“300″: Fitness Craze?

Category: 300 News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: April 12, 2007 | Publication: Free and Flawed (Blog) | Author: Staff
Publication/Article Link:Free and Flawed

Ever since “300″ has hit theatres it has been extremely difficult for me to not randomly yell out “Sparta!!!” or pretend that I’m attacking people. I’ve even considered asking for a cape, spear and shield for my birthday. One thing that has definitely not left my mind is the incredible beefiness of the actors in this film. I know it’s been a topic of discussion among many (the media, women who wanna touch em and men who wanna be em) Personally, I’d like to touch. I don’t think I’d look good with a 6-, 8-, or 12-pack.

A few days after seeing the movie for the first time (I’m up to three now) I found a couple “300″ video journals via YouTube. This one specifically focuses on the fitness routine the actors had to endure to achieve those solid Spartan bodies. Honestly, I think their muscles were growing muscles (It can happen!)

Gerard Butler and his co-stars had to transform their bodies into top physical shape and their minds into a warrior-like mentality.

“We would do competitive circuit training against each other, running around with very primitive tools such as kettlebells and medicine balls. You were dead by the end of it,” Butler, who plays Spartan King Leonidas, told the L.A. Daily News. “That was mental conditioning, too; you really had to endure exhaustion and pain.”

Anyone who has seen the Spartans in the film, or posters of the movie, knows the results. Butler and his co-stars look as if they’d spent their lives fighting with swords and shields. The man responsible for their transformation is former world-class mountain climber Mark Twight. Twight trained the actors for eight weeks prior to the film. Twight told the Chicago Red Eye that the actors’ bodies are the result of the work they did. The only supplements the actors took were multivitamins, antioxidants and fish oil.

After seeing Butler in this film, it’s hard to believe that he told the directors that he isn’t in top shape. Many of the actors had very limited experience in the gym. So what’s the trick? Where’s the magic? Well sadly there is none. But Twight pushed the actors by changing their workout routine on a daily basis. “Nobody was allowed to be lazy,” said Twight.

“Each day, each cast member would find individual instructions for his own specific workout created by Twight. Among Twight’s drills for the actors: flipping giant tracker tires across the gym; playing catch with medicine balls; swinging a kettlebell, which is a canon ball-like weight with a handle, and training on gymnastics-style rings.”

Twight runs a private, invitation-only gym in Salt lake City, Utah. The training done at Gym Jones is meant to prepare for a specific sport or activity. He designed workouts that would copy the challenges a Spartan may face on the battlefield.

To accomplish this, Twight said he kept the actors off-balance with random physical challenges. For example, at one point he had Vincent Regan perform a one-legged dead lift holding a weight in one hand—while blindfolded.

The hard work has definitely paid off. As of Monday, the film has brought in an estimated $163 million according to boxofficemojo.com. If you still haven’t seen this movie, I highly, highly recommend it.