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Michael Harley




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Armour on a treadmill test         Reply with quote

Some interesting observations:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14204717

Cheers.
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The team found that walking and running with the armour used up twice as much energy as doing the same thing without any armour.


All the more reason to don your harness for that morning jog Cool
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Justin Lee Hunt




Location: North Baltimore OH
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Quote:
The team found that walking and running with the armour used up twice as much energy as doing the same thing without any armour.


All the more reason to don your harness for that morning jog Cool


This is the exact reason I encourage my squire to train in his heaviest armor. I figure by time he is due for knighthood in our troupe he'll be a beast.

I opperate a website for my reenactment troop it's www.orderoftherouseclan.org Be sure to check out our forums www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm.
Well I for one am not sure how this "proves" anything.
I mean, whilst I'm sure they reenact, I doubt they've been doing so everyday from about 15 years old.
Plus, I'm pretty sure that maille that guy was wearing was butted.
Perhaps if they had a rugby player don some armour (that's been made for him), and had him condition himself to it over a few weeks, then try it I think the results would be better Big Grin

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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Hm.
Well I for one am not sure how this "proves" anything.
I mean, whilst I'm sure they reenact, I doubt they've been doing so everyday from about 15 years old.
Plus, I'm pretty sure that maille that guy was wearing was butted.
Perhaps if they had a rugby player don some armour (that's been made for him), and had him condition himself to it over a few weeks, then try it I think the results would be better Big Grin

You jest, but they summarize what it "proves" in the very first sentence of the article: "With the help of a treadmill, the team was able to assess how much energy someone wearing armour would have used."

A fitter and stronger wearer would use up the exact same amount of energy moving around in his armour - the difference is just that he would have greater reserves of energy to use. (Though, of course, greater muscle mass would also take more energy to move.)

PS. Granted, it's a pretty poor article, clearly written by someone who Did Not Do The Research to actually know what they were talking about.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin Lee Hunt wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
Quote:
The team found that walking and running with the armour used up twice as much energy as doing the same thing without any armour.


All the more reason to don your harness for that morning jog Cool


This is the exact reason I encourage my squire to train in his heaviest armor. I figure by time he is due for knighthood in our troupe he'll be a beast.

its the same reason that when i decide to go outside for abit of sword practice i try and don my helmet (3.4kg) and my thick poadded gambeson, plus my shield so that when i fight im more used to making movements when my body is restricted '


but.. what was the most interesting was the comments about comparing the weight in the form of armour, and weight in the form of a pack
BBC wrote:
The scientists also looked at how the volunteers performed while wearing armour compared with carrying the equivalent load on their backs, which is similar to the weight a modern soldier might carry in their backpack.

Dr Askew said: "We found there was a big difference: it is much more 'expensive' to carry the load as a suit of armour than it is to carry the load in a backpack.

"We were interested to find out why that was - and one of the main reasons is that if you wear a suit of armour, a lot of the weight is carried on the legs - about 7-8kg of it.

"And this means when you walk and you swing your legs, you are requiring a lot more muscular effort, and that costs you a lot more energy."

The team said their findings had given an insight into the battlefield trade-off between added protection alongside increased manoeuvrability and fitness to fight.




instead of a rugbby player though i would suggest an army recruit ,who is often used to carrying heavy loads in terms of his combat gear. and doing long marches, etc

as an asidetheres a piece done on one of henry VIII's tonlet armours and you see the guy giving a very good descrition of how the armour SHOULD work, the people that wore it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7973132.stm "getting inside henry VIII's armour
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The research itself seems to have been well-informed, and it does provide some insight into the development of infantry half-armour.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What suit of armour weighs 50kg? And 30kg is near the high end. Additonally, late 15th century armour is not the armour they wore in 1415.
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just down from the article they had a link to another article that I found very interesting...a database of individuals in the Hundred years war.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8160081.stm
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Josh Warren




Location: Manhattan, Kansas
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I echo this.

