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The God of War Workout

Get superhuman strength and muscle gains with our God of War workout.

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  • 1 week

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God of War Workout
God of War Workout

The only limit to what can be done in a video game is the developer’s own imagination. If the creators want the main character of a game to appear huge and imposing, with full, round muscles, single-digit body fat, and sharp separation, then a bit of computer wizardry can pull such a physique from the ether and put him on the screen just like that—no weights required. But what do you do if you’re Sony, and you’re trying to create a TV spot for God of War: Ascension, the latest installment of the critically acclaimed series, and you want a real-life version of Kratos, the massively shredded star of the game?

You hold a major casting call and keep your fingers crossed that if Kratos is out there, you’re going to find him. As it turned out, Kratos did have a real-life counterpart, and the honor of playing him went to a man who should be familiar to Muscle & Fitness readers: Brandon White. A personal trainer and fitness model who has appeared over a dozen times in Muscle & Fitness, White is also an avid God of War fan, having followed the series since the original installment hit the PlayStation 2 back in 2005. As soon as he heard about the casting call, White went straight to work, giving himself four weeks to prepare for his audition. He followed a six-day body-part split, and then combined steady-state cardio and interval training to get the kind of deep separation his muscles would need to retain definition through several layers of heavy makeup.

All the hard work paid off, and White landed the role. The full two-minute ad (which you can see on muscleandfitness.com) grounds Kratos in reality like never before and lends a new level of depth to his motives. In the original game, players learn that Kratos wants revenge for the death of his family—a simple drive that sets up the hours of hack and slash that ensue. In the ad for God of War: Ascension— a prequel to the original—we see Kratos’ daughter sprinting up a hill to her father, only to crumble to ash when she reaches him.

“I know the character quite well and wanted it more for that reason,” White says. “And I’m thrilled with how it turned out.”

Think you’re ready to build your own mythical mounds of muscle? You’ll have to attack the same weight training and cardio that White put himself through, meaning two-plus hours of training nearly every day for a month. But if you can follow it to the letter and keep your diet clean, you might just develop a physique worthy of the gods. And that’s something— whether you’ve followed the story of Kratos or not—that’s worth aspiring to.

The Workout

Perform the following workout for four weeks. Do 45 minutes of steady-state cardio every morning before breakfast— in White’s case, this is a brisk walk around his neighborhood. After each lifting session, do 30 minutes of cardio: 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (10-second sprints followed by 10-second recovery periods) and a 10-minute cooldown. You will work out 6  consecutive days a week. The 7th day will be your off day where you perform steady-state cardio only.

Routine

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Day 1

Legs

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 42

Barbell Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 2 of 42

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 3 of 42

Sissy Squat

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 42

Glute-Ham Raise

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 5 of 42

Twisting Lunge

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
20 steps
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 42

Donkey Calf Raise

Equipment
Box
Sets
5
Reps
8-20*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 20,15,12,10,8.

Day 2

Chest & Back

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 42

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 42

Incline Twisting Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 9 of 42

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 8,8,10,12.
Exercise 10 of 42

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 11 of 42

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 42

Cable Crossover

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 42

Weighted Dip

Equipment
Ankle Weights, Dip Station
Sets
4
Reps
10-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 10,10,12,15.

Day 3

Shoulders

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 15 of 42

Military Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
How to
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 16 of 42

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 17 of 42

Dumbbell Upright Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 42

Reverse-Grip Dumbbell Upright Row

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 19 of 42

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 42

Barbell Front Raise

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 21 of 42

Bradford Press

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
to failure
Rest
--
Can be substituted for battling ropes - 3 sets, 30 sec reps.

Day 4

Biceps & Triceps

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 22 of 42

Skull Crusher

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
How to
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 24 of 42

Wide-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 26 of 42

Hammer Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 42

Dumbbell Kickback

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12 per arm
Rest
--

Day 5

Legs

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 29 of 42

Barbell Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 30 of 42

Barbell Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 32 of 42

Seated Leg Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 34 of 42

Standing Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--

Day 6

Chest & Back

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 35 of 42

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Bench, Lat Pulldown Bar
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 36 of 42

Dumbbell Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 15,12,10,8.
Exercise 37 of 42

Close-Grip Seated Cable Row

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
8-12*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 12,10,8,8.
Exercise 38 of 42

Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 39 of 42

Face Pull

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
8-12*
Rest
--
Perform reps as 12,10,8,8.
Exercise 41 of 42

Cross-Bench Cable Pullover

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 42 of 42

Underhand Cable Flye

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
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