First, a disclaimer: the workout below is not enough to make you look like one of the Spartans from the cast of 300. That took nearly three months of training and diet, administered by ex-climber Mark Twight and his crew at Gym Jones (read all about Gym Jones and his hardcore approach to training here). The ‘300’ itself, says Twight, was:
‘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…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.’
Translation: doing half-rep pullups and bounced deadlifts isn’t going to cut it. But if you want a test of your fitness, try it – as seen below. Anything under 20 minutes is impressive stuff.
25 Pull-ups Some kick is allowed, but you should have straight arms at the bottom of the move and your whole head over the bar at the top – anything else is unacceptable.
50 Deadlifts (60kg) No bouncing.
50 Press-ups Straight arms at the top, chest touches the floor at the bottom. Keep your body straight throughout the move.
50 Box Jump, 24" box Step back down off the box – bouncing can ruin your Achilles tendons.
50 Floor Wiper (60kg bar) You’ll want a spotter for this one. Lying on the floor, hold a bar over your chest with straight arms – like the top of a bench press – and touch your feet to each side of it.
50 KB Clean and Press (16kg) The kettlebell should touch the ground between each rep. Straight arms at the top.
25 Pull-ups Same as before.
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From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.