Bruce Lee emerged on the scene in 1959, here in the United States.
He was not a huge man when he arrived in Seattle. Weighing just under 130 pounds.
In fact, he was born a sickly boy with an undescended testicle and a female name. His mother… a very superstitious woman gave him the name of Li Jun Fan so that evil spirits would not snatch him away. (In the Chinese culture male children are more valued than the female ones.)
With all this going against him it’s almost impossible to believe that later on he would become the proverbial — Charles Atlas cartoon character.
You know the one, he gets sand kicked in his face, starts training, working out hard and before you know it…he’s got muscles and he’s taking care of himself on the beach!
Lee spent his entire life turning his small frail body into a large weapon but he did more than that. You see, most people did not view the Chinese as a physically strong people, in fact they were perceived to be house workers and day laborers. A small and weak race was the American perception of the Chinese at that time. Most martial arts were still unknown including the Chinese style of boxing which Bruce was about to introduce to Westerners
Kung fu was up until this point unknown to Americans. So when Bruce Lee burst on the scene with this fast punches and high kicks — every nerd and underweight male had a new hero!
Many people wanted to learn kung fu and so the Bruce Lee workout and training program started. Some of the more famous of the Bruce Lee students were, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and many others. Soon every Westerner was learning — Jeet Kune Do. This is the name that Bruce Lee gave his martial art, translated it means — “the Way of the intercepting fist.”
He loved to train and he was constantly trying to improve the Bruce Lee workout program. He was what you could call a fitness freak. He involved himself in running, lifting weights, using isometrics exercise and electrical impulse to stimulate his muscles while he slept. (Bruce Lee even wanted to add speed and power during his sleep.)
Bruce Lee was also very much into proper nutrition and the Bruce Lee diet consisted of taking vitamins, ginseng, royal jelly, steroids and even liquid steaks (prior to 1980s steroids were actually legal to be to take in the United States.)
Although the Bruce Lee workout was never intended to make him look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or even a pro bodybuilder, it is easy to see that it was effective in developing a ripped muscularity that most people today would love to have.
Unfortunately Bruce Lee died at the age of 32 under strange circumstances and controversy in his mistresses house of a supposed brain edema. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a strange reaction to a prescription painkiller called — Equagesic. What really stands out about the Bruce Lee workout and training is that through all his many obstacles he was still able to overcome them and achieve his goal of becoming a martial arts legend and movie star.