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Question: Did Imam Ahmad Bun Hambal used to pray 300 nawafl raakats daily
We find a report to that effect. Imam mam Abu Nuaym al-Isfahani states on the authority of his son Abdullah: "My father used to pray 300 Rak’ahs every day. However, later because of ill health ( due to the repeated lashes he suffered during the period of Inquisition), he reduced the number to one hundred fifty. He was around eighty at the time.”

One may wonder how can he do this while doing his daily chores: We should not take this to mean that he was reading long surahs; rather he was increasing the number of prostration by reading short surahs. The Imam was trying to draw nearer to God by heeding the call of Allah: “Prostrate and come closer (to Me).”(Qur'an: 96: 19).
Imam’s  example should not be a model for everyone to follow. He was free of all worries and duties because of his ascetic life-style and other obligations.
Therefore, the ideal example for us to follow is that of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who recommends moderation in worship and balancing our duties to Allah with our obligations to the creation. The Prophet said, “Your Lord has rights, your body has rights, and your spouse has rights; so, give each one his or her due.” (Reported by Bukhari).
He also advised Abd Allah b. Amr against his tendency to spend all night in prayer: "O Abd Allah, don’t be like a person who used to pray the night prayers and then he gave it up later (because of his failing health!”(Reported by Bukhari).
Therefore, he gave this golden formula: “Be consistent with acts of worship that you can keep up always, for Allah is never tired of unless you are tired.  The best deeds in the sight of Allah are those that you can do consistently.” (Reported by Bukhari).  


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