Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Lowdown on the 300 Workout

Don't have time to hit the gym 4 or 5 days a week to squeeze in two upper body a lower body and a core workout? Then maybe the 300 Workout (or a variation of it) is for you. This workout is supposedly what Gerard Butler and the rest of the warriors in the movie 300 were put through to get in shape for the movie. Basically, the workout consists of a total of 300 reps of 6 different exercises (50 reps per exercise) done in 30 minutes, two days a week.

Actually according to WebMD, however, Gerard and his Spartan warrior buddies were subjected to 90 minutes to two hours a day, five days a week, plus the same amount of time fight training. The stuntmen trained 90 minutes to two hours, five days a week, and another four to six hours fight training, plus there was a rigid eating plan. The regimen consisted of The regimen was varied based on the person’s starting point. Some days guys did high-intensity circuit training. Some days guys lifted very heavy loads for a few reps. Some days guys did a series of mini workouts that added up to an 'interesting' total load and volume. Some days guys did hard interval training on the Concept II rowing machine. And some days, the exercisers were asked to train for balance by doing their tasks blindfolded. WebMD also points out that the 300 Workout was actually a test that was optional for the actors and stuntmen to take after completing the 8-12 weeks of training. Only half of of the group took the test and only one of the group who took the test was an actor (Andrew Pleavin, who plays Daxos, leader of the Arcadians. He finished in 18 minutes and 11 seconds.)

So don't be fooled by all the hype surrounding the 300 workout. However, don't dismiss it either. There are elements of the 300 Test that can be used to create a great fullbody workout.

The Original 300 Test consisted of 50 reps each of pullups, deadlifts (135lbs), pushups, boxjumps (24" box), floor wipers (135lbs), clean and press (35lbs). I don't think it's good practice to set a standard amount of weight or box height for everyone. Nor do I think it's a good idea (especially initially) to set a time limit for completing the routine. I recommend using a good amount of weight that you can handle for 5o reps. Keep in mind, this is going to be a lighter amount of weight than you'd normally do for a deadlift of 6-12 reps.

Don't be worried about completing the exercises in a certain amount of time. Using good form, try to complete as many reps as you can handle and then move on to the next exercise. Time yourself to see how long it took you and then use that as your reference point. See if next time you can either beat your time or see if you can up your reps. Maybe your "300 Workout" is actually a 150 (25 reps of 6 different exercises).

This type of workout is more focused on power. The reps will be done faster with no break in between the exercises. Because of this it also gives a good cardiovascular workout. It really gets your heart pumping.

I'll never look like Gerard Butler and his warrior buddies in the movie, but I can attest to the fact that the "300 workout" concept definitely gives a good fullbody workout. Because of the fullbody, cardio, and power elements of the workout, it makes a good workout for runners.

My workout buddies and I have tweaked the workout by throwing in different exercises. We're not concerned with completing it in 30 minutes. Another good tip is to break up some of the more difficult exercises. For example, pullups are not my forte', so I start my 300 workout with 25 pullups and then do the remaining 25 at the end. Even the 25 I do in 2 sets of 10 and then one set of 5. Do what works for you. Know your limits. As long as you keep "fullbody" in mind, the sky's the limit to the variety of 6 exercises you can come up with. Here's a few examples:

300 Workot Variation #1
bent over rows
jump squats with a medicine ball
Incline dumbbell Chest Press
Bench Straddle Jumps
Standing Military Press
crunches on stability ball (holding weight plate on chest)

300 Workout Variation #2
back squats
bench press
hanging knee to elbow crunch
jump squats
kettlebell snatches (25 each arm)


Lauren Wang said...

I love the 300 variations! I use; pushups, situps and lunges. Great way to switch it up.Thanks :)

Boris T said...

Nice! 300 is a ass kicker!

Nice blog! :)

Kenley said...

Great Post Runnerdude. I also wonder if they use 300 brush strokes to get there teeth that white? I had to throw that in there. sori. Seriously, that 300 work out looks kick @$$. Overall body workout. BTW, speaking of workouts, the core training you suggested is working out great man. Hope you and your Family had a great New Years. Take Care!

Junk Miler said...

What RunnerDude neglects to mention is that you get slaughtered by the Persian army at the end.

Barefoot Josh

RunnerDude said...

Hi RunningBarefoot! Great combinations you have there! You can use weights, just bodyweight exercises or combine both.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Boris T.! Welcome to the blog!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Kenley! LOL! Yep, I'm sure some teeth were painted and some abs were airbrushed too! LOL!

RunnerDude said...

Hey SouthoftheCliff! No pain no gain! :-)

Connie said...

Thanks for the post. I've been terrible at gym workouts. They have become absent from my routine since October. I think I'll try the "150 workout" for starters using your modified routine.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Connie! Let me know how the 150 goes!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the workout and the variations! I def want to try this one day this week :)

RunnerDude said...

Awesome Unathleticrunner! Let me know how it goes!

The Boring Runner said...

Wait, they just didn't have those abs airbrushed on? There goes my fantasy.