Getting fit for the larp season

So Christmas and New Year is done and you’re contemplating potentially running around in armour in a few months. What are you doing to try and getting a bit fitter?

I’m planning to pick Zombies Run 5K back up and go from there. The NHS also has a good page on Couch to 5k.

LARP Hacks also has some useful tips on getting fit if you don’t have much free time that might be useful.

What are you up to and do you have any tips to share?


No tips sadly, but thank you for posting this as it reminds me that I need to get back to it!

I started Couch to 5k last year, but then had holidays and LARP, and then it got cold (and I’m not good with the cold at the best of times!), but I definitely plan to get back into it this year. The LARP Hacks link is very useful as well!

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The Zombies Run thing is pretty helpful, it also works with spotify and other external music apps now :slight_smile: Best of luck :+1:

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Trying to up my flexibility…only tip I can really give on that score is 10-30mins a day.
Any more and you don’t see any benefit from the extra work (and after a point start undoing your work and increasingly likelihood of injury), any less and you don’t get max bang for your buck.

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Me and my SO are starting to hit the gym this Friday, I’ve got to loose the Christmas pudge and she want to get fit to go on battles and skermish

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It’s back to martial arts for me and the five mile walks home. I find walking good is it gives me time to think and it certainly stops me from sliding backwards but it doesn’t help me go forwards.

To really see improvement you need a certain level of intensity but before you go and try and do fifty press ups and bench 100kg, you need to consider where you actually need to improve. Is it your arms, is it your legs or is it your core?

For arms I personally do press ups. If I’m trying to up my game quickly for something like a fitness test coming up then I will try and increase it by one a day. This might be a bit much for some people but as long as I can motivate myself to do it, it is fine. The great thing about press ups is that you can do them anywhere. You don’t need to buy weights, you don’t need to force yourself outside on a cold day, you just find some space and go for it. There are a few ways of doing press ups as well. The closer your elbows are to you side, the harder it is. You can also try holding the position for a few seconds and then doing press ups or holding the position between press ups. Always remember to try and keep your back straight and go all the way down and up again.

For core you can do sit ups and leg raises. When doing sit ups, be careful you aren’t using your arms to drag yourself up. Lots of people use their arms to try and help them do sit ups but I’m sure you can see the problem in this. Leg raises are the really hard ones. You lie on your back feet together and raise your legs up and down. Try and keep your legs straight and toes pointed. It is a lot easier if you have a friend that you can hold onto for these but if not, put your hands beneath your buttocks.

For legs, squats are quite good. You can do a kick after each squat as well to bring things up a notch, If you have stairs in your house, put on a back pack (make sure it is on properly so you don’t injure yourself) and go up and down them.

burpees are good all rounders. Not everyone knowns what they are so I’ll explain. You start in a standing position, then you bend your legs and jump down into a press up position. You can make it a bit harder by then touching the floor with your chest. You then jump your legs forward and then stand or jump up.

If you really don’t have time for any of this, take up running. Instead of walking somewhere, run somewhere. If you get to the place too early run back a little way and then come back.

Of course you can do a little bit of all of this. I think most people should try and do at least 10 press ups, sit ups, leg raises and burpees a day. If you have the money and time, then definitely look around for a good martial art and join. It will teach you many useful things as well as keep you healthy.

Water and healthy eating is another good thing to look into but I won’t talk about that now.

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Great idea for a post!

I was in terrible shape. I work in an office and my hobbies include gaming so for years I had totally neglected my body. It certainly wasn’t easy to even attempt to change this. Through a few personal changes I took the plunge.

I started a beginners 6 week yoga class. I love it. Not only for exercise but it made me conscious of my mind and body being connected. It also taught me to quiet that inner doubting voice and push through. Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations helps in so many things beyond fitness. Since then I’ve joined a gym, swim every week, walked a hard 17km hike and completed a couple of 5ks.

The most important things I’ve learnt is that I’ll always have that nagging quit voice in my head. It takes longer to kick in now but it’s still there. I now deliberately exercise till I hit that point and work through it. I use exercise like an anti-depressant. When I’m feeling low I just ask myself “when was the last time you worked out?”

How does this relate to Empire? Well I can actually run and jog now without feeling like my chest is going to explode which helps so much in so many ways. It’s has also opened the door to lots of new options. Like I’m not limited to one skirmish a day or what role I am doing and maybe just having more energy to LARP with.

I’d love to see an LARP fitness group to support people in getting in shape for Empire!


The best I can suggested for a fitness group is doing a weekly topic where we talk about fitness, ideas of things to do and give advice. I certainly couldn’t set any group up outside of the forums as I don’t have facebook or anything like that. You could maybe try and reach out to people and set one up yourself. You don’t have to be the greatest at something to bring people together in it, you just need the courage and the idea to do so.


