Friday, March 26, 2010



I am always excited to see when people have benefited from any kind of workout program…I love success stories even, when it has nothing to do with me. But when the success comes from something that I was able to help with, it means that much more to me.

The Funk Roberts 4 Week Spartacus Challenge is now in its 6th week and there are more than 1300 participants from 35 countries and over 40 new ones daily. Before/after pics, and testimonials are starting to flow in from those people that started the challenge over 5 weeks ago.

Please take time to look and read the stories of these great 4 Week Spartacus Challenge Participants and congratulations to all that have completed the full challenge. For those that dropped off, just get back on the program and keep pluggin away. For those of you, that have just started good luck and don’t give up.


Three years ago, I was an avid horse-rider, rugby player and dancer until a serious knee injury put the brakes on all my active hobbies. For two years I was in and out of hospital as my fitness levels went down and my weight went up.

When my knee was repaired, I started on the long road back to fitness, finding a new love for Muay Thai boxing and MMA. Unfortunately, no matter what I seemed to do, I couldn't lose weight. I tried all the latest diets from slim-fast through to slimming world, I would lose a few pounds in the first week and then nothing. Many of you may be thinking "Oh well, she must have cheated" but I never did, I was too determined to get back into those favourite jeans!

After learning some of my immediate family were suffering from Hypothyroidism I went straight to the Doctor. Thankfully, I was given the all clear but this still didn't explain my inability to lose weight. Eventually, after a barrage of tests, the Doctor said "Maybe you just can't lose weight".

I was excited to learn about the Spartacus Workout but in all honesty I was a little sceptical, after all, everything else I had tried had failed.

After the first week I started to notice my clothes were looser and by week two the weight was still melting away! I was shocked and overjoyed!

Every week the workouts changed and the intensity grew and, whilst they all brought new challenges (and new ways for me to colourfully curse Funk :-P), my cardio levels continued to rise, my strength increased massively and the jeans I had so sorely missed now fit.

I have recommended the Spartacus workout to so many of my friends and family and even though it wasn't easy, I had a lot of fun and the results speak for themselves.

Helen Smailes, UK



Where to start?

This whole Spartacus regimen has been outstanding! The exercises never let your muscles adjust. Right at the point where you think you're getting used to them, Funk's pushes out a new set of exercises and you're back at square 1.

Well, it's not at all square 1, as each week I felt fitter. Fitter in everything. Strength, speed, stamina. I've had more energy throughout the Spartacus workouts and this flood of energy has overflowed into all other aspects of my life. I'm more alert through the day and not once did I feel like I could crash when coming in after work.

Then there's my class. I teach a beginners Students Union MMA class here in the UK, with many varying levels of skill and fitness. Every week I obviously have to spend my time teaching the session and not getting much training in myself

 I still join in with sparring, submission rolling and pad work (both holding and striking), but oft times this is not enough. It only took one week of Spartacus to notice the difference between where I was the week before. Then each week the differences continued to be apparent.

Training and sparring partners have noticed this change too. My power is through the roof, coupled with my increased stamina I'm able to strike at my peak capability for many more rounds than I ever could. My submission rolling has also seen a vast improvement from my explosiveness between positions to having greater cardio than my opponents.

Every aspect of my game has improved - I would say even my technical skill has improved as I feel less gassed, remain calm and focus on the submission at hand rather than gulping for air!

Usually when reading these sorts of things, this is the part where the 'reviewer', of sorts, would say "but..." and start to drift onto some negatives.

But... there aren't any!

Seriously. I looked at the diet and thought two things: "How much do you want me to eat!?" and "Aww crap, where's the beer?". After a week you adjust to the sheer volume of food you need to consume, and you'll find yourself noticing the hunger-pangs right around the time your morning/afternoon snacks are due.

Kick forward a few more weeks and the whole diet regime becomes second nature. I adjusted to using less (or none at all!) oil. Food that you'd instinctively put salt in no longer needs it.

Other foods, that prior to the workout, I'd avoid or didn't like the taste of, quickly become typical veggies to add to your meal (Broccoli, especially), and then there are the foods that you may never have had before - sweet potatoes, man I can't get enough of them!

Hopefully you've seen my before and after pics, and the table of changes that my body went through.

I'd hope these would be enough to get you to join the Spartacus routine and to trust Funk. He worked with us throughout the whole of the routine, providing new workouts, answering questions and always on hand to provide motivation... but honestly, this last part you wont need.

Once you start seeing the results (which will take just a few short days!) you'll have all the motivation you'll ever need.

Good luck, keep on training, and as Funk would say "Get. It. Done!"

Before (17th February, 2010) After (17th March, 2010)
Neck 17”/43.5cm 17.5”/44.5cm
Chest 46”/117cm 46.5”/118cm
Upper Arm 16”/41cm 15.5”/40cm
Forearm 11.5”/29.5cm 12”/30.5cm
Waist 37”/94cm 35.5”/91cm
Hips 42”/107cm 41.5”/106cm
Thighs 25”/64cm 26”/66cm
Calves 16”/41cm 16.5”/42cm
Weight 97.8kg 93.9kg


I absolutely loved the 4 week challenge and found the nutrition plan very enlightening as I have never undertaken a program like this before.

