Today’s jousters have similar levels of fitness and strength compared to a professional footballer, top tennis player and a Formula 1 driver, research by English Heritage reveals.
As part of pre-season preparation for jousting tournaments at castles across the country, jouster Roy Murray was put through his paces at the Physio and Sport Science Centre at the University of Bath, undergoing a range of physiological tests used to train Olympic athletes.
The results from the sports laboratory revealed the impressive level of fitness and strength required to joust at the highest level and the requirement of jousters to be an all-round athlete:
How 33-year-old Roy scored in other tests:
- Cardiovascular fitness: Roy scored 55ml/kg/min in the ‘Maximal Oxygen Consumption’ test - the same as an elite male tennis player.
- Strength: Roy bench pressed 67kg and bench pulled 76kg - twice the upper body strength needed to be a police officer and the same as a motor-racing drivers.
- Core stability and balance: Physio tests ranked Roy with a core stability better than some professional swimmers and balance the same as leading acrobats.
English Heritage says the results show just how physically demanding the role of a modern-day jouster is. A jouster must content with the following equipment:
- a 3m wooden lance
- a helmet which only allows a 4mm field of vision
- armour which weighs 40kg (90lbs)
English Heritage’s Medieval Knights Season takes place across the summer.