not for visual reasons (show) as with many bodybuilders, but for functional reasons. According to a quote from his first US apprentice, Seattle's Jesse Glover, Lee "was more concerned with functionality than anything". It wasn't just a matter of immense grace and beauty to see Lee's body in action, it was also about functionality.

Lee taught his body remarkable movements and reflexes. For example, he could jump 8 feet in the air, kick out a lightbulb (shown in Lee's office scene in the MGM movie "Marlow"), land a punch on a target 5 feet away, and throw a punch in the air in five hundredths of a second Catch the rice grains with chopsticks. Indeed, in his famous "Lost interview", Lee describes his approach to "training the art of expression of the human body".

In fact, there has probably never been a human being with such a confluence of physical characteristics - lightning-fast reflexes, extreme flexibility, insane strength and the suppleness of a cat. All combined in one very deadly package.

Furthermore, Lee's body shape was symmetrical and coordinated. And even if not everyone admires the massive muscles of our "Olympians", apparently everyone (including the best bodybuilders in the world) admires the "total package" Bruce Lee.

The aforementioned bodybuilding champions stated that Bruce Lee had a huge impact on their own careers in bodybuilding, which is by no means a minor achievement considering that Lee has never in his life entered a body shape competition. Although Lee was never interested in developing massive muscles himself, the toughest bodybuilders in the world feel influenced by him. One of Lee's best friends, who was also a trainer in Lee's Jeet Kune Do, recalls that "Bruce mainly trained for strength and speed". Body shape, while certainly welcome, was almost a by-product of Lee's training.

According to people he met personally, from Hollywood producers to martial arts colleagues, Lee's muscles had a tremendous impact. Taky Kimura, one of Lee's best friends (he was the best man at Lee's wedding in 1964) recalls that Lee was never really averse to taking off his shirt in the gym to show off the results of his workout. Often, he just wanted to see the reactions of the people around him. Kimura recalls, "He had the most extreme lat I've ever seen, and his big joke was to pretend his thumb was a tube that he used to inflate his lat. He looked like a cobra when that did."

Lee's physique stands up to every test and has survived to this day, as he had what many people see as the perfect body: razor-sharp edges, insane muscularity, a great shape, as well as an almost onion-thin definition. The muscles that determined his body shape in bundles and waves were thick, dense, angular, easily distinguishable from the neighboring muscles, and also functional.

Functional strength

Dan Inosanto, another good friend of Lee and also a trainer of Lee's martial arts, adds that Lee was only interested in power that can be released quickly (explosive power). (Translator's note: In the original text, a distinction is made between "Strength" and "Power". Strength is generally viewed as the continuous release of energy. Power, on the other hand, has a temporal component and refers to the maximum release of energy in a time interval. Strength is therefore translated with force, power with explosive power). "I remember when Bruce and I were walking on Santa Monica Beach, where the gym used to be 'Dungeon'," Inosanto recalls, "when all of a sudden this huge bodybuilder came out of the dungeon and I told Bruce to do it take a look at this guy. I'll never forget his reaction because he said, 'Yeah, the guy is muscular, but is he able to perform? Can he use his muscles efficiently?' "According to Lee, explosive power was a person's ability to use the strength built up in the gym quickly and efficiently. In other words, explosive power is a measure of how quickly and effectively you can access and coordinate your power in a "real" situation. If you take this criterion as a basis, Lee was with his body weight, according to the people who trained martial arts with him (e.g. Chuck Norris), one of the strongest men in the world.

Incredible powers

Lee's heroic exploits are legendary. They range from one-handed push-ups, or push-ups on the thumb, to lifting a 125-pound dumbbell horizontally, arms straight, in front of his body for a few seconds. He could also blow people over 100 pounds heavier than himself, so they didn't land on the ground until 15 feet away. And all with a single blow, an inch away.

With a body weight of only 135 pounds, this is utterly scary. Not to mention a few other little habits, like piercing a full can of Coke with your fingers or pounding 300 pound bags on the ceiling with a single side kick.

Strength training was Lee's primary goal in resistance exercises. Later, as we'll soon see, his training evolved into more specialized applications that were more beneficial to his specific goals as a martial arts artist. But before we get into that, let's see how Lee got into bodybuilding.

