The 300 Workout

Yup, the guy's in pretty good shape.

Yup, the guy's in pretty good shape.

You’ve seen the movie 300 and you’ve seen how freaking jacked those guys are.  Well, as it turns out, many of the actors in the movie went through a certain routine that they had to finish in order to be considered “ready.”  I love this routine because it’s a full body workout that teaches both strength and endurance.  Every day in a gym I see guys working out their forearms, doing 5 different triceps exercises to hit the arms from all different angles, specializing in tiny muscles.  For this 300 workout, each exercise is a compound exercise, working multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Think about it: 2000 years ago, these warriors didn’t have cable pull machines and exercise balls and Nautilus machines – they had their body weight, they had heavy things to pick up, and things to hang off of. That’s it…oh yeah and they had to fight for their lives every freaking day.  They were in peak physical shape and scared the crap out of every other “army.”   I guarantee if a Spartan walked around in that loin cloth thing nobody nobody would question it.  Gerard Butler (who plays King Leonidas in 300) told Men’s Health: “You know that every bead of sweat falling off your head, every weight you’ve pumped — the history of that is all in your eyes.  That was a great thing, to put on that cape and put on that helmet, and not have to think, shit, I should have trained more. Instead, I was standing there feeling like a lion.”  Yeah, I want to feel like that.

So here the routine.  If you can complete this test, you’ve completed the final level, you beat the last boss, you did it.  So what is this routine?

  1. Pullups – 25 reps
  2. Deadlifts with 135lbs – 50 reps
  3. Pushups – 50 reps
  4. 24-inch Box jumps – 50 reps
  5. Floor wipers – 50 reps
  6. Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36lbs Kettlebell – 50 reps
  7. Pullups – 25 reps

To see what these moves look like, check out Craig Ballentyne’s explanation for each:


300 Workout

There you have it.  Even though I’ve been working out and “in shape” for years, this test scares the crap out of me.  It’s a great goal to have though.  Once I get back from my next cruise in a few weeks, I’m going to try and attempt this test; I’ll record my stats and see if I can even get through it (my guess would be NO).  I tried to do some floor wipes this morning and nearly killed myself…50 of them scares the bajeeezus out of me.  Oh well, gotta start somewhere, right?

My ultimate goal is to compete on Ninja Warrior – yes I’m serious – so until I make it on the show I figure if training to look like King Leonidas is a good start.

-Steve

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  • Jesse Bird

    So I have a shoulder injury, skateboarding stuff, but should I work out my shoulder if I (just recently) have full motion of it, and it only hurts a wee bit when I pick stuff up. anything I can do to work shoulders, back, tris, and lats? (Everything that hurts a bit when I try and work it) and since the answer is probably no for a little longer, what can I do to heal it faster?

  • Scott Swartzbaugh

    Kipping used to be allowed in the Marines, but eventually they outlawed it. Boy did the scores drop that year.

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  • Jeff Bloom

    My new goal.

  • Krystle Rose

    STEVE!! Did you ever try this?! How did it go?

  • Michael

    The “300 Workout” was developed as a test by the Gym Jones facility whom had the contract to train the 300 cast and stunt crew for both 300 movies. It was a benchmark for those involved during their many months of training, and yes it is a doozy!

    Also, all those mens magazines such as Mens Health are just as full of garbage as women’s beauty magazines. I urge everyone to educate themselves through people who know what they are doing and through better literature.

    I would like to see Craig Ballentyne do the test.

    http://www.gymjones.com/knowledge/article/300/

  • Mila Jylhä

    Ooh my goodness. The amount of reps sounds impossible. Gonna try that… with as many reps I could possibly do… 25 pullups, yeah right. 3, maybe.

  • forbestom

    This is an old post, so I’m hoping someone might see this question… I tried the 300 yesterday, not to Rx, but I did what I could doing the following:
    5 sets (interval with ~30sec between exercises)
    5 reps pullups
    10 reps 135lbs deadlift
    10 reps pushups
    10 reps 24″ box jump
    10 reps twists
    10 reps kettlebell C&J (22lbs since I couldn’t find a 25lbs kettle, and I’m nowhere near the 36kg yet)
    5 reps chinups

    I got through 4 rounds of this until I ran out of time.
    Now today I’m trying to figure out what to work on in the gym.
    My question is this, I’ve never really done full body workouts before, usually splitting between upper body/lower back on one day and legs and abs on the next and then cycling through that so I don’t destroy whatever muscle I’m building up each day. So, how do I approach this workout regimen? If I do a full body like the 300 on day one, what should I do on day two? Work more on parts that may not have been worked as hard with the 300, or just do cardio? Also I’m trying to get more in to kettlebell training and powerlifting, so should I do something like swings, goblet squats, C&Js, barbell squats etc?

  • Livo

    Well, I cant even do 2 pull ups :0(

  • http://www.twotreesmarketing.com/ twotrees marketing

    eat and rest on the off day
    The theory is as you work all muscles on day 1, with a relative HIIT, your working each muscle group and they need rest to rebuild
    Its a super efficient workout program, go hard 1 day, rest and eat the next, and then repeat
    If you try to fit too much inbetween, you’ll injure yourself, and are not going hard enough on the days that you should be working out

    I dropped to 8% body fat and was the biggest, strongest and most proportional i’ve ever been from this routine

    A good way to do it, is stick with 1 exercise till you hit 50, but do it with a buddy. You rest whilst they do 10, then you do 10-until total etc

  • Troy Swezey

    Nice post. Yes, this is a scary workout and the amount of dedication and motivation involved. But this guy got paid a ton of money to make this movie so there is the motivation.

    PS- https://www.nerdfitness.com/2009/02/02/why-ninja-warrior-is-the-greatest-show-on-television/ is a broken link.

  • Finney James

    be it any exercise, the weight you choose should allow you to do 8 reps with moderate stress, if you are able to do more than eight then it is too light, if you cannot reach 8 then it is too heavy, so any body can figure out their best suited weight using this formula

  • Finney James

    1 started with 1 but now i can do 5 in a row and i wont stop till i reach 15, so i encourage u to keep at it.

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