Spartacus Workout: The Triple Set Scorcher
Three years ago, producers at Starz asked Men's Health to create a workout worthy of the name Spartacus, the network's hit original series. With the help of Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., an Ironman triathlete and 2012 personal trainer of the year, we did just that—and it became the most popular workout in Men's Health history! Now we've made it even better. Cosgrove's newest version of the Spartacus Workout is called, appropriately, The New Spartacus Workout.
Below you'll find one of the workouts in the plan, the Triple Set Scorcher. It uses triple sets to fire up your metabolism and melt flab at a blistering pace. So prepare to sizzle and chisel: We're about to turn up the heat on your body fat.
Perform the following workout 3 days a week with a day of rest between each session. For each exercise, you'll do as many reps as you can in 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Start with Triple Set 1, performing 1 set of each exercise in succession. Rest for 60 seconds after you complete all three exercises in the triple set, and do them all a second time. Next, repeat the procedure for Triple Sets 2 and 3.
1A / Plank with Leg Lift
Assume a pushup position but with your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Brace your abs, clench your glutes, and keep your body straight from head to heels. Now raise your right leg and hold that position for 1 second. Lower your right leg and raise your left leg. Continue alternating legs.
1B / Dumbbell Chop
Hold a dumbbell with a hand-over-hand grip above your right shoulder, as shown. Keeping your arms nearly straight, bend your hips, pivot your feet, and forcefully rotate your torso to the left as you draw your arms down and across your body.
(You should move as if you were chopping wood.) When your hands reach the outside of your left knee, stop and reverse the move to return to the starting position.
1C / Dumbbell Lunge
Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your sides and stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your torso upright, take a large step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your left knee is bent 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor.
Step back to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Continue alternating legs.
2A / Dumbbell Single-Leg, Straight-Leg Deadlift
Using an overhand grip, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your left knee slightly bent and your right foot off the floor. Keeping your right leg in line with your torso, lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause and return to the starting position. After 20 seconds, switch legs and repeat.
2B / Dumbbell Push Press
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, your palms facing each other. Dip your knees and push up explosively, using your lower-body power to help press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the weights and repeat.
2C / Goblet Squat
Grab a dumbbell and stand with your feet slightly beyond shoulder-width apart. Cup one end of the dumbbell with both hands and hold it vertically in front of your chest, elbows pointing down. This is the starting position.
Keeping your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, and then push yourself back to the starting position.
3A / Dumbbell Alternating Row
Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips, and lower your torso until it's nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm's length, palms facing back. Without moving your torso, row the weight in your right hand upward by raising your upper arm, bending your elbow, and squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. Lower the dumbbell and repeat with your left arm. Continue alternating arms.
3B / Dumbbell Side Lunge and Touch
Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your sides and stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step to your left and lower your body by pushing your hips backward and bending your left knee. As you lower your body, bend forward at your hips and touch the dumbbells to the floor. Step back to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Continue alternating legs.
3C / Dumbbell Deadlift
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm's length in front of your thighs with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without rounding your lower back, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower the dumbbells as far as possible.
Pause, and then push yourself back up. If that's uncomfortable, spread your feet to about twice shoulder width and lower the dumbbells between your legs.
The final season, Spartacus: War of the Damned, premieres January 25, 2013, at 9 p.m. EST.
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That's not a crossfit term. It was named after Izumi Tabata who developed the protocol. Not trying to insult or anything just figured I'd throw it out there.
The Tabata study came in the mid 90's...'96, I believe and CrossFit itself was established by the Glassman's in 2000. Not taking anything away from CrossFIT, bc it is a good and effective program, done correctly. But CrossFIT is a new(ish) workout program that takes a lot of good/great things from existing programs (Sport specific lifting/workouts, olympic lifts, etc..). I remember doing "Crossfit" type workouts with my S&C coach for highschool football in the mid/late '90s...only then I believe the program we were on was Total Turbulance. Again, CrossFIT is a good program, I just wish everyone would stop calling every subsequent program similar to or a rip off of it. It isn't the 1st and won't be the last program to ever come out...just a very well marketed one.
I've done the Spartacus workout a for a few cycles over the last couple years (this is just an updated version of a previous workout initially introduced after the 1st season with Andy at the helm), and I have to suggest to start off lighter than you'd think. The original is a little different, but the same HIIT/Tabata mindset and it can smoke you if you go a little heavy. For things like the Goblet squat I started with 45lbs and was smoked due to the intensity more than the weight. I'm up to 70lbs for it now. Stuff like the chop, I started with just 20 and have worked my way up to 40lbs. You're going to need multiple sets of dumbells but I recommend starting with the 20-45 lb range and doing the exercises, some will seem kind of easy, but at least then you'll get a better feeling of what you'll need for the next time. Instead of the plank w/ leg raise, I usually do plank to push up position transitions with 2/3 second pauses at each (plank position on elbows to low pushup position, pause, do a pushup to top position then lower back to plank...lather, rinse repeat for time), spiderman push-ups (as you drop to low position, pull one knee up to the side and touch same side elbow without dipping shoulders, return foot/knee to starting position as you push back up and repeat with other side, that's one rep) or superman pushups (drop down to low position, then as you raise to top, lift same side leg/arm to extention and balance for a second before dropping back down and doing other side on next push up...if balance is too hard at first, try pushup to superman plank...drop down then as you rise, opposite arm and leg extension and hold. Drop and alternate)....Whichever one of those three you choose you'll burn core, chest and tris. Sorry for the book, but hope this helps!
Thanks man! This is awesome. Great ideas for the chest/tris. :)
They're only bodyweight exercises, but with the low pauses and intensity of this type of workout, they'll make your upper body scream. Those three are trial and errors that eventually i adopted for my workouts, they work pretty well for me, hopefully they will for you.Good luck with the workouts, keep pushing and pulling!
i do this as a supplement to my heavylifting program. It definitely gets the sweat pouring and the fat burning, but it is difficult to get heavy weights in. Tried 35s for the chop and swear i pulled a glute (form was probably bad, too) I enjoy a workout that focuses on the time and not the rep range. I keep track of how many I accomplish in that time and aim to surpass it as I keep going. I just finished my 2nd week on it and it's helping with the fat loss. Again, I still use another program for my heavy lifting. I'll increase my weights in this workout in the upcoming week.
I've tried p90x and got good results in strength. I tried Spartacus with heavy weights, less time a day and it's no joke. It's underrated by the public because it isn't advertised or campaigned all over television and such. These workouts with a little modification for each station, with heavy weights: you will be gasping every bit of air while your clothes will look like they came out the washing machine at the end of every session.