Revisiting The 300 Workout – How to Build a Spartan Physique

Out of the many celebrity workout regimens that are constantly popping up on the internet, we can exclude the classic 300 Workout created by the famous Hollywood trainer Mark Twight. Made for the purpose of training actors such as Gerard Butler, lead role in the movie “300”, to make their bodies as close as possible to the remarkable Spartans of the past.

In this article  you’ll find out what exactly the 300 Workout is and whether or not it’s the perfect workout for you.

What exactly is the 300 workout

As was mentioned above, this workout was created for the sole purpose of training the cast of the movie “300” for their roles as Spartan warriors. Mark Twight specially curated it to help them efficiently shed fat and build up muscle in the correct places to accurately resemble the muscular warriors of the past.

Tailing closely behind the movie’s release date in 2007, Twight revealed to the  world the special workout under the name of the “300 Workout”. The catchy namesake was enough to garner the attention of the public and fans of the movie alike to take up the challenge and do the workout.

Emphasizing both strength and endurance as the crux, the workout is comprised of a combination of weighted and bodyweight exercises that target every group of muscles.

Consisting of 300 reps of exercises, it should be done with short breaks in between, but to gain the full effect of the workout these breaks should be kept to a minimum. Whether the workout takes the minimum of 15 or the maximum of 45 minutes to complete, depends on the level of fitness the person has.

What exactly does the 300 Workout entail?

Let’s be honest, something called the 300 workout definitely isn’t just going to be a walk in the park, even for the most experienced people in the field of fitness.

It’s recommended to keep to all of the exercises, without skipping any, and if any difficulty arises during one a quick break should be taken before continuing with the rep.

The exercises included in the 300 Workout comprise of the following:

  1. The first step would be to do 25 pull-ups.

  • You’ll need an overhead bar with a wide grip that you can grasp and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar and then lower your body until your arms are fully straightened.
  1. Next up are 50 barbell deadlifts with 135 lbs or 64.4 kg.

deadlift program

  • To do this exercise you’d of course need a barbell. Squat and grasp the barbell, your arms need to be at shoulder width apart, then lift it by extending your hips and knees. Briefly pause when you’re at the top before returning the bar on the floor by bending your hips back and allowing your knees to bend forward.
  1. Get ready to do 50 push-ups.

  • Go down on all fours, then proceed to place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, afterwards straighten your arms and legs, lower your body until arms are at a straight 90-degree angle. Make a brief pause then push your body back up.
  1. Time for 50 box jumps on a 24 inch/61 cm platform.

  • Standing in front of a box with your feet a shoulder-width apart you need to swing your arms behind you while maintaining a partial squat position. Then you need to quickly swing your arms forward and jump onto the platform with your knees bent and after that you jump back down and repeat.
  1. Almost there! Keep up with these 50 floor wipers with a 135 lbs/ 64.4 kg barbell.

  • Start by lying on your back with your arms extended holding a barbell. Keep your arms and legs extended then raise your legs to the right side of the barbell so that your toes touch the weight plates. Afterwards bring your legs back down to the center and repeat but this time to the left side to complete one floor wiper.
  1. Finish up by doing 50 clean-and-presses with a 36-pound (16.4-kg) kettlebell.


  • This one is a doozy. Begin with your feet placed about a shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell on the floor between your legs. Bend at the hips and with a slight bend in your knees, reach down and grasp the kettlebell with one hand. Using the momentum from your hips and glutes, pull the kettlebell up as if you were starting a lawn mower, driving your hips forward and straightening your legs back. As soon as you do that use an uppercut motion and have your bell end up just between your forearm and biceps – also know as the rack position.
  • The kettlebell should be just below shoulder height with your elbow tucked into your chest. From this rack position, you need to press the kettlebell straight up over your head until your arm is completely straight, and then lower it back to its first position. Finally, drop the weight smoothly back down toward the floor, bending your knees and hinging your hips back and repeat on each side 25 times.

It should be noted that if you don’t have a kettlebell, you can easily substitute it with a dumbbell.

Is it suitable for you?

It’s true that the 300 Workout is created and tailored for the actors for the movie “300”, but it can just as easily help the average person attain the physique built exclusively for professionals.

Even though there is no particular study that has analyzed the level of effectiveness of the 300 Workout, other studies on workouts that focus on similar high intense circuit trainings have shown improvements in those areas.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to know that yes, the 300 Workout helped the actors improve their physiques immensely, but it wasn’t the only thing that did that. The 300 Workout was probably paired with other equally as demanding training regimens.

Alongside the intense workout, the actors definitely had a diet especially curated for them, probably consisting of of a lot of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and dairy to support the building of muscle as well and eradicating fat. As well as nutritious food, the actors probably used dietary supplements to enhance their performance during exercising as well as their recovery. The dietary supplements could include beta-alanine, caffeine, and creatine.

The workout is recommended to be done at least 2 times a week, and it definitely fits one of the crucial physical activity guidelines for adults.

Fair warning though, since the workout is verging on the extreme and demanding, it should not be performed consecutively to prevent the risk of injury.

What are the risks and is it for everyone?

The 300 Workout is a highly intense workout, and it doesn’t go without its risks, as with any workout of that caliber. Many people who suffer of lung diseases, or stability issues or even musculoskeletal conditions may pose the greatest risk of injury. From losing balance and falling over to discomfort or shortness of breath.

Sufferers of the mentioned conditions should definitely speak to their healthcare provider before trying this workout since they may suggest modifications to the regimen that will bring them to their goal in a safer and risk free way.

We have to admit that the 300 Workout isn’t for everyone, it would be a significant challenge to overcome for the average person as this isn’t tailored for people who have only a small amount of exercise in their day-to-day life. It’s mostly for those who have an advanced or higher training experience, since the level of complexity and the stamina required for the movements is relatively high. So, it may not be the best workout to start with if you don’t have at least 6 months of experience.

Although the workout is based and made for average or largely built men, anyone can preform it, no matter their s*x or frame.

It’s important to note that modifications to the workout are encouraged if you find it too difficult to complete.

Some easier ways to do the 300 Workout.

As it was mentioned before, not everyone can do the 300 Workout at its full intensity, so in turn here are some substitutes to the existing exercises, should the need for modification arise:

-To help with pull-ups, you can try an assisted pull-up machine, assisting with lessening the amount of body weight you need to pull.

-If barbell deadlifts are difficult, you can reduce the weight on each side or strip all of the weight and use just the base barbell.

-To make pushups easier, instead of on your toes, go down on your knees and push up from there.

-Box jumps can be pretty hard, so instead use an adjustable step platform, and decrease the platform height you need to jump.

-To make floor wipers easier, again lower the amount of weights on the barbell, or completely get rid of it and do the weightless version.

-Clean-and-presses can be made easier by using a lighter kettlebell/dumbbell.

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  1. JJ

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