Many years ago in a land far away, there stood these men called Spartans. They were relatively tall, lean and sculpted like chunks of finely cut marble. Fast forward to today and you have a nation that has gone the complete opposite direction. Overweight and out of shape bodies roam the streets, crowd the airports and line the hallways of schools across the globe. The Sparta ideal has fallen by the wayside. But… there is hope.
In 2006, a movie sparked more than controversy at the box office. It inadvertently started a movement. That movie was called 300, which was set in 400 BC. Much like the actual Spartans of that era, the actors portraying them were lean, ripped and sculpted from head to toe.
In theaters, women drooled while men sat back in awe with their mouths dropped wide open as they munched on their popcorn and sipped gallons of soda pop. They thought to themselves, “How in the world did these men get in such tremendous shape? I could never look like that!” Well, if you sit in a movie theater and eat metric tons of popcorn while washing it down with soda, you are 100% correct!
There’s not a chocolate bar’s chance in hell that you will. But if you decide to take control of your life, change your attitude and follow the routine these men went through, there just might be hope for you. And let me be honest, it’s not easy! Anything that reaps those kinds of results is not easy to obtain. That’s the rule with anything.
The 300 Workout
I’m sure you’ve heard of CrossFit at this juncture in your life. Although it is not officially called that, the Spartan 300 workout is really nothing more than a CrossFit routine. It consists of 25 pull-ups, 50, 135-lb deadlifts, 50 push-ups, 50 box jumps on a 2-foot high box, 50 floor wipers with a 135-lb barbell held above your chest, 50 clean and presses and 25 more pull-ups to round it off.
You do each exercise back to back with no rest and aim for the fastest time possible. And if you are good in math, you can see that the reps equal 300 total. How convenient is that?!
The End Result
During the shooting of 300, the actors, crew and stuntmen were expected to try the 300 workout as a finale. They didn’t just walk into the gym and pull this off with grace and ease. First they spent 8 to 12 weeks prepping with routines that included circuit training, intervals and heavy lifting with low reps. The 300 workout was designed as a final test to see how fit they became.
The Good and Bad
As you can see by the physiques in the movie, the program they went through worked well to get them ripped to shreds. And this sparked a phenomenon across the world where everybody and their sister were doing the Spartan workout. But that has serious flaws.
The neurological load that this workout has on the body is tremendous. That means it breaks your muscles down to a point where you are guaranteed to execute poor form, and that’s when tragedy starts to happen. You run the risk of injuring your muscles, joints, bones and everything in between. In the worst of cases, you can suffer irreversible kidney damage from a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. It’s not pretty.
If you want to aim for the Spartan 300 workout, treat it like the actors did – as an end goal. Work your way up to the physical strength to pull it off and do the right things to get there. Always focus on 90% quality with every lift you do and you will never have to worry about a thing.