The Spartacus Workout Challenge | fat burning workouts

The Spartacus Workout Challenge


The Spartacus Workout Challenge

The Spartacus Workout Challenge


I recently caught the first couple episodes of the new show called “Spartacus”. A made for TV series on Starz combining the action 300 and Gladiator.

But what stands out, like in most movies recently, is the shape that the actors are in. Ripped and muscular in a natural (not overload bloated look) way. So what do these actors do to get in such great shape? What is the secret of the “Spartacus Workout”? It’s the same thing that has worked many times over:

  • Intense and full body workouts
  • Eating right (80+% results come here!)

No quick fixes, just steady dedication to sculpting a lean and mean body.  Below is a video to show you what I mean . You can see his training even while on the set (which apparently takes 8 months to film a season!). It doesn’t have to be complicated, just needs to work your body the way it was meant to much like the gladiators of old.

I really liked his line: “If I can do it with a small family and being the lead in a TV series working 14 hours a day, everyone can do it!”



So, motivated enough? Are you ready to unleash your inner gladiator (yes women I mean you too)?

I know I am….lets get to it!


The Challenge

OK so this week inspired by the lean and mean gladiators, is the Spartacus Workout challenge (note that this is not exact workouts done by these actors, but it does use the same type of full body movements they use to get and maintain their gladiator look). Plus we are going to have fun imagining that we are a gladiator in training.

Setup: Circuit of exercises done in a row multiple times.

Instructions: Each exercise is done as many reps as you can in the time alloted, for this workout it will be 45 seconds. Then you will rest for 15 seconds before moving onto the next exercise in the circuit (a total of 1 minute).  Continue this cycle of work/rest until 1 set of each exercises are done (that is a full circuit). Rest 1-2 minutes upon 1 circuit completion and then repeat.

Feel free to yell “I am Spartacus” (referenced from the older movie version with Kirk Douglas) at any time. Loin cloths are optional!


The Circuit:

Do the following circuit of these 3 exercises (45 sec work/15 sec rest) 3-5x

  1. Dodge the swinging swords with alternating “step back” lunges ( left, right, left, right…)
  2. Drag the nets with rows (see below for options on bodyweight, bands or DB variety)
  3. Race up the hill with mountain climbers (see this video for more explanation)

Rest 1 min, and repeat (2-4 more times). Note: see the online interval timer listed below under “additional tips” to use with your computer.

Scaling by Ability

For more beginners to intermediate – do #1 with assistance (holding onto something to help your balance), #2 stand up more using bodyweight straps or resistance bands (see below), #3 do “angled” by leaning against something such as the stairs/couch. Rest up to 2 min between circuits.

If #1 exercise is too hard for some, sub out instead doing squats (either free standing or up and down out of a chair). If #3 is still too hard for you, do walking/running in place.


Choices for Rows

Rowing movement are very important for working all your back muscles. It is highly recommended to at least have a resistance band for rowing movements or bodyweight straps.

  • Bodyweight - are best done with straps/rings while leaning back at an angle (see video below). The closer you are to standing up, the easier it is. The closer you go to lying down, the harder. You could also get a towel, wrap it around a pole and pull yourself towards it in the same fashion.


  • Bands – standing and using a resistance band to pull the handles toward you (secured around something)
  • DB/KB – bent over rows

Additional Tips

I found a great online interval circuit timer here. It is not as hard as it may look to program. Just input the following parameters in for this workout challenge:

  • round length = 45 seconds
  • rest length = 15 seconds

You can either stop it after each circuit or just keep letting it run and use the 1 min (or 2 if you need it) to recover.


Comments and Workout Scores

Do you like the themed workout challenges like this one to make it more fun and motivating? If so, I’ll try and be creative more often with new ones to throw up. If you have any ideas/suggestions on other themes for workouts, please let me know in the comments below. Also remember to post your challenge results for the workout to help keep the community motivated as well!

Important Reminder: Make sure to do all exercises in a safe and controlled manner. If you are unsure of exercise form/safety then please proceed with caution or hire a professional trainer for more instructions.

Good Luck Gladiators!


Listen to Susan and Jon’s story, how they lost mega weight and were in an out of the gym in 20 minutes without doing hours of cardio, endless sit ups and painful ab exercises.

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