Gerard Butler and the “300″ Workout
What do you think of when you think “Gerard Butler”? 300! Butler’s breakout role as Leonidas made him into an instant action-star and heartthrob.
Of course, in order to be an action-star or a heartthrob you’ve got to workout like a maniac. Even if it’s not action, you’ve seen him in The Bounty Hunter and Law Abiding Citizen, and you know the guy is cut.
Butler has some interesting work habits that I want to get into. He also supplements in a rather “tame” manner that might benefit guys who are trying to get big.
I know we can’t all be dashing, Scottish, and have 5,000 hours to workout, but we can try, can’t we?
Looking Like King Leonidas
In order to get in shape for his role as King Leonidas, Butler trained like a mad man for four months straight without any real breaks. He had a total body transformation, but he stopped working out as soon as the film wrapped.
Being a king isn’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes, and I think the moral of the story is simple: take a break every now and then. If you don’t watch yourself, you’ll over-train and your body will shut down. You certainly don’t want to get your gut back by accident.
As a result, Butler started working out in secret because he was embarrassed. Embarrassment aside, if you can’t concentrate with people throwing their weights around; or if you can’t focus unless it’s “golf quiet;” or if you need to have that “gazelle focus;” then maybe you should try some of your workouts alone.
Get some weights at home and bust out your workouts like a crazy person. Don’t forsake the gym totally, though, because not only will you benefit from the help of the people around you, but they will also serve as motivation. However, working out alone every now and then is fine.
When in Rome, Supplement as the Romans Do
During the filming of 300 (I know it’s Sparta, but you get the idea), the actors all took supplements to help get their bodies ready for action. Antioxidants, fish oil, and multivitamins were the preferred supplements on the set.
As opposed to using more “advanced” supplements like creatine, the actors chose to stick with the basics. The benefits of multivitamins and fish oil are pretty nice as well!
Taking a daily multi-vitamin can help your body repair itself faster after daily workouts. Granted, there are other supplements that do the same thing, but multi-vitamins are simple.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and can help as an anti-inflammatory substance. If you’re busting out constant workouts then your body could sue the extra help to prevent soreness.
As far as antioxidants go, I would recommend using an antioxidant-rich diet. Sure, you can take the tablets, but you can also get lots of antioxidants in foods like blueberries, peaches, and even fish!
If you’re not sure where to start supplementing then go easy on yourself. When in Rome . . . or Sparta, supplement as the Spartans do!
Take Your Cleanse to the Baths
Butler has also said that he needs to cleanse from time-to-time to keep himself going. It’s funny that he says:
“I’m internally cleansing. I have to do it every now and then because I’m not always the healthiest of guys . . . I don’t drink anymore, I don’t smoke anymore, I don’t really have a life. So then I’ll binge out and have burgers and fries and Coca-Colas and then I’ll say ‘I can’t do that anymore, I have to cleanse.’”
While I don’t recommend binging, I would recommend a cleanse offered up by Heather. She’s got a good plan for those of you who may be new to it.
There’s no reason to get into a “major cleanse” unless you absolutely think you need it. Basically, this is just a good way to flush yourself out.
Imagine being Butler and never having to pay for a drink – you’ll need a cleanse. If you like to indulge, like he does, then you may want to consider it.
Workout Like The “300”
The cast of 300 did a “competitive circuit” where they ran through a series of exercises 3-5 times consecutively. Not only will you feel like a warrior, you’ll feel like you just went to war.
In theory, you can do the circuit in any order, but you may want to start with the order the cast took before you start to get too inventive. After you’re used to it you can expand the exercises or even the number of times you do them.
Make sure you are gripping the bar overhand and you are pulling your chest to the bar. When you reach the bar you will pause momentarily and lower yourself back down.
Repeat the exercise through failure. Remember, if you cannot do a “complete pull-up” you can always use a pull-up assist machine.
Find a weight you feel comfortable with and take a dumbbell in each hand. Straighten your back and squat towards the floor. You may rest the weights on the ground or stop just short of the ground.
Slowly raise back up for a nice burn in your legs and to develop your back. Complete 25 reps.
Palms flat. Back straight. Don’t lift your butt. Arms shoulder width apart. Inhale as you lower down and exhale as you come up. Keep pushing your elbows are almost straight, then slowly lower back down and repeat.
Keep your feet together and jump rope for one or two minutes. If you’re feeling brave, you can jump rope to failure or increase your speed.
If you can’t jump rope, then jumping jacks are a nice substitute.
Start in your squat position and do a jump-squat – jumping as high as you can – and when landing kick your feet back and do a push-up. You can start this exercise with the jump or the push-up.
You can do this one for 25 reps, or you can increase the speed. If you’re feeling really intense you can work to 50 reps or until failure.
Don’t forget! You’ve only done this circuit once. Go back and do it two to four more times.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can break up your weightlifting with this circuit to keep your mind fresh. Either way you’re going to get a great burn and/or have a nice “break” during your lifting.
Before you know it you might look like Leonidas. Or, you already look like a Spartan king and you want to usurp the throne.