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115 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpecting
Some people may be skeptical about Bruce Lee as a martial artist, bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, etc. But in reality one need not be a fan to understand the brilliance to his methods. The book always emphasizes that Bruce was all about changing things, looking and trying all aspects, then deciding what stays and what is unnecessary. Like chiseling away the pieces of...
Published on September 8, 2005 by B. Inoue

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing amazing here
How much you get out of this book will very much depend on where you're coming from. Bearing in mind Lee's amazing physique, power and reputation I was expecting something a little more interesting. There is little in this book that somebody with a basic knowledge of weight training and martial arts couldnt tell you. If you're just getting into martial arts or working out...
Published on February 12, 2003 by The Great Sage


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115 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpecting, September 8, 2005
By 
B. Inoue "MiyagiSenpai" (Renton, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
Some people may be skeptical about Bruce Lee as a martial artist, bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, etc. But in reality one need not be a fan to understand the brilliance to his methods. The book always emphasizes that Bruce was all about changing things, looking and trying all aspects, then deciding what stays and what is unnecessary. Like chiseling away the pieces of stone to carve a statue.

After having done extensive research into bodybuilding, fitness, martial arts, Asian Medicine, Eastern Philosophy, exercise physiology, and dietetics I can honestly say that this book is very advanced. What I mean by this is that one has to do his/her own research to decide about the methods outlined. Indeed some of the research is outdated. For example the couplings of incomplete proteins and complete is slightly flawed in logic. However, you must not forget these methods were employed way before large advances were made in the way of sports nutrition and supplementation.

In the training aspect any normal human would indeed be overtrained. But the body is a magnificent creation and can adapt to anything that it encounters. Shaolin Monks, Ultra Runners, Olympic Gymnasts... they all do things that would overtrain any of us normal people. But they are not overtrained. Indeed Bruce had trained long and hard to become as resilient as such.

As someone who has done a little Personal Training I have to say that his development when he started lifting weights showed his ability to adapt. His body became very muscular very quickly. However, for those who think steroids were his thing... they were not. Not only did he believe in the natural way he also believed that a bulky body will decrease flexibilty and overall speed and endurance. So he actually lost muscle for the sake of being a better martial artist. At this time the only available steroids were things such as testosterone and Dianabol. Bulking agents. (Yes, some steroids build mass and others build power. Some even build endurance by producing erythropoetin but they weren't invented until the mid 70s. The most famous came into vogue in the 80s.) The pills he was seen popping so often were often amino acid pills.

My overall advice about this book? Get some training under your belt whether it's in body building, endurance running, martial arts, etc. Then read this book. It will bring you to the starting point to try and take your body to the next level. Anyone can be an armchair quarterback, but to get out there and try is much more practical.

Keep using and changing the things that challenge you and make a positive difference. Take away the things that do nothing or take away from your goals. If you're a body builder maybe running two miles a day every morning will be detrimental (Although for one who lives in Texas it actually helps keep him in the right shape to do his intense powerlifting/body building hybrid training). For an endurance runner perhaps having well conditioned forearms that enhance the hooking techniques of Wing Chun isn't necessary for running a marathon better. But for a martial artist perhaps a more conditioned midsection to enhance kicking and punching power might be of benefit to you. Or the added cardiovascular endurance to fight for 5 rounds instead of three.

As for the nutrition... remember. The only part that you have to remember is to eat foods that benefit you towards your goal and not eat foods that don't. Moderation is key as well. (A few cups of tea a day can make a LARGE difference)

As a personal experience... I used this book to not only increase the power of my midsection, but also to help lower my bodyfat, decrease my 2 mile time, strengthen my grappling ability, enhance my muscle mass, increase my energy, and also to reinstill that feeling of wanting to experiment. To find what works and what doesn't. The book is the gateway and not the means to an end. After applying the priniciples that suit you... it is up to you to keep learning new ways to keep improving.

