Men’s Health Spartacus Workout

by Marianne  - July 21, 2010

Hi everyone,

For something new to try, I thought I would take on a challenge and complete a workout aimed at men. I realise it was only aimed at men because it was in Men’s Health Magazine, and the name targets men too so I reckoned this could be the challenge I was after … and it was.

What makes this workout so difficult is that you are working for 60 seconds and then you rest for only 15 seconds. Every single one of the 10 exercises is brutal after that length of time. The first few reps I wished I had brought my 16kg KB out, but after about 45 seconds I changed my mind LOL However some of the exercises would benefit from having the option of a heavier KB for at least some of the reps – just a tip 🙂 Next time I’ll try my 16kg for sure.

The Workout

Setting my Gymboss Interval Timer for 10 cycles of 15 seconds rest and 1 minute effort, I completed 3 rounds of the following 10 exercises (my reps per round etc are in brackets) :

  1. KB Goblet Squats ( 29 – 29 – 27 )
  2. Mountain Climbers ( 82 – 75 – 78 )
  3. Single Arm KB Swings (switching half way) ( R: 31, L: 30 – 30, 30 – 29, 27 )
  4. T – Push Ups ( 22 – 20 – 18 )
  5. Lunge Jumps ( 27 – 22 – 23 ) – these kill me every time lol
  6. Bent Over KB Rows ( 25 – 23 – 24 )
  7. Side Lunge Touch (3rd round with KB) ( 21 – 22 – 16 )
  8. KB Renegade Rows ( 20 – 21 – 18 )
  9. KB Forward Lunge and Rotation ( 16 – 15 – 13 )
  10. Double KB Push Press ( 24 – 21 – 17 ) – shoulders died 🙁

This workout is excellent for everything really, it targets strength, cardiovascular fitness, endurance, fat burning, never mind a real sense of achievement. I have a real buzz about me now. Each and every one of the exercises was a challenge, not because the exercise was difficult on it’s own, but when combined with 60 seconds effort, 15 seconds rest and 3 rounds, you really deserve a shower at the end.

Give this a go and see how you get on.  Oh and FYI – what I meant at the end was Spartiates aka inhabitants of Sparta LOL




Get the free guide just for you!


SPARTA 300 Kettlebell Workout

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. I did this workout when it first came out as my boyfriend was obsessed with the show. Stupidly it was one of the first workouts i ever did and my god it was brutal, what an introduction to weight training! I can see how the actors got so ripped tho 😛

  2. One of my favourite workouts of all time – I’ve been doing this one since it was released in Men’s Health (snagged my man’s copy!).

    I’m slightly fanatical about heart rate training – and this one has consistently had my heart pounding out of my chest for the highest average rate of any of the workouts I’ve done since I’ve been tracking them. Every time I do it (every couple of weeks, generally) I’m astounded at how much hard work it takes to get through.

    Not just for men!

    Thanks again!

  3. Pingback: feng [at] pigGeeks.NET | Personal and Travel Blog » Wedding Preparation : Spartacus Workout
  4. Pingback: mens health magazine – Latest mens health magazine news – iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Application List » A Look at the Popular …
  5. That was a really tough workout!

    I had to adapt a bit as only got one KB and I prefer numbered sets rather than timed. So I took and average of what you did on each exercise, rounded it to the nearest 5 and then aimed for that on each set.

    Ooh I’m really feeling it now 🙂


  6. Hi Marianne,
    Just tried this workout today,WOW!!!!! I don’t have kettlebells YET,so I improvised using dumbells. It was fantastic but…. not easy. I was going to quit after 2 rounds but would’ve felt like a failure. It’s kinda like once you begin you should always finish. So glad I listened to my inner voice. As always Marianne,thank you sincerly for all your help.
    MinnieV. in NYS
    P.S. Have a great day! 🙂

    1. Hey Minnie V, thanks as always for you kind comment 🙂

      Glad you completed it – you must have a real sense of achievement, especially because you nearly gave up! I know that feeling!

      Just about to head in to work for night 3/3 YAY! nearly done for the week! Means I can finally get a new workout up. Stay tuned over the weekend 🙂


  7. Marianne,
    I found your site last week from recommendations at My husband and I recently bought kettlebells, and we are really enjoying your workouts. This one was a killer! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Jen,
      Thanks for the comment. I am glad you and your husband can get to share workouts together. Your might even get a bit of friendly competition going with each other 🙂

      Was curious about what was. Just visited, cool forum. Glad whoever it was recommended me 😀 It’s nice to get Fitness enthusiasts visiting, and of course Kettlebell enthusiasts.

