MODERN-DAY jousters are as fit and strong as professional footballers, tennis players and Formula 1 drivers combined, research suggests.
English Heritage jouster Roy Murray, 33, was shown to have body fat of 7.7 per cent, roughly half that of an average man and leaner than most professional footballers, research at the University of Bath found.
Mr Murray, who is training for a summer season of tournaments, also recorded five bench presses of 67kg at the Physio and Sports Science Centre in Bath, a score similar to some racing drivers.
Tests of his cardiovascular fitness put him in the same category as an elite male tennis player. The results were described as “very impressive” by applied sports scientist Jonathan Robinson.“What is particularly remarkable is the high standards of fitness demonstrated across a wide range of areas,” he said.
English Heritage wants to take what is one of the oldest equestrian sports in the world to the Olympics. It involves riders wearing armour weighing 44lb of armour and holding a 12ft lance racing towards their opponents at a gallop of up to 30mph.
Although popular throughout the Middle Ages, the sport suffered a decline in popularity after Henry II of France was fatally wounded in 1559.