Gerard Butler 300 Workout & Diet: How He Got A Spartan Physique

by Chris DavisFeb 20, 2013

Gerard Butler 300 Workout

The Gerard Butler 300 Workout and diet is a 5-6 day routine. The workout focuses on olympic lifts, functional training, and metabolic body movements. The Gerard Butler 300 workout was designed by Mark Twight, a record holding mountain climber and lead personal trainer of Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah.

gerard butler 300 workout

Gerard Butler says:

I wanted to look really strong. I’ve seen so many actors play these kinds of roles, and you see all this equipment on either a big belly or skinny little arms.

gerard butler 300 arms shoulders
To become King Leonidas, Gerard Butler spent 4 months training to get in shape. The King of Sparta says that in order to get a warrior’s body, it was essential to get a warrior’s mentality. After the intense workouts, Gerard Butler would often feel queasy. This made the the mental aspect as important as the physical.

Gerard Butler 300 Workout Routine

Sources for the Gerard Butler 300 Workout Routine include:

Gerard Butler Monday Workout Routine

The Gym Jones team that supervised the Gerard Butler 300 workout had them train twice a day.

Clean 102 per set0 secsOne Superset combo Superset #1
Squat105 per set1 minevery 30 secs for 5 mins Superset #1
Heavy Front Squat551 min70-75% of max
Box Step-up61030 secsuse DB's if you can10 reps each leg
Frog Hops4202 min Superset #2
Bear Crawl440meach set 40m = about 43 yards Superset #2
Turkish Get-Ups32030 secs300 crew used a barbell

1st workout: (Same as table above, described in detail)

Gym Jones manager, Rob “Maximus” MacDonald says:

When there are psychological changes, the physical changes will fall into place. If you can teach someone’s mind to be strong, then it is easy to teach the body to be strong. The first and most important point of our philosophy is that The Mind is Primary.

2nd workout:

Cardio10 mins0 secs
Bench Press6101 min300 crew used 225 to start
Military Push Press4121 min70-75% of max
Arnold Press2251 minuse Dumbbells
Hammer Curls2251 minuse Dumbbells

(Same as table above, described in detail)

Cardio Circuit

Gerard Butler 300 Workout Tuesday Routine

One goal of the 300 workout routine, according to trainer Mark Twight, was to:

Turn them into a gang, a unified force whose trust and belief in one another would be obvious on the screen.

1st workout:

Push Press (Barbell)3201 min
Burpee Pull-up3201 minor to failure
Push Press (Barbell)3101 mintry to use heavier weight than 1st 3 sets
Burpee Pull-up3121 minor to failure10 reps each leg
Tire Flips340m1 minsee video40m = 43 yards
Wall Ball350see explanation below
Ball Slam350see explanation below

Upper Body: (Same as table above, described in detail)

  • 20 Push Press (Barbell)
  • 20 Burpee Pull-up
  • 10 Push Press (Barbell)
  • 12 Burpee Pull-up
  • 40m Tire Flips (see video below)
  • 50-50-50x Wall Ball @ 20lb.(9kg.) Medicine Ball Relay: (They broke the guys down into teams of 3) Player 1 does 50x Wall Ball, Player 2 does 50x Wall Ball, Player 3 does 50x Wall Ball.
  • 50x50x50x Ball Slam @ 25lb.(11kg.) Relay: (They broke the guys down into teams of 3) P1 does 50x Ball Slam, P2 does 50x Ball Slam, P3 does 50x Ball Slam.

300 Trainer, Mark Twight, says:

Start the journey with 20x Push Press, dip the hands and knees slightly, drive the bar overhead to full extension. Once finished rack the bar and set up under the Pull-up bar to do 20x Burpee Pull-ups. After the final Pull-up, drop off the bar, grab the barbell and do 10x Push Press.

Dirty 30’s:

Dirty 30’s: (Do following 3 exercises, you have 1 minute to complete each. Use remaining time to rest. 3 sets.)

