Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Men’s Health – The American Ninja Workout

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Interesting article in Men’s Health entitled The American Ninja Workout that highlights some fitness and training tips to approach different groupings of obstacles on the American Ninja Warrior course. They also provide a recommended 8 exercise regimen that will help with a lot of the different functional movements and muscle groups you need for the competition, with great instructional videos of each. I want to throw this out to some of my ninja brethren, what do you think about these training approaches?

American Ninja Warrior 4, Here I Come!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Just like after American Ninja Warrior 2, I received more than a few questions from friends and family after American Ninja Warrior 3 about whether I planned to keep competing in Ninja Warrior competitions or I planned to hang it up. My response is the same every time, an incredulous “Why would I ever voluntarily stop? This sh*t is awesome!” I guess these inquirers just don’t have a sense of how much fun it is as a grown man to leap, climb and scamper around random obstacles. It must look like work to most people, while for the competitors it is pure fun. I’m DEFINITELY going to be back trying to get into American Ninja Warrior 4 and see if I can work, sweat and compete my way to a shot at running on the hallowed ground of Mt. Midoriyama at Sasuke in Japan.

I immediately “started” my training for American Ninja Warrior 4 the day I got back from Venice Beach at ANW3 back in May. I took a bit of a break this summer, or at least slowed down, for a couple of months when my training buddy Ron fractured his foot and I coincidentally also had a crazy spike in my job work, but I am back on the horse trying to get faster, strong, and smarter for whenever ANW4 goes down. With the popularity of ANW3 on G4 and then the big airing of the season finale on NBC, I expect a huge surge in applications to compete for ANW4, which means my submission video to get accepted has to be better than ever. I’m already mentally working on it…more to come in the future.

And for training, how am I going to prepare? I plan on continuing with my core training of rock-climbing and parkour, with some yoga and strength-training support. I also hope to get more time working on actual obstacles, which no doubt is a big differentiator between the top guys with courses in their back yards and “leisure competitors” like myself who train but don’t have a warped wall or salmon ladder in their back yard! I might have access to a couple of courses from guys I know here in New Mexico, and plan to take a trip or two up to train with the hard-core APEX guys at Boulder. Overall my training is similar to previous years…lots of grip and upper body strength combined with the intuitive speed and approach of the parkour demons (that’s my goal, at least), and then throw in more obstacle-specific work wherever I can.

Who knows if ANW4 will happen later in 2011, if the networks decide that they want to send Team America to the very next Sasuke (which happens twice a year), or it will happen in the summer of 2012 for the ‘standard’ once-a-year trip that ANW has offered so far in its three seasons. In any case, when it happens is out of my hands…the only thing I can control is whether I’m getting ready for it whenever it does down! As always, thanks for your support readers, it means a lot.

The Rise of Obstacle Course Competitions

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Longtime fans of Ninja Warrior have no doubt noticed the rise of obstacle course competitions in the last few years, from our own beloved American Ninja Warrior and Wipeout on television, to local events like the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder. Here’s a great article in the Washington Post (still my favorite newspaper from having grown up in DC), which has an insightful breakdown on this phenomena.

One new thing I did learn from this article is that Ninja Warrior superstar Levi Meeuwenberg recently relocated to Washington DC and is teaching at Primal Fitness, including specific classes for those wanting to train for Ninja Warrior. I was a little shocked to hear this as Tempest Freerunning Academy, for which Levi is one of the main people (we saw Levi as the leader of Tempest Freerunning on G4’s Jump City until he got injured), recently opened an incredible gym in LA. I figured Levi would be rocking that and continuing his stunt work in LA, but then what the hell do I know?

One thing I do know is that obstacle course competitions of all variations, on TV and in people’s backyards, are becoming more popular than ever, tapping into our inner little kids as well as providing a sick cross-training full body workout.

Man Down

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

My good buddy and longtime Ninja Warrior training partner Ron Friedman unfortunately got his first significant injury in all our years of training when he fractured his foot in parkour class this past week.  He tried an ill-advised front flip off a rickety stack of pads and landed awkwardly on his foot, resulting in an avulsion fracture that fragmented a piece of his bone off his foot.  Ouch.  He’s been resting up, keeping it elevated and icing it periodically, but his foot still looks like something that floated up on the beach after several days at sea.  All freakishly discolored and swollen.  Big fat bummer.  But ninjas are bound to periodically hurt themselves training to the extreme of their abilities, so this is part of the package I presume when one trains to pretend to be a ninja and run around on obstacle courses.  Get better soon Ron!  Click “Like” to channel some healing energy his way!

Do or Do Not, There is No Try

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Yoda was a ninja.