The Bruce Lee Workout That Made His Rig Famous

There’s no denying that Bruce Lee is an icon through and through. It goes yellow tracksuits, nunchucks… and a rock solid rig. In line his philosophical approach towards combat, Lee favoured a lean and functional body over one with bulky show-muscles; streamlined to clock inhuman speeds. Here’s the exact Bruce Lee workout that kept his abs as hard hitting as his fists.

Circuit training in this case means finishing a set, thirty seconds of rest, moving onto the next exercise, repeat. Weight will be dependant on your individual strengthremember to warm up and warm down.

Circuit A (Foundation)

  • Clean & Press – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Barbell Curls – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Behind-the-Neck Presses – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Upright Rows – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Barbell Squats – 2 Sets (12-20 Reps)
  • Barbell Row – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Bench Press – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)
  • Barbell Pullover – 2 Sets (8-12 Reps)

Circuit B (Lean + Burn)

  • Barbell Squats – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • French Press/Lying Triceps Extensions – 4 Sets (6 Reps)
  • Incline Curls – 4 Sets (6 Reps)
  • Concentration Curls – 4 Sets (6 Reps)
  • Push-ups – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Barbell Curls – 3 Sets (6-8 Reps)
  • Dumbbell Rotation – 4 Sets (Until Failure)
  • Overhead Triceps Extensions – 3 Sets (6-8 Reps)
  • Reverse Barbell Curls – 4 Sets (6 Reps)
  • Seated Wrist Curls – 4 Sets (Until Failure)
  • Reverse Wrist Curls – 4 Sets (Until Failure)
  • Sit-ups – 5 Sets (12 Reps)
  • Calf Raises – 5 Sets (20 Reps)

Circuit C (Total Body)

  • Alternate Splits – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Run In Place – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Jump Squats – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Shoulder Circling – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • High Kicks – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Push-ups – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Russian Twists – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Side Bends – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Crunches – 3 Sets (10 Reps)
  • Hanging Leg Raises – 3 Sets (10 Reps)

Cardio & Combat

In terms of cardio, Lee was know to supplement his routine with long distant runs. As you’d expect, Lee was also known for getting the old ticker pumping with regular sparring sessions. If you don’t have a partner to work on your stand-up form or have a hearty grappling session, work the heavy bag for half an hour to an hour solo – all four limbs.



Now, the Bruce Lee workout won’t guarantee you’ll be able to throw down like the godfather of MMA. But it’s always worth getting the basics right in case you ever find yourself in a spot of trouble. Against the notion of traditional martial arts, he famously stated that a man that boxed and wrestled for a year could beat a lifelong martial artist. Given what the advent of MMA has demonstrated in the realm of practical efficacy, we’re inclined to agree. If you’re looking for a start, might we suggest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

And of course – try to eat a clean, well-rounded diet with as little processed food as possible; as well as staying hydrated and maybe avoiding too much grog. Though we won’t exactly hold you to that last one.