  • Sled Pulls (the 300 crew used resistance bands, sub in treadmill/wind sprints if you need)
  • Chinups (the 300 crew used rings)
  • Turkish Get-Ups (3 sets, the 300 crew used a barbell)

Dirty 30’s Instructions

1 minute for each station. Find a challenging amount of reps you can do in 50 secs. If you go fast in the following sets, you get rewarded with rest. The only rest you get is if you finish in under 1 minute. If you start to dog it, you lose that rest time. It’s psychological. Like a lot of the exercises you’d expect from a gym called Gym Jones.

Get everything done in 1 min or less. If you move fast, you get to rest. But, it gets harder as you go longer. You may find there This makes it harder to find rest time between sets.

2nd workout:

Wall Squat3530secwarmup
Squat3101 min
Goblet Squat351 min
OH Barbell Lunge32030sec
Dead Stop Back Squat221 min80% of your max
Explosive Triple Jump521 min
Box Jump430 sec30sec
Explosive Box Step460 sec30 sec
Jump Squat430 sec30 sec
KB Swings3failure1 min23kg (50lb) Kettlebell
Farmer Holds5203-5min

(Same as table above, described in detail)

300 Abs Routine:

Do 60 reps of each abs exercise (Break down into 3 sets of 20 if you have to):

See The Gerard Butler 300 Workout for Wednesday – Friday on the Next Page.

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About The Author
Chris Davis
Chris Davis
Chris Davis brings you the most popular celebrity workouts & diets. His goal is to make you stronger! Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google.
  • Brock
    Nov 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Great article, it was hard to find everything that took place for the preparation of the actors in the movie, and it’s pretty much all summed up here.

  • Corey
    Nov 8, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Do you take a rest in between kettle-bell and goblin squat ladder sets, or do you just move straight on to the next weight, thanks

    • Chris Davis
      Nov 8, 2013 at 3:54 am

      Yes, you want to take a rest where you need it. You’re likely going to need a breather after all those kettlebell swings. But, the key to the Gerard Butler workout is intensity. When you do each exercise, make sure to do it with intensity.

  • corey
    Nov 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Also could you explain the 1st Saturday workout a bit more in depth please.

    • Chris Davis
      Nov 13, 2013 at 5:56 am

      The Ladder Pull Ups means you do 1 rep, then 2 reps, then 3 reps, then 4 reps, then 5 reps. Then you do 4,3,2,1 back down. If sounds easy at first, but your likely to hit failure toward the end.

      The 2nd workout is a circuit. So, you go from one exercise to the next. 60sec at each of the stations with 30sec rest to switch between each one. I understand in a crowed gym it will be hard to run around doing each. Do what you can: circuit or break it up so that you’re doing 3 sets. Unless otherwise stated, you do 60 secs of work at each station.

  • Corey
    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Appreciate your help

  • Joe
    Nov 16, 2013 at 4:18 am

    On Monday, I’m taking it that you meant 2 cleans then you squat it 5 times for five mins? And what did you mean by the combo part?

    • Chris Davis
      Nov 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

      Yes, you are correct. You do the 2 cleans then 5 squats back-to-back. That’s what I mean by “combo.” Another terminology you may be familiar with is superset. You superset the 2 exercises. You should be able to get a superset done in about 30 seconds (focus on form not time).

      Then, repeat the superset every 30 seconds for 5 minutes. Starting out, I found I had to take a bit of a breather in between. So feel free to condition yourself as you work your way through the 300 workout.

  • max
    Dec 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    what do you mean when it says 3×5 for exercises such as goblet squat and wall squat, aren’t those exercises just holding the position? i’m confused about how you can count reps on those exercises

    • Chris Davis
      Dec 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      3×5 means 3 sets x 5 reps. I agree that’s confusing when it comes to wall squats. For wall squats, this is a warm up for the leg routine. So, go for around 30 seconds to be counted as a rep. Time will vary based on your fitness level. The key is just to get your legs warm.

      For goblet squats, count a rep the same way you would for a normal squat. The difference is just that you’re holding a weight out in front of you instead of it resting on your shoulders. So, for goblet squats if it says 3×5: that’s 3 sets of 5 reps.

