Workout Tips From a 14th Century Knight
Bored with your typical gym circuit? Interested in CrossFit and American Ninja Warrior, but perhaps with more of a medieval twist? Have we got the workout for you.
It comes courtesy of Jean Le Maingre, better known as "Boucicaut," a French knight renowned for his brashness and fighting skill. Born circa 1366, he fought in his first battle at an age when most kids today are still navigating middle school. In 1390, around the time of his third Crusade, he challenged knights from across Christendom to try and defeat him (and two other knights) in a tournament, including single combat. Over the course of 30 days, Boucicaut clashed with some of Europe’s best fighters at Saint-Inglevert, near Calais. The three French knights, led by Boucicaut, emerged victorious, and he was soon after proclaimed marshal of France. In addition to extensive sword training, coordination, and his willingness to engage in the awful, bloody business of hand-to-hand combat, Boucicaut credited a strict fitness regimen for his battlefield prowess.
Here are the various stages of Boucicaut’s workout, courtesy of his biography, written in 1409. The exact sequence and duration of each are unclear, so feel free to tailor them to your personal fitness needs.