Spartacus Workout 20 Minute Torchers

David Jack
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Abs/Core , Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts



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This is a review for Spartacus Workout 20 Minute Body Torchers, Gladiator Gauntlet(20:48).

Setting, Music, and Background Exercisers: The setting reminds me of a loft. There are brick walls, a large window in the back, and a large black mat on the floor. In the main menu you have the option to play the workout with or without music. The music is nothing spectacular and is instrumental. It really didn't stand out for me which means it was neither great nor really bad. David Jack leads for background exercisers (2 men, 2 women) through the workout. Everyone is wearing athletic clothing and no one is mugging for the camera or acting in an obnoxious fashion.

Equipment: You'll need at least one set of dumbbells, preferably 2-3 sets as you'll need more weight if you want to progress the workout. Have a towel and water nearby.

Main Workout

There is no warm up or cool down in this workout. The workout consists of 5 exercises done for 5 rounds, with the first round acting as a warm up, and the subsequent rounds getting progressed to make them more intense. You do each exercise consecutively for 30 seconds, totaling a 2:30 minute round. After the first round you get a 30 second rest/break. After subsequent rounds you get a minute rest/break. What makes this workout really different is that for rounds 2-5 you alternate loading one side of the body with weights. This gives the exercises a fresh feel and is effective at engaging the core. At the very end is a 2 minute cardio finisher. In the cardio finisher there are 4 movements done consecutively for 15 seconds and you go through them 2 times.

Exercises: deadlift, high pull or clean, reverse lunge, overhead press, squat.

Cardio Finisher: jumping jacks, shuffles, fast feet in/out, high knees.

Overall Impressions: Of all the Spartacus workouts, this felt the most like a pure strength workout. While you will get a mild cardio effect during the rounds and a big cardio effect with the finisher, the focus is on off balance strength work and being able to maintain good form. As I mentioned above, the off balance strength work makes this workout stand apart from the others in a good way for me. I really enjoyed it. If you don't have a lot of time to do a workout and want to feel accomplished in a short amount of time, this workout fits the bill. I'd say this workout is at a high intermediate level. It can be made easier by using lighter weights and moving at a slower speed. Advanced exercisers can increase the weight or use a kettlebell (which two background exercisers do in the workout).

Instructor Comments:
David Jack is not doing the workout with you and is instead acting as a coach and motivator to the home viewer. He comes off as professional and warm. There's not a lot of talk focused on body image which I like. Instead, David's talk focuses on showing the progressions/regressions, coaching the backgrounders, and offering encouragement and motivation. I enjoy him and the workouts he leads quite a bit.

Sabine Reuter

05/06/2015

This is a review for Spartacus Workout 20 Minute Body Torchers, Sweat Storm (20:36).

Setting, Music, and Background Exercisers: The setting reminds me of a loft. There are brick walls, a large window in the back, and a large black mat on the floor. In the main menu you have the option to play the workout with or without music. The music is nothing spectacular and is instrumental. It really didn't stand out for me which means it was neither great nor really bad. David Jack leads for background exercisers (2 men, 2 women) through the workout. Everyone is wearing athletic clothing and no one is mugging for the camera or acting in an obnoxious fashion.

Equipment: You'll need at least one set of dumbbells, preferably 2-3 sets as you'll need more weight if you want to progress the workout. Have a towel and water nearby.

Main Workout

There is no warm up or cool down in this workout. The workout consists of 3 exercises done for 5 rounds, with the first round acting as a warm up, and the subsequent rounds getting progressed to make them more intense. The work to rest ratio for each exercise is 45 seconds work/15 seconds rest or transition. After each round you get a minute rest/break. After the 5 rounds there is a 90 second cardio finisher.

Exercises: alternating rotation lunge with high pull, reverse lunge with shoulder press, renegade row with squat thrust.

Cardio Finisher: forward and back fast feet, jumping jacks, ski hops, high knee jog, knee thrusts, punches.

