Hollywood trainer and mountain climber Mark Twight created the 300 Workout to help prepare actors, including Gerard Butler who played King Leonidas, for their roles as muscular Spartan warriors in the movie “300.”
This article explains everything you need to know about the 300 Workout, including how to do it, whether it delivers results, and who should and shouldn’t try it.
The 300 Workout is the workout that the cast of the movie “300” used to train for their roles.
Hollywood trainer Mark Twight created the workout to help the actors shed fat and build muscle to resemble lean and muscular Spartan warriors.
Shortly after the film’s North American release in 2007, Twight released what he called the 300 Workout, allowing anyone to take on the challenging routine that transformed the film’s actors into lean, mean, fighting machines.
The 300 Workout uses a mixture of bodyweight and weighted exercises that hit every muscle group. It emphasizes both muscular strength and endurance.
It consists of 300 repetitions (reps) done straight through with little to no rest between exercises.
Depending on your fitness level, the 300 Workout can take 15–45 minutes to complete.
The 300 Workout consists of 300 reps of both bodyweight and weighted exercises done straight through with little to no rest between exercises.
The 300 Workout is intense and can challenge even the fittest individuals.
If you cannot complete the required number of reps for each exercise, you can briefly rest until you complete all the reps before moving on to the next exercise.
Here are the exercises of the 300 Workout and how to perform them.
- Grasp an overhead bar with a wide grip.
- Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar, then lower your body until your arms are fully extended.
50 barbell deadlifts with 135 pounds (61.4 kg)
- Squat and grasp a barbell with a shoulder-width grip.
- Lift the bar by extending your hips and knees.
- Briefly pause at the top before returning the bar to the floor by bending your hips back and allowing your knees to bend forward.
- Down on all fours, place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Straighten your arms and legs, then lower your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
- Briefly pause, then push yourself back up.
50 box jumps on a 24-inch (61-cm) platform
- Stand in front of a box with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Swing your arms behind you while maintaining a partial squat.
- Quickly swing your arms forward and jump onto the platform with your knees bent.
- Jump back down.
50 floor wipers with 135-pound (61.4-kg) barbell
- Lie on your back with your arms extended holding a barbell.
- Keeping your arms and legs extended, raise your legs to the right side of the barbell so that your toes touch the weight plates.
- Bring your legs back down to the center and repeat the lift on the left side to complete one floor wiper.
50 clean-and-presses with a 36-pound (16.4-kg) kettlebell
- Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell on the floor between your legs.
- Bending 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 and back.
- Immediately use an uppercut motion, having the bell end up between your forearm and biceps. This is known as the rack position. The kettlebell should be just below shoulder height with your elbow tucked into your chest.
- From the rack position, press the kettlebell straight up overhead until your arm is straight, and then lower it back into the rack position.
- Finally, drop the weight smoothly back down toward the floor, bending your knees and hinging your hips back.
- Repeat the steps for 25 repetitions before switching to your left arm for 25 repetitions.
Note that a single dumbbell can be used if you don’t have access to a kettlebell.
Complete the exercises and their required number of reps to finish the workout. Read the instructions for the exercises if you’re unsure how to complete them.
Watch the following video for a demonstration of the 300 Workout.
The demonstration video above can help show you how to perform the 300 Workout.
The 300 Workout helped actors from the movie “300” build muscle and shed fat, and the workout can likely help others do the same.
While no study has looked at the effectiveness of the 300 Workout on aspects of physical fitness or body composition, studies on similar types of workouts have demonstrated improvements in these parameters (
However, it’s important to realize that the 300 Workout alone was probably not responsible for the actors’ chiseled physiques. Instead, it was likely one of several training programs that the actors used to prepare for the film.
Aside from the workouts, the actors probably also ate nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy to support exercise recovery, muscle building, and fat loss (
In either case, performing the 300 Workout at least 2 days per week meets one of the key physical activity guidelines for adults and can certainly help whip you into shape (
Because the workout is very intense and taxing on the body, you should avoid performing it on consecutive days to limit the risk of injury.
The 300 Workout can help you build muscle and lose fat. However, it’ll probably not get you in the same shape as the film’s Spartan warriors. The actors probably used additional workouts and dietary modifications to prepare for their roles.
The 300 Workout may come with an increased risk of injury for people with the following conditions:
- Balance issues. You may fall and become injured if you have issues with balance and stability.
- Lung diseases. The intensity of the 300 Workout may make it hard for those with lung diseases to catch their breath and maintain sufficient oxygen delivery to the muscles.
- Musculoskeletal conditions. You may be more prone to injury and discomfort if you have a musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis.
If you have one of these conditions and want to try the 300 Workout, talk with your healthcare provider first. They may suggest modifications or a different workout that’s better suited to your needs.
Even if you regularly exercise and have no exercise limitations, the 300 Workout may still be a challenge to complete.
The 300 Workout requires intermediate to advanced training experience, as it involves complex movements and a relatively high level of stamina (
It may not be suitable for people with less than at least 6 months of training experience.
While the 300 Workout was designed for average-to-large men, women and men of a smaller frame can still perform it.
If you find the workout too difficult to complete, you can modify the exercises to suit your needs.
This workout requires high stamina and involves complex movements. If you find it too difficult, you can try it with modifications. This workout may not be suitable for people with balance issues, lung disease, or a musculoskeletal condition.
Here are some modifications you can make to each exercise to lighten the workout’s intensity:
- Pullups. Try the assisted pullup machine, which assists you by requiring you to use less of your body weight. You can also attach a band to a pullup bar by pulling one side through the other and placing your knee through the loop.
- Barbell deadlifts. Use less weight on each side of the bar, or strip all the weight and perform the deadlifts with just the barbell.
- Pushups. Instead of performing pushups from your toes, drop your knees to decrease the load.
- Box jumps. Using an adjustable step platform, remove some of the risers to decrease the platform height.
- Floor wipers. Load the barbell with less weight or try the non-weighted version by performing the exercise with your hands at your sides.
- Clean-and-presses. Use a lighter kettlebell or dumbbell to perform the movement.
You can also decrease the number of reps for one or more of the exercises and slowly work your way up to the required number of reps as you become stronger and more conditioned.
If you have limited training experience or an exercise-related limitation like asthma or arthritis, the 300 Workout may not be for you.
Created by Hollywood trainer Mark Twight, the 300 Workout helped the actors from the movie “300” transform into muscular Spartan warriors.
The workout consists of seven bodyweight and weighted exercises performed with little to no rest between them for a total of 300 reps.
The 300 Workout alone will not give you the physique of the Spartan warriors in the film. However, when paired with a healthy diet and other healthy lifestyle factors, it can help you build muscle and lose fat.