Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Bruce Lee : The Art of Expressing the Human Body
Written By : Scott Bird

If you’ve ever watched a Bruce Lee film and marveled at his strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility or muscularity, this book should take pride of place in your collection. Unlike many other writings covering everything from Lee’s training methods to nutrition, this book is based not on the recollections of people around him; but on Lee’s own notes.

The book covers – in great detail – not only the various training he did from 1963 until his untimely death in 1973, but also his thinking behind each aspect of it. Reading through these is fascinating for two main reasons :

  1. The number of devices he designed (many of which are still in use – such as the hand and forearm equipment used in gyms throughout the world, just look at the WSB videos) and new exercise methods is astonishing. He employed ideas such as Static Contraction, Interval Training, PHA (a forerunner of Circuit Training) as well as many of the bodyweight exercises Matt Furey has been trying to stamp his name all over in recent years.
  2. The second is that despite clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of his training – and there are few who would question his physical prowess – he has remained unequalled for over 30 years.

One chapter of the book came as a bit of a surprise – that on nutrition. After stating that Lee didn’t spend time studying up on nutrition (largely leaving things to Linda), it covers a few commonsense principles that guided their diets. In fact, without going to great lengths, Lee’s diet was quite healthy by current standards.

The surprise was the fact that between the making of Way of the Dragon (known as Return of the Dragon in the US) and Enter the Dragon there was a marked change in physical appearance (much lower bodyfat), and yet there was no change in his diet. The only changes were in the training routines during this time.

As for the book itself, it is a large, high quality volume replete with photos showing Lee training, acting or giving demonstrations.

These alone are a great source of inspiration.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via Twitter, Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.