Get Built Like Gerard Butler With This Full Body Workout

In the pantheon of super-jacked movie stars, a few stand out, bulging biceps and shoulders above the rest. One of the most iconic movie muscle moments came in 2007’s 300, when Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas led his 300 Spartan warriors into battle without a single shirt or visible ounce of body fat between them.

Butler hasn’t stayed at quite that level of cut since then, but the Scottish actor has worked his way into impressive shape for other action-packed films like Law Abiding Citizen, Den of Thieves, and the Olympus Has Fallen series.

To build up his body for a few of these roles, Butler has worked with trainer Joe Dowdell, C.S.C.S., a New York City-based fitness coach. The two men have been working together to keep Butler in shoot-shape since 2003, when he was prepping for The Phantom of the Opera (Butler and the 300 cast worked with trainer Mark Twight), then again for Law Abiding Citizen and Den of Thieves.

“These days when I train with Gerard, we’re not really trying to bulk up for a particular role,” Dowdell said when the Men’s Health crew visited him at Trainstation NYC to break down Butler’s training plan. “More or less looking for body composition-type training, like maintaining lean muscle mass, sort of decreasing some body fat.”

Dowdell says the training usually consists of full body workouts on every other day. Most days feature noncompeting paired sets, or two exercises targeting different muscle groups performed back-to-back with little to no rest, then a metabolic conditioning component to close.

Want to take on the workout? Check it out below, and pay close attention to the video for extra tips and instruction from Dowdell.

Gerard Butler’s Full Body Workout

Superset 1

Perform 3 times with 60 seconds rest between pairs

Superset 2

Perform 3 times with 60 seconds rest between pairs


Perform 3 times with 60 seconds rest between sets

Metabolic Finisher

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