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Path to Ninja Warrior

So a few years ago I got into watching this show called American Ninja Warrior. nik berry ninja warriorIt essentially is an INTENSE obstacle course based on a show from Japan (all awesome shows come from Japan!) and from the first episode I was hooked. At first it was fun to watch the people wipe out into the pools of water under the obstacles. After a while though when it went from qualifying to regional then to national competition I went from cheering for them to fail to getting excited they made it through. The best part is that a lot of the really talented people on the show are fathers, doctors, news anchors, etc.

After this last season I started to wonder “why not me?”


Right now I wouldn’t make it up the warped wall so… that’s why not. But this has now become my goal. The amount of physical endurance and strength required to complete these courses is astounding. I once could have made it through. In junior high school I got really close to running a mile in under 5 minutes. I also was my current height 5’11” and only weighed 135 lbs. I still am amazed I was ever that skinny. There was a halloween picture where I was wearing a toga and you could see my ribs.

In High School I started focusing more on strength than speed. I jumped 60 lbs in muscle between 8th grade and 9th grade and then by my Junior year I weight 215 lbs. I could Bench 350 lbs, Clean 300 lbs, and Squat 500 lbs. That is what I did for 4 sets of 12 by the way… I never bought into that whole “MAX” BS where you do like 3-6 reps of some super high weight and look at a chart of what your MAX is. That never made sense to me. My pencil neck buddy who played wide receiver kept claiming he had a MAX bench of 400 lbs because one time he herniated some ridiculous weight off his chest 2 or 3 times… but he struggled to do 4 sets of 12 with 135 lbs. Anyway…. I regress.

I was never an adonis by any means but I was very fit… much like how the World’s Strongest Men are super strong but have big guts and not a lot of definition (You can see the recent winner at http://www.theworldsstrongestman.com/athletes/zydrunas-savickas/). I’ve never been much into looking like those Mr. Universe guys who look like they’re sculpted out of marble but have almost zero strength. I just want to be fit again. I want to be able to lift anything with ease. I want to be able to go play with my kids for hours on end on the monkey bars while they hang from my legs.

I want to be their superhero.


So I have decided that American Ninja Warrior is that route. I am going to train myself over the course of this year to be ready for the submissions in November and the show starting next March. I don’t care if I win. I just want to get to a point where I can be to that level of fit. Where I can be like what I see these guys as… modern day superhero’s. They are normal men and women who can jump farther, hang upside down and climb longer, run faster than anyone else.

I used to wrestle and play football and as I’m approaching 30 I have come to accept that I will not be at a point where my body can compete with those early 20 year old’s no matter what I do. I was saddened for a few years that I wouldn’t be able to get back to that. I was never really on the level where I could compete at a college level despite my hopes, but this is something I can do.


So enough talking about it… and more into my plan. I plan to stick with the workout I mentioned in the previous post. I plan to build on it following this cool post about linear progression. The more I build on the more I need to focus on my core and upper body strength because that is what it’s going to take to compete on their level. Nine out of ten of their obstacles involve hanging and using your upper-body and your core. From what I’ve ready online and from this video is that rope climbing is a really awesome workout. I won’t be able to get to a level financially to be able to build an obstacle course in my backyard like some of the guys… but who knows… I may get there. For now I’ve looked into a local gymnastics gym and may try that. I will keep you guys updated on my progress.


Until next time.

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