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Chad McBroom 04-11-2007 10:56 AM

I came across "The 300 Workout" that was used to train the actors and stuntmen for the movie--to give them that "Spartan" look. Interestingly, they trained for function rather than physique (sounds familiar). This workout seems to fit the CrossFit model and might make a good WOD. I'm wondering if anyone has tried it.

Here's the workout (done for time):

Pullups - 25 reps
Deadlifts with 135lbs - 50 reps
Pushups - 50 reps
24-inch Box jumps - 50 reps
Floor wipers - 50 reps
1-arm 36lbs Kettlebell Clean n Press - 50 reps
Pullups - 25 reps}

Nick Cummings 04-11-2007 11:09 AM

Chad, politics of 300 aside it sounds like a good workout. I did however read an article about their training that mentioned that this workout was performed maybe a handful of times, most likely once by the actors in their preperation for the film. The training they used for that film is undeniably based on CrossFit protocol so why not get the real thing here?

James Falkner 04-11-2007 11:33 AM

There's absolutely no way any anyone could get that "spartan" look with this workout alone. I don't care how many pullups you do. If you eat at McDonalds, you're screwed :-)

Paul Findley 04-11-2007 11:40 AM

The 300 Diet (per diem):

18 blocks of Ambrosia
1 gallon of Nectar

Chad McBroom 04-11-2007 11:55 AM

I wasn't suggesting that "300" should replace CrossFit, or that "300" alone without proper diet and additional training would give anyone a "Spartan" physique. I just thought it might be fun to try one day, since it does fit well with CrossFit.

Paul Findley 04-11-2007 12:23 PM

Chad, don't sweat it, "300" is just a forum hot's hard to know that if your new to the forum.

Nick Cummings 04-11-2007 03:27 PM

I don't know that anyone accused you of saying that this particular workout replaces CrossFit. The idea that some have expressed, and that the wording of your post suggested to me that you might think similiarly, is that some believe that this one workout is what was done day in and day out to train these actors. I was simply trying to point out that it was most likely one of say 20-60 workouts done by those actors.

Kevin Burns 04-11-2007 06:40 PM

the 300 workout to alot of the mainstream fitness groups has become the new "thigh master" or some other horrible tony little device.

done on their own its of course better than nothing but a far cry from a be all end all

Charles Applin 04-11-2007 07:02 PM

The problem is people not familiar with GymJones or CrossFit get the mistaken impression that this was the ONLY work-out the actors did. Even the first post made it sound like that.

It's just a cute name attached to a work-out of the day, nothing more. The "1775" workout (celebrating the birth of the USMC) would be another.

The dangerous part is that people are not being properly warned in the popular articles that these work-outs are dangerous. Imagine trying the Filthy Fifty unscaled your first time at CrossFit. You'd sport some nasty injuries if you got even half way through it. That means that soon you'll have more moronic people claiming CrossFit (by virtue of its tangent association with GymJones and the "300" workout) is bad for you. My guess that will be the 5th guy that crushes his chest doing 135# floor wipers without using large diameter plates.

Gerhard Lavin 04-12-2007 03:19 AM

I actually saw this workout in a Men's health and they did recommend scaling it, i.e. starting with 20 reps. However as others have stated the complete picture wasn't presented.

Cal Jones 04-12-2007 04:30 AM

I must admit *cough cough* that my interest in how the 300 guys trained actually brought me to this forum. But then I didn't just read one article and take it as gospel - I followed various links and discussions and eventually wound up here.
I've done Crossfit-style workouts of my own devising before (I've been exercising for 20 years and am a great experimenter), but I'd never got quite the results I'd wanted. Recently I was doing more Mentzer-style HIT training and that worked a lot better for me than the traditional three sets per exercise with rests.

Anyway, point is, I'm sure if I found this place after Googling "Gerard Butler's abs" (hey I'm a girl - I'm allowed!), other people will. And that's a good thing, right? :biggrinthumb:

Anthony Bainbridge 04-12-2007 06:04 AM

Jodi and I both tried this workout awhile ago because we were getting a lot of questions once people made the connection between the movie and CF ...

It was not nearly as "hardcore" as the hype suggested, but it was okay. I paced myself, doubtful my heart rate went above 165, and I was still sub 15 min.

Lynne Pitts 04-12-2007 08:04 AM

Moving to WODs...

