I recently came across a Bruce Lee interview on YouTube in which he said, “Be like water” He elaborated on this by saying that when you put water in a cup it becomes a cup, when you put water in a bowl it becomes the bowl, water can flow, and it can also crush. He also spoke about clearing the mind and being formless like water. In the same video he said, “water that flows is never stale” As I watched this video I began to think about what he was trying to say. I began to think about how water is never one thing as it adapts to its surroundings. In extreme cold, water freezes and becomes either snow or ice. In extreme heat water evaporates and becomes steam. In milder temperatures water is liquid. From what I have seen in all the Bruce Lee videos it seems to me that he was less concerned at being the best actor and martial artist then he was in being the best version of Bruce Lee he could be. It seems this way to me because the be like water video ended with Bruce saying that if he said he was best people would say he was being cocky, but if he said he wasn’t good people would say he was lying.
How can you implement this into your own training?
If you have any experience in bodybuilding training, you will have come across two completely different philosophies. You have the high-volume training style that Arnold Schwarzenegger followed religiously, then you have the low volume heavy duty style that Mike Mentzer was famous for. Using the water analogy, I would describe high- volume training as steam and heavy duty as ice. If you were to follow Bruce Lee’s be like water philosophy you would take aspects of both types so that you are always making progress. My fitness training has changed and adapted over the years to suit my goals at the time. When I first stated weight training I was playing lots of basketball, I then became more interested in bodybuilding, so I started to train like a bodybuilder. In my twenties I took up sprinting, boxing and even professional wrestling. This required me to learn new training techniques and become more explosive.
How can you use this in your life?
Life rarely works out how you think it will and it never stays the same, so it is important to be able to adapt to these changes. This could be changes to your professional life such as being made redundant or moving to another part of the country for a promotion. You could be married to somebody serving in the military requiring you to move every three years. This requires you to flow like water so that you can adapt to your new situation.