It’s pretty strange…isn’t it? To go to Bruce Lee for muscle building advice? I mean, the guy is known more for his strength, speed, flexibility, agility, power, explosiveness, and crazy leanness than for muscle.
However, Bruce Lee became stronger and faster due to weight training. And if your goal is pack on functional mass – the kind of muscle that helps you perform better and look better – then you need to examine Bruce Lee’s training style. What you’ll learn is that his style resembles the kind of functional workouts presented in Scott Sonnon’s TacFit Mass Assault.
My obsession with Bruce Lee began in my Karate days. I remember walking into Barnes and Nobles trying to find something that would help me become a better athlete. I found John Little’s book “The Art of Expressing the Human Body.” This was basically a compilation of workouts and exercises performed by Bruce Lee. His training philosophy spoke to me, and I began picking up a lot of his training techniques.
The back is important for martial arts, because the lats (upper back) are the muscles engaged when throwing a punch. Training the lats also help you develop the V-Shape, which is essential for looking lean and trim. In bodybuilding circles, this is known as the V-taper.
So, regardless of whether you’re training for purely size, or if you’re training to become a better athlete, the following are some of the back exercises used by Bruce Lee:
One-arm Dumbbell (Kettlebell) Row
Yeah, Bruce used a Kettlebell, isn’t that crazy? The One-arm Row, either done with a dumbbell or a kettlebell, is one of the most basic upper back movements. When I first started, I only had a 15 lbs Dumbbell to work with. So I just did super fast One-arm rows until I felt a burn. I had no clue what I was doing, but it worked! My punches became faster and stronger!
Behind the Neck Pulldown
Bruce Lee installed a fitness machines known as the Marcy Circuit Trainer. Nowadays, you can perform this movement in most gyms. If you do not have a gym or equipment to perform this movement, then simply grab a resistance band, place it over a pullup bar, grab a chair, and pull the resistance band down behind your neck.
Pullups to the Back of the Neck
Another no-equipment option is to perform pullups to the back of the neck. This is a tough movement, and if you can’t do regular pullups, then it’s gonna be super hard for you to execute the movement. The pullups themselves are a great movement for the upper back. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that all you need for a solid back are rows and pullups.
If you’re looking for a complete functional muscle building program, which will help you pack on size and improve athletic strength, then I recommend Scott Sonnon’s TacFit Mass Assault. Click here to learn more.