A couple of years back when you saw the movie 300, you were probably a teenager who loved action movies, superheroes, and kind of things. And now, when you heard King Leonidas scream “THIS IS SPARTA!” again, you realized that you always wanted to look like him. Sounds familiar, right?
Well, in this article I will take you through Gerard Butler’s training and diet strategy for his role in the movie 300 and how he transformed himself into a warrior. Stay away feeble heart people.
Things to Remember Before Taking The 300 Spartan Workout
Train like a Sparta
Gerard Butler’s training for the movie 300 lasted for around four months with an overall aim to develop fighting skills than just adding pounds of muscles. Undoubtedly, to become a warrior you need a person who can train you to be one.
For his role in the movie, Gerard was trained by Mark Twight, a world-class mountain climber who emphasized on training like your life depended on it. Unlike other action movies where you see actors resembling mere pumped up bodybuilders, Mark trained Gerard to look more like a fighter than a bodybuilder next door.
Believe me, when I say, Gerard usually trained for about 4-6 hours per day including weight training, circuit training and practicing fight sequences for the movie. And that’s not the end; he would often lift weights between shots just to keep lactic acid levels up in the muscles so that he looked super swole for the shot.
Gerard’s training for The 300 revolved mostly around exercises and movements that provided him with raw fighting skills and athleticism. To get this task done, Mark insisted on a training routine that incorporated compound lifts, physical challenges like flipping tires and stuff, fight training and made use of unconventional equipment like Kettlebell instead of machines. It wasn’t just about a session or two, Gerard’s workout grew tough day by day, and there was not a single day when he trained the same.
By and large, all Gerard did was to shock his muscles and keep them guessing through bootcamp style training that eventually led him to athletic muscles and warrior physique.
Related Article – Build like Thor: Insight into Chris Hemsworth’s Workout Routine and Diet Plan
Eat like A Sparta
Not a surprise that Gerard and his co-actors followed a top-notch strict diet. To successfully get through all those strenuous training sessions, Gerard had to eat a lot of lean protein, a moderate amount of complex carbs and only a few healthy unsaturated fats.
- Best sources of lean protein – Eggs, Meat, Fish, and Protein Shakes.
- Best sources of complex carbs – Oats, Whole wheat bread, and Brown Rice.
- Best sources of healthy fats – Nuts, Olive Oil, Avocado, Salmon and Peanut Butter.
Back to The 300 Spartan Diet: Gerard was basically on body recomposition diet aka lose fat and build muscle simultaneously aka not everyone’s cup of tea. There’s no way he could have dropped down to single digit fat body fat percentage without eating the right foods at the right time. He usually ate after every 2-3 hours totaling 6-8 meals in a day. Each meal contained at least 30 grams of protein, few complex carbs, and a fruit or vegetable.
Is this workout right for you?
Before I go any further and describe you about who can and can’t do this workout, let me get this very clear to you – All the guys you saw in the movie had enough muscles before they actually auditioned for their roles. And once they got selected, all they had to do was to increase their athleticism and carve out the warrior look. They never really had to get it done all over again. They just leveled up.
So, now you ask, Can I do the 300 Movie Workout?
- Beginners – Heed my advice, this workout isn’t for you. You still got a lot to learn my friend. I can understand your urge to prove your mettle in your gym but trust me if you follow this routine it will do more harm than good.
- Intermediates – Now that you have mastered your deadlift form and you know a little of everything about lifting, I believe it’s the perfect opportunity to do the Spartan Workout. Chart a training schedule where you get one or two Spartan Workout sessions per week alongside your contemporary workout routine.
- Advanced – I don’t mean to hurt your morals, but the 300 Spartan Workout can’t match your level and intensity. It wouldn’t be as tough as it was back those days when you were still an intermediate. But now that you have grown into a muscle freak, there are lot many other difficult challenges that you can try.
Related Article – Top Bodyweight Exercises to Build Muscle and Strength
Overview of The 300 Spartan Workout
Exercises in the Spartan Workout –
Muscle Targeted – Lats and Arms
How to do it –
- Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing outwards
- Pull yourself up slightly over the bar by keeping a slight arch in your back and torso puffed out.
- Slowly lower down yourself until your arms are fully extended.
- That’s rep one. Do as many strict reps you can do.
Muscle Targeted – Back, Glutes, Hamstring, and Forearms
How to do it –
- Stand behind a barbell that is placed in front of you.
- Stand with your half-foot under the barbell and with a hip width stance. Your toes should be pointing out 15°.
- Now grab the barbell with your arms at shoulder width apart and hanging just outside your legs.
- Bend your knees and keep going until your shins touch the bar. Make sure that the barbell is still over your mid-foot.
- Lift your chest and straighten your back without moving the barbell.
- Take a deep breath pulls the barbell and stands up. That’s the lockout position.
- Return the barbell to the floor by pushing your hips back first. And once the barbell is at you knee height, bend your legs. That’s rep one.
Muscle Targeted – Pecs and Delts
How to do it –
- Begin with a high plank position with your hands firmly placed on the ground, right beneath your shoulders.
- Now keeping a neutral spine, lower down your body until your chest is just above the floor.
- Push yourself back up to complete one rep.
- For better activation of triceps, keep your arms tucked to the side while you lower down your body.
Muscle Targeted – Hamstrings and Glutes
How to do it –
- Fetch yourself a sturdy box or bench to do this exercise.
- For the beginners, start off with a box that’s mid-calf height and make your way towards higher height boxes from there.
- Face the box with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Now bend the knees, send your hips back, swing your arms back, and swing them forward as you land lightly on the box.
- To return to starting position, step down one foot at a time.
Muscle Targeted – Abs
How to do it –
- Lie on your back with your arms straight and holding a barbell above your chest (similar to a bench press position).
- Keep your arms steady and core tight and lift your heels off the ground.
- Keeping lower back glued to the ground, lift your legs towards the bar to the left of your left hand.
- Lower your legs to the starting point. You have done your first rep. Repeat this on the other side.
6. Clean and Press
Muscle Targeted – Shoulders, Legs and Abs
How to do it –
- Begin by placing your feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides. Your toes should be pointing outwards at 25-30 degree angle. Place a dumbbell/Kettlebell in front of the area between your feet.
- Bending into a squat position, pick the weight from the ground using a single hand with an overhand grip. Make sure that your abs are sucked in and back straight.
- Stand up with an explosive motion. Bring the DB/Kettlebell over your head as you stand up.
- As the weight reaches your head level, bend into a semi-squat position. Again with an explosive motion stand straight up with your arms extended over your head. Pause at the top of the motion.
- Lower the weight and bring it back to your head level. Straighten your arm towards the floor and squat back again as you put the DB on the ground.
- Do it with another arm for the next rep.
The Workout Routine that made Gerard Butler a Spartan
|The 300 Workout Routine|
|Floor Wipers||50||135 lbs|
|Kettlebell/Dumbbell Clean and Press||50 (25 per arm)||36 lbs DB|