Men’s Health and Women’s Health – The Spartacus Workout DVD Review
Happy New Year! I am happy to bring to you my first workout DVD review of 2013!
The Spartacus Workout is something I first started reading about a couple of years ago. When I was designing my own workouts to use at the gym I looked into exactly what this style of training was and incorporated something similar into my own workout. When I heard that Men’s Health and Women’s Health were actually releasing it in DVD form I knew I had to try it.
Men’s Health and Women’s Health state that “[t]hree years ago, Starz asked Men’s Health and Women’s Health to create a workout worthy of the name Spartacus, the network’s hit original series. With the help of top trainer Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., we did just that. And it became the most popular workout in Men’s Health and Women’s Health history.”
That’s precisely what I like about this workout! It was designed by a WOMAN! The DVD, however, is performed with David Jack who is a performance coach and someone I had been following through Men’s Health e-mails that I get sent to me every few days where he gives you great workout moves to try while demonstrating them on video. I have also incorporated some things into my own workouts that David Jack has taught me.
This particular Spartacus DVD comes as a 2 DVD set. I will review each workout separately below.
This workout is 3 rounds. There are 10 total moves in each round and in each round the moves progress. In the first round you work for 20 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. This round is generally performed with bodyweight only or lightweight and you could do this as your warm up (there is no formal warm up) or do a warm up on your own. There is a minute rest between rounds. For the 2nd and 3rd rounds you work for 20 seconds and get 40 seconds of rest. During these rounds you are expected to use weights and or added intensity (i.e., adding jumping/plyo) to push yourself. Again, there is a minute rest between these rounds. After these rounds are completed, David does a Finisher segment for Buns and Guns moves. This is 5 moves of 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest on the first round and 20 seconds of work with no rest for the second round of Buns and Guns moves. There is no formal cool down/stretch so you would have to do your own. The workout is roughly 30 minutes in length. You will need dumbbells and preferably a set or two to tailor to your needs. David explains the moves while other men and women perform them. He uses these people as examples and tells you that if you see one that performs at your chosen level to follow along with them.
I like some of the movements that are incorporated in this workout. I like things like Dumbbell Thrusters and High Pulls to really get your heart rate up. What I don’t like is all of the rest time that you get. I just didn’t feel that even though I was using relatively heavy weight 15# and 20# for Rounds 2 and 3 that my heart rate stayed up as high as I like after the rest periods. You could use this workout a day after a high intensity workout day or maybe use it in addition to another 30 minute workout (I did both of the workouts I am reviewing today back to back for an hour long workout).
This workout is also three rounds but is performed differently than the workout I reviewed above. This workout contains 9 moves. In the first round you complete all 9 moves back to back working for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds (again you could do this with body weight and use this as your warm up as there is no formal warm up). After resting for 40 seconds the fun begins. Using three moves grouped together performed with 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest you will perform a group of moves two times and then move on to another group of three moves with 40 seconds of rest between each grouping. There are 3 groups of moves total = 9 total moves. Again, just like the workout above, David explains the moves while other men and women perform them. He uses these people as examples and tells you that if you see one that performs at your chosen level to follow along with them.
I felt that this workout had a little more bite to it considering that it had longer work periods and shorter rest periods. You will need dumbbells for this workout and the heavier the better to push yourself (except where you feel that it would hurt you). I definitely felt more challenged in this workout and used heavy weight (i.e., 30# kettlebell for the deadlifts and 15# dumbbells for the push jerk).
David has a Finisher workout to this as well. This Finisher is downright goofy but I say go with it. You will need a towel and this is sort of a pyramid style round of towel shaking – yes that’s right – towel shaking – anyway you wish to shake it. It starts with 10 seconds work/10 seconds rest – 15 seconds work/10 seconds rest – 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest and back down 15 seconds work/10 seconds rest – 10 seconds work/10 seconds rest. I just did sort of a fast feet style move while sweeping the towel up and down/side to side. My heart rate did increase. You will need to do your own cool down/stretch but the good news is you will already have a towel on hand to dry off!
This style of training is very similar to DeltaFit SpeedShred training (which also has long rest periods). David is less goofy than BJ but he has his own style of training and motivation. He doesn’t beat around the bush and he isn’t too demanding but he does encourage you to push yourself.
NOTICE: Clicking the above picture is not going to lead you to try the DVD free for 21 days. If you need me to point you in that direction, let me know and I will do so. The picture is one I snagged.