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Bruce Lee. A name that will forever go down as one of the all-time greats in martial arts, as well as a key example of peak physical performance.

Born in the U.S., Lee spent his formative years in Hong Kong before returning to San Francisco during what would become one the birth of the martial arts film genre. 

His iconic rise to fame showcased his astonishing physique, while his philosophical teachings stand strong to this day.

Today, I will talk about the late, great Bruce Lee’s workout routine and diet plan. Keep reading to learn all about his workout fundamentals, diet, and an example program to help you obtain that lean, powerful physique.

Let’s dive in.

Bruce Lee Bio And Stats

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, on November 27th, 1940 to Lee Hoi Chuen and Grace Lee.

One year later, Lee and his family returned to Kowloon, Hong Kong, where he would begin appearing in small films at the age of 5. 

At the age of 12, Lee encountered trouble with a local gang and was beaten up.

This is what led him to pursue martial arts. He studied under Sifu Yip Man, learning the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu for the next five years.

Athletically gifted, this was the only formal martial arts training that Lee undertook. He also displayed noticeable talent in cha-cha dancing, securing a major championship in Hong Kong.

By 1959, Lee’s parents recommended that he return to the U.S. where he landed a job working at a family restaurant before pursuing further education in Seattle.

Lee would go on to study philosophy while continuing to practice kung fu. He met his wife Linda Lee Cadwell in 1963. Bruce and Linda would go on to open their first martial arts school.

It was here that Lee’s fame grew, connecting with others in the industry before being introduced to Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring, who introduced him to producer William Dozier.

This is what led to Lee’s first big break. Dozier produced The Green Hornet (1966-1967) where Bruce played the role of Kato.

Following this, the Lees opened martial arts schools in Oakland and Los Angeles, training Hollywood stars Steve McQueen and James Coburn.

Lee would continue to practice kung fu before creating his own style, jeet kune do.

In the following years Bruce would secure roles in Marlowe (1969) and Longstreet (1971) before returning to Hong Kong to star in The Big Boss (1971).

This was a hit with his Hong Kong fan base. It also quickly led to his next major feature, Fists of Fury (1972), which went on to break box office records.

Lee went on to write, produce, and star in what would become his final feature The Way of The Dragon (1973), featuring martial arts champion Chuck Norris, martial arts legends In-shik Hwang, and Robert Wall.

Lee sadly passed away on July 20, 1973.   

  • Age: 32 Years Old
  • Height: 1.71 cm (5’7”)
  • Weight: 135 lbs (61 kgs)
  • Birthday: September 27, 1940
  • Death: July 20, 1973
  • Occupation: Martial Artist/Actor

Bruce Lee Workout Fundamentals

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Bruce Lee was the picture of self-discipline and dedication, and his physique reflected that. He prioritized his training over most aspects of life.

Training in general resembled his approach to martial arts at the time through his own philosophy, “using no way as the way; having no limitations as limitation”.

This forward thinking transformed his way of training, applying strength and conditioning principles to further his practice.

Lee believed that conditioning would help make him a better martial artist. He would combine strength training, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility into each routine to form full-body workouts. 

Bruce Lee Workout Routine

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Bruce Lee’s training routines were centered around improving his aerobic fitness, martial arts, and core training.

Incredibly disciplined, Lee would run or jump rope every day, followed by punches, bag work, foot work, and bodyweight resistance training

In his book, The Art of Expressing the Human Body, Lee would describe his approaches to training, including his workouts. He would cover concepts on resistance training, including bodybuilding and isometrics. 

Below are a range of his different workouts, including an ab routine, early resistance training routine, and his later routine. 

Lee’s workouts would span across the entire day, beginning in the morning with a “daytimer” routine.

Below are his workouts based on his teachings and from his book. 