Ideals and opportunities

For several years, he studied exercise physiology and anatomy extensively. Lee refused to accept tradition for the sake of tradition. This attitude made him increasingly unpopular with the majority of his martial arts colleagues who were trained in traditional martial arts, and now this knowledge was passed on to the new generation without questioning anything. Lee's foundations in physiology and kinesiology gave him the ability to distinguish useful from useless exercise, thereby preventing wasted time from hindering his training. Lee believed that the exercise physiology student should aim for nothing less than physical perfection and all that goes with it: he should strive for great strength, speed, coordination, exuberant health, and the beautiful muscular forms that define a physically perfect person. For Lee, the whole secret of success in bodybuilding lay in the principle of progressive resistance, whereby he was aware that another word deserved a place in the vocabulary of physical culture: perseverance (in the sense of tenacity).

Bruce Lee would certainly not have existed in this form if he had not been so persistent in his endeavors to fully explore his body and to get the full potential out of his body. A body that was not only phenomenal to look at on screen, but a body whose muscles were designed for functionality. Given the physiological fact that a strong muscle is a bigger muscle, it was only natural that Lee timely came to appreciate the overarching health benefits of bodybuilding. But I am a little hasty with my statements here.

Let us now examine the situation that led Lee to appreciate bodybuilding. Then we will focus on what training plan he used to build muscles that served him with such tremendous efficiency. While Lee was aware of the general benefits of a progressive bodybuilding exercise program, it took a brutal encounter to fully appreciate the benefits of regular, dedicated bodybuilding exercise.

A battle in San Francisco

One evening while I was preparing to teach Kwoon (Kung Fu School) to a group of selected students at his school in San Francisco, the door suddenly opened and a group of Chinese martial arts artists entered. Led by a fighter who was considered the best among them and who was also the leader of the troops.

According to Lee's wife Linda, who was eight months pregnant with Brandon both locally and eight months pregnant, Lee had previously received a roll of paper with an ultimatum written on it in Chinese: Stop immediately, non-Chinese students in Gung Fu (Cantonese pronunciation for Kung Fu), otherwise be prepared for a fight with San Francisco's best Kung Fu fighter.The day of reckoning had come!

Lee gave the roll of paper scornfully back to its leader. "I will determine who I train myself," he said very calmly. "I'm not interested in the color of the skin." While Lee's anti-racist views are welcomed in San Francisco these days, they were synonymous with treason in Chinatown in the mid-1960s. At least within the Chinese community. Indeed, teaching combat strategies / secrets to non-Chinese races has been considered the highest form of betrayal.
With his words and his behavior he challenged the supposed opponent. Even if he had many virtues, it was known among his friends, family and students that he had no patience with fools and their ignorance.

A fight broke out immediately, and within a few seconds the once daring and self-proclaimed Kung Fu "expert" was seen running to the next best exit. Ultimately, with a lot of footwork, Lee knocked his opponent to the ground, forcing him to surrender. In his anger, Lee threw the entire group out of the building. To his horror, Lee realized that the argument took a lot of energy. Especially when you consider that the fight just lasted three minutes. "He was surprised and disappointed with his physical condition," recalled Linda. "He was of the opinion that the fight had lasted far too long and blamed his supposed lack of fitness for it." He feels excessively out of breath.

It was this struggle that gave Lee enough reasons to carefully look for alternative methods to get in better shape. What was his conclusion? If he ever wanted to become the perfect marital arts artist he envisioned, it was necessary to develop considerably more strength, both in his muscles and in his cardiovascular system.

The bodybuilding connection

Knowing that muscle magazines were the only existing source of up-to-date information on health and strength issues, Lee subscribed to whatever bodybuilding publications he could find. He booked bodybuilding classes from these magazines, checking their promises and theories. He made a habit of going to second-hand bookstores and buying bodybuilding and weight training books, including a book by Eugen Sandow called Strength & How to Obtain It which was published in 1897. Lee's thirst for bodybuilding knowledge grew so strong that he bought every literature available, hot off the press or classic. No price was too high for specialist knowledge, especially when the knowledge behind it promoted the development of physical strength, explosive power and physical efficiency.

From then until his death in July 1973 (cause: cerebral edema), Bruce Lee had a huge collection of books, which included books on philosophy, martial arts, many volumes on physical fitness, bodybuilding, physiology and weightlifting. Lee underlined certain sections of text that were particularly meaningful to him and made notes on how this information could be applied to martial arts. "Bruce used to come to his school in L.A.'s Chinatown with a pile of bodybuilding items under his arm," Inosanto recalls. He said, "Look at this, bodybuilders all say they do this to build more strength. It's the common denominator in all of their writings." Basically, he was looking for persistence like this to weed out useless information.

