The ‘Gladiator’ Workout That Hits Every Muscle In Your Body

If you want to learn how to cook, consult a chef; if you fancy yourself as a sportsman, speak to an athlete; and if you want the body of a gladiator, then seek out, well, a Gladiator.

James Crossley is probably best known for flexing his pecs as Hunter on the cult nineties TV show Gladiators.

Despite no longer having his slicked blond hair, six-foot-three Crossley still boasts a colossal build that includes 9-inch arms and 19 stone’s worth of muscle mass.

Now 43, the former bodybuilder runs his own personal training business, Chelsea Fitness. So while you might not want to meet him on the cotton bud duel, you’d be grateful to have him pushing you through a circuit that hits every single muscle in your body, as he does here (no travellator needed).


“Place the bar across your shoulders, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down with a straight back (below parallel if possible) over three seconds; watch the knees don’t bend in. Drive the squat back up to standing. We have a longer rest here as we’re looking to build strength. This is great for legs and posterior chain.”

Pro Tip: Raise the heels slightly (try a 5kg plate underneath) to help your form.

Reps: 6-8 Sets: 4 Rest: 120 seconds

Pull Ups

“Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width. Tense your core, keep legs straight and pull up so your chest touches the bar and shoulder blades retract. Slowly lower to full extension. This is great for back and arm development and strength.”

Pro Tip: Use a chin-up machine or bands if bodyweight is too heavy.

Reps: 6-8 Sets: 4 Rest: 90 seconds


“Stand with your mid-foot under the bar. Squat down and grab the bar about shoulder-width apart. Keep the bar close to the body and lift. Lift your chest but keep a neutral head and your back straight. Pull, lift shoulders and hips in one move.

“Take shorter rests and do higher reps as we’re looking to promote hypertrophy [i.e. growth].”

Pro Tip: Keep everything tight and braced before you lift.

Reps: 8-10 Sets: 3 Rest: 45 seconds

Military Press

“Take the bar off a squat rack at chest level. With a shoulder-width grip, rest the bar on top of your chest. Drive overhead, straight arms and push head through then lower. Great for the shoulders and triceps, again working hypertrophy.”

Pro Tip: Tense your glutes to keep the body static and braced.

Reps: 8-10 Sets: 3 Rest: 45 seconds

Tricep Dips

“You can do these on a bench or dip bars. Make sure your arm goes well below 90 degrees to get the full range of motion. Great for triceps, chest and shoulders.”

Pro Tip: Hold at the top of the movement to get the full squeeze on the triceps.

Reps: 10-12 Sets: 4 Rest: 60 seconds

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