We will also provide a weekly training schedule based on these exercises, so you can train just like Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee Early Ab Routine

ExerciseSets Reps
Leg Raises6Max
Side Bends6Max
Leaning Twist450
Frog Kick4Max

Bruce Lee Cardio Exercise

ExerciseSets Reps
Jump Rope30 mins
Running4 miles
Light Bag
Heavy Bag

Bruce Lee 1965 Daytimer Workout

ExerciseSets RepsWeight
Squats31095 bls 
French Press4664 lbs
Incline Curls4635 lbs
French Press4664 lbs
Concentration Curl31070-80 lbs
Two-Handed Curl3870-80 lbs
Tricep Stretch38
Dumbbell Curl4Failure18 lbs
Reverse Curl4664 lbs
Wrist Curls4Failure64 lbs
Wrist Curls4Failure10 lbs
Calf Raises520

 Bruce Lee General Overall Development

ExerciseSets RepsWeight
Clean and Press28 – 1295 bls 
Barbell Curls28 – 1264 lbs
Behind the Neck Presses28 – 1235 lbs
Upright Row28 – 1264 lbs
Squat212 – 2070-80 lbs
Rowing28 – 1270-80 lbs
Bench Press28 – 12
Pull Over28 – 1218 lbs

Bruce Lee Circuit Training

ExerciseSets RepsWeight
Clean and Press28 – 1295 bls 
Barbell Curls28 – 1264 lbs
Behind the Neck Presses28 – 1235 lbs
Upright Row28 – 1264 lbs
Squat212 – 2070-80 lbs
Rowing28 – 1270-80 lbs
Bench Press28 – 12
Pull Over28 – 1218 lbs

Bruce Lee Weekly Training

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Bruce Lee training

The following routine is based on a seven-day training week, each day containing cardio, resistance training, and martial arts exercise for a complete body workout. 

From what we know, Lee trained over the course of the day beginning in the morning and finishing in the evening (as seen in daytimer records). 

Using this framework, we have designed a program compiling running, jump rope, kicks, punches abs and condition into a weekly plan.

You can choose to perform the session in a single block or throughout the day. However, it should be noted that Lee trained for a total of around three hours, so if you want to try it all at once, be sure to block the allotted time. 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up (Stretches)
9:30 – 10:10Run14 Miles
12:00 – 12:45Punches2500
3:00 – 3:45Squats28 – 12
7:00 – 7:45Heavy Bag212 – 20
10:00 – 10:20Forearms 1150


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:00Jump Rope130 Mins
12:00 – 12:45Punches, Finger Jabs2500/300
3:00 – 3:30Ab Routine5failure
7:00 – 7:40Light Bag, Hook Kicks212 – 20
10:00 – 10:30Forearms, Flexibility 1150/- 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:10Run14 Miles
12:00 – 12:45Resistance Training Circuit2500/300
3:00 – 3:30Punches1500
7:00 – 7:40Martial Arts Training212 – 20
10:00 – 10:30Ab Routine5Failure 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:10Run14 Miles
12:00 – 12:40Light Bag1
3:00 – 3:30Ab Routine5failure
7:00 – 7:40Punches/Finger Jabs2500/300
10:00 – 10:30Forearms, Flexibility 1150/- 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:10Jump Rope130 Mins
12:00 – 12:45Punches, Finger Jabs2500/300
3:00 – 4:00General Overall Development 1
7:00 – 7:40Light Bag2500
10:00 – 10:30Forearms, Flexibility 1150/- 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:10Run14 Miles
12:00 – 12:45Martial Arts Training2500/300
3:00 – 3:30Ab Routine5failure
7:00 – 7:40Punches2500 – 800
10:00 – 10:30Forearms, Isometrics Training 1150/- 


TimeExerciseSets Reps
9:20 – 9:30Warm-Up 
9:30 – 10:10Jump Rope130 Mins
12:00 – 12:40Light Bag2500/300
3:00 – 4:00General Overall Development5failure
7:00 – 7:40Light Bag, Hook Kicks212 – 20
10:00 – 10:30Forearms,  Ab routine1150/- 

Bruce Lee Dieting and Food Preferences

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Bruce Lee meal plan

It should come to no surprise that Bruce Lee’s diet and food preferences were as clean as they come.

Much like his training, the discipline toward his nutrition was devoid of refined carbs and processed food.

Lee made sure to consume enough food to fuel his vigorous daily exercise routine, eating nutrient-dense, high-protein meals and complex carbs.

