Ninjas Are Invading Your TV
Just about everywhere you look these days you can't seem to get away from reality TV competitions. You've got American Idol, America's Next Top Model, and then there's the ultimate adult obstacle course competition - American Ninja Warrior. Sorry Tyra, but watching crazy athletes traverse the Bridge of Blades and sprint over rolling logs wins out for me any day of the week.
Based on the Japanese competition, "Sasuke," American Ninja Warrior is still going strong in its sixth season, as competitors from across the country vie for a chance at making it to the famed Mt. Midoriyama... kind of like your modern day Aggro-Crag if you will. Although the show has introduced new obstacles which include the Rope Junction into Cargo, the Double Tilted Ladder and the Crazy Cliffhanger, one tried and true obstacle has remained constant throughout the series - the 14 foot tall Warped Wall.
Conquering The Warped Wall
Although many athletes are able to make it through the initial obstacles unscathed, most seemingly successful runs end after three failed attempts at scaling this massive vertical ramp. Luckily, we found this great video below which shows you how to incorporate movements such as box jumps, front squats, and the one-armed dumbbell snatch into your training regimen to make it over this beast.
Kacy Catanzaro - An American Ninja
Having some extra height on your frame definitely gives you an advantage for making it over the wall, but don't be discouraged my fellow munchkins. Check out 5 foot tall Kacy Catanzaro making history at the 2014 Dallas Qualifier on June 2nd as she became the first woman ever to complete the qualifying course. We're not sure how she did this, but we love it!
Where Should You Train?
The competitors on American Ninja Warrior come from all walks of life and use a variety of training methods to get read for the show. Many of the top performers either work out in specialized gyms or have built customized obstacle courses in their backyards. We thought Nicole was crazy for building a muscle up rig, but these guys take the art of homemade equipment to a whole new level.
If you don't have the space or skill to build your own obstacles, talk to a few of your local CrossFit affiliates to see if they'll let you pay to use their space during Open Gym or off hours. While you're there, you might want to try out a workout (WOD) - they're great for they type of total body strength and endurance that you'll need to achieve ninja greatness. Who knows, you might get hooked. Indoor climbing facilities are another great place to work on the grip strength and body control that you'll need to compete against these athletes. Our favorite climbing destination is The Gravity Vault, but really any quality climbing facility will do. You can read about our first indoor climbing experience here.
Timi Dreams Of Ninja Fame
Our very own fitness celebrity Timi has started his personal quest for American Ninja Warrior fame. He's still got a long way to go, but seeing what he does in the gym gives us a real appreciation for the athleticism of the contestants on the show. After the daily WOD at CrossFit201 you can always find Timi spending extra time working on rope climbs, box jumps and climbing. We're pretty big fans of his flagpole hold and muscle up skills.
Get Ready For The Big One
Now that we got you all hyped up to watch American Ninja Warrior you're going to have to wait a few weeks for the regional finals. The show returns July 14th at 9:00pm EST/PST on NBC and July 15th at 8:00pm EST/PST on Esquire Network. Can't wait that long to get your ninja fix? Check out the official American Ninja Warrior website for videos, pictures and interviews with your favorite athletes!
Were you a past competitor on American Ninja Warrior? Are you training for the show in a tricked out gym or working out on a bootleg obstacle course in your backyard? Share your story and training tips in the comments below!