The training program

After all this research, and with the help of two bodybuilders who were good friends and students in San Francisco at the same time, Lee devised an exercise program that he did three times a week to satisfy his needs for strengthening and bodybuilding. According to one of these men, Allen Joe, "James Lee and I introduced Bruce Lee to the basics of weight training. We did basic exercises like squats, pull-ups, and curls, about three sets each." This training program served Lee from 1965 to 1970, and fulfilled Lee's philosophy perfectly: maximum effect of a training, with minimal effort.

If you train every other day, you give your body enough time to regenerate. This factor is often ignored. Lee designed his bodybuilding workouts to fall on days when there was no cardio training or martial arts training. The program worked wonders: Lee's body weight rose from an initial 130 pounds to just over 165 pounds!

According to Glover, Lee wasn't particularly pleased with the added bulk: "I found that he was getting more muscular with the weight training. There was a time when he worked his way up to 165 pounds, but I think it slowed him down "Because it was really hard for Bruce. He looked like a bodybuilder. Then I saw him again and it was all gone. I think Bruce was interested in functionality and if anything was in the way it had to go." . Bruce wanted to complete the Marital Arts training with his weight training. Bodybuilders are only interested in developing larger muscles. The large muscle groups are particularly interesting here. Little attention is paid to the connective tissue, ligaments and tendons, or their strength. Bruce's Philosophy was more like "If we build the connections, then we don't have to worry so much about the size of the muscle." I'll say it again: Bruce was about function lity!

Because Bruce's training is based on functionality, his training program included all three principles of physical fitness: stretching for flexibility, weight training for strength, and cardiovascular activity for the respiratory system. In principle the original cross-fiter.

The breakdown of the plan:

  1. Clean & Press: Lee began his movement with a shoulder-width grip on an Olympic pole. He crouched in front of the weight, then lifted the bar up to his chest by jerking it quickly with his arms and accelerating with his legs. After a short pause, Lee raised the bar over his head, paused briefly, and then lowered the bar back to his chest. After another short pause, he lowered the bar back to the ground (starting position). Without any pause, Lee started his second rep. He repeated this until he had completed eight repetitions. After a short recovery period (to benefit from both the cardio-respiratory and strength building effects), Lee completed a second, and thus last, set.

  2. Squats: This basic bodybuilding exercise was the cornerstone of Bruce Lee's barbell training. He had dozens of articles on the mechanics and uses of squats, and he practiced this exercise in various variations. In his training plan, however, he trained perfectly normal squats. He placed the bar over his shoulders, and took a stand about shoulder-width apart. He ensured a firm stance and then slowly lowered himself into a full squat position. Without any break in the lowest position, he pushed himself back to the starting position with the help of his hips, embers, hamstrings, calves and quads. Then he started the second repetition. Lee typically did 12 of these reps. After a short break, he put the bar back on his shoulders and did another 12 repetitions.

  3. Sweaters: While there is no direct physical evidence that Bruce Lee had slipped supersets on his squats, there are some reasons to believe so. If only for the fact that this method was suggested in the articles he was reading. Squats were considered a great whole body exercise, while pullovers were considered a "chest expanding exercise" or "breathing exercise". As a result, it was fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s to do pull-ups as a "final exercise" after squats. Lee did this exercise the classic way: he lay on his back on a flat bench, picked up a dumbbell about shoulder width apart, and held his arms straight across his chest. Then he lowered the dumbbell with slightly bent elbows and overstretched his body until his head touched the floor and his lat was comfortably stretched. From this fully extended position, he reversed his movement by contracting his lats, pecs, and triceps. He repeated this exercise eight times and trained two sets.

  4. Bench press: Lee managed to develop incredible chest muscles. His upper pectorali were particularly impressive, and were divided into thousands of fibers. According to his own reports about his training, the good ol 'bench press was the only dumbbell exercise he did to develop his chest. For the exercise, he laid his back on a flat bench again, and took a shoulder-width grip. From this "locked out" position, Lee began to slowly lower the barbell, exhaling, and then pushing the barbell back into the starting position. He did six reps, took a short break, and did another six reps.

  5. Good mornings: Be careful with this exercise. Lee did this exercise to strengthen his lower back. One day in the early 1970s, he loaded the bar with 135 pounds (his then body weight) and did eight reps without warming up. During his final repetition, he felt a "crack". It was later discovered that he had damaged his fourth sacral nerve in his lower back. The result of this was that Lee had to endure indescribable back pain for the rest of his life. It is not to say that there is no value in this exercise, just make sure you are warming up appropriately. Lee loaded a barbell onto his shoulder, took a stand about three inches wide, and leaned forward over his hips. He bent over until a 90 degree position was reached and then returned to the upright position. The hands stayed on the bar the whole time. Lee Dan later confided in Inosanto: "All you really need is the empty barbell on your shoulder, Dan. It's more of a relaxation exercise." Lee did two of these sets, eight repetitions each.

