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Spartacus War Of The Damned Workout: Arm Yourself For Battle

Liam McIntyre needed to add lean mass to match his gladiator role. Enter trainer Tyrone Bell, who helped him add 20 pounds of lean muscle. Here’s how.

When Liam McIntyre was picked to play Spartacus in War of the Damned, the producers were thrilled with his talent but wary of his physique—at least for this role. To fill the breastplate of a Thracian gladiator-turned-hero, Liam needed more lean mass. I started training Liam in pre-production with an eye toward helping him build Spartacus-worthy size.

For six weeks, I put Liam through a grueling, no-holds-barred hypertrophy (i.e., muscle-growth) phase. From there he would move on to a boot camp of fighting and gymnastics, designed to get him up to fight speed. That phase also got him cut, and we had to reboot his hypertrophy phase periodically throughout the season. All told, I helped Liam pack on 25-30 pounds of muscle during our time together.

Arm Yourself for Battle /// 19-Minute Spartacus Workout

Watch The Video - 15:17




We fit in workouts whenever and wherever we could. Liam was in production constantly, but some scenes finished early, leaving us time for a 30-minute workout. So we developed efficient workouts that allowed us to exploit those small time slots. I'd say the average workout we had was 20 minutes long, so I developed five 19-minute hypertrophy workouts.

You have to take on a gladiator mentality to tackle these workouts. I made Liam throw up on himself and he still kept going. When people hear a muscle-building workout only lasts 19 minutes, they say, "Nah, you can't build muscle in that time. It's not enough. It can't be done."

The proof is on film. The cast of Spartacus packed on lean mass over time, even under their intense workload. You can, too. If you follow this plan, you'll build shape and size just like the gladiators on Spartacus.

Strong-Arm Tactics ///

My arms workout is built on three supersets and two stand-alone exercises. The supersets combine compound and detail-oriented isolation exercises, like heavy EZ-bar curls and triceps extensions. The entire workout follows that format until we finish with two exercises that take you to absolute failure.

Each superset comprises a biceps and a triceps exercise. As the reps increase and the weight decreases for one exercise, the reps decrease and the weight increases for the next exercise. The reps and load move in opposing directions to deliver maximum grow and a mean arm pump.

On the set of War of the Damned, we had only one chance to hit arms each week. Because of the tight production schedule, we had to make every moment count. The workouts I developed last 19 minutes apiece. That's 1,140 seconds to put as much size on Spartacus as possible. If you want maximum results, make every second count and follow my training plan to a "T."

19-Minute Gladiator Workouts ///

The key principle that carries over into all five of my Spartacus workouts is efficiency. Each workout takes 1,140 seconds. Every second is accounted for with tempo, rest, and transitions between stations. The most important piece of equipment is a stopwatch. The clock starts as soon as you walk in the gym.

Your rest periods should be spent adjusting the weights for the next set, or setting up the equipment in the next superset. Use some common sense. Make sure all your exercises are close to each other so you don't waste time running across the gym.

Exercise Tempo ///

Exercise tempo dictates the speed of a full repetition of an exercise, expressed in seconds. Using 3-0-1-0 as an example, the first number indicates that the eccentric, or lowering, part of the lift lasts 3 seconds. The second number indicates that there is no pause at the midpoint of the lift. The third number refers to the concentric, or lifting, portion of the movement—in this case, 1 second. The fourth number indicates whether you should pause at the top of the lift.

Most exercises in my Spartacus workouts follow a tempo of 1-0-2-0, which means you lower the weight for 1 second and then lift it for 2 seconds, without a pause. Stick to this tempo through the workouts unless otherwise specified.

Arms

Superset



Chest


Back


Legs
  • Leg Press Leg Press

    Leg Press

    5 sets of 10, 8, 8, 6, 10 reps, rest 60 seconds, 2-1-1-0 tempo
  • Barbell Deadlifts Barbell Deadlifts

    Barbell Deadlifts

    5 sets of 8, 8, 6, 6, 10 reps, rest, 60, 60, 60, 120 seconds, 2-0-1-0 tempo
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

    Seated Calf Raise

    3 dropsets of 6/12 reps, rest 60 seconds, 2-0-1-0 starting tempo, 1-0-1-0 dropped tempo


Shoulders



Sit-Down Interview With Liam and Tyrone ///

Check out the full side-by-side interview with Liam McIntyre, star of the STARZ original series, Spartacus: War of the Damned and Tyrone Bell, the hypertrophy trainer who helped him pack on lean muscle for the role of the Thracian gladiator who led a slave army against Roman legions.

