the joy of strength training


November 6th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

“300” workout

» by in: workouts


There’s been a lot of noise this year about the training methods used by the cast and crew of the Frank Miller film “300” to get super-fit. They trained at Gym Jones, which specialises in functional strength and conditioning. The workouts are characterised by high intensity, high reps and the use of a variety of resistance objects in addition to the traditional barbell and dumbbell. Gym Jones says: “Our programming emphasizes relative strength, power-endurance, and endurance because in these areas we are expert.”

To be honest, there are a number of people and organisations doing very similar types of training – Crossfit and Ross Training to name two excellent examples – but there’s nothing like a Hollywood film to get a bit of attention! In any case, it’s interesting to tackle a workout that has a bit of a story behind it.

The concept of the “300” workout is 300 reps performed for time. I tried my own version of a “300” workout in the gym today. It’s not exactly the same as the original 300 workout (see end of this post) but that doesn’t matter. It’s quite fun to make up your own!

Gubernatrix’ “300” workout

25 x overhand pull-ups – as close to bodyweight as possible (I used 12kg assistance)

50 x deadlift – 40kg

50 x press-ups bodyweight

50 x squats – 40kg

50 x sit-ups bodyweight

50 x clean and press touching floor between reps – 10kg dumbbell with one arm, alternating between arms (you can also use an Olympic bar with two hands)

25 x dips bodyweight

The heaviest weight used in the original 300 workout is 60kg (135 pounds) – which is to a 90kg man what 40kg is to me. If you were doing this routine for yourself, you can set the weights at whatever level suits you. It is obviously not a max strength workout, so while the weights should be challenging, you don’t have to make them as heavy as possible otherwise you will be taking too much rest and won’t get as much conditioning benefit.

The key to this workout is to keep going and to maintain great form throughout.

Why train this way?

The key benefit of training this way is that you get an all-round workout in one fell swoop. You are training your CV system, strength, endurance, power, agility and flexibility. You hit every muscle group in the body and give your central nervous system a good workout too.

The original 300 workout consists of:

25x Pull-up +

50x Deadlift @ 135# +

50x Push-up +

50x Box Jump @ 24” box +

50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count) + (what’s a floor wiper?)

50x KB Clean and Press @ 36# (KB must touch floor between reps) +

25x Pull-up

300 reps total

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  • 1

    Hi, Gubernatrix.
    I have a question for you. I am very interested in rotational exercises, like those floor wipers you propose. But don’t you think that they would be far more effective for the obliques if, instead of using that barbell, you used ankle weights? I practice them that way. I wear a pair of two kilo ankle weights. Of course, with slow and deliberate motion, and not more than three series of six complete reps.
    I have watched some youtube clips where barbell floor wipers are shown and, frankly, I think that barbell makes the rotational work easier.

    Santiago on November 8th, 2007
  • 2

    I have to say, I’ve never used ankle weights, so I’m not sure. They sound like a good idea though.

    gubernatrix on November 8th, 2007
  • 3

    […] “300″ workout […]

  • 4

    Doesn’t seem like a big workout but really it actually rips you apart.

    great abbis on June 5th, 2009
  • 5

    how meny times a week would you do this work

    jade on June 28th, 2009
  • 6

    I would probably only do it every few weeks or so. If you wanted to do it regularly then once a week would probably be fine as it is quite a demanding workout.

    It is also fun to make up your own version or change the exercises around to keep it interesting.

    gubernatrix on June 28th, 2009


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