The 300 Workout: Can You Handle It?

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At the start of the movie 300, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) bids farewell to his beautiful wife, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) as he heads out to lead the Battle of Thermopylae. In it, 300 Spartans fought to their death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army in 480 B.C.

In the movie scene, Butler is dressed for war, shirtless with a crimson cape flowing behind his broad, chiseled shoulders. As he looks into Gorgo’s 300 workout. It’s the brainchild of Mark Twight, a self-taught weight training. The top three certifications, in Thompson’s opinion, are those offered by the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the American Council on Exercise.

Hiring a trainer who is certified by one of those groups, if even for a few sessions, he says, will help ensure you learn proper technique and form in weight training and other muscle-strengthening exercises. “It helps to keep someone from being injured,” he says.

Next at Your Local Gym?

Even though the entire regimen is viewed as too intense for the average person, don’t be surprised if a modified version of the 300 workout appears at your local health club, says Brooke Correia, a spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, a Boston-based industry group that has 4,000 U.S. health clubs in its membership.

“Remember Striptease, the movie with Demi Moore?” she asks. Soon after that 1996 movie was released, striptease pole dancing classes began to be offered at health clubs nationwide, she says.