Martin Schap 04-12-2007 04:21 PM

I read that article in MH. IMO it made Twight sound like a f***tard. He had the actors jump right in to workouts they were in no way ready to do and many of them were overtrained by the end. The actor who played King Leonidas quit working out for like 6 months after shooting the movie because Twight completely wrecked his motivation to train. Also, that guy did bodybuilding during the final phase of training because Twight didn't get him jacked enough.

James Falkner 04-12-2007 07:25 PM

If the actors couldn't take it they shouldn't be in hollywood! I've seen them go from grossly overweight to morbidly thin in a few months just for the movies. That can't be good for you. So don't blame Twight, he just did as he was paid to do :-)

Andy Shirley 04-12-2007 07:48 PM

Regarding Hollywood and body changes, I don't think it gets more extreme than Christian Bale. From "Batman Begins" to "The Machinist," or maybe the other way around. Insane.

Cal Jones 04-12-2007 11:20 PM

Yeah, it was the other way around. He also lived on tuna and lettuce for ages to play Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Can't doubt his dedication.

Re: the 300 guys, don't forget that, on top of Twight's workouts, they were doing hours of weapons training - little wonder Gerard Butler burned out. I've done the same pushing myself too hard (although I've never taken 8 months off!)

James Falkner 04-13-2007 05:53 AM

So I did the 300 workout today, as Rx'ed in about 20 minutes. It was actually easier than I thought it was gonna be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Unfortunately, I still don't look like those guys ;-)

I thought the DB clean/presses were the most painful in terms of metcon. And it was hard to get the 135 lb bar up from the floor, while laying on the floor. It wasn't a simple bench press if that's what you're thinking :-)

Agree re: Christian Bale.

Cal Jones 04-14-2007 04:40 AM

Good score. Not one I'm even going to attempt yet as I am lousy at pull-ups, and the box jumps are a no because of my poor old knees.

I do do the wipers though - I did some after Helen today, with a 30kg bar (20 reps per side) and they are very effective. I like that holding the bar up there gives my puny wrists a workout at the same time. :-)

Chris Thiele 04-18-2007 01:38 PM

"...'300' is just a forum hot button..."

A better way to look at it is that "300" is exposure. I didn't even like the film, but the workout was mentioned in another forum I frequent, which led me to a Google search, which led me here. It looks like I'm not alone.

I think CrossFit is the program I've been looking for all my life, not only for the exercise and diet concepts, but the online community that supports it as well as one another. Anything that brings that to a wider audience is good, fad or not.

Garrett Smith 04-18-2007 03:23 PM

For the floor wipers, I propped up my bar onto my 25 kg barely gave me enough room to get a decent bench started.

I found the isometric hold of that exercise to be the only issue...the leg/hip movements were quite easy IMO.

James Falkner 04-18-2007 06:24 PM

Dr G,

Good idea. I didn't think it would be an issue until I got under the bar (which had 45lb bumpers on it) and tried to lever it up - very uncomfortable. I'll use blocks next time (that's one of those "duh" things..)

Also, yeah, I liked the wipers. I may do more as a cooldown on some days. I was surprised that the only thing I had to break into sets was the DB clean/presses. Full body deal I guess.

Garrett Smith 04-18-2007 06:41 PM

After having to use a strange reverse crunch + external shoulder rotation move to get the bar up the first time, along with a failure at the same move the second time, I got out the bumpers...

I wanted to confirm something about the KB C&Ps--is it 1 R + 1 L = 2 reps, or is it 1 R + 1 L = 1 rep? As it was early morning and I didn't want to go back to the computer to check, I just used two 35# KBs and did 50. Figured that covered me both ways and then some. That was pretty hard at that point in the workout.

The workout took me a dang long time (I used some difficult mods, see my journal if you're interested), then again, the only stipulation was to finish it...

I love long chippers, which is funny, because I'm relatively slow at them (my last filthy 50 was somewhere in the 54' range, I believe).

James Falkner 04-19-2007 02:42 PM

No clue on the KB C&P's. I assumed 1R+1L=2 reps to make myself feel better about my time ;-)

Adam Acosta 04-20-2007 12:18 AM

Charles Applin, the Filthy Fifty unscaled was my first Crossfit workout. It didn't kill me, but it did take me over an hour to complete.