      • Alexander
        Oct 6, 2014 at 9:18 am

        I think you are confusing ‘Wall Squats’ with ‘Wall Sits.’ The Wall Squat is an actual squat done against a wall. You can see of Mark Twight explaining it at around 0:47 of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SJD5zkQ6M0

        He also explains it in his free ‘Soldier of Steel’ training plan. “Take a wide stance in front of a flat wall with toes touching the wall and feet perpendicular to the wall. Drop into a squat position until your knees touch the wall. Once they touch the wall, they no longer move. From this position, use
        your hands to balance against the wall as you continue to drop into a full squat.
        Then slowly stand back up.”


  • max
    Dec 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    also there’s a lot of exercises where it doesn’t say how many sets, does that mean just do everything 1 set?

    • Chris Davis
      Dec 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Some of the instructions might be confusing. Let me know if there is a specific workout in question. Usually, the culprit is that the instructions are listed 3-4 lines higher. For example:

      “Jonestown Sprint:” 45 secs of each exercise. 2 sets.
      Plank Push Ups (The 300 crew used rings instead)
      Whip Smash
      DB OH Hold
      KB Swings
      Dead Hang Pull Ups
      Ball Slam
      Wall Sits

      For the Jonestown sprint, you do 45 secs of each exercise, then immediately move to the next. Once you’re done with each exercise, Gerard Butler and the 300 crew would move to the next exercise. They would do 2 entire sets. Another example is the Saturday 2nd workout.

      Here, you would have to see that the first line says to do 3 total rounds:

      2nd workout: Do three total rounds:

      10 Shoulder Dislocate
      (1-5) Pull-Ups Ladder (The 300 crew used rings instead of a normal Pull Up bar. Ladder means you start with 1 set of 1 rep, then 1 set of 2 reps…etc. up to 5)
      60sec at each of the following stations with 30sec rest to switch between each:
      Bench Press @ 135 +
      Resisted Rope Pull +
      Slosh Pipe Hold OH +
      Resisted Rope Pull +
      Arnold Press @ 2 x 25 DB +
      Barbell Corner Row @ BB & 35 +
      Parallette Push-up (The 300 crew used rings)

      I will try to bold a couple things to make it easier to read. Again, let me know if you need any more clarification on any part of the 300 workout routine.

  • Steven
    Dec 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I am confused about the first Friday workout where it says “Do 45 secs of each exercise. 2 sets through”, how do you only do 45 seconds of the following exercises?

    • Chris Davis
      Dec 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

      I’ve cleaned up the Friday 300 workout Part 1. Hopefully, I’ve made it more clear. The 45 secs only applies to the biceps/cardio circuit. The rest already had the reps/sets detailed. So, the 45 sec circuit Gerard Butler used for shoulders/biceps/cardio looked like this:

      Do 45 secs of each exercise. 2 sets through:

      Arnold Press @ 2 x 25lb./11kg dumbbells for 45 secs
      Hammer Curls @ 2 x 25lb./11kg. dumbbells for 45 secs
      45 sec rowing machine at a fast pace, heavy resistance
      (Rest 1 minute then repeat.)

      Use a weight that challenges you. Start with a 25 in each hand (that’s what @ 2 x 25 lb. means). If that weight doesn’t challenge you for 45 secs, then jump up in weight. If that is too challenging, jump down to 20 lbs.

  • Jim
    Feb 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    5x Heavy Front Squat (70-75% of max)
    6x Heavy Box Step-up (“Heavy” means use dumbbells if you can.)

    These are from the first Monday workout. Are they one set each?

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 17, 2014 at 10:25 am

      I am going to put these workouts in table format, to make them more clear. Use the “One combo every 30 seconds for 5 minutes” for both of these. The 5x means 5 reps every 30 seconds. The 6x means 6 reps per leg.

      The risk/reward mentality of the Gym Jones workouts is that if you get it done fast, you get more rest time. If you go slow, you start to huff and puff even more, will less rest time. But, make sure that going faster doesn’t mean you compromise form.

  • Dan bello
    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Was this just a sample week of how they trained or did the actors constantly repeat these workouts?

