Bruce Lee was a martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). In addition to his expertise in martial arts, Lee’s dedication to fitness was equally impressive. He is widely considered one the fittest and most influential martial artists of all time.
In Lee’s book, The Art of Expressing the Human Body, he reveals an impressive dedication to strength training, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and diet. The book is a compilation of Lee’s writings, workout routines, and instructions which were compiled together by his friend John Little.
I read this book many years ago and I still incorporate Lee’s instruction into my fitness and dieting goals. My favorite tip was shared by Allen Joe, Lee’s friend who wrote the foreward to the book. Joe shares what I believe is Lee’s greatest fitness tip!
Joe trained with Lee regularly and wrote that Lee would challenge him to “do one more rep,” regarding whatever workout they were engaging. This philosophy is based on the benefits you achieve by pushing yourself past what you think you are capable of accomplishing. When you feel like quitting, do one more rep, or go just a little bit further. After Lee’s death in 1973, Joe adopted the saying of “Do one more for Bruce Lee,” whenever he exercised to honor his late friend.
I love this statement and I have adopted this philosophy and mental reminder into my fitness routine.
- When I lift weights and feel like I am unable to finish my last rep, I think, “Do one more for Bruce Lee.”
- When I am running and feel like stopping to walk before hitting my distance goal, I think, “Do one more for Bruce Lee.”
- When I am running low on energy and I consider skipping my workout for the day, I think “Do one more for Bruce Lee.”
The mind is quick to tell the body to quit, but we always have more strength to push further. This statement is a simple mental exercise to push yourself past plateaus in your fitness goals.
The next time you workout, whether you are grinding at the gym, riding a bike, taking a walk, or doing push-ups and sit-ups at home, will you challenge yourself to “Do one more for Bruce Lee?”