Daniel Travis Phillips 04-20-2007 12:21 AM

"The second misconception surrounds the idea of the Spartan workout, aka “300”, how frequently it was done or who actually finished it. “300” is a one-time test, an invitation-only challenge undertaken by those deemed ready for it. By the end of our four-month project 17 people had done the workout (Logan and I were two of them). This constitutes about 50% of the cast and stunt crew. We supervised every test, evaluated each rep for quality and only counted those that achieved our standards for form and range of motion. Like many workouts “300” is not hard once you’ve done it but the apprehension built up ahead of it – something we encouraged – was enough to make some guys fear it to the degree that performance was compromised. This workout was a crucible that some passed through and others still have hanging over them."
-Mark Twight

That's all it was.

James Falkner 04-20-2007 05:00 AM

Heh, I find that the apprehension of a new workout definitely effects your performance (for those chickens like me). During the workout, you tend to take more small rests not knowing how much you need to hold in reserve for the rest of the workout. Once I've done it one my time always improves dramatically the second time. Guess I need to just man up sometimes on the first time.

Eric J. Diaz 04-21-2007 04:43 PM

43 yoa 200lbs Male

as Rx'd


Good workout.

Cal Jones 04-22-2007 03:52 AM

Well, I had a bash at it today, and even though I modified it to my own abilities (and the gym's equipment), it kicked my butt.

Me: 39 yof, 144lbs

I used the assisted pull-up machine as I can barely make three reps on my own, let alone 25, twice.
Also subbed squats for box jumps due to not being able to do plyo due to dodgy knee and ankle.
Subbed a bar for kettlebell in the clean and press as the gym doesn't have them.

Pull-ups, 25 x -25kg (-55lb) assist
Deadlifts, 50 x 40kg (88lbs)
Press-ups, 50
Back Squats, 50 x 20kg (44lbs)
Floor Wipers, 50 x 30kg (66lbs)
Barbell Clean and Press, 50 x 20kg (44lbs)
Pull-ups, 25 x -25kg (-55lb) assist

Time: 32:15

All sets were pretty broken. My forearms were dining in hell by the time I got to the last set of pull-ups so it was more like 5 sets of 5!

Good stuff. I feel pretty drained now. :-)

Bradford Green 04-22-2007 06:55 PM

Dr. G, it's 25 KB clean and presses per arm

I tried it the other day, 24 flat as rx'd. The floor wipers took 8 minutes and felt really weird. This workout is all over the freakin place, I've got guys coming up to me at school raving about how I should try the new 300 workout and how they're doing it 3 times a week to get ripped like spartans. Oy :doh:

Cal Jones 04-23-2007 03:45 AM

Ha ha! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing eh?

For the record, I feel as though I've been run over by a steamroller. My back muscles are sore from top to bottom (in a good way, though).

Got Thai boxing tonight - be interesting to see who is more sore and fatigued - me or my instructor, who ran the marathon yesterday.

Chad McBroom 05-18-2007 06:43 PM

Okay, I finally did the workout. When I started this discussion I was pretty new to CF. I just finished my 6th week, and I have a better understanding of the program and its principles. I'm also in much better condition than when I started.

My time was 41:37 as Rx'd. I could have shaved several minutes off had I not been interrupted several times (disadvantage of having a gym next door to your office) I did not have KB's, so I used 35lb DB's. The floorwipers were a first time for me, so they took a little extra time.

It was a pretty good smoke session, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, if I'd tried it six weeks ago I'd probably be in the hospital. :rip:

Patrick Henry 05-21-2007 08:00 AM

This is my first post on CrossFit, and fittingly so, because like one poster above, the "300 workout" is what led me to CrossFit. I posted my results on another forum, and a CrossFit member over there suggested that this was a great resourse for my training.

I completed the workout without any "training" of that type. My time was bordering on embarrasing, but I completed it.