Arm Yourself for Battle: Spartacus Arms Interview

Watch The Video - 17:13





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ealionhandley

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ealionhandley

what can be done once you have the mass but want to lean out to show muscle

Feb 8, 2013 7:33pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 16'1"
  • wt: 193.79 lbs
  • bf: 13.8%
PeterFDK

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PeterFDK

Diet! Use the "nutrition" section - in there you will find all the answers. Or use the "find a plan" option - in there you will both get traning plan and nutrition plan... Search and you will find!

Feb 9, 2013 1:22am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 16'10"
  • wt: 202.4 lbs
  • bf: 14.0%
RatedEJR

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RatedEJR

A diet with high protein and med to low carbs and a HIT workouts so you lose fat, without losing too much muscle

Feb 10, 2013 6:44pm | report
mfinkle1

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mfinkle1

yea i would def try to get the body fat down to about 18%, maybe a tiny bit lower which is gonna be pretty hard, then you can go ahead and do full body training and bring back some carbs to promote hypertrophy and gain some more muscle. I read a great article that showed studies proving gains in lean muscle mass are the most predominate with a body fat between 12 and 15 percent.

Feb 12, 2013 2:09pm | report
ealionhandley

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ealionhandley

what can be done once you have the mass but want to lean out to show muscle

Feb 8, 2013 7:33pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 16'1"
  • wt: 193.79 lbs
  • bf: 13.8%
JFort93

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JFort93

25-30 pounds of lean muscle from doing a 19 minute workout for 6 weeks? Not buying it...

Feb 8, 2013 9:54pm | report
KickAssGoalie

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KickAssGoalie

I think you may have miss read this. He says he trained him 6 weeks for hypertrophy, then boot camp, then hypertrophy again during season. So in total at the end (of the season) he gained 25-30 pounds

Edit: In the first video he says it took 2 seasons to gain the 25 pounds.

Feb 9, 2013 5:50am | report
Thraxx

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Thraxx

I agree but anything is possible. Looks like its worth a try though

May 6, 2013 9:15am | report
Thraxx

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Thraxx

I agree but anything is possible. Looks like its worth a try though

May 6, 2013 9:15am | report
paulino036

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paulino036

What's wrong with leg day?

Feb 9, 2013 6:38am | report
heavyhitter1987

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heavyhitter1987

Im going to say no squats?

Feb 15, 2013 1:52am | report
grindmybones32

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grindmybones32

looks like a fun quick work out id be skeptical about the results id love to hear from someone who tried it. love to give it a go. its on the list

Feb 9, 2013 8:15am | report
JiuJitsuAddict

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JiuJitsuAddict

I tried this workout for 5 weeks and found some great results to add size

Apr 22, 2013 5:06am | report
nuBe

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nuBe

i need to jump on this boot camp too. I've been bulking the last two and half months. time to burn the chum!

Feb 9, 2013 9:12am | report
ChuMan0825

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ChuMan0825

Which gym is this? Is it in LA?

Feb 9, 2013 12:32pm | report
levibett

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levibett

We shot this in Metro Flex Long Beach. It's an awesome gym!

Feb 11, 2013 7:12am | report
dannyderbyshire

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dannyderbyshire

Will definitely try this workout!

Feb 9, 2013 6:08pm | report
RGC6

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RGC6

Why did he say "I am a firm believer of supplementing WITHOUT glutamine and BCAAs"?

Is there a reason not to?

Feb 9, 2013 7:27pm | report
cubsfan4893

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cubsfan4893

I dont think he says with"OUT" glutamine, i think he says I am a firm believer in supplementing with "L" glutamine and bcaas. I heard the "out" the first time too and I had to go back and listen again

Feb 10, 2013 1:38pm | report
Marco99

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Marco99

Tyrone, could you post Liam's diet, cause like you said in the video, it was the most important part of his training !!!

Feb 9, 2013 10:02pm | report
ozzyjsn

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ozzyjsn

Missing Andy Whitifield. R.I.P always mirin

Feb 9, 2013 10:13pm | report
ea1991

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ea1991

I know man, he was like the perfect spartacus! R.I.P.

Feb 10, 2013 6:09am | report
diller27

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diller27

Where is the links for the nutrition section???

Feb 10, 2013 11:55am | report
bravesallday

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bravesallday

O.o why Spartans no squat for?!?

Feb 10, 2013 1:34pm | report
HBDYWI

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HBDYWI

i dont care what workouts hes doing. nutrition is the most important part and this article lacks an entire nutrition section soo...can we get the nutrition part? id rather see JUST his diet plan then workouts. to me, thats much more valuable info.

Feb 10, 2013 2:24pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 49 Comments

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