If anyone is curious... I am a martial artist, body builder, dietician, Buddhist (born into the temple itself), scientist, and a sports nutritionist. And yes... I practice what I believe is necessary for improvement. Including the practice of taking a day off to eat anything, not train, not think, and just enjoy time with the people who matter in my life.
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146 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, October 8, 1999
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
Excellent book showing how Bruce Lee developed his awesome body and how he built-up the power behind it. The author has great sources that he got the material from, since some of the pictures are of actual notes that Lee himself wrote. Lee worked extremely hard to get his body in the near-perfect shape that it was in, and this book describes how he did it. This book contains alot of material that was previously unavailable before to anyone wanting to know how Lee trained, what he ate, how he taught his students how to train, what his views were on exercise, cardiovascular training, stretching, and most important, how to develop power from your workout. His training was based on his martial arts influence, as he always searched for ways to improve himself in his own martial art of Jeet Kune Do (JKD). This book shows how he incorporated various exercises and his training regimen during various parts of his life to constantly change and adapt to what he felt would benefit him the most at that particular time. If he felt he needed more endurance, he would incorporate more running and punching the heavy bag, if he felt he needed more quickness and speed, he would do more speed drills, jump rope, etc. An excellent book to learn more about how Lee trained himself and his students to get in the best shape of their lives, and also an example and inspiration to other who exercise and try to keep fit. Of course, if you want a book to show you "how" to workout with weights, then this is not the book for you, but if you want to learn how to improve your overall self through exercise, diet and training, then this is an excellent book.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Simply the Best Moivational Book for Exercise, Ever, June 21, 2000
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
Bruce Lee was a man who truly made use of every spare moment he had. Long thought of as simply the pinnacle of martial arts, many fans and non-fans alike are discovering that Bruce Lee was also a thoughtful and profound philosopher. Even in this volume of the fantastic Bruce Lee library, you will find tremendous philosophy and insight by Bruce Lee, as retold by his friends and students. Mr. Lee saw exercise as "The Art of Expressing the Human Body," and he went to great lengths to craft his body--not for appearance--but for functionality. His circuits, weight routines, calisthenics, and cardiovascular workouts are just a few of the things detailed in this clearly exhuastively researched book. It reads quite well, and I have never worked harder at improving my own body as I have when I was actively reading this book. This is a *must* for all martial artists, and a fantastic book for anyone who needs any motivation to work out. Bruce Lee's example is all you need to really get moving.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Incredible Lee teaches even after death, July 23, 2001
By 
Brupac (Rep. of Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
This is a must for any martial artist, Weightlifter, Bodybuilder or even just cross-trainer. The book is a wealth of information which is clearly laid out and straight to the point. While other books and articles I have read claim to tell of Lee's discoveries and then don't, this reveals EVERYTHING. Apart from the fact that there are various punching and kicking drills, bodybuilding programmes, isometric, dynamic tension, cardiovascular, 10 reasons why you should jog{and more importantly tells you the correct of the three methods and how to achieve better results with jogging} etc. it is also incredibly motivating. It tells how lee performed exercises while curling a dumbell, reading a book and studying boxing matches at the same time while in a side splits. Most importantly, each section fills you in the little tips and tricks which Bruce wrote: for example in the FOREARM section (of which Bruce in unbeaten) Bruce writes to wrap a towel around a dumbell when performing curls and you will fill out you sleeves in 2 weeks!{it works!}
If that isn't motivation enough it has plently of pictures such as Lee performing THUMBPUSHUPS!! and balancing his entire body on just his traps on a weighlifting bench!!. It points out the differences between real functional muscle and the bulky muscle which bodybuilders want and shows how to achieve both{which serves to silence the fools who believe martial arts and weights are incompatible}. It explains why Lee took up weights. It presents helpful little charts which can be made at home and used for training e.g the training programme for dan inosanto or even just the 1964 measurements chart from a hong kong gym used by bruce. Even things such as the Nutrition section which every person should know about present helpful tips{and also things to avoid such as liquidising everything which Lee did!}
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome and informative, March 27, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
For years, even since I was a teenager, I always wondered how the late, great Bruce Lee built his body and trained. I heard many theories, such as he performed only isometrics, but I knew he did more than that. I used to admire the "big Guys" in pro bodybuilding-granted, they have massive and impressive physiques, but can they use them effectively, as Bruce Lee could? Even though he did not have the hi-tech methods we have today, he proved that he could still build a fast and powerful body. The book also shows how his training methods evolved over the years. As one reader said, had he lived, he probably would have trained a lot differently today-I believe we all evolve in our training-it is a good thing since it is a sign of growth and willingness to experiment. I really don't think it's the equipment that builds a great body, but discipline,imagination and very hard work.I've learned thru this book and others not to depend on machines and equipment. I don't personally believe his methods are obsoltete, as I incorporate many of them in my own training. What worked for Bruce may not work for everyone, being that we all respond differently. This book is an excellent reference guide-a must have for any serious martial artist.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a try, January 14, 2000
