TV show gladiators

Gladiators, ready! The next-gen reboot of a 90’s classic

Those who are old-school-cool enough will recall the “Gladiators” bursting onto British TV screens for the original series of Gladiators in 1992 and now, the show is back for a third bite at the old box. 

Photography by Simon Howard

Entertaining and terrifying in equal measures, (well, provided you’re partial to a pop at panto), the 2024 series promises to deliver captivating physical challenges to a dedicated, grown-up audience.

We went lights, camera, action to unmask the men behind two of the show’s chivalrous new characters.

Gladiator Name: Viper

Gladiator Viper

Motto: “I break the rules. No one wants to stand by me.”

Viper Training: “I go 100%. I train 6-7 days a week, non-stop. I train for one hour a day, sometimes two.”

The Viper Diet: “I fast 5 days a week for 16-20 hours. I don’t eat much, maybe just two steak meals a day.”

Viper striking a pose

Strongest and Weakest Events: “My strongest events are “Hang Tough” and “The Wall”. I don’t have any weak events. What’s a weak event?”

Nerve-o-meter: “I don’t get nervous, and the contenders never challenge me.”

Gladiator Childhood Memories: “I always watched the show and “Wolf” was my favorite character. He was always the bad boy. I always wanted to be like him.

Gladiator Name: Giant

gladiator giant

Motto: “To crush the contenders and have fun.”

Supersize Training: “Before being cast as a Gladiator, I was a bodybuilder by trade, so I would typically do a bodybuilding split and train each muscle group at least once a week. For Gladiators, I’ve had to throw in some more functional training, some more dynamic and explosive movements. And now it’s a bit of a mix between strength training and just being all-round fit and functional.”

“During filming, I would find time to get to the gym for an hour at least four times a week. But the filming schedule was pretty intense, five days out of seven. A lot of the time was spent crushing the contenders, so I was getting a workout in anyway! 

The Giant Diet: “During filming, I was renowned for my morning breakfast of oats, which consisted of a big bowl of oats, banana, whey protein powder, and almond butter, totaling about 1,200 calories in this one bowl of breakfast cereal for the Giant. That fueled me, well, for a couple of hours, and then I’d eat a couple of bagels with two chicken breasts, some almond butter, and more banana. A bit of a strange mix, but it works. Packed full of nutrition. And I’d probably have four of those bagels a day during filming, and then a nice big protein-packed evening meal. If I had a tough day, I’d probably throw in a pizza as well, just for good measure.”

Giant striking a pose

Strongest and Weakest event: “My favorite event is “Duel”, and my weakest event is “Hang Tough”, because at 280 pounds, hanging from one arm is not the easiest thing for me to do! Duel is all about having a solid stance, so my supersized quads helped me a lot there.”

Nerve-o-meter: “The contenders were up against their idols, so we expected them to bring their A-game every single time, and that made me feel nervous, sure. Thankfully, I’m one of these people who’s inspired and motivated by nerves. I use that as fuel to fire my own performance and ensure I’m a formidable test for any contender I have to face.”

Gladiator Childhood Memories: “One of the most amazing things about becoming a Gladiator is the fact we can now do the original guys justice with its return. It was always such an amazing show and I think we’ve absolutely nailed it too. “Hunter” was my favorite character back in the day. I’d describe “Giant” as being similar to him, in the sense he was a nice guy, but very, very good at the events.”

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