I call into question the accuracy of the reproduction harnesses they used in this test.

Michael Curl wrote:
What suit of armour weighs 50kg? And 30kg is near the high end. Additonally, late 15th century armour is not the armour they wore in 1415.

Non Concedo
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:

A fitter and stronger wearer would use up the exact same amount of energy moving around in his armour - the difference is just that he would have greater reserves of energy to use. (Though, of course, greater muscle mass would also take more energy to move.)


Not quite. This assumes that one cannot learn to move more efficiently. Learning how to adjust your gait, even how to adjust how you swing your arms, when carrying additional load can have an impact on how efficiently one can carry the additional weight. For instance, this is one way a runner can improve his endurance without expending any extra energy: gait analysis can point out inefficiencies in his stride, etc. Correcting these problems will result in less energy used.

My hypothesis is that a man who has trained day-after-day in armor will use less energy than a man with similar strength and fitness metrics, but who has not trained in armor.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That this harness postdates Agincourt by about a half-century undermines this article's hook (distinct from the academic paper, "Limitations imposed by wearing armour on Medieval soldiers' locomotor performance," available by request from Daisy Barton: daisy.barton@royalsociety.org). What we're reading here is just a release from a university news writer (that's my bag, too, so no disparagement intended).

In any case, there's a compelling crowd dynamics theory to help explain the slaughter of Agincourt and there are a few examples (a-hem) of armoured combatants winning medieval battles.

The absence of a bevor in this experiment is a problem but I wouldn't expect the results to improve.

I still think the research findings about leg harness could go a long way toward explaining the prevalence of infantry half-armour (beyond economic considerations), and I'd love to see somebody expand this study in that direction. Arm the guy a-la Froissart's infantrymen and see how that improves his treadmill performance.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want to make it clear that I'm not saying that I necessarily disagree with their findings, I think carrying more weight would obviously make it harder to run than not carrying that weight at all. I also agree that leg armour makes movement much more difficult, which explains why foot soldiers never/rarely seem to have worn it throughout the medieval period. However, showing an incorrect harness and citing incorrect weights is never going to endear me to an argument, and it makes me wonder what else they got wrong.

Also, I don't think you would see many cap e pie harnesses being worn by foot troops, that get up is much more suited for horsemen. Perhaps a more interesting set of experiments would be to have a horse on a treadmill to determine how much armor encumbers the horse (I am partially joking here, not sure if horses can run on treadmills), and to see if wearing 40lbs on the back makes it harder to run than an equivalent weight worn has a half armor.

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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
Not quite. This assumes that one cannot learn to move more efficiently. Learning how to adjust your gait, even how to adjust how you swing your arms, when carrying additional load can have an impact on how efficiently one can carry the additional weight. For instance, this is one way a runner can improve his endurance without expending any extra energy: gait analysis can point out inefficiencies in his stride, etc. Correcting these problems will result in less energy used.

My hypothesis is that a man who has trained day-after-day in armor will use less energy than a man with similar strength and fitness metrics, but who has not trained in armor.

Yes, of course. I too think economy of movement is the biggest single factor in increasing stamina in any physical activity, even more so than raw physical fitness.

I was just pointing out that doing the tests with quarterbacks or other more serious athletes, as opposed to re-enactors, wouldn't actually change the results since the armour would increase their energy expenditure exactly as much. (Or more, at that, since one might assume the re-enactors are more used to moving in armour.)

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jul, 2011 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The main problem I have with this study or it relevance deals with difference in stock. In order to accurately perform this study you would need to first build a time machine, go back in time, and kidnap someone donning armor. Think of it this way... An English long bowman could draw a 180 to 200lb self yew bow!!!! Can anyone reading this reproduce (more than once, and accurately) this same feat. I know I can't, and I am a larger and stronger than average person. Sorry if this was already mentioned previously, but I have not had time for reading since working 100 hours a week. Sad Just a thought anyway. Happy
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William P




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2011 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
That this harness postdates Agincourt by about a half-century undermines this article's hook (distinct from the academic paper, "Limitations imposed by wearing armour on Medieval soldiers' locomotor performance," available by request from Daisy Barton: daisy.barton@royalsociety.org). What we're reading here is just a release from a university news writer (that's my bag, too, so no disparagement intended).

