Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For those walking around stiff as a board, Rome salutes you!

Quick quiz - what's been around longer than the internet and today has a top speed of roughly half a kilometer an hour?

I do!

And it's all this blokes fault...

Today is a good day to hurt!

For the uninitiated the guy above is the late great Andy Whitfield, star of the first season of TV show Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It was all about vicious battles and red hot sex (or was that the other way around?) and once in a blue moon the gladiators on the show would actually step out onto the arena and attempt to murder each other in the most savage of ways.
It also had that guy from the Mummy movies who proved without a shadow of a doubt that even a bumbling sidekick can be the world's biggest bastard with enough motivation (seriously the performances from both John Hannah as Batiatus and Xena star Lucy Lawless as his wife are worth the cost of admission alone!)

El Bastardo!
I won't go into too much detail about the first series (you need to watch it if you haven't, it's brilliant) suffice to say that it was such an immense shame that Andy passed away before the second series began. Don't get me wrong, the latest series are incredibly well written and just as sexy/bloodthirsty as the first but it just feels out of place with Andy out of the picture, the Spartacus character fit him like a glove.

Part of that was probably due to the ripper shape he was in for the role. While history recalls Gladiators having beer guts the size of dump trucks to help absorb swinging axes thanks to bean consumption (I can't remember where I read that but I did somewhere) it just wouldn't look that great in a fast paced TV series having a bunch of fat blokes waddle about and attempt to hit each other slowly while quickly running out of breath. No what we got were lean, mean, trident swinging machines!

Not a bean in sight.
Which meant that unless you were Hugh Jackman fresh out of the gym from the Wolverine series or Ryan Reynolds just going for a walk, seeing these warriors with a pretty limited lifespan (there were no time outs in the arena kids...) was usually the benchmark on where you'd like your fitness level/body look to be.
Well I did - it's doubtful any one in my life would object if I suddenly looked like I took on war chariots without breaking a sweat and could battle off hordes of Romans on my days off...

Turns out I wasn't the only one who felt that way and plenty of people who know a lot more about fitness than I ever will capitalized on this by developing the Spartacus workout - to help out of shape radio announcers attempt to get into loin cloth wearing shape. To help you fight your away through Gladiator school, you can find more details here at Men's Health.

Being a subscriber to Men's Health back in the day, I'd read up on the Spartacus regime a few years back but never attempted the exercises until someone put them into app form. Yep, in a true performance indicator of my fitness levels, I lazily waited until someone got my phone to explain how it worked with the Android Spatacus Workout Collection. Which I didn't buy until it was on special anyway....yep, off to a great start! (Read up about the app some more here

A collection of exercises to tone your whole body, what ramps up the intensity to ludicrous levels is the target you need to meet or exceed for each exercise...and then the incredible lack of time you have before the next one starts. Right after it dropkicks you in the face, it picks you up kicking and screaming and dropkicks you right in the fun parts again.

I put it through it's paces last night and here's my badly bruised report:

I thought 'This is easy!' after the six goblet squats. 
I thought 'I can do this, no sweat' after the mountain climbers. 
I thought 'Maybe I should shut up now' when the T Push ups showed up...
And so on and so forth until I found myself a shaken sweaty mess after the first round and in desperate need of a lie down.

Did I mention there's three rounds to it with less time than a short commercial break before the next one starts? I had barely made it to the end of the first one before the next one started in earnest and I feel (onto a nearby comfortable couch) in a no longer screaming heap.

There's a reason why Crixus looks like he could wrestle rhinos...
I barely made it through the first round, fell all over the shop in the second and sat back pitifully while the clock clicked down on the third. Today I feel like I've been crushed by a flying stomp by the Incredible Hulk and then bench-pressed the Titanic for good measure. 
My legs can't move hence the top speed - bits of me hurt I didn't know even came with these 80kgs.

According to the app I'd managed to complete only 50% of the exercises with the targets they were asking for. Personally I'd say that's a huge achievement for a bloke of my fitness caliber (but yes I'm aware that even the extras in the TV series that got killed off in just one episode would chuckle at that start.)
Still, I haven't deleted the app in shame (yet) because I know there will be one day where I'll complete more than one round. I might even make it to two and a half one day before I crash tackle the couch and promise never to leave it for the week!

Seriously though if you need a fitness reboot/self inflicted ass kicking - you'd be be hard pressed to look past this. For the glory of the back shed! Gwaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!! 


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