The shoulder muscle, formally known as the deltoids, comprises of three heads: the lateral, anterior, and posterior. The lateral deltoid raise, also known as side deltoid raise or side raise, is an isolation exercise that targets the lateral head of the deltoid.
This exercises is most commonly performed with dumbbells and can be executed by individuals of all fitness levels.
A well defined lateral head can add to the overall size and shape of the shoulder. The lateral head is primarily responsible for the following shoulder movements: adduction, flexion and transverse abduction.
The anterior head of the deltoid, supraspinatus, lower and middle trapezius and the serratus anterior all assist the lateral head of the deltoid in this exercise movement.
The levator scapulae, upper trapezius and various wrist flexors help to stabilize the body during the motion.
Typically the lateral deltoid raise is performed in an upright position using dumbbells. However, individuals may substitute dumbbells with a barbell, kettlebells, cables, or resistance bands.
Some gyms even have a lateral deltoid raise machine that can be used instead of dumbbells.
Additionally, individuals may perform this exercise seated on bench, chair, or on an exercise ball. This exercise can also be performed while seated on an incline bench or lying on one’s side.
Grip and Hand Placement
Grab the dumbbells with an overhand grip.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
Keep torso upright at all times.
Grab dumbbells and extend arms downwards along the outside of the thighs.
Turn palms toward the thighs when arms are fully extended and keep the palms facing the ground during the raising of the weight.
Keep a slight bend in the elbows.
Raise the arms upwards until parallel with the ground and even with the shoulders.
Pause at the top and slowly lower the weight.
Repeat exercise for desired volume of sets and repetitions.
This exercise can be done with both arms at the same time or alternating between arms.
Individuals should take the following cautions into consideration when performing this exercise:
If an individual has balance or coordination issues, then this exercise should be performed in a seated position with a back rest.
Do not swing the arms when raising or lowering the weight.
Do not lock out the elbows as this could lead to potential joint injuries.
Don not lock out the knees as this could lead to potential joint injuries.
Do not rock back and forth when performing this exercise.
Keep the weight under control at all times.
Do not bend over or backwards when performing this exercise at this could lead to low back and postural issues.
Keep a tight grip on the weight at all times to prevent injuries from dropping the weight.
If the individual is a beginner, elderly or recovering from an injury then they should use lighter weights.
In 2007, the movie 300, directed by Zack Snyder, took the world by storm with its graphic violence, intense fighting scenes, amazing special effects and compelling storyline.
The movie was adapted from a comic book series by Frank Miller, which is a fictionalized retelling of an ancient Battle of Thermopylae that took place in roughly 480 BC between a Spartan army and the Persian empire.
The movie captivated audiences with its violent yet stunning battle scenes. These scenes were loosely based on the historical battle where 300 Spartans, and roughly 1,000 other soldiers, protected a pass to prevent the Persian army from invading their homeland.
Unfortunately, the small army fell victim to the Persian empire which sent at least 250,000 soldiers.
In addition to the previously mentioned aspects of the film, the actors who portrayed the Spartans were in amazing shape.
In fact, their pre-filming workout camp became legendary as their workout routine spread like a wildfire throughout the internet.
Fans and exercisers wanted to know how these actors got into amazing shape. Thus, the actors’ workout program was dubbed “The 300 Workout” and quickly became a fad within gyms worldwide.
About the 300 Workout
This workout program was designed by Mark Twight, a fitness guru and world class mountain climber.
He was enlisted to train these actors and get them into amazing shape within 8 to 10 weeks. Gerard Butler, the main star of the film, reportedly spent 12 weeks with Twight.
Mark trained these actors and stuntmen at his gym is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark came up with a program that would help the men lose body fat, gain lean muscle, and improve muscular endurance.
The program consisted of 2-3 months of daily training before they took a graduation test, which was a grueling non-stop test that included 6 different exercises for a total of 300 reps.
This graduation test is what’s commonly referred to as the “300 Workout”.
The Spartan Test
After months of training, the actors and stuntmen performed a graduation test which was scored by how long it took each individual to complete the 300 reps.
50 deadlifts of 135 pounds
50 box jumps on a 24-inch box
50 “floor wipers” of 135 pounds
50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds
25 more pull-ups
About the Exercises
The “300 Workout” consists of exercises that test overall total body strength and core strength. Here’s a breakdown of what each exercise targets:
This exercise directly targets the latissimus dorsi, or “lats” for short. However, there are numerous muscles of the back and arms that help to assist the “lats’ in this exercise movement. Pull-ups typically involves the use of one’s body weight for resistance.
To begin, grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip at roughly shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, with feet behind you, and pull your body up to the bar until it’s even with your neckline.
Do not rock back and forth when pulling your body upwards.
This is exercise directly targets the erector spinae, which is the main muscle located in the lower back region.
This compound exercise is a difficult one to execute due to the required number of muscles in the back, legs, core, and arms needed in performing this movement.
To begin, stand with feet roughly shoulder width apart and position them under the barbell. Grab the bar with an overhand grip inside of shoulder width.
Squat down to pick up the bar with your back flat. Stand upright by pushing through the hips and fully extending the knees. Make sure to roll the shoulders back when standing up straight.
This helps to stick the chest out and get a maximum contraction of the lower back muscles.
This exercise directly targets the pectoralis major, or “pecs” for short. This exercise also requires muscles of the back, shoulders and arms to assist in performing the movement.
One’s body weight is typically used as the resistance in this exercise. Lay face first on the ground and position your body weight on your hands and feet.
Push up until your arms are fully extended and slowly lower until your chest is about 2 inches from the ground.
This plyometric exercise is designed to build explosiveness in the lower body specifically the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps.
Stand in front of the box with feet roughly shoulder width apart. Jump up onto the box and stand completely upright when on top.
