We all have our favorite exercise, my friend – or favorite(s).
And we all have that one exercise that whether it’s our favorite or not – we make sure to get damn good at it, because we know our entire fitness regime depends upon working hard, very hard at that one exercise – also the rest, dont get me wrong – but especially that one.
It could be hill climbs for me back in the day – a super, butt kicking workout like NONE Other. You truly need to do very little else if you religiously hike hills for hours a day, and swim in the evenings!
Or it could be pushups in the 0 Excuses Fitness System.
For some, it could be the back bridge. Matt Furey, author of Combat Conditioning regards the back bridge as being the “King” of the Royal Court i.e. pushups, squats and bridging.
For some, it could be the overhead press.
But what was the great Bruce Lee’s “to go exercise” the king of it all?
You might be surprised to hear the answer.
It wasn’t pushups – which he did thousands of daily – it wasn’t isometrics – which he did – it wasn’t training modeled on the Gama from India (which he LOVED) – it wasn’t martial arts “Wing Chun” per se either.
It was … Brace yourself.
That is right.
What is sometimes known as the “holy screed” for boxers of all age groups, weights, and abilities i.e. roadwork – something I myself did pretty religiously back in 2018, and have picked up again these days.
And it isn’t just those “slow, long distance runs”.
I dont just hate those – I find them boring as heck for one – I regard them as being completely counter intuitive and NOT suitable for the fitness goals I currently have (running a marathon ain’t one of them).
Back in the day, when I wrote Advanced Hill Training, you’ll see I teach how you to WALK correctly – and run properly – in the opening parts of the book.
It was written based upon what I learnt, and truth be told, for those of you into martial arts, you’ll know that even the slightest movement – lets say shifting your weight from the ball of one foot to the other – or lifting your leg up – or the way you pivot – is all done very differently from what and how the average Joe might do it.
And back to roadwork – Lee did lots of it.
This afternoon, I did roadwork for almost an hour.
I mixed in slow runs – SPRINTS (another favorite of mine) – some uphill jogs on a sloping surface – reverse bipedal training – and more – during my workout today (this was before the grip/core work I wrote to you about).
Lee would often do things like this.
He’d religiously run 4 miles three times a week, and he’d mix it up too – and remember, this was in addition to his legendary fitness regime which “never stopped”.
Lee had a dumbbell lying around at home which he lifted all the time, even while “resting”!
I get it.
When getting good at pull-ups, I’d be doing them all day long too, one main workout, but tons throughout the day too “mini blasts”.
ANyway – there’s many great things you can learn from Bruce Lee, my friend, perhaps the best of which is his willingless to denounce and discard those parts of tradition which “did not work” or were not necessary.
After that legendary last studio fight with a challenger and some friends, Lee kicked his ass, yes – but he was SO winded after the fight he took a long, hard look at not just his conditioning, but fighting style too.
That was when he decided to ditch the “constraints” of Wing Chun, and develop his own style.
But years prior to that, Lee often spoke out against the “rigidity in training methods” of many martial arts teachers.
He was a huge, huge proponent of not following tradition but doing – what works – for YOU.
Achievers throughout the age know there is no one set formula to succeed, you do what works best for you.
Anyway, pushups being another thing. Those fingertip pushups that contributed to his incredible grip strength, the striking power – the ferocious kicks – all of it came from a strong, lithe , very well conditioned core – we all know about that, of course!
Back to roadwork – and running.
Boxers and wrestlers have been doing it for centuries, before modern day gyms etc took over, but still today, you’ll see serious boxers out for runs in the AM most likely regardless of what else they do.
I’m not saying you cannot get fit without running – or roadwork – but I’m saying you are never well and truly “well rounded” WITHOUT it.
It’s an integral part of any real fitness trainee’s toolkit, and it should be a part of yours too, along with the other three basic movements I teach you in Advanced Hill Training.
Thats it for this one.
P S- And flexbility is WAY underrated, friend, as is isometrics, and one leads up to and feeds on the other.
To kick your opponent in the head with enough force to knock him out – hold the stance – and kick AGAIN – that takes some serious muscle control, breath work and fitness…
And if you’re serious about your fitness, even if fighting is the last thing on your mind – you owe it to yourself to pick up one of my best books on the topic “Isometric and Flexibility Training“.
Get this NOW.