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The 300 Spartan workout |

Health And Family

The 300 Spartan workout

WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit - The Philippine Star

Who doesn’t vividly remember the 2007 hit movie 300?  Almost the whole cast strutted well-chiseled bodies and extremely defined six packs. The media played up the 300 or Spartan look, and the movie and the look are intertwined. The excitement for the new movie 300: Rise of An Empire is hyped by the interest in how the physiques of the actors will match those of the previous hit film.

The setting of the new movie is 10 years prior to the events of 300. The story is focused on the battle at sea between Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) and the Persian naval force led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and Commander Artemesia (Eva Green). The former attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of war.

Despite being dubbed a prequel, the director doesn’t think so. “It’s not a prequel or a sequel,” director Noam Murro told USA Today. “It’s a different perspective and characters in the battle between the Persians and the Greeks.”

Lead star Sullivan Stapleton said that he was extremely skeptical when he was cast as he didn’t think we would be able to build the required “six pack” for the role. He thought some people can easily have it and some people just can’t.  He thought he was one of the latter group. But after training, he got “six pack abs” and said he was happy to realize that anybody could develop them with the proper training.

Sullivan Stapleton was filming a television series when he won the role. So aside from filming every day, he spent three hours training — 1.5 hours lifting weights and 1.5 hours sword training to get the stunts right. His long days then were extremely exhausting.

Eva Green commented in an interview, “I trained four hours a day with a group of stunt men from LA for three months before we began shooting. And then I continued training and sword fighting while we were shooting.” She added that the training “was extremely liberating and empowering” and that her character of Artemesia is “the strongest, toughest, bravest character I’ve ever played”.

The producer Zack Snyder hired again Gym Jones, the same outfit that provided the physical training to the male actors in 300. The training of the cast started before filming began and continued throughout filming so the cast could attain and maintain the physical shape required for their roles. Training was led by Mark Twight of Gym Jones in Wasatch Front, Utah.

“To support fight preparation, the training emphasized athleticism by combining compound movements, lifting, and throwing. Primitive tools — medicine balls, kettle bells and rings — were used instead of machines,” Twight was quoted by The focus was on full-body movements with heavy resistance.

Twight said that the “300 Workout” was not the actual physical training conducted, but more of a fitness assessment and morale builder. The test consisted of the following exercises performed back-to-back: 25 pull-ups, 50 dead lifts of 135 lbs., 50 push-ups, 50 box jumps onto a 24-inch-tall box, 50 one-count “floor wipers” with 135 lbs., 50 clean and presses with a 36-lb. kettle bell, and 25 pull-ups. Twight added that the rep was only counted if the execution was correct and flawless.

The popularity of the Spartan 300 workout inspired a lot of the box gyms focused on functional training. Nothing comes easy though. The actors in the movie 300 trained six hours a day for four months to achieve the level of fitness they attained. Dedication, discipline, and a lot of time gave them the buffed physique and washboard abs they showed in the movie. got to interview Robert “Maximus” MacDonald, the general manager and training director at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah, for insights about the  training for 300: Rise of an Empire.  “Society today has a tendency to look at movies or look at somebody that got in shape and they automatically assume that somebody used drugs or they had some type of magic formula or some type of equipment or the CGI because we hear that a lot.

“Big part of the equation is also sleeping eight to 10 hours a night, eating healthy, watching what they do, all of the supportive stuff that allows them for that type of training quality …

And when somebody really gets fit, when you look at the 300 movie, some of those people are so fit, they believe when they’re in that movie that they’re actual Spartan warriors. … They’re not just acting, and not just putting on a costume and pretending, they believe they’re actually capable of what they’re doing.”

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