This exercise directly targets numerous muscles in the core region. To begin, lay flat on the ground and bench press the barbell.
Hold the weight upwards with your arms fully extended. Raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the ground and then move them side to side like a “windshield wiper”.
Clean and Press
This exercise is a compound movement designed to build explosiveness in the core and lower body regions. This exercise is done in two grouped movements. Begin by getting into a starting position similar to the deadlift.
Stand with feet roughly shoulder width apart and hands at the same distance. Squat down and bend over to pick up the bar. But, keep your back leveled, no hunches.
Explode upwards by pushing through the hips and extending the knees. As the bar gets close to the thighs, shrug the bar up to your shoulders and squat down.
Allow your elbows to rotate underneath the bar and for your hands to rest with the barbell on your shoulders. Finally, explode straight upward by extending your legs and knees. Press the barbell over the head with arms fully extended.
The “300 Workout” is not recommended for beginners. This workout was a graduation test for the actors who had trained for at least 8 to 12 weeks prior to performing this test.
These exercises are total body and/or compound movements that require a high level of experience and a solid foundation of strength.
Do not try this workout unless you have been properly trained or you can successfully perform these exercises on an individual basis without any problems and with perfect form.
Tom Hardy, born Edward Thomas Hardy, is a British actor best known for his role as Tommy Riordan in the movie Warrior. However, Hardy had some moderate success, prior to his critically acclaimed role as Tommy Riordan, in other films like Inception, Bronson and the hit TV miniseries Band of Brothers.
Hardy’s mainstream popularity is expected go through the roof after the latest installment of the Batman franchise The Dark Night Rises hits theaters worldwide in July. Hardy stars as Bane, the main villain of the film.
In addition to his acting merits, Hardy gained a great deal of fanfare over his physique for the film Warrior.
Tom put on a significant amount of muscle mass to play the role of a former Marine turned MMA fighter. Tom went from an average looking male in his mid-30’s to a beefed up star that’s taking Hollywood by force.
Hardy’s Workout Program
Hardy’s workout program was designed by Patrick ‘P-nut’ Monroe, a former U.S. Marine. Monroe’s philosophy was to have Hardy stay constantly active throughout the day.
In addition to a rigorous diet, Hardy had to perform various exercises 4 times per day to consistently send “signals” to his body, so that the muscles would respond accordingly.
Hardy would perform 20 minute workout sessions after he woke up, after lunch, after work, and before bed.
Unfortunately, there’s a great deal of conflicting information as to what exercises Hardy really did and in what order.
The Workout Routine
According to the UK’s edition of Men’s Health, Hardy performed the following workout routine:
The following three exercises were performed in 4 consecutive sets at 10 reps, then 7 reps, then 5 reps and the last set at 3 reps. Each set also had a slight variation of the exercise form.
1st set – Hands shoulder length apart.
2nd set – Diamond shape with forefingers and thumbs forming a diamond.
3rd set – Hands outside of shoulder width.
4th set – On your knuckles instead of flat palms.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and use 8kg dumbbells or kettlebells. Turn palms forward and raise your arms from your sides up over your head like making a snow angel or a jumping jack. To increase difficulty, go up in weight or stand on one leg.
A chair is needed for this exercise. Place hands on the edge of the chair, position your butt almost flat on the ground and fully extend your legs outward in front of you. Push yourself up by extending your arms and lower yourself until your butt almost touches the ground.
This exercise is designed to improve flexibility and strength in the neck, back and core regions. You must be able to perform each stage before moving onto the next stage. Each stage has 4 sets of 10,7,5,3 reps like the previous three exercises.
Stage 1: Lie back first on the ground with knees bent and feet flat. Lift your hips off the ground like doing a pelvic thrust. Bend your elbows and place your hands palm first on the ground next to your ears. Your fingers will be pointing to your feet. Hold for 1 second before returning flat back position on the ground. This is one repetition.
Stage 2: Once you can successfully perform stage one with no problems, stage two has a modification at the top of the movement. You will now push your shoulders off the ground so that only your hands, feet and the top of your head is touching the ground. Make sure your hands and feet are taking on most of the weight as the head should only be slightly grazing the floor. Hold in this position for 1 second before returning to the ground.
Stage 3: Once you have successfully completed stage two, without any problems, stage 3 allows you to place more weight on the head in the top position. However, your hands and feet still take on roughly 85% to 90% of the load during the initial period of this stage. Eventually, you will work your way up to placing most of the pressure on your head while your hands and feet still touch the ground.
Stage 4: Once you have improved your flexibility and neck strength by completing the first three stages, you can move on to stage 4. This stage is a full bridge where your hands are taken off the ground and only your head and feet touch. Same reps and duration of hold.
Stage 5: This is the hardest stage and is only for advanced individuals who can perform stage 4 in their sleep. Get into the bridge position from stage 4. Instead of having your hands free, they will now hold a light barbell or light dumbbells. You can increase the weight when this exercise gets easier.
This workout is designed to improve your core strength and help get those ripped abs. It also has multiple stages of 10,7,5,3 reps.
Stage 1: Lie on the floor with your legs fully extend and hands behind your head. Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the ground and then lift your legs off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds before returning.
Stage 2: Perform exercise in stage one, but at the top, bring knees to your elbows and hold for 1-2 seconds.
Stage 3: Do the same thing as Stage 2 but don’t bend your knees when bring them to your elbows. Keep your legs straight. This will also place stress on the lower back and hamstrings.
Stage 4: Perform the exercise from stage one but add a dumbbell or a kettlebell between your feet. Same reps as the other stages and same hold at the top of the movement.
Hardy performed this routine under the strict guidance of a professional. Do not try this program unless you have been medically cleared for rigorous training and have a personal trainer to guide you each step of the way.