Those washboard abs and bulging muscles seen on Starz' gladiator drama series Spartacus are a trade-off for the long hours the talent puts in training for the the series between seasons. Starz has previously released photos and video of the Spartacus "boot camp" and today comes a new look at what went into the training for the series' upcoming final season Spartacus: War of the Damned. Check it out ahead…

It should come as no surprise that the men (and some of the women!) have to work their behinds off to look as rock-solid and ripped as they do for the film, and to endure some of the grueling physical scenes in the series. In an effort to tease us for the approaching War of the Damned (coming January 2013!) Starz posted this video, which shows a behind-the-scenes look at the actors training for the new season.

It's interesting to see the blend of fun and seriousness that goes into their regimen. We see smiles, cheers and laughter, and also a lot of hard work and in one case, actor Manu Bennett (Crixus) expressing gratitude toward one of the trainers. Military training techniques are used to get these people into shape, which is pretty cool. Also a lot of healthy eating, of course. It's also great to see some of the women (Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ellen Hollman and Jenna Lind) getting in on the action.

When we spoke with Liam McIntyre at Comic Con last week, one of the things he talked about was the competitive element in the training. "This year it's all timed," he told us, referring to some of the training techniques. "Damned if I let Manu beat me on time." Nothing like a bit of friendly competition to keep things fun in the face of grueling work-outs!

Hopefully their hard work will pay off! Based on the recently released trailer, it looks like War of the Damned will be full of action.

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