Lee would consume five meals per day, also eating organ meat, which has a high mineral density.

He was also a big fan of food from back home, with beef and oyster sauce being his favorite, as well as green tea. 

Meal 1Fish, Pork Liver, Black Tea
Meal 2Protein Shake
Meal 3Beef, Oyster Sauce, Vegetables, Rice
Meal 4Fruit
Meal 5Lean Meat, Vegetables, Rice

Bruce Lee Diet Plan

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Bruce Lee diet plan

Bruce Lee’s lean iconic physique was the result of vigorous exercise and a strict eating plan consisting of five meals per day.

Below is a Bruce-inspired diet plan to provide you with the fuel you need for a lean, athletic body.

Meal 1

  • Two Poached Eggs
  • Fish
  • Rice
  • Mixed Steamed Vegetables

Meal 2

  • Protein Shake (Peanut Butter, Banana, Protein Yogurt)
  • Fresh Fruit

Meal 3

  • Beef and Oyster Sauce
  • Vegetables
  • Rice

Meal 4

  • Liver
  • Leafy Vegetable Salad
  • Raw Carrots

Meal 5

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Rice

From what we can see, Lee’s diet was tuned to fuel his body, improve performance, build muscle mass, and increase strength.

While there is no evidence that suggests Lee tracked his macros, you should know your numbers to get the best results.

Understanding and lining up your macros will ensure you are getting the correct balance of carbs for fuel, protein for building muscle and recovery, and fat for absorbing nutrients. 

To get the most out of your Bruce Lee training and diet plan, use our advanced calorie and macronutrient calculator.

This will help you get on top of your nutrition and ensure you are taking measured steps toward achieving his incredible and iconic physique.

Bruce Lee Supplement Preferences

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Bruce Lee's workout routine supplements

Bruce’s Lee was also a firm believer in supplementation, having completed his own research to determine what was best for his body.

Lee’s supplements list included:

  • Natural Protein: Recovery and growth
  • Lecithin: Improves digestion 
  • Vitamin C: Disease prevention
  • Wheat Germ Oil: Rich in omega-3 and vitamin E, boosting performing
  • Inositol: Improves cell health (bone, brain, intestine and eyes)

Final Thoughts

Bruce Lee’s approach to martial arts, health, and wellness were truly one of a kind.

His daily dedication to his mind and body, as well as his approach to strength and conditioning, revolutionized movies almost as much as they did martial arts.

That’s why Lee remains a true inspiration to people across the globe till this day.

So, if you are considering trying the Bruce Lee workout routine and diet plan, do so in alignment with his philosophies. Include a nutrient-dense, high-protein diet and commit to getting better with every session.

Are you considering performing the mind and body-transforming workout of Bruce Lee?

Which part of his legendary teaching and routine interests you the most?

What was Bruce Lee’s workout routine?

Bruce Lee’s workout routine consisted of martial arts, running, jump rope, strength and conditioning workouts. He was famously known for training every day, completing multiple workouts targeting all different muscle groups to help him improve his martial arts. 

How many hours a day did Bruce Lee workout?

It is reported that Lee trained three hours a day, completing multiple workouts over the course of the day. 

Each session would cover different aspects of fitness from striking, ab routines, isometrics, strength training and cardiovascular fitness.

How many times a day did Bruce Lee workout? 

Bruce Lee would train between five and six times per day, with each session varying in duration depending on the type and form of exercise. 

How can I get ripped like Bruce Lee?

To get ripped like Bruce Lee you will need to be in a calorie deficit while eating high-protein, nutrient-dense foods. Your routine should consist of resistance training, aerobic, and abdominal exercise.

How did Bruce Lee train?

Bruce Lee trained both mind and body. His sessions were a reflection of his philosophy “Using no way as a way” and “Having no limitation as limitation.” Lee firmly believed that if his mind could perceive it then he could achieve it. 

How to train like Bruce Lee?

To train like Bruce Lee, you will need to adhere to a strict daily routine of martial arts, resistance, and cardiovascular training. Lee performed multiple sessions throughout the day, training different areas to improve his overall performance.

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