  6. Barbell curls: Bruce Lee trained barbell curls not only in his garage gym in Bel Air, but also in the office of his studio. They were an integral part of his weight training and were responsible for developing a very impressive pair of biceps. Not to forget the insane traction he was able to develop and which he used in each of his sparring sessions. To do this exercise correctly, Lee took a comfortable shoulder-width grip with the palms of his hands facing toward his face. To stabilize, he bent his knees slightly and then lifted the dumbbell to chest height. He paused briefly in this full contraction. Then, he slowly lowered the barbell again. His training consisted of two sets of eight repetitions each.

Training outside the normal schedule:

According to Inosanto, Lee didn't just do the exercises listed above. He also built weight training into his martial arts workouts. "Bruce always performed his shadow boxing with small weights in his hands. He went through a program of 12 series of punches, each series of 100 individual punches, using a pyramid system of 1,2,3,5,7 and 10 pounds of weights, which was then used the other way around 10, 7, 5, 3, 2, 1 and finally "zero" weight. I was in this workout once - man, it burned in my arms. "

But that wasn't enough. When Lee wasn't doing martial arts with weights or doing his full body strength training, he could be found curling a barbell in the office of his home. "He worked with that barbell all the time," says Linda, remembering her husband's exercise habits. "Bruce had the unique ability to do several things at the same time. It was not uncommon to see him watching a boxing match on television and doing the splits, reading a book and exercising with a dumbbell."

Indescribable abs

Bruce's most impressive body part was his abs. He trained her every day. "Bruce always believed that if you didn't spar without well-developed abs," recalls Wong. "He was downright fanatical when it came to abs," adds Lina. "He trained sit-ups, crunches, roman chair movements, leg raises, and v-ups". Chuck Norris recalled the following picture during a visit to the Lee family: Lee was lying on the floor, his son Brandon on his stomach, while he was doing parallel flying dumbbell training for his chest. On top of that, he also watched TV.

Steel forearms

In order to improve his grip strength and punch strength, Lee developed into an avid supporter of forearm training. Although many bodybuilding champions shy away from just forearm training, Lee performed this training purposefully every day. "He was a forearm fanatic," laughs Linda in retrospect. "If ever a bodybuilder like Bill Pearl offers a class on forearms, Bruce has to book it." Bruce even hired an old friend from San Francisco, George Lee (unrelated) to build some "handle machines" for him. Lee was able to load these with weight to increase the resistance. "He sent me all his ideas about this training equipment," recalls George Lee. "And then I built this equipment according to his order. But it wasn't stupid," he says and laughs. "I knew that this equipment was effective when Lee used it himself. So I always built two machines, one I sent to him, the other was at home for myself."

Allen Joe recalls that Lee did a favorite dumbbell exercise for his forearms over and over again: "Bruce was always working on his forearms. So he took the weight in his hands, walked to the edge of his sofa, and began curling as he paralleled it He then did abdominal exercises and then continued exercising his forearms. His preferred curl exercise was called the Zottman Curl, a type of curl that involves lifting one side of the body, rotating it, and then the opposite side of the body drained. He's been training that all along. "

Knowledge is power

Over the years I had worked hard compiling Bruce's exercise programs, as well as physical exercise notes and comments for his book series (and by that I mean ALL). The notes and comments, just like Bruce's training methods, had been constantly evolving. The training material was eventually published in The Art of Expressing The Human Body, Tuttle Publishing. Looking through his materials, I was amazed at how complete his knowledge of training actually was. Lee had collected more than 140 books on bodybuilding, weight training, physiology and kinesiology during his lifetime. In addition, he owned more than 2000 books on philosophy and martial arts. Lee believed that one could never know "too much" about a subject that was beneficial to one's health. He has spent his entire life acquiring as much knowledge as he possibly can about fitness and health.

Although Lee is no longer with us, he lives on in his teachings. This applies in any case to the field of training science. Lee embodied athletic ideals such as diligence, hard work, standing firm under all odds, refusing to cheat oneself or one's personal potential. "A man's greatest crime is when he sets his goals in life too low," he once said to Tae Kwon Do master, Jhoon Rhee. "The way is the goal in life."

The Roman philosopher Seneca once said: "Life is long if you know how to use it." If so, then Bruce's life was long enough to have been fulfilling. If you consider what he has achieved or what lasting influence he has as a role model on people, then you could see his life as one of the more meaningful lives of the twentieth century. It was Lee's commitment to excellence, as well as his strict training principles, that produced one of the best body shapes in modern history.