      Welcome to my blog.

  8. Great Marianne, I will be watching for it. Your 500 workout was the first one I saw of your workouts on YouTube, from there I found your site. I think I will try the 300 workout before the 500 workout.

    1. Hi Wendy, I recorded MY version of the “300” today after I replied to you earlier comment. But I haven’t had time to edit and write my post yet. Was out with my Mum today and we went to the local animal shelter to walk some dogs. My sister fosters kittens for them at the minute (Andrew and I are taking one in a few weeks – the most adorable thing EVER … I’m sure she will feature in a few videos too – her name is Marmalade ). So was too preoccupied with cute furballs to do my write up 😉

      Though tune in tomorrow, coz it’s a tough workout, you’ll like it 😀

  9. I am defintiely going to try this workout soon!

    Only had my KB for a week so think I need to build up a bit that first!

    Also I bought a 12kg KB so I could learn all the moves with lower risk of injury should I get anything wrong. I think I will want to go higher pretty soon and think I will order a 16kg. Do you think a 4kg increase is ok?

    Oh and Spartagans sound much cooler and harder than bog standard normal Spartans ha ha!


    1. Hey Steve, think you’ll really like this workout. I think it’s grand to increase by 4kg. I only had that option here. I just started using the 16kg for some stuff first, like swings, rows, vertical swings, deadlifts etc then use it for low rep stuff, like presses, cleans, snatches and before you know it you’ll be looking a 20kg 🙂

      I’m still building up to using 16kg for everything. Want to use it for windmills, but so scared of wrecking my shoulders or back. So word of warning, just do what is comfortable, but if it’s too comfortable ie too easy, then increase. Sorry if I am rambling, just in from work lol

    1. Hi Wendy, I hope to have a my version of the “300” up today or tomorrow. Just off from work, so pretty tired, but still dying to try something tough 🙂

  10. Marianne – This looks good! Added it to my list to try but I will not be using it as an add-on.

    What about making up your own 300 workout?

    1. Hey Wendy, was thinking of doing a KB version of the 300 first – Gwen has suggested some different exercises on my Facebook page. Something to work on, it would need to be a real killer workout though, to live up to the name 🙂


  11. Did the workout this evening,thoroughly enjoyed it.It hits absolutely everything.Keep up the inspiring work.Excellent.

  12. Greetings from Greece!
    Ed is right: Spartacus had nothing to do with Sparta. However you Marianne are a true ”Srartatissa”!! (the woman who lives in Sparta)

  13. Spartacus is one of my all time facorite. I have never seen it done with all k-bells. The original uses dumbells, even the one arem swings. Thise looke really great with the K-Bells. Can;t wait to try it. As always great work.

    1. Thanks Izz, couldn’t imagine doing it with a dumbbell, I’ve never done swings like that before, though I did see the original. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

  14. Killer Marianne! Nice work. Did you sweat at all? When I do something like this, I need a bucket and mop after 15 minutes. How many kg are those blue bells?

    You are ready to take on the Romans now.

    1. Phil I was drenched in sweat! Too far away to see though lol, it was worse at the end once I stopped though. The KBs are 12kg. Don’t know if I’m quite ready to take on the Romans lol, but thanks for the compliment 😉

  15. ok i just watched this, so yes i have the time. I must say i’m not looking forward to this, but yet i am. I am curious to know how you managed to keep track of your reps considering you only had 15 seconds rest, and you are working your butt of for 60 sec, i would have to rest the whole entire time.

    you are good

    1. Hi Tempest,
      It was tight at times writing the reps down, but sometimes I was too tired at the end to do any more, so I had maybe another 5 seconds! The burn, the burn. Now I have to go do a KB class too lol

      Good luck

  16. Ok this looks like its really tough, and i have not even watched it yet. How long did this take you, according to my calculations, sometimes i get it in the timer wrong,it should take apx. 45 minutes, does this seem correct?

  17. Great work out, but the men’s health work out article was demonstrated by the actor playing Spartacus on a cable show here. Spartacus was apparently not a Spartan, but a Thracian, despite the similarity between the two names. For Spartans, you should demo “The 300” workout.

      1. Ok I just went and looked up the “300 workout” OMG! What a killer that would be. Need to go to the gym for that one. All those pull ups. Might be doing some ASSISTED LOL! 25 clean and presses with 16kg!! Would be spliting those up into sets! Dare me to try this anyone?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may be interested in