Spartans of Old
Released 12 years apart, the epic war films 300and 300: Rise of an Empirechronicled the Spartan warriors in combat, with the former depicting the legendary Battle of Thermopylae and the latter being based on both the Battle of Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis. Both films are notable for shining light on the Spartan way of life and for popularizing the Spartan warrior physique—buff, chiseled, seemingly indestructible, and always battle (and beach) ready.
Indeed, the Spartan warrior physique has become en vogue nowadays, with seemingly every serious gym goer and workout warrior aiming for the same toned and sculpted build. Anyone who wants to look like Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas, though, might want to take tips from CrossFitters, who have arguably become the modern Spartan warriors with their body-to-die-for figures, next-level strength, world-class endurance, and athlete-like agility.
But how do CrossFitters do it? It all boils down to training principles, as CrossFit focuses on functional movements performed at high intensity. Moreover, fitness in the context of CrossFit is all about increasing work capacity, or in layman’s terms enhancing one’s ability to do lots and lots of different exercises for sustained periods of time. The fittest, therefore, are those who can do the most work. As you progress through the different exercises the body constantly gets a real beating, which helps transform it from flab to fab or from skinny to sculpted in a matter of months. Everything else—endurance, agility, strength, and speed—receives an upgrade, too.
Magic of CrossFit
The “magic” of CrossFit is even backed by science. Researchers from Laval University in Canada note that high-intensity workoutssuch as those in CrossFit are better at increasing the production of human growth hormones (HGH). HGH are naturally occurring chemicals that tell the body to burn fat and build muscle. CrossFit as we mentioned hererails against the usual gym routine workout with its founder, Greg Glassman, calling it “the enemy.” His reasoning is simple: Not subscribing to a routine helps the body better adapt to exercises so it can become stronger, faster, fitter, and healthier. To this end, high-intensity workouts performed more frequently will cause greater fitness levels.
Magic to Movement for Todays Spartan Sport
Small wonder then that CrossFit has grown into a huge fitness movement. The results, quite simply, are undeniable. Anyone who has ever witnessed the CrossFit Games will attest that the best CrossFitters are not only shredded, but also strong, athletic, and explosive—like, the Spartan warriors of yesteryears.
The CrossFit movement is going strong, and gaining momentum, especially with the media— especially movies like the aforementioned 300and 300: Rise of an Empire—romanticizing the Spartan warrior physique. The same ripped, hard-as-granite body type is ubiquitous even in the gaming industry, with games like Sparta: War of Empiresand God of War: Ghost of Spartafeaturing characters with six-pack abs, broad shoulders, bulging biceps, and V-shaped torsos. The Foxy Bingo game Fortunes of Sparta is no different, as it is replete with images of muscular Spartan warriors ostensibly ready for their next battle. There is no doubt that in the digital world, as well as the fitness industry, the Spartan physique is considered the peak of physical conditioning.
Is Another Spartan Coming?
Now, from the looks of it, this seeming love affair with chiseled body types may very well last for quite some time, more so if 300director Zack Snyder’s plans for more sequels push through. With more films will come more interest in achieving a warrior body. This will hopefully lead more people to their local CrossFit gym to channel their inner King Leonidas. Anyone interested can check out our guide on what to expect from week 1 of CrossFit training.
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