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Be Like Bruce Lee, My Friend (or How to Stick to Your Training)

There’s a famous interview with Bruce Lee where he describes his philosophy of his life. As he was most notable for his martial arts and movies, he applied this mindset to everything. He was truly a man of deep reverence by his peers, the public, and an ever-growing audience from every generation to this day.

His philosophy was a profession of adaptability. To conform with the winds of change. To take the form of whatever is challenging us and use it to our advantage.

Bruce Lee still fascinates me to this day. I can’t get enough of his timeless voice taking on life’s biggest struggles with simple (but not easy) approaches.

How to adapt your mind

As we all like to restart our training efforts from time to time we need to equip ourselves with a few steadfast principles that can be applied to our long term plans.

Notably, I like to take Bruce Lee’s philosophy to the heart of my training. Lee stresses that we must be like water. To take the shape of whatever we are presented with (more or less). It’s a unique perspective on how to adapt. Not to complain about the situation, not to feverishly find ways to get out of the work ahead of us, and not to subvert any entity to make things easier on us.

When it comes to your physique goals, make this time one of adaptability. This time you’ll start with the philosophy of water before you lift a single weight or perform a single pushup. Know that life will always throw wrenches your way big and small and that you have the ability to assess the challenges and act with flexibility.

How to adapt your training

I’ve said it many times, “Don’t plan a break from training, life will provide it for you.” With that said the first order of business is to become consistent with training, eating habits, and recovery.

Are you hitting on all your training days each week?

Are you preparing and timing all of your meals?

Are you sleeping and resting enough?

Nothing beats consistency. Once you have that established you are miles ahead of the crowd.

“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile because most are not willing to put in the time to get there.”

Next, be aware that those perfect plans will get squashed, guaranteed. This is when we need to adopt Bruce Lee’s philosophy on whether it’s cancelling our training session for the day due to an unforeseen family obligation or shifting gears on our workout plan because every squat rack is taken by some kid scrolling through their phone.

You see, most hiccups that perceptually derail our training have two surprisingly unique parts. One, they usually don’t last as long as we think, and two, they aren’t as severe as we fear. So adopting an adaptation mindset will transform those mythical mountains into mole hills.

But what about the big things like a gym closing and being forced to workout from home for a while or some sort of lifestyle change that has us training sporadically, later or earlier than you prefer, or limiting your time? The same principle applies.

If we are as creative and adaptive as we like to think we are, why not put it into practice? Why beat our head against the wall when we can simply adapt, go with the flow, and be like water? Take the form of whatever is presented to us and make it work to our advantage?

The best laid plans

I know what your thinking. Why not just force my way there? Why not tell that kid to scram off the squat rack? Because we have too much to learn if we don’t.

If you always start with squats during a leg workout then here’s your opportunity to shift gears and try a new sequence. Can’t bench press due to crowding today? Perform an all dumbbell chest routine. Can’t use your favorite cardio machine? Try a new one. Or better yet, go outside.

The opposite will only keep us frustrated, angry, and stagnant.

The point is that adapting moves us forward. If applied liberally, we will always be moving toward a better circumstance. We may perceive roadblocks as such, but there is another, more effective perspective to adhere to. One of water.

In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.

Bruce Lee

I’ll leave you with this reminder.

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

Bruce Lee

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Blog Training Workouts

At Home All Dumbbell Workout

At-home full body dumbbell workouts are everywhere, but many are structured for those who just want a quick “get-in-shape” program. I’ve always been a student of muscle. If I’m going to spend time training I want any routine I follow to build muscle, strength, and give me a great pump so I can walk away with a smile on my face and the sense that I really moved the needle.

Following is an all dumbbell workout that addresses everything: all body parts, compound movements, and practices efficiency of effort. That is, it doesn’t waste time and energy on useless exercises, gets straight to the point of training, and will yield the fastest and best results possible.

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Blog Training Workouts

At-Home Minimal Shoulder and Arm Workout

We continue our at-home minimal workouts with a shoulder and arm day. The chest and back workout was simple and to the point. The trick is to not overthink any of this. If you’re training at home temporarily with the thought of getting back to the gym in a few weeks then these workouts will get you through. They may even shock your body a bit into new strength and growth. You never know really.

Here we’ll be tackling shoulders and arms with very minimal equipment. Mainly stuff you can find around the house and possibly some bands. So let’s get to it!

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Blog Training Workouts

Basic But Effective Chest and Back Workout

Simple is in. Minimalism is the new buzz word floating around and I for one have always been a fan before it was trendy. Most problems have simple answers (not easy, but simple). Your training should be no different. This basic but effective chest and back workout possesses that principle.

It’s not hard to see the complex, frustrating, and confusing machine the fitness industry has turned into. The industry is filled with snake oil ready to take your money and manipulate you into buying the latest gadget or “system” that guarantees will finally be the secret you’ve been seeking. No gimmicks here.

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Blog Training Workouts

Dumbbell-Only Better Arm Workout

When I was asked to make a muscle back in my competitive days I would invariably hitch my sleeve up and squeeze. Nowadays we want to be lean with six-pack abs. We no longer want huge guns, but leaner, more muscular bodies. However, arms are still a mainstay. With this dumbbell-only arm workout you can build better arms in short order. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, an adjustable bench, and around 20 minutes.

Arm training shouldn’t be complicated. Their function is pretty simple and to the point. We either contract or extend at the elbow. Now I know it’s a bit more involved than that, but I’ll spare you the anatomy lesson and get right to the point.