In any case, there's a compelling crowd dynamics theory to help explain the slaughter of Agincourt and there are a few examples (a-hem) of armoured combatants winning medieval battles.

The absence of a bevor in this experiment is a problem but I wouldn't expect the results to improve.

I still think the research findings about leg harness could go a long way toward explaining the prevalence of infantry half-armour (beyond economic considerations), and I'd love to see somebody expand this study in that direction. Arm the guy a-la Froissart's infantrymen and see how that improves his treadmill performance.


what about the incidence of common target areas when fighting on foot compared to being on horseback. for example a knight on horseback will expect attack from pretty much 360 degress, both from fellow knights attacking the head arms and chest but also from footsoldiers who will attack, (id imagine) the legs, chest and arms.
but what based on peoples experience, where would you expect when on foot someone to attack you??

in regards to movement efficiency. that i guess is why ou train o much in armour. bcause as you jostle around, as time goes gy you, i imagine would work around the restrictions of the armour,. and through a sort of 'natuaral seletion will slowly chainge your stride or your swing and over time.you would learn to work WITH the armour.. someone who just walks along and dons this armour will be by and large used to moving withou this new metal suit, and all the trappings it brings.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh Warren wrote:
I echo this.

I call into question the accuracy of the reproduction harnesses they used in this test.

Michael Curl wrote:
What suit of armour weighs 50kg? And 30kg is near the high end. Additonally, late 15th century armour is not the armour they wore in 1415.


Josh, I'm sure its a typo. 30-40kg wouldn't insult your sensibilities, would it? These guys appear to be the foot combat re-enactors at the RA in Leeds. Their kits are pretty good for WoR types. Whether they are particularly well conditioned or trained... hmm.? The guys I met there seemed of average condition, fit but not athletic. As you know trotting, even walking briskly in harness is waaaay more expensive in energy than a steady pace. A very high level of conditioning would be required to maintain the stamina higher paced sustained effort requires. Merely walking in harness allows recovery that double time doesn't.

Its not the best test but it is hard data instead of anecdote.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2011 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think its a typo:

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/conten....2011.0816

As you can see from the abstract of the article posted above. If the research is taking 30-50kg (66-110lbs) to be an average, as opposed to (forgive my measurement switch, I'm an American) 40-70lbs then the researchers are using the maximum weight as the minimum, and that is a serious problem.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think there are several issues with the test but I think we can all agree adding any extra weight to any object will increase the the energy exerted to move it. It is a simple principle of physics. The issue to me is what their variables are and how the conclusions they draw.

I feel the biggest issue is the weight of armour in use. Seems awfully high for a field harness. Now having a suit weight some 20-40 pounds more than it should will greatly affect the outcome of this test as this is 1/3 to 2/3 more additional weight.

Yes the gents in the suits might not be in the best condition but they sustained the activity so seems it worked in that respect. That said adding the extra weight to me makes the results difficult to apply to a real situation.

Now as to why infantry often lacks complete leg armour. I think economic greatly is a part of this but there are several other issues. Unlike a knight who would often have somewhere to stow his armour the footman needs to carry his own stuff, so either he wears it on the march or carried it but that weight adds up. I think this factor likely is the least likely issue to be honest. Economics, logistics and such to me seem much more of an issue.

RPM
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The supplementary data for the paper is freely available:

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/conten.../suppl/DC1

and supplementary table S1 has the weights of some originals and 2 replicas. The originals are 34.2kg, 53.0kg, 35.6kg, 38.6kg, 25.7kg, 27.0kg, and 27.2kg. The replicas are 38.0kg and 30.2kg. These weights include an arming doublet, average of 6.3kg.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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