Game Of Thrones workout plan

(Image credit: Unknown)

Winter might be coming for the inhabitants of Westeros, but you’ve got the opposite problem – summer is on its way, and dressing like the men of the wall isn’t an option. Fortunately, there’s a solution at hand – by training like one of the Night’s Watch, you can build a body that’s functional, strong, and ready for anything. Choose your weapon, and get at it.

The Weapon: Sword

Almost everyone has one – from Joffrey’s Hearteater to Stannis’s Lightbringer. Fighting styles vary from the Braavos’ thrusting and parrying to the Westoros-style hack-and-slash, but the main thing is – you need to be strong to swing one.

The Gym Version: Clubbell

These are your secret weapon in wrist-strengthening, forearm-strengthening readiness for a swordfight – get them here. The move you want is the ‘shield cast’ – hold the clubbell vertically in front of you, then bring one around your head – as if you’re parrying an overhead chop – and back into position. Repeat for 10 reps – if you haven’t won the swordfight by then, you’re in trouble.

The Weapon: Armour

Obviously, some people don’t bother with this – Khal Drogo, for instance, was more of a shirts-and-skins style combatant. But Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane, played this season by World’s Strongest Man competitor Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson, wears a suit so heavy that ‘no normal man could wear it.’ Badass.

The Gym Version: Weighted Vest

These will add toughness to virtually any move you care to name – but for real castle-storming toughness, the weighted stair run is the ticket. Find a decent flight of stairs – not in the underground, the police don’t like weighted vests – and run up it. Walk down, then repeat. Aim for five ‘sets’, depending on the size of your castle.

The Weapon: Bow

Studies done on the skeletons of medieval bowmen reveal that they were, in a word, jacked – and with good reason. English longbows typically had a ‘pull’ of 40kg – not a patch on the Mongol horse-archer standard of 80kg – making firing one 12 times a minute the equivalent of a really heavy set of one-armed rows. Important to get right, unless you want to risk embarassing yourself at a funeral.

The Gym Version: Resistance Band

You only need one move here: the Archer’s Draw. Hold one end of a resistance band in one hand, bring your arm out straight, and then ‘draw’ the other end back across your chest – like a bowman, basically. Lower under control – and, unlike a real bowman, make sure you work both sides.

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.