Today, we start with yet another new workout routine, continuing with the Gladiator theme. The routine is called the Gladiator Workout Challenge and our first trainees to go through this very entertaining training are Dmitry and Stas. We filmed this workout immediately after their “Hold and Move Challenge” where the goal was to help trainees to overcome their discomfort with close body contact competitions. The Gladiator Workout Challenge takes the competition one step forward and the result is probably one of the most extreme challenges we have come up with so far. Thanks to all the members who helped us design this workout!

With this workout we go again back to ancient times and try to imagine a training of gladiators: young male slaves forced to fight for the entertainment. Like with Michal in the “Gladiator Abs Training” we have decided to focus to three specific skills that a good gladiator must possess: strength, pain tolerance and entertainment. All the exercises are designed to develop the trainees’ strength, pain tolerance and are chosen to be pleasant to watch for entertainment. This is a fight: the trainees fight each other in every set.


We start by “presenting” ritual. The goal of the first part of the exercise is to put the training into correct historic context and get the trainees in the right mindset and highlight their status as slaves. The gladiators were slaves – to highlight this the boys start by presenting themselves to their trainers and audience in historic poses known from ancient slave markets. The poses were used to reinforce submission, but also to show off the bodies.

As the boys enter the training room, they kneel, then bend forward, put fists on the floor between their widely spread knees and bow. This pose is called “Awaiting orders”. They must stay in this pose for 2 mins. Formal presenting ritual is to follow:

Position 1 – kneeling present. The gladiators raise to their knees, spread their legs, put their arms behind his head spreading elbows as wide as possible, push out the chests and flex the abs. This is the main position for rest and we return to this throughout the training. (3 mins)

Position 2 – Standing present. Without removing his arms behind the head, the gladiators now stand, spread their legs at shoulder with, sucks in stomach, push forward their hips. They flex all muscles. (3 mins)

Position 3 – The boys now move to the classic Shiko Dachi Position – arms behind head and chest pushed out as much as possible. (3 mins)

Position 4 – The boys go on the knees,  spread their legs and recline. (3 mins)

We are now ready for strength exercises, followed by pain tolerance training. The pain tolerance is trained as follows: after each exercise both gladiators slap each other on abs or pecs, while the winner of a set gets punched first (this gives a slight advantage as he can recover while punching/slapping the loser who must immediately continue with the next set of exercises).


Strength: 100 reverse plank leg raises – both legs 100.
Pain: Winner assumes standing present and will be punched/slapped 25 times in stomach by loser – after the loser is punched/slapped by the winner.


Strength: 200 push ups
Pain: One gladiator (winner) goes on standing present while is flexed right and left pec is punched/slapped 25 times by the other. Then the roles are exchanged.


Strength: 100 mountain climbers.

Pain: The winner stands against the wall, bringing arms behind his body, exposing his chest and abs: He is punched/slapped 25 times on both right and left pec and 25 times on abs by the other gladiator. Then the roles are exchanged.


Strength: 300 sitting crunches
Pain: The gladiator holds weights on spread arms and flexes his abs while the other gladiator is punching/slapping him in the stomach for 50 times. Each time he lowers his arms 10 punches/slaps are added. Then the roles are exchanged.


Strength: 200 bicycle crunches
Pain: The boy (winner) starts by laying on the floor and starts leg raises — he must do 50. After each leg raise he is punched/slapped in stomach 2 times. Then the roles are exchanged.


The gladiators wrestle 5 rounds to win. After each round the loser gets gut-punched/slapped 25 times in different positions

First round – 25 punches/slaps while standing, arms behind the head
Second round – 25 punches/slaps while kneeling, arms behind the head
Third round – 25 punches/slaps while in Shiko Dachi
Fourth round – 25 punches/slaps while standing holding arms above the head
Fifth round – 25 punches/slaps while in reverse plank


Kneeling present – the gladiators raise to their knees, spread their legs, put their arms behind his head spreading elbows as wide as possible, pushes out the chest and flexes the abs. (3 mins)

Two gladiators then kneel, they bend forward, put fists on the floor between their widely spread knees and bow. (2 min)

The session ends with a “thank you” posing routine: to thank for the training, the boys now flex and show off the results of the workout. For this part of the training, the boys must remove their loincloths.

We hope you will enjoy this workout. Let us know your opinions at