a) Pullups - 25 reps
25 in 33 seconds. This is going to be easy...
b) Deadlifts with 135lbs - 50 reps
30 reps. Took about 2:30 total. Still not doing bad.
c) Pushups - 50 reps
50 in one set, no rest, no sweat. Still cruising. Took about 1:30 including moving the DL bar. Total of under 5 minutes through 3 full exercises.
d) 24-inch Box jumps - 50 reps
Not exaclty 24 inches, but close. 15 Took about 2:30.
e) Floor wipers - 50 reps
These were killers for me, time wise. I only weigh 158, and to do these with 135 on the bar was not easy. I did them in 5 sets of 10 with a rest in between. I actually thought after the 3rd set that there was a chance that I might not finish the workout. These easily took 5 this point, I was not watching the clock. These were the worst part of the workout. I used 2 "Step" risers under the plates on each side to position the bar.
f) Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36lbs Kettlebell - 50 reps
Not too bad, but I was pretty taxed from the "hold" portion of the floor wipes. I used a 35 lb DB, since my gym lacks kettleballs. I did 10 w/ each arm, 10 with each arm, 5 with each arm. DOING them was not bad, but I was at a point (phychologically) where I did not want to pick the weight up between sets. These probably took another 5 minutes to do the 50 reps.
g) Pullups - 25 reps
set of 15, slight rest, set of 10...finish as the clock hit 24 minutes on the dot.

I used to do similar challenges when I was wrestling in college, but we could pick the weight and the lifts- the challenge was to lift 2 tons (per exercise) in the shortest amount of time using DL, C&P, Bench, and Squat with 100 lb. on the bar.

A bigger guy might not have as much trouble handling the weights listed for this workout, because the DL and floorsweep are still performed with 135, regardless of bodyweight, and the single-arm cleans still use 36/35 lb. I had no idea how to scale the workout, so I did it as published.

I am 30, 5'5" and 158 lb.

After seeing how exhausted and invigorated this workout made me feel, I realized that I need to change my workouts to more of this type of training. As of now, my only cardio is 90 minutes a week of wrestling with the HS team that I coach. I weight train 4 or 5 days a week.

Cal Jones 05-22-2007 03:59 AM

Start doing the WODs. That's what I've been doing, after years (literally about 20 years) of more bodybuilding-type workouts interspersed by running and the odd cardio session.
I've made great progress already.

Jeff Martin 05-30-2007 10:25 AM

Been doing Crossfit for about 3.5 years. It's a fine workout, but nothing special. Breathing was taxed, but nothing else particularly. Might use it again as a warmup for the filthy fifty.


Chad McBroom 06-01-2007 03:40 PM

Wow! Guess I've got a long way to go.

Patrick Henry 06-15-2007 11:07 AM

I know that this is a slightly older thread, but I had a down day (my workout partner was not at work) so I took the opportunity to re-do the 300 workout to see how several weeks of CF workouts might improve my performance.

Today, I did the 300 wokout a second time. My completion time dropped from 24:00 flat to 18:45, plus I think that my form improved. Also, the last time I had used straps on the deadlifts, since my grip is crap. This time I went sans straps.

The workout:
25 pullups- 1 set
50 deadlifts (135 lb.)- 3 sets: 25, 15, 10
50 pushups- 1 set
50 bench jumps- 2 sets: 25, 25
50 floor wipes (Holding 135 lb. bar)- 5 sets of 10 reps
50 DB one-arm clean-and-presses (35 lb.)- 15 each arm, 10 each arm, with no rest between sets.
25 pullups- 1 set, slight kipping on reps 18-25.

Recovery time to RHR was MUCH lower, and I feel a LOT better after this time around than the first time.

(Message edited by phenryiv1 on June 15, 2007)

Gordon Limb 06-24-2007 01:47 PM

Been doing crossfit for 2+ years now, and like Jeff, didn't think it was anything that special. I heard about it from an out of shape guy at work who thougt it would be "right up your alley".
Used my parallettes as the starting blocks for the floor press/wipers. Did 25 each side - couldn't remember if it was the "same" kb clean and press. Also subb'd snatches for the kb cleans since my shoulders are still a bit taxed from JT yesterday.

It wasn't easy enough for me to use as a filthy fifty warmup :bleh0000:, but maybe a 150 version may make a good daily warmup prior to a WoD.


John Biddle 06-25-2007 07:39 PM

Just interested - descriptions above indicate people regard "floor wipers" as involving lying down holding a bar in the extended bench press position. Not being familiar with the exercise I googled it and the description I got involved lying down with no bar and doing sort of side crunches taking your right hand down to your right knee, then left to left etc. Given that no weight is specified in the description of this "300" workout, do we know that it is the version involving a bar and bringing the feet up to the plates that is intended?

Patrick Henry 06-26-2007 05:27 AM

There was a video demo on several of the sites that explain the components of the "300" workout, and on all of the video logs- including one linked to a documentary of the making of the movie- the exercise was performed on the floor with a 135 lb. bench-press in a static hold position.

BTW- 1 rep consists of touching both plates.

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