T Nation

Better Physique: Bruce Lee or Arnold?


This question came up in conversation earlier today between a friend and I. Basically, we never came to a definitive conclusion but we did concur that Lee's physique was not as good as Arnold's in that ceteris paribus, Arnold's muscle definition is almost on par with Lee's but his clearly superior size gives him the nod.

However, we also agree that part of what makes a good physique is what it is capable of, and in that respect Lee far overshadows Arnold, without even taking into account his mastery of martial arts. We agreed that the one-inch punch, the one-arm, two-finger pushups, the 30 minute "dragon flags" and the ability to make a 300lb punching bag hit the ceiling with one side kick all are more impressive physical feats than say, benching 450lbs for 8 reps or whatever the hell it is Arnold was moving in his prime.

So I extend the debate to the T-Nation crowd. Who do you think has the better physique and why? Obviously, if you're a pure functionality guy then Lee has the superior physique and if you're an overall size type of guy then Arnold is your man. If it comes down strictly to aesthetic appeal and symmetry then it's a toss-up.


How long before this is derailed?


RIGHT NOW!!!! ; )


It already is.


Awww shit.

What's up man? Long time no speak. How's it hangin?


I do not believe for a second DB Cooper wrote the OP.

Without a wall of text there can be no DB Cooper


Just because Lee could manage all those physical feats doesn't translate to better aesthetic appeal. Highly subjective in first place.

Besides I'd vote for Brad Pitt in Fight Club. He was too big in Troy.


If it still counts:

As a pre-teen watching Bruce Lee films - I wanted to be like him.
In my teens watching Arnie films - I shifted to Arnold's physique.

It's pretty clear who would win in a fight though.


Bruce Lee is more my cup of tea.
That rhymes.
I prefer Arnold's movies though.



Aesthetically, I've always been an Arnold guy. But it is interesting, when people talk about extremes of how they would want to look, these two guys get mentioned more than anyone. I tend to think guys with a more beta-type personality are going to value Lee's physique. (disclaimer: both guys are super duper alpha, i'm not making ANY argument against that. I'm also just talking about tendencies, not everybody fits that.)

Arnold's physique is a more obviously dominant one, especially wearing clothes. A guy could look like Bruce Lee and you wouldn't have a clue if he was wearing a suit or something remotely loose fitting. The Lee physique is kind of a hidden thing, you're not gonna know until he takes his shirt off how awesome he is. In the end, to each his own, and I have not answered the question at all :slight_smile:




Bruce Lee vs Conan....FIGHT!


Low and to the left.


FACT: Bruce Lee attributed much of his explosive power and cat-like agility to a daily regimen of Zercher squats. When asked if they were heavy Zercher squats, Lee confirmed that they were.

(Source: "This guy I know")


Hallowed towell,um,what?


When I was a kid I watched Kung Fu Theater every Saturday. I loved Bruce Lee. I have a book that says Arnold Schwarzenegger was inspired by Bruce Lee's physique especially when Bruce Lee would do his "Cobra" pose.

Now that is a v-taper.


This is all I have to say about it.


Not if Arnold had a machine gun. Son.


Well Arnold probably has a bigger joystick than Bruce and I don't think 'physique' is limited to just what you can see with cloths. So that pretty much tips the scale to Arnold.


What a physique can do... Arnolds could pick up hella heavy shit.