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      The 300 actors constantly changed their workout. This is a sample week. But, the good thing is that you can easily build from it. These are the exercises their trainer said they used. To truly empower yourself with this workout, just change it up so that you’re doing something a bit different each week.

  • jose
    Mar 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the article! Could you please explain the Dumbbelll speed circuit mentioned in wednesday’s 1st workout?

    • Chris Davis
      Mar 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Sure thing! I’ve updated the article to make the Speed Circuit more clear. For most of the exercises, you can use barbells or dumbbells. Just, in a crowded gym, dumbbells are easier to get your hands on. The idea is to do a 2 min circuit of 6 reps of each exercise.

      Do as many reps of 6 as you can with
      Good Form!
      So, 3 sets where you set the timer for 2 mins.
      Do each exercise 6 reps, then move to the next exercise.

      The 300 crew would try to race each other, to see who could pump out the most reps. But, remember this is about safety and performance, not how many unsafe reps you can do.

  • Tellinator
    Apr 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

    could you please fix the ‘table not found’ problem?

  • Ryan
    Jun 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    This is my first time visiting this website, and I really want to do this workout, but I still find the way the tables are set up to be a little challenging to read. Why does it seem like there are two slightly different tables for each workout?

    • Chris Davis
      Jun 8, 2014 at 11:48 am

      The first set of tables (yellow) were added to make the workouts more clear. (Also, added so they could be easily printed out or seen on a smartphone). They should be accurate, but less detailed. The table below should be more detailed, but some find them harder to read. If you see a discrepancy, let me know and I’ll investigate.

      However, there might be differences because I added a “notes” section. (If you can’t view on your smartphone, tilt to Landscape). For example, from the 1st Monday workout:
      Clean 10 2 per set 0 secs One Superset combo Superset #1
      Squat 10 5 per set 1 min every 30 secs for 5 mins Superset #1

      May look different from:
      2x Clean + 5x Squat @ 70% body weight (One combo every 30 seconds for 5 minutes)

      But, it’s actually the same workout. Again, if you see something that looks like a discrepancy, I’m happy to investigate/articulate.

      Also, there’s 2 workouts per day. So you will see 2 sets of 2 tables.

      Have Fun! (And let me know if anything can be made more clear)

      • Keon
        Oct 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm

        I’m still confused on how to do the clean and squat superset. Would it be like this: 1 clean followed by 5 squats and after 30 seconds do another clean with 5 squats? That’ll be 2 sets in 1 minute or no?

        • Chris Davis
          Oct 21, 2014 at 3:54 pm

          The key is in the explanation below the chart: 2x Clean + 5x Squat @ 70% body weight (One combo every 30 seconds for 5 minutes).

          So, you do 2 cleans followed by 5 squats. You need to get that done once every 30 secs, or twice a minute. There’s very little rest during a Mark Twight workout. The 30 sec timer is how long you have to get all that done (2 cleans and 5 squats).

  • joe
    Jul 2, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for this article. Although I cannot make two workouts a day this is kinda split into a two week plan for me. Let’s see where it brings me!

    • Chris Davis
      Jul 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Two workouts a day are crazy anyways. One should be fine. Also, you can do cardio workouts on days when you have time. Gerard Butler would take days off and just do 90 minutes of different cardio at a slow pace. Good Luck!

      • joe
        Oct 30, 2014 at 4:18 am

        btw: I am now following the plan for 4 months – started with about 15% Bodyfat and could decrease it to 11% so far (with keeping proper macros most of the time).
        Besides the programm I am playing football (soccer) twice a week!
        So, I really must thank you for the efforts!

  • Ryan
    Jul 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

    How many reps within a minute for each exercise for the dirty 30’s?

    • Chris Davis
      Jul 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Find an amount of reps that’s challenging for you to do in 50 secs. If you go fast, you get rewarded with rest. If you start to dog it, you lose that 10 secs of rest time. It’s psychological, like a lot of the exercises you’d expect from a gym called Gym Jones.

      Try to continue to get everything done in 50 secs or less. If you move fast, you get more rest. But, it gets harder as you go longer. This makes it harder to find rest time between sets.

