By Douglas Kimble Men’s Fitness
It takes a special kind of body to be able to walk around in a loincloth. you need to be muscular but lean and athletic enough to look like you can hold your own in any situation. that’s the look the cast of spartacus: Vengeance has perfected—and the look Manu Bennett, one of the stars of the series, will help you achieve in this month’s work* out.
Bonus: You can do it from anywhere, and you’ve got only three exercises per workout.
HOW IT WORKS >>
Gyms are crowd*ed this time of year, and if you’re a busy guy, you don’t have much time to spend in them anyway. Truth is, if you cover all your bases each workout, less is more. Full *body training, where a workout consists of a push, pull and leg exercise, is enough to keep your muscles growing for months while enabling you to shed pounds.
The power lies in variety. Keep changing up the exercises, sets, reps, and loads and you’ll never plateau. The workouts shown here are just a three* day sample. You can choose any exercise you like as long as it satisfies one of these categories: push (pushups, presses); pull (rows, chinups); and legs (squats, deadlifts, or any of their variations). Don’t worry that you won’t be targeting your abs directly. If you’re doing lots of standing and unilateral exercises, you’ll feel your core working constantly. In the first exercise of every session go heavy, the second one should give a good pump, and the third should test your endurance. In four weeks, you may not be ready for the coliseum, but at least you’ll look the part.
Perform each workout (Day I, II, and III) once per week, resting a day between sessions. Vary the order of your movement pat* terns. For instance, the first exercise on Day I can be a pull, and the first exer*cise on Day II can be legs. Keep the sets and reps the same for the first, second, and third exercises, but change the exercises themselves regu*larly—those shown here are only an example.
DID YOU KNOW?
* In the 5th century gladiatorial contests between men were outlawed in Rome. Beast hunting in the arena continued well into the sixth century.
1/ Bentover Row: 5 sets, 5 reps
Hold a barbell at arm’s length with hands shoulder width. Push your hips back and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. bend your knees as necessary. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the bar to your belly.
To avoid injury, don’t bob up and down with the torso on your final rep.
2/ Pushup: 4 sets, 10 reps
Keep your core tight so your body remains in a straight line. Lower your chest until it is one inch above the floor.
3/ Kettlebell Squat: 3 sets, 15 reps
Hold kettlebells at shoulder level and stand with your feet shoulder width and toes turned out slightly. Push your hips back as if you were going to sit back into a chair and lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Ancient Romans dedicated 175 days out of the year to the gladiatorial games.
WORKOUT ROUTINE: Day Two >>
1/ Squat: 5 sets, 5 reps
Grasp the bar outside shoulder width and squeeze tightly. step under it and pull your shoulder blades together. Arch your back to take the bar off the rack—it should rest on your traps or rear delts. step back and set your feet shoulder- width apart. Take a deep breath and sit back, lowering yourself as far as you can while keeping your lower back in its natural arch.
2/ Superman Pushup: 4 sets, 10 reps on each side
Perform a pushup and then extend one arm and the opposite leg at the top. You’ll need to brace your core.
Extend your arm and leg simultaneously squeezing your core and glutes.
3/ Kettlebell Row: 3 sets, 15 reps on each side
Stand with legs staggered and hold a kettlebell in one hand. Keeping your lower back flat, bend at the hips until your torso is at a 45-degree angle. Row the weight to your belly.
Think about pulling your elbow behind you, and don’t shrug your shoulder.
DID YOU KNOW?
* 3,000 men were killed in one day during the 100-day celebration of the opening of the Colosseum in 80 A.D
WORKOUT ROUTINE: Day Three >>
1/ One-arm Pushup: 5 sets, 5 reps each side
Use a wide stance and rest your hand behind your back. if you need assistance, attach a band to a sturdy object and make a loop. Reach your free arm out 90 degrees to your side and grasp the band. Using the band for support, perform the pushup with your arm outstretched.
The wider your foot placement, the stronger your base of support will be.
2/ Assisted Chinup: 4 sets, 10 reps
Attach a band to a chinup bar and stand in the loop. The band will unload some of your body weight and make the chinup easier to perform for high reps.
3/ Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets, 15 reps
Hold a barbell in front of your thighs with hands shoulder width. Keeping your lower back flat, push your hips back and bend forward until you feel you’re about to lose the arch in your lower back. Bend your knees as needed.
WORKOUT ROUTINE: Bonus Cardio Workout >>
If you have time at the end of your sessions, you can do interval cardio. Warm up for five min* utes and then sprint for 30 seconds. Back off to a light jog or walk for 60 seconds. That’s one interval. Repeat for 6–10 intervals, and then take five minutes to cool down.