The 300 Workout

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:

There you have it!

-Steve

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89 thoughts on “The 300 Workout

  1. thanks for that video and post. I'm just recovering from a nasty knee injury and about to start a serious workout routine since i've lost most of my strength on the couch for a year. Besides the box jumps this should be rad. Well building up to it anyways since I dont want to drop 135 lbs on my neck 🙂 Good luck on Ninja Warriors heh

  2. thanks for that video and post. I'm just recovering from a nasty knee injury and about to start a serious workout routine since i've lost most of my strength on the couch for a year. Besides the box jumps this should be rad. Well building up to it anyways since I dont want to drop 135 lbs on my neck 🙂 Good luck on Ninja Warriors heh

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  4. In high school we did something like this for my strength training class a few times a semester (only we would replace the kettle bells with a bar and some weight and we’d replace the second set of pull ups with 135lbs squats). We got 5 min for each station before we had to go to the next, finished or not. It is definitely hard, but I think you are overestimating its difficulty. I’ve always been a skinny kid and I’d be able to get through this without missing anymore than 5 or 10 reps total. I hardly believe this is how they tested the actors to see if they were fit enough, unless there was a time they had to meet. This is a great workout and will destroy you if you do it well, but I just find it hard to believe that for some of you more buff/fit guys (like those actors??) that this is on the level of a rigorous physical test. Nonetheless, I think everyone needs to try it at least once just to get that leg trembling satisfaction you have afterwards. Cheers!

  5. I was JUST thinking that. I’ve gotta give u points, bro. I have wanted to be on Ninja Warrior for the LONGEST time, but, with the shape you’re in, you can DEFINITIVELY beat the course. If you do go on, I’ll be rooting for you every second of the compitition! I tryed to complete 1 workout following this article. MAN, did I have my ass handed to me. I didnt have a kettlebell, but i filled a bucket w/ sand. It is more brutal than soaking yourself in ice, and yelled at to sprint a marathon. ( I’m exxagerating, but it was hard, nonetheless!) To look like Gerard Butler may not be what I’m looking for, but I DO want to be ripped, and looking good! Greaat article, Steve. I look forward to seeing you as you stride over to Japan, and equal the great, and never equalled Makoto Nagano! Good luck, bro!

  6. Another post that i can add to my own 400 assassin workout system thanks Steve, now you can stop it…….no really you can dont keep giving me idea’s 

  7. Bringing up an old one here, but I like it.  I told my buddy a few months ago that my end goal for getting in shape was to be someone from 300 for Halloween.  I want to do it full out, so this final test looks to be my final goal before I do it.  The biggest challenge will be the back strength, I have none, and the floor wipers, which scare the crap out of me.  The push ups, deadlifts, and clean and clean and presses I can probably already do half the weight for and the box jumps will be a test of endurance.  I’m going to test myself on this every couple of months to check out my progress.

  8. Bringing up an old one here, but I like it.  I told my buddy a few months ago that my end goal for getting in shape was to be someone from 300 for Halloween.  I want to do it full out, so this final test looks to be my final goal before I do it.  The biggest challenge will be the back strength, I have none, and the floor wipers, which scare the crap out of me.  The push ups, deadlifts, and clean and clean and presses I can probably already do half the weight for and the box jumps will be a test of endurance.  I’m going to test myself on this every couple of months to check out my progress.

  9. I did this workout 4 years ago and it was the biggest butt-kicker I’ve done. Stiff as a board sore for three days. My buddy and I did it together. I went first and finished it in 15 min 30 sec. My buddy finished it in 17 min. CAUTION: Make sure your in good physical condition before attempting! You feel like Crap and a Beast at the same time when your done.

  10. It’s called the 300 workout because of the 300 reps, as stated in the video, not because this has anything to do with the actors in the movie.

  11. I just saw this and I think it’s awesome, only I don’t have any weights. Any suggestions?

  12. I have just tried this out and i got through it! i tired as hell though

  13. Are we allowed to kip for the pullups? It doesn’t say strict so I am assuming so, I want to try this tomorrow, pretty confident I will get under 28min.

  14. This article was written before I even knew what a kipping pull up was…so no, kipping pull ups are not allowed.  they had to be strict reps or they didn’t count (according to the trainers for 300).

    Personally, I don’t agree with kipping pull ups as I think they defeat the purpose of doing a pull up in the first place! cheers!
    -Steve

  15.  Feel like it would be allowed for a warrior, seeing any obstacles in which they would pull I am sure in real life they would do it anyway possible. But alright, strict it is!

  16. Am 18stone about fat so am of to try this and in 2months I will be back on to let you know how well it works.

  17. It’s funny that you consider Ninja Warrior shape to be better shape that King Leonidas. And since I read your Ninja Warrior article, I do agree! Do you know much about the general diet of the competitors on the show? I imagine it’s high veggie and decent meat (similar to paleo) but I wonder about rice intake. does rice count against paleo?

  18. Hi,
    I stumbled across this workout and was wondering…do the floor wipers have to be done with the same weight as the DLs? I am able to DL 135lbs but I couldn’t possibly chest press 135lbs into position (the best I can press is about 100lbs).
    Thanks!

  19. Based on what I know about strength training, you probably wouldn’t want to do it more than every other day. You need to give the muscles time to repair, or you lose performance.

  20. is there one that woman can follow? i.e the same workout but with more realistic weights for the female build, thanks

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