I have great respect for these guys. People have often left CGI and steroids to do the explaining when watching the film, 300. Just because the backgrounds have been added digitally, it didn’t follow that the ripped Spartans had left all of their aesthetics to computer animation.
Vince Regan, the actor who played the Captain in 300 was unfit for the role when he signed up for the job. There was no magic in his transformation, unless you count hard work as ‘magic’. In the course of eight weeks under the 300 regimen, he’d shed a total of 40 pounds.
Here’s a video o Vince Regan doing a few exercises:
Gym Jones – Captain in 300 Film
The first misconception is that we used a bodybuilding-type program of progressive overload and over-feeding with the goal of making the guys look huge. We took the opposite route of calorie restriction to make them look like they lived off the land, in the wild, all sinewy and ripped. The diet was adequate to fuel effort and recovery, barely. And we prescribed random physical challenges to keep them off balance, to ensure they never knew what was coming, to cause a stress-reaction, to break them, to make them look bad in front of each other, which eventually led them to trust one another. Trust made them willing to go all the way to the edge in each other’s company because that’s what the film was about: laying it on the line. (Gym Jones)
At the end of their training, those who were deemed fit were invited to perform The 300. The 300 was a test that about 50% of the cast and crew were able to accomplish.
They went through their own Agoge. I’m honestly envious. Not everyone received their unorthodox albeit holistic approach to the creation of a film. Those that improved were those who already started with self discipline. No, it’s not the type of “discipline” that has you reaching for two beers instead of the usual six.
Modern man is conditioned to expect instant gratification but any success or triumph realized quickly, with only marginal effort is necessarily shallow. Meaningful achievement takes time, hard work, persistence, patience, proper intent and constant self-awareness. The path to such success is punctuated by failure, consolidation and renewed effort. It is wet with the tears of emotional breakdown. (Gym Jones)