Overall Impressions: The workouts on the 20 Minute Body Torchers DVD are all metabolic conditioning workouts. I found this workout to be a nice mix of strength moves with a strong cardio component. If you don't have a lot of time to do a workout and want to feel accomplished in a short amount of time, this workout fits the bill. I'd say this workout is at a high intermediate level. It can be made easier by keeping to the earlier progressions, using lighter weights, and moving at a slower speed. Advanced exercisers can increase the weight and may wish to add a plyo element to some of the moves.

Instructor Comments:
David Jack is not doing the workout with you and is instead acting as a coach and motivator to the home viewer. He comes off as professional and warm. There's not a lot of talk focused on body image which I like. Instead, David's talk focuses on showing the progressions/regressions, coaching the backgrounders, and offering encouragement and motivation. I enjoy him and the workouts he leads quite a bit.

Sabine Reuter

04/27/2015

This is a review of Men's Health & Women's Health Spartacus Workout 20 Minute Body Fat Torchers. This DVD has 3 workouts on it, the Belly Crusher, the Sweat Storm, and the Gladiator Gauntlet. This review focuses on the Belly Crusher!

David Jack leads the workout and is accompanied by 4 background exercisers, 2 men and 2 women. Everyone is wearing athletic clothing and no one is falling out of their wardrobe or is mugging for the camera.

In terms of equipment you will probably want at least two sets of dumbbells. For one of the exercises a step is used as a tool to reduce range of motion.

The Belly Crusher consists 4 rounds. This is a progressive workout with the first round done at a slower pace and without weight so it acts as the warm up. In the subsequent 3 rounds you are expected to go progressively harder, add weight, go faster, etc., to make the round more challenging than the one before. The work to rest ratio is 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest. There is a one minute rest between rounds 3 & 4. There is no cooldown or stretch. It clocks in a just over 20 minutes total.

The exercises are below. I've tried to describe the progressions.

1) Burpee, faster burpee, burpee with jump, burpee with push up and jump
2) Single leg T, single leg back row (light weight), single leg row (med. weight or faster pace), bent over row (heavy weight max reps)
3) bodyweight squat w/ reverse lunge, goblet squat w/ reverse lunge (light weight. goblet squat w/ reverse lunge (med. weight), goblet squat w/ reverse lunge (heavy weight)
4) Lateral step w/ overhead press, lateral squat w/ overhead press (light weight), lateral squat w/ overhead press (med. weight), lateral lunge w/ overhead press (heavy weight)
5) Deadlift w/ high pull (light weight), deadlift w/ high pull (med. weight), deadlift w/ high pull (heavy weight). deadlift w/ explosive high pull

The music in the workout is non-descript instrumental music. There is a music off option in the main menu.

I was surprised when I did this workout as I was expecting more of a cardio workout and instead got a circuit strength workout. If you give your all you will get a cardio effect and the workout is more focused on overall conditioning. So far I have yet to come across a true cardio workout in the Spartacus Workout series. I was also expecting this to have more ab specific moves in it. David explains it is the belly crusher because the compound moves force the core to connect the lower and upper body. I can't say I noticed my core being worked particularly hard.

I think this workout is suitable for beginners to high intermediate exercisers. Beginners can stay with easier progressions, lighter weights, etc. Even if you're doing all the progressions I think an advanced exerciser would find it too easy. Maybe if they were doing the advanced progressions from the get go it would be different. As demonstrated I got a good workout in and it wasn't the most challenging workout I've done. I consider myself a low advanced exerciser and to me this felt more in the intermediate level.

I've tried 2 other Spartacus workouts and this has been my least favorite of the 3 total I've done. It could be because I was expecting more of a cardio workout and not a strength w/ cardio effect workout (I didn't preview so had no idea what to expect). I may feel differently the next time as I will know what to expect. It meets the time crunched criteria and yet didn't totally honk my horn. If I were to give it a letter grade it would be a B-.

Instructor Comments:
David Jack is a good instructor in the workout. He doesn't do the workout in the work phases and instead goes around to comment on the form of the background exercisers or point out the option/progression they are using. In the rest period he is typically demonstrating the upcoming move and some options as far as how to progress it. Most of his talk focuses either on maintaining proper form or pushing you to give it your all. There is no 'look great in those jeans' talk.

Sabine Reuter

09/21/2014