Andy Whitfield Tribute Workout: Spartacus

My “Gunnar” workout blog got a great response and hit rate…so here’s another:

Mix It Up!

Want dramatic results in the gym? Mix up your workout. Ideally change every couple of months. For the summer (ahead of the beach) this is a belter….

It’s another adapted workout, created for (and adopted as a tribute to) the late Andy Whitfield. Andy famously said that whenever he got a dream job offer it meant he had to spent prolonged periods of time with his shirt off. No he wasn’t a stripper, he was an actor.

Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March 2010 and tragically died on September 11, 2011, aged 39A sword wielding, unbeatable Gladiator on screen, his off-screen battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, an insidious cancer that affects the disease-fighting cells of the immune system, proved tougher to defeat.

This workout was designed for him for his title role in “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” where he needed a ‘killer’ upper body. He was on set for 12 hours per day and had to fit a killer ‘Gladiatorial’ workout in during his free time (sound familiar?). What better way to prepare for the beach, when you have minimal time in the day to train….

The workout consists of 12 exercises:

  1. KettleBell Oblique Side Bends – 16kg
  2. Goblet Squat – 16kg
  3. Mountain Climber
  4. Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing – 16kg
  5. T-Pushup – 7kg
  6. Medicine Ball CrossOvers
  7. Dumbbell Row – 12kg
  8. Pushup and Row – 7kg
  9. KettleBell Bicep Curls – 12kg
  10. Dumbbell Lunge and Rotation – 12kg
  11. Medicine Balls Wood-Chops
  12. Kettlebell Rotating Press – 16kg

Perform each exercise for one minute performing as many reps as you can in that minute before moving immediately on to the next exercise. The repeat each superset a further two times (then build up to three times) resting for just 2 minutes between each 12-set superset.

May not sound like much, but it gives you 12 solid minutes of exercise, with just two minutes rest before jumping into another 12 solid minutes of exercise, then again….and again. 48 minutes exercise in less than an hour, almost all on the upper body. It’s a killer, but it’s effective.

Time permitting, I then finish off with 2 or 3 sets of sprint interval training – each set being 8×20 second max speed sprints with 10 seconds rest between for a heart-rate busting, body-fat destroying explosive finish.

I do the above every other day with a triple superset chest workout (Flat Bench/Flies/Cablesx3, Decline Bench/Flies/Cablesx3, Incline Bench/Flied/Cablesx3) plus cardio on the days in between and of course getting out on the bike whenever possible!

For extra impact in the run up to the beach, I’ve drop carbs from my diet. The effect on body-fat shredding is immense, especially for men, and isn’t as hard as it sounds.

The Andy Whitfield workout is a battle in itself, especially the 4th superset, but throughout his illness, Andy taught us the most important life lesson of all: Fight on until the very end.

5 Comments on “Andy Whitfield Tribute Workout: Spartacus”

  1. Gary, I tried this last night. Wow. It didn’t look like much, and I was determined to go straight into 4 supersets but almost died after the third. I’ve never had such persperation from a resistance workout, you really can’t underentimate what 10 solid minutes of pure resistance exercise does for you.

    I’m aching like hell this morning. But love it. Thanks.


  2. Great workout Gary, tried it this morning (GL still isn’t the same without you there). Very hard but you can feel how effective it is within the first 5 sets.
    Where are you training now?

    Pleased to see how well you’ve bounced back from the shit last year. Big John is still offering to pay that guy a visit to get payback!!!

  3. Is the carb-dropping a good idea? Isn’t that just the Atkins which has had so much controversy?

    And is it really that easy? and that effective? Doesn’t it have a huge impact on colesterol etc? enough to have killed old man Atkins?

    Isn’t just reducing calories a better way to go?

  4. My training partner and I tried this workout last night, love it and echo comments that it is a lot harder than it looks. We struggled to complete the last set and dropped to 40 secs.

    One criticism, there isn’t a huge amount on it for legs. We’ve always worked in the princple that legs are 40% of your power and so should be 40% of the workout?

    Aside from that, great workout!

  5. I like this workout too, Gary! After the film ‘300’ there was a glut of similar workouts. Another one to try is the ‘filthy fifty’ from CrossFit, which is 10 exercises, 50 reps of each for time. I switch around a few of the exercises, but the principles behind it are solid.

    As for the reducing carbs – the single most important nutritional change most of us need to make. Carbohydrates are the most misunderstood macronutrient of all. Even some personal trainers don’t have a clue about carbs!


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