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
This book is very good. It is very informative, yet you should be careful if you choose to use Bruces weightlifting techniques. Check the background of each excercise in a library or on the web. Several of his exercises, such as the wrestlers neck bridge, were very dangerous and could result in permanent physical damage. I apologise for writing this, but i felt it necessary to warn all readers about the hazards. I would not want you all to go out and paralise yourselves using an excercise that has since been proven to be dangerous. Some have been proven only very recently. Just a friendly warning, and a message to say how great the book was, but just be CAREFUL. C ya
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Martial Arts Dude, March 2, 2005
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This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
Bruce was developing his workout to gain the maximum in strength, speed, reflex, endurance and striking power in order to always have an edge over his streetfighting opponents. His superhero-like physique was a side effect of this combat training. Since he was always being challenged to streetfighting duels (and eagerly accepting them) he wasn't interested in the concept of "overtraining." He just wanted to maintain his ultimate fighter status. I doubt he would have stopped training so intensely even if he had lived up into the era of the Rest-As-Part-Of-Your-Workout. Yes, "a reader." Streetfighting was Bruce Lee's sport. He was bored by the traditional fighting sports of his day. Too many rules. He grew up as a streetfighter on the rooftops of Hong Kong where anything goes, so his duels on his movie sets was the "sport" he trained for. This book did a really good job at showing Bruce Lee's focus and determination at putting together an effective workout system designed to turn a nearly obsessive man into a superfighter.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, December 9, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
Finally, a detailed book that decribes how Bruce Lee developed such incredible strength, and such an amazing body. The book, in addition to tell us what Bruce Lee did, tells us HOW he did it. The detailed descriptions of how to perform each exercise is invaluable to anyone who wants to make the most of it. And the book is packed with tips on how to always improve yourself. I've read a lot of books on weight-training and conditioning, and this is one of the best. All the details on how to perform exercices and movements also makes the earlier books in this series better, since those books often lacked a description on how each movement should be done, how many reps, how often and so on. This also goes for stretching, basic training and cardiovascular, not just weight-lifting. The only thing missing is a little more critically wiew on some things from the author, John Little. Not all of Bruce Lee's theories on how to train are completely accurate by the standards we have today. For instance, on the issue on stretching, the book "Stretching scientifically" by T. Kunz is a far more advanced and efficient approach, and at some poinst completely the opposite of what this book suggests. This also goes for some other minor things, and should at least have been noticed. To train exactely like Bruce Lee is not advised, as this would probably injure most people. But this book tells you exactly how he lived with his training, and is ment to inspire the rest of us. And it sure does. A must for anyone interested in the human body, be it bodybuilders, martial artists or anyone else, regardless of what level you train in. Read the book, apply what you learn, and be the strongest and most powerfull you can be.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bruce was way ahead of his time., September 6, 2001
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
I am a fan of Bruce's and a student of Jeet Kune Do. This book has everthing you would want to know about fitness.
Running, cardio, weights, isometrics, nutrition, circut training, etc, etc, etc. There are numerous interviews with friends and students of Bruce Lee, and descriptions of the methods he used to train them and himself. I found the circut training he did to prepare for Enter The Dragon very intersting. There is an interesting appendix in the book that tells how the author, with the help of Ted Wong recovered Bruce Lee's Marcy exercise machine and another appendix giving all of Bruce's measurements. The best thing I took away from the book was the extreme importance of all aspects of physical fitness when it comes to defending yourself.
As a downside there is definitely alot of repeated material in the book. For example a description of the bench press is probably in there 10 different times.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technique is wisdom. To train is power., July 8, 2006
By 
B. Wolf (Dodge City, KS) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Paperback)
What an outlandishly brilliant collection of Bruce Lee's personal training regimine. This is utterly priceless for its detail and stark showing of Bruce's true grit. It was a fight at a local dojo instigated by a rival martial arts group in China Town, San Francisco (actually they disapproved, as many did, Bruce's teaching such high quality lessons to Americans - really can't blame them) that spurred Bruce on to investigate and finally put to practice the lessons of bodybuilding and strength training. Extreme conditoning also - i.e. lots of cardio (2-6 mile jogs; 45 minute stationary biking; interval training, where you sprint several hundred yards then jog, then sprint, then jog and so on).