  • Ryan
    Sep 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    How do I get print friendly version of the whole workout. It will only work for page 1.

  • Alexander
    Oct 6, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Great article, but when you click on the printer friendly version it only gives you the first page (out of four). How can we get the other three pages?

  • Marc
    Feb 1, 2015 at 12:05 am

    on the saturday upper body workout it say 30m for barbell corner rows and 20m for situps ect, does that mean reps and the slosh pipe hold OH says 50m is that reps or metres? Thank you

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 1, 2015 at 3:31 am


      Thanks for noticing. I’ve fixed the Saturday workout routine per your questions. It should be “reps” for barbell rows/situps. For slosh pipe hold, that’s meters. For beginners, you can just hold in place for 50 seconds. To make a slosh pipe, you can add water to a 10″ PVC pipe. Though, I just use dumbbells instead of a slosh pipe, as it’s much easier than making your own equipment.

  • Marc
    Feb 7, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Thank you for the clarification. Also for the pull ups ladder on thursdays workout, I’m not sure how that works. and for the pullups on saturday? And I don’t have access to tires to do the flips, I did sumo deadlift to high pull, what would be the best alternative? and how many reps and sets? It said 3 sets of 40m?

    Thank you

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 10, 2015 at 1:02 am

      Sure thing! The Pull-Ups Ladder means you and a partner do a bunch of sets back-to-back. If your solo, then only give yourself the rest equal to what it took you to perform the exercise. The 300 crew used rings instead of a normal pullup bar. So, you do 2x, then 3x, then 4x, then 5x with very little rest.

      "Ladder" means you start with 1 set of 2, then 1 set of 3 reps, etc. up to 5. Rest 3 mins after entire ladder. Then, repeat Ladder 2 more times. Saturday is the same. Only, you do 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x (x=reps; 15 total), then move onto the next exercise.

      I don't have access to tires, either. So, I use kettlebell swings. You can even do dumbbell swings, if that's all you have around at the moment. Sumo deadlift to high pull sounds great, as well. What was the last question about 40m in reference to?

  • Marc
    Feb 7, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Also what is an alternative for the resisted rope pull?
    And the sparrows dozen, is it 12 deadlifts, 12 pullups, 12 pushups, 12 med ball slams = 1 set? then I do a total of 12 sets?
    =144 DL, 144 pullups, 144 pushups, 144 ball slams?

    And the farmers holds its 5 sets of 20 ? metres? …

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 10, 2015 at 1:19 am

      The Sparrow's Dozen is the pinnacle of the Gym Jones routine. Starting out, I would aim for less than 12 sets. Do as many as you can, and try to add another each week. Yes, the ultimate goal is 12 sets x 12 reps of each = 144 reps. The mentality at Gym Jones is about pushing you to the brink. When they were training, Twight wanted to see who would give up first. So, that's why this rep range may sound crazy.

      Yes, Farmer's Holds is 20 meters. Added the (m) to the table. Resisted rope pull alternative? Hard to say, because it's such a unique exercise. I would probably do dumbbell rows. They aren't as metabolic, but they work the back muscles. If there's room in your gym, you could do DB rows + sprint to more fully mimic the resisted rope pull.

  • Marc
    Feb 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you so much, the question about the tire flips was if I am doing kettle bell swings or sumo deadlift to highpull as an alternative to the tire flips, how many reps should I do? I believe it says do 40 m of tire flips

    • Chris Davis
      Feb 11, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      I read an article about how good kettlebell swings are for your body (shrink your waist, improve endurance). Since then, I've added KB swings to most of my workouts (as a finisher). They're a great way to leave the gym knowing you've given it all you got.

      Usually, with a heavier KB, I go for 3 sets of 12. It all depends on when you get to that point where you're out of breath. The Gym Jones mentality is to get you to that "edge." Proper form is the key with KB swings. Most people make the mistake of trying to use their arms as part of the force.

      The best advice I've ever got about KB swings, is to "think of your arms as a cable, let your legs and torso do all the work." Look down toward your waist as the weight comes down, then use your lower body (with your arms merely the cables) to raise the KB's back up.

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