To Be Legion
300. Spartacus. Gladiator. Epic films and shows that capture our attention. Tales of the ancient world that was beautiful and brutal at the same time. As a historian, I love tales of old. These films actually piqued my interest in Ancient times. Also, an added bonus, for two of these is that I’m half Sicilian. Our family ancestry traces way back to Italy so I’ve always been interested in its rich history.
That intrigue and interest kicked into play with one of the other fascinating tidbits of these dramas – these films have men who are in tip top shape physically. Their women are also. I was truly envious. The image of Dustin Clare as Gannicus in Gods of the Arena, when he steps out onto the sands in the first episode is classic – six-pack ab muscles, corded legs, biceps honed, he truly looks like a champion gladiator! A God of the Arena! Amazing and hot! The interest in how he and others got into shape for this show was filmed as a snippet which showed their ‘gladiatorial training’ prior to filming. Fascinating!
During the last season of Spartacus, War of the Damned, “an opportunity presented itself”. I was following Starz Spartacus, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus) and Stephen DeKnight (creator of the series) on Twitter. Comments about the gladiatorial training finally prompted Tyrone Bell, Liam’s trainer, to do a short video on how he got the actors and actresses in shape and staying in shape with a hectic film schedule with a 20 minute intense work-out and showed what some of these sessions were. I saw it & thought, wow! I can do that! Apparently I wasn’t alone because soon they announced Legion Training by Tyrone would be available to us fans. He set this up with us signing up through twitter, sending in a photo with our names and email addresses. Cool!
Legion Training is an 11 week work-out with an additional 2 weeks pre-work-out warm up. Liam McIntyre explained how Tyrone had him and the cast do this in their training. To participate, you had to join a gym, get a stop watch and be motivated. The workouts are 20 minutes long, done 5 days a week with 6 days of cardio (45 minute brisk walk first thing in the morning), leaving you with one day of rest. Included in this was a diet but you have to weigh in every 2 weeks and take your measurements, all recorded online in your account. The exercise changes daily and Tyrone has videos on how to do each (he is in New Zealand so all done thru the internet). This was designed as a competition for us and the winners got flown to NZ to meet Tyrone and Liam.
From what I saw on the show, I figured it worked so I was in it for me. What we do in 20 minutes is harder than most people at the gym do in an hour. It is timed to the exact second and he spells this all out for you. The mindset for this is relatively easy – back during Ancient Rome, they don’t have sweets like we’re used to (no chocolate – I know, how horrible!). The menu for this training is based on what you hope to gain out of this. In my case, that was to lose weight and get in shape. It’s streamlined plan using regular food like eggs, oatmeal, fruits, grains and protein.
During this time period in Rome, the Romans themselves were in physically good shape. They had gymnasiums where they played and being physical fit was important to them. Keeping that in mind plus listening to the soundtrack to Spartacus during my sessions helped to keep me focus on the goal.
So for 11 weeks I followed the plan and lost over 15 pounds (at 5 feet tall, that’s close to 30) and got in great shape, enough so when I submitted my final pix, wearing the same clothes, the change was noticeable! Plus I succeeded to be one of the 11 Honorable Mentions (out of the hundreds who completed this worldwide!).
So is it possible as an everyday person to get in shape like Dustin Clare, Manu Bennett, Liam McIntyre, Russell Crowe, etc? Yes. Legion Training IS a lifestyle and it’s great! And if I get to meet Russell Crowe, well, even better yet!
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gina Danna has spent the better part of her life reading. History has been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories, dreaming of writing one of her own. Years later, after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in History, writing academic research papers and writing for museum programs and events, she finally found the time to write her own stories of historical romantic fiction.
Now, under the supervision of her three dogs and three cats, she writes amid a library of research books, with her only true break away is to spend time with her other life long dream – her Arabian horse – with him, her muse can play.
Congratulations, Gina, on your success with "legion" training! And congratulation on your new release, LOVE & VENGEANCE:
Amid his bloodthirsty quest for vengeance, champion gladiator Marcus saves Gustina from execution, only to realize his newfound love for the spirited slave might mean his own death.
Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to its conquered.
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, stands accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge, but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag—can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?
|Hadrian's Wall in England|
Image released to Public Domain (link)
I am giving away a "Roman" treat to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Rome - past or present. My family has visited the Roman Empire's ancient ruins in Rome, Belgium, England, and Scotland.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, April 26, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 27.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
To learn more about Gina and her books, check out her website at ginadanna.com.
|Roman Amphitheater in Caerleon, Wales|
The history of Roman & the Roman Empire does fascinate.ReplyDelete
I've been to Rome....I love the history. The museums, the food, the shops!ReplyDelete
Kim - Thank you for having me & traveling to Rome is the top of my travel list! :)ReplyDelete
Gina, I've visited England and seen evidence of Roman influence. Hubby and I want to visit Rome, but that trip will have to wait until after our Scotland trip next year. Congrats on the release!ReplyDelete
I haven't been to Rome but I loved all of Spartacus except the last season. They were turning into their tormentors and I couldn't watch. It made me sad. Anyway, you talked about the Spartacus sound track you listen to. Which season is it?ReplyDelete
All 4 of them :)Delete
I went to Rome with my hubby and family back in the early 70's. (I know, I'm old). I loved it, apart from somebody actually pinching my bottom. Yes, really, I got "pinched".ReplyDelete
I've heard about that! Wow!Delete
I use to always love those kind of movies when growing up and I love reading about that time period. I would love to visit Italy and Sicily (where all my ancestors came from).ReplyDelete
Definitely a good spot on the bucket list! Maybe I'll see you there!Delete
Loved the Spartacus series and I was always fascinated by culture and political intrigue during Roman times.ReplyDelete
It is truly intriguing - lots of plots for sure! Thanks for stopping by :)Delete
Wonderful post, Gina!! I tweeted and shared on FB.ReplyDelete
Love ancient history! Thanks for sharing. :o)ReplyDelete
Your welcome. It's fun!Delete
So glad you are helping to revive classical settings, Gina! (Yes, I was a closet 300 fan!) Your writing is full of evocative imagery -- I can "feel" the sweat in your arenas! Thank you for writing something other than Regency England! Yay! Good luck with this one. Hugs!ReplyDelete
Thank you Adrienne - I really appreciate it! :)Delete
Gina, you are my hero for going through that training! I loved Spartacus, too, altho like some here, it saddened me because if the writers were to be historically correct, we knew--kind of--how it would end. (Historically, Spartacus' body was never found in the final battle 'mess'. Crixus supposedly was killed at some point toward the end of their revolt and Gannacus just disappeared from the historical entries--no notation that I ever saw indicating his death. I hated to see his ending in the series.) As you can see, I was a fan of it too LOL. I always wanted to visit Rome (and Greece). Perhaps, some day.... Loved the post! Barb BettisReplyDelete
Thanks Barb :) Very sweet! Yeah, I read the histories too...so sad...Oenamus also died during it as well.Delete
lots of things to see thereReplyDelete
I've never seen anything roman but visiting the ruins in Scotland like you did would be something interesting to see.ReplyDelete
Would love to visit Rome someday. And before I go, I will study up on some of the history that I don't know too much about.ReplyDelete