Totally. I think a lot of people are hugely intimidated by exercise. I certainly was. I think also people expectations can be way out. I’ve been exercising for over a year and I won’t be being asked to do any modeling for calvin klein commercials but once or twice a week will help your mood and energy levels. Great post dude.

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Maybe something I should talk about on the podcast… hmm

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I’m OC broken in weird ways, so don’t take any advice from me, but what I’m aiming to do is:

  • keep walking to work. Walking is 90% of what I do at Anvil, so stay in walking practice.
  • twice a week, do minute-long bursts of star jumps and running on the spot, alternating, for five minutes. In theory there should be two minutes of squats in there but my left knee is buggered at the moment so I’m having to do:
  • gentle exercises designed to strengthen my left inner quad, which is (in theory) the cause of my knee pain.

If this all works out and my fatigue lifts at any bloody point I’ll also be:

  • getting back to running with a goal to get back up to 10k again
  • swimming and cycling a small amount with a view to doing a mini triathlon at some point

And if - if! - that all works out, I’ll start doing some training with my maille on, because trying to fight in my maille was what broke me at E2 last year. I need to practice carrying the extra weight as well as being able to run the distance as they are separate skills. I can do endurance, but it’s carrying weight that I struggle with.


I think it would definitely be a good thing to talk about. People can be very conscious of the way they look and worried people will judge them, that is one of the many things that hold people back from trying. The more people hear about how simple it is, the more likely they can over come these uncertainty. I also totally agree with you about keeping your mood up. I used to find nice places to walk and they would really cheer me up. I’ve gone out a 11:00 at night, just to calm down and I’ve ended up dancing back home again.

I think it is also interesting that there is strength and then there is personal strength. I’m quite strong. I can lift a friend up in either arm and do things like that. This is what I class as strength. Lots of large people have this. What many of them don’t have is what I call personal strength (I can’t think of a better word for it). This is all to do with being able to push their own body. Lots of smaller people can do pull ups and press ups really easily but if you are bigger it can be a lot harder to do these things. People don’t always think about this and then they compare themselves to what other people can do, who have a completely different body type.

It sounds like you are doing something very positive. I get back pains because of an accident that happened when I was younger, it is getting better but things like that plank just drop me. Injury is never fun and it can feel quite demoralising but you shouldn’t let it hold you back. Yes you need to be careful but there would have been so many things that I would have missed if I let my injury stop me. Of course I don’t how significant your injuries are but it sounds like you have good knowledge of what to do so don’t be afraid to give people advice. The more advice people have, the easier it is for them to come to their own conclusions and find things that work for them.

Yep. I like the idea that your personal resolve is something that you need to train like any muscle. Hard things seem easier like heavy things seem lighter when you lift weights. Do anything that challenges you is worth while as long as you don’t beat yourself for failing. Failing to live up to your own expectations can be a a great motivator. The big danger is comparison. Like I smash out 20 minutes of cardio. I’m exhausted but feel great. I didn’t quit. I look over and see the ultra trim dude doing what I did as a warm up… Comparison kills joy. Being honest with yourself and climbing your own personal mountain is what I try and think about. It helps.

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My job involves a good bit of walking and occasional gymnastics (fences, hedges, etc), but it isn’t enough. I’m doing a bit more running, maybe a couple of Park Runs (just shuffle on round, do what you can).

As mentioned in that LarpHacks thing, the best practice is the same activity… I may well do a few park runs in armour, when the weather warms up… and my current character doesn’t wear any :stuck_out_tongue:

Failing that, I may look out for a local group that does Larp fighting practice. I know there is one nearby, I just need to organise myself to get to it…


Where are you based?

There’s a LARP season, implying a season with no LARP? I play Fools and Heroes which runs all year round! My fitness is still pretty bad and I’m not going to be putting on any heavy armour, but I am fighting with a staff when monstering FnH now as I want some practice with it for Empire battles.

I find cycling good, as not only is it exercise, it also simulates the battlefield adrenaline of desperately trying not to be killed by heavily-armoured hostiles


I have been trying to increase my all-round general fitness. I used to do tai chi untill my group closed as it was great for posture, balance, core and general dexterity. I also started cycling again (I live in the peaks so the scenery is awesome and welcoming and I’m hoping to complete a MTB and road race for charity).
My best advice is not to push it to hard too quick. Focus on building it up bit by bit and not work on something repeatedly, alternate to give muscles a chance to repair eg cardio and arms one day different cardio and legs a different day. Also when I get the chance I will go to the gym in chainmail and see if I can simulate a battle on a treadmill


Well good luck with simulating battle. Make sure no one is recording you when you do it. I’ve seen enough clips on the internet to know how badly treadmill stuff can go.