As if his complete mastery of Eastern style martial arts wasn't enough, Bruce Lee upped the antee on his own, by his own inner desire. There were no stops at local gyms. No comparing his reps to another mans output. Rather, Bruce designed and had built his very own home gym system, replete with every conjurable piece of custom equipment that can be machined (a personal friend of his was kind enough to contribute this favor, making him countless specialized weight contraptions or isometric pulleys - he would always build a second model, because if Bruce used it then it was highly effective no question).

In The Art of Expressing the Human Body one envisions samples of what Bruce initiated, the particular lifts, stretches, and workouts he had in mind. And of course would carry out for much of his adult life (about 1965-1973, eight years of pure muscle building and toning). The only flaw present in this first hand account - has a section devoted to printing some of Bruce's daily notes on regimentation and altering routines - is that the amount of weight in lbs. used for each movement is not listed. While it sounds as though Bruce did not do amazingly large numbers of sets or reps, he must have been at least testing out heavy weights for certain sets? No clue, but for what it's worth, and these ranging factoids of Bruce's exercise ideal are remarkable, this is the most advisable tome on Bruce Lee's so-called secrets. Physically speaking, solely but surely, that is.

Even included are exacting remarks having to do with daily numbers of punches, kicks, stretches, rest periods, strictest of diet/nutrition tips, and most importantly added emphasis on doing 5 different kinds of sit ups daily. Everyday, no exceptions, no excuses. Also, how to incorporate some form of cardio to enhance endurance while balancing this more tempered 'slow-twitch' muscle fiber work with high impact, speed and agility testing firing of punches, kicks, grapples, hand positions, footwork, and balance. These are all cliched in most circles, but in this book you get the inside scoop of what works, what doesn't. After seeing the 8+ yr results of Bruce's die hard 'put up or shut up' mentality, the stunning musculature of his that became, it is then natural to conclude whatever he was doing in preparation for fighting certainly had him in top form to compete. One of the truest statements ever about developing fighting power and pure strength is attributable to Mr. Lee: "We will worry about the connectors [tendons, ligaments, missed muscle groups in training] and building them up to attain a certain strength and not focus on huge, bulging muscles." Well, quite frankly Bruce Lee was ripped to the bone, with deeply cut muscle development in every body area or muscle group possible to hit. I also cannot agree more about one of the simplest tenets layed out in this book pertaining to Bruce's own personal health philosophy: stay away from cheeses, empty calories (starchy carbs), alcohol, concentrated sugar, and sodas. Things like ice cream or chocolate milk are actually less deleterious to your systems efficient functioning than the aforementioned delights, if that's what you call 'um. Another interesting tid bit is that Bruce loved all manner of teas, especially those bearing some content of honey for its energy boosting affect.

Bottomline: styles and techniques are useful, but they do not make the fighter. What is in the man is what makes him a contender always, or a slightly and occasionally formiddable foe. Weight training certainly made more a man out of Bruce Lee, however, his training in the martial arts since age 14 is what really sets him apart. Plus the fact his self-crafted combinational martial art called Jeet Kune Do encourages self-study of every possible martial art form, if only to acquire a well-rounded knack for things. :)

Upon completing the title, I recalled a conversation I had with Scott Ledeux (can sometimes be seen announcing boxing matches on ESPN, or ESPN2) about punching power in general. I asked him point blank: Who's the hardest puncher you've ever fought? He countered me on the spot with a dousy - "You mean in an actual contest or sparring?" Boy I was shook for a second there, but I regrouped, and said "Well, one would assume a real fight would produce harder, nastier punches....but in either case, I guess." (I read up on Scott days ahead of time, before he announced at the local boxing matches in our town, to discover who he'd been up against. The whole point of my questioning was to distinguish between two styles, and two all-time greats: Mike Tyson and George Foreman.) Anyway, Ledeux without hesitation told me that it was George Foreman who rocked him the hardest! I was a bit suprised, as I thought his longer, sometimes slower punches in comparison with Tyson's would hurt lesser? Not so. Ledeux also told me "When Foreman hits you, you don't want to get hit again. That's when you know you're in for it as a fighter. When your opponent has you psyched after the first real blow!" Just incredible stuff from Scott! I couldn't believe it, really. Frankly I wouldn't care to be hit by either of them (might even choose a Mack truck over each of them), but that Ledeux made it absolutely clear that a Foreman 'arm punch' was almost as solid as a Tyson 'short hook' had me baffled. It goes to show, power can be elusive. The only other boxers I can think of off hand that totally stun me whenever I watch them by their brute strength and the pop to their punches, would be Corrie Sanders (he would literally destroy guys in the wring.......watch Corrie Sanders vs. Al Cole or especially Sanders vs. Wladimir Klitschko to find out; WOW WHAT A PURE PUNCHER!)and Prince Naseem Hamed (watch Hamed vs. Augie Sanchez or Hamed vs. Kevin Kelley). And as many martial arts experts will tell you, a strong punch is a fighters best friend. Nonetheless, I do believe the martial arts in conction with some self-defense courses and grappling lessons will most benefit the average practitioner. Competition-wise, I'm glad to be a spectator/fan. Safety wise, it never hurts to explore your options. Read up on how Bruce honed his body into a devasting machine! Great publishing!
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The Art of Expressing the Human Body
The Art of Expressing the Human Body by Bruce Lee (Paperback - November 15, 1998)
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