I was not sure what to expect but it was great I have lost nearly 5 kilos and enjoyed it so much I am going to do another round of it the cardio side of it was hard but I am in better shape than i have been in years check out the photos bet you can tell which one was before and after and once again thank you for all your effort it certainly has changed my life.

Reg Watford


My name is Julie, I'm from central Connecticut. I've always been into fitness; I ran track in middle school, rowed crew in high school, and always ran. I never really paid attention to calories or diet, just tried to keep it healthy. I joined the gym when it opened in my town about 6 years ago and went off and on – I never really hit the weights and I got bored with cardio and was too self conscious to try a class. I would usually go to the gym in the wintertime and get outside in the summer.
I had surgery on both of my feet in 2007 and that pretty much ended my career at the gym, or anything movement related, unless I could roll around my apartment on a rolling chair. Then I got lazy and didn't want to exercise because I was out of the habit. I also took a job that had on-call hours, so being out all night or for days on end would put a damper on one's exercise abilities! My diet stunk as well, and due to some other things going on in my life, I went from 135 lbs to 106 lbs and started smoking.
The day came when I had to carry a 40-lb box of cat litter up my apartment steps and I couldn't do it. I had to make a life change or I knew my health down the road was going to suffer.
In December of 2008, I didn't quit smoking immediately, I just started going to the gym. About a month into it, I quit cold turkey one day. I don't even remember the day I did. I started reading about training and diet and how to properly eat: every six hours so that you're not ravenous and reaching for junk; eat more vegetables, measure out how much of each portion to eat, etc. I started joining online sites for email updates then, including Funk Roberts, Lee Hayward, and Tom Venuto. I didn't trust anyone out there trying to sell a gimmick or push fitness programs on people. I mainly tried to listen to a lot of the diet advice, and tried to train according to what my body told me – I would train my least fatigued body part.

I gained about ten pounds of muscle in the first six months. I signed up with a trainer, and after doing a little bit of searching found the right person within the training group to fit my needs. He kept me interested and we were always doing something that I enjoyed, whether it be split sets, flush routines, whole body routines, body weight workouts, fifteen sets of deadlifts, or circuit training sets. 

I had just finished a circuit set at the beginning of January. In eight weeks, doing three circuit workouts per week and supplementing with weight training, I put on seven pounds. My body fat stayed about the same – I am usually somewhere between 11 and 13%. I weighed 130 lbs. I started doing some split sets, just to change it up a little. Then Funk Roberts sent out the Spartacus Challenge, and the way that he worded the email made me want to try it – I am always up for a contest, even if it is just against myself.

My first thought when I saw the diet was that I was going to be hungry. I'm always hungry. I come from a family of people who unconsciously eat, but are all thin. I don't exactly have that fast of a metabolism, I would have to say that it's mediocre, so I do have to watch it. But I do like to eat!! I printed the list and went to the store. I did all my before stuff – weight, measurements, pictures, etc.

Day one came and I ate according to the chart. I did my first workout and wow was that hard! I was used to circuit workouts, but not going full out for a full minute and then resting for only fifteen seconds. I finished it, and felt pretty good. Even if I couldn't do something for a full minute, I would take a breath and try again. I finished the first week and was sleeping pretty well at night.

 I got kind of bloated too, and I emailed Funk and he said it would go away, I just needed an adjustment period, and he was right. By the beginning of week two the bloat was gone, and I also found that I was not hungry if I ate according to the diet plan. And on Sundays, even though it's “eat whatever you want” day, that wasn't a recipe for eating junk! I tried to continue on with the eating plan, combining ideas from the other days and coming up with something a little different for dinner.

I allowed myself a small piece of dessert on those days, just to keep my junk cravings at bay for the rest of the week. What I found was that the type of protein powder I got tasted exactly like chocolate ice cream and it had added fiber in it. So I felt that I was cheating but in essence I really wasn't.

As each week went by I found that the exercises were getting better and I was looking forward to my workouts. There was always one exercise that I couldn't do to completion, but I always tried. I did slip up on my diet during the second week, but after a few days of getting back on track I think I corrected the aftereffects.

I found that rarely was I hungry, but if I had an extra smart snack – like some protein based snack – I was good. I started to notice that my pants fit better as well.

At the end of the four weeks, my pictures were done again, measurements, body fat, and weight was done. My weight went up a pound, and some of my measurements went down. I went down by 0.2% body fat. This had never happened to me before in such a short amount of time.

I think it really has to do with the timing of the work, where you really don't get any rest for ten exercises. Then you get two minutes off – which put my heart rate back to normal, and then you had to start all over again. This is classic, forced interval training – and it doesn't work without downloading the workout muse mp3!


That way you don't have to count or watch the clock, or cheat. I didn't get the Gymboss timer like Funk suggested because I wanted to try the mp3 instead, which worked very well for me.

Overall I loved this workout. There was something new every week so I never got bored. I got to eat foods I love in a quantity that didn't leave me feeling empty. I felt like the workouts were short – I was used to being in the gym for at least two hours.

With a warmup, some light stretching, the workout, and then heavy stretching after a cooldown, I was there for about an hour and ten minutes. I kept feeling, afterwards, that I didn't do anything (during the workouts, the thought process was entirely different!). The results show otherwise!

Thank you so much Funk for sharing this with me and the rest of the people who completed the challenge!!!!!

Julie Wolf



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