Off-Topic how did bruce lee train to become so fast?

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I have been reading alot about bruce lee, everyone talks about how fast he was, literally superhuman is such a thing possible? I have read that bruce lee would shock himself with electricity....that kinda sounds like it could be harmful doesnt it? did he really shock himself?
I mean, it kinda makes sense though when you consider the facts that your muscles rapidly contract when you get shocked, they contract way faster then you ever possibly could do without the shock, so maybe his speed came from conditioning his muscles with electricity, in theory, it should be possible for your muscles to adapt and become used to contracting/moving at super high speeds....but then again, all the shocking can not be to healthy for your heart...

The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
I recall reading he was an early user of the electric muscle therapy stuff. I knew strong powerlifters who used it on their low back to help relax stiff muscles. Remember, the other side of the 'fast' coin is 'loose'. And he was known for his flexibility!


Level 8 Valued Member

I guess devil is in the details, but sure poison is in the dose. Electric muscle therapy may be good - never tested on myself neither read studies about this - however, I guess it depends on the duration of each session, on the electric power, and the frequency. To a certain extent, what about the heart, lung, brain (basically "noble organs") on the long haul ?

It can sound paradoxical, however, a deep state of relaxation drasticaly help to be fast. The "wave" principle we see in some martial arts is a good example of that.

Kind regards,


The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
depends on the duration of each session, on the electric power, and the frequency
I've used it in the past. It's basically done by a machine that sends current to these self-adhesive leads that attach to your skin. The machine manipulates the current and frequency to alternately contract and relax the muscle. It feels wild having your muscles contract without your control.

It did boost recovery a little, but not as much as a deep tissue massage. Both of which are inferior to the movement prep stuff I've learned this year such as the brettzel, arm bar, OS commando rocks, etc.


Level 9 Valued Member
For those interested in the electrical stimulation, have a read on Dr. Ziegler and his Isotron. It sounds like it played by the same principles as the modern machines, but that the intensity was pretty brutal. And the people who claimed to benefit from his machine greatly were athletes from the very top of the game. An interesting subject.


Level 6 Valued Member
As Pet' mentioned, relaxation is a big part of speed. In Bruce's case, many thousands of repetitions of deliberate practice improved his movement efficiency. EMG studies have shown that there is an intricate pattern of muscle contraction and relaxation necessary to generate lots of speed. I suspect that he also had a high percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers to work with. I don't think the muscle electrical stimulation had anything to do with his speed.


Level 6 Valued Member
Some of this:

Quoting directly from Bruce Lee, The Art of Expressing the Human Body by John Little:

As well as progressing in weight and repetitions, Lee believed that velocity could also be quantifiable as a calculated progression. An increase in speed - speed of movement and speed of recovery - he reasoned, should be a planned part of the training scheme of any serious martial artist. To this end, Lee found it beneficial to occasionally ignore adding repetitions or weight, and concentrate instead on working to reduce the overall performance time of his workout. Lee
would carefully time his workouts, striving to execute each repetition as quickly as possible. The recovery period between muscle groups was also timed and, if increased stamina was one of his goals during a particular workout, an effort would be made to reduce the length of his
recovery periods between sets.
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