By September 26, 2011

Spartacus Workout: Week One

Last week I talked about doing the same workout actor Andy Whitfield did while working on the television series Spartacus. Andy passed away on September 11th of this year after fighting lymphoma for eighteen months. I decided to honor him by doing the same workout for a month.

Here’s the end of week one, with some data and some first impressions. Oh yeah, and some pictures of me with no shirt on. You’ve been warned.

I’ve been challenged like no other home workout before. I don’t know if it’s the short rest cycle (fifteen seconds between movements), the reason I’m doing this workout, or the workout itself. Maybe it’s all three. What I do know is that I was fairly winded and sweaty by the end of the first set of movements … and I still had two sets to go.

I quickly dumped my normal workout weights for lighter ones. I was doing too many repetitions every 60 seconds to keep the weight high. By the end of the first workout, I’d done 1033 movements in thirty minutes of exercise across. I was beat.

My favorite movement were the one-armed swings, something I’d been doing a lot of from my kettlebell workouts. I disliked the split jumps the most; my knees were fine but damn they are hard. I wound up having to do reverse lunges when my legs got too tired. The side lunge was interesting, and especially challenging after the other movements.

I am really grateful for my experience working out with the Beach Body series (P90 Basic, Power Half Hour, etc) for instilling the idea of alternate movements. The Spartacus exercise routine is time based, not weight based. I figured it was better to complete 60 seconds of exercise and do more movements than do 20 seconds of max weight and effort and then quit. Sometimes this meant slowing down; in the case of the split jumps that meant reverting back to rear lunges and then back to jumps if I could recover fast enough.

I am still super stiff despite doing some stretching after the routines. I did 1120 movements on Wednesday, and 1100 on Friday, although I did more split jumps the last day of the week.

My endurance has been my biggest stumbling block so far. I only get fifteen seconds rest between movements, which is just enough time to write down how many reps I just did, maybe get a sip of water, and set up for the next movement. After a round of ten movements I get a two minute rest, but that flies by really fast.

I did this workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of last week. This week I’ll be doing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

It’s my workout tradition to post progress pictures online. It keeps me motivated. I’m not sure how much visible difference we’ll see by the end of my Spartacus Workout challenge, but I am sure I’ll feel it.

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