Maniac Monday Workout: The Smith 300

This workout combines the benefits of the Smith machine with a modified 300 workout that will get your blood pumping and prepare you for some common mud run obstacles.

The Smith Machine:

Every gym has at least one Smith machine – a piece of equipment used primarily for weight training that consists of a barbell fixed between steel rails to allow for vertical movement only. A Smith machine has some great benefits, most importantly, a series of posts that allow the barbell to be re-racked after a set of repetitions. The barbell can be easily adjusted to varying heights and positions and secured at any point, making it safer to weight train without a spotter. With a simple twist of the wrists forward or backward, you can lock the barbell into a stable position.

300 Workout Basics: 

300  workouts are incredibly demanding maximum intensity routines that require a solid level of physical fitness to attempt. A good 300 routine will destroy fat and increase your strength in the least amount of time, about 20 minutes total. The gold standard of these workouts is probably the one used by Gerard Butler to get in Spartan-shape for the 300 movie. The basic idea of a 300 workout is to perform several sets of high-intensity exercises for a specific number of repetitions with the goal of reaching 300 total. Little or no rest is allowed between each exercise. Due to the taxing nature of the workout, you should be in adequate physical shape, prior to attempting. Although, you may  work up to a 300 workout by altering the number of repetitions, types of exercises, or rest time between sets.

The Smith 300

The goal of this workout is to use the versatility of the Smith machine to perform a 300 workout that will assist you in your mud run training. Of course, exercises like pull-ups and push-ups are included here, but the Smith machine adds a worthy training element that is great for exercises like lunges, hurdles, under-overs, and rows, all of which you can perform quickly without adding plates to the barbell.

What you need:

A Smith Machine, a bench and the ability to count to 300.

The Workout:

300 total reps, no rest between exercises.

  • 25 Pull-ups (goal post style for grip-strength)
  • 50 Stationary Lunge (25 each leg)
  • 50 Hurdle Drills (25 each side)
  • 50 Under-Overs (25 each side)
  • 50 Push-ups (25 Incline: hands on bar/25 Decline: feet on bar)
  • 25 Inverted Rows
  • 25 Bench Jumps
  • 25 Hanging Knee Raises (with Kick-outs)
Maniac Bonus: Complete using Fat Gripz for added grip strength training.

How to:

  • Pull-ups: Some Smith machines have pegs or an additional bars specifically for pull-ups. Don’t use them. Instead, grab the wide support beam that runs along the top of the machine and hit your pull-ups goal-post style to work your grip strength for obstacles like the Funky Monkey and rope-climbs.
  • Stationary Lunge: Set the Smith bar at upper-chest height and place the bench behind it. Position bar on back of shoulders and grab similar to a squat position. Move your front foot slightly forward under bar and extend your other leg back, placing the top of your foot on the bench. Rotate the bar back to disengage, then lower body by flexing your front knee and hip until the knee of your rear leg is slightly above the floor. Be sure to keep your front foot flat on the floor. Extend your front leg to return to the start position and repeat.
  • Hurdle Drills: Place the barbell at a level below your crotch and stand facing the bar. Think of the motion as hurdling in place as you rapidly pull each leg up one at a time until you are standing in front of the bar; then bring yourself back to the starting position by pulling your legs back over the bar one at a time. Repeat.
  • Under-Overs: Stand with the bar at your right side, at about the same height as in the hurdle drills. In a single motion, step to the side under the bar with your right foot, squat down and duck under the bar. As you come up on the opposite side of the bar, swing your left leg back over the bar, then follow with your right to return to the starting position. Repeat. Less movement is better. You don’t want to feel like you are dancing. Aim for fluid, singular movements.
  • Push-ups: Set the bar to a comfortable height. For incline push-ups, perform each push-up with your hands on the bar. Lower yourself until the bar touches your sternum then drive yourself back up. For decline push-ups, place the top of your feet on the bar and your hands on the floor. For both, be sure to pay attention to form and keep your body in a straight line.
  • Inverted Rows: Lie on the ground and set the bar at a height slightly above where you can hold it with both arms extended, palms facing away about shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up by flexing your back muscles, allowing only your heels to touch the ground. When your lower chest reaches the bar, pause and slowly lower to the start position. You can also try this with your feet elevated.
  • Bench Jumps: Start by straddling a bench so you are standing directly over the middle of it. Jump up and drive yourself high enough to land with both feet planted firmly on the bench. Jump back down to the straddle position and let your butt tap the bench. Quickly drive up and repeat the motion.
  • Hanging Knee Raises (with Kick-outs): Grab the top of the Smith Machine where you performed your pull-ups. Lift your knees up to your chest, bringing them up as close as possible to touching. Hold this position for a few seconds, then straighten out your legs in front of you. Hold for a few seconds, pull your knees back to your chest, then slowly lower your legs back to the start position. Repeat.

Mud Run Maniac wants to know what you think of this workout…

Do you include other 300 workouts in your mud run training? What other ways do you use the Smith Machine? Post your comments below. Thanks!


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Mud Run Maniac
Mud Run Maniac

I'm the proud owner of, specializing in mud run training and tips! The mud run community is growing fast and I’ve made it my responsibility to keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest mud running topics.

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