How to Train for American Ninja Warrior

If you’re inspired to try out a new fun and exciting sport after watching NBC’s popular TV show, American Ninja Warrior, you’re not alone! Ninja gyms have been gaining in popularity since the shows inception, and even through a pandemic, athletes are excited to get their ninja training in. If you’re wondering how to train for American Ninja Warrior, we’ve got a few suggestions to help get you started.

How to Train for American Ninja Warrior

Cross-training, or a proficiency in another sport can really help! Many ninja warriors come from other backgrounds. Sports such as rock climbing, gymnastics, parkour, calisthenics, and CrossFit all offer an amazing base for ninja warrior training. They not help build up your strength, they can prepare you mentally as well.

Don’t have a background in any of these sports? No worries! you can absolutely train to be an American Ninja Warrior “from scratch.” It takes a positive mindset, commitment and dedication. With those three attributes, you’re well on your way to success.

Now that you’ve got your foundation set, here are some ninja training tips.

Build Your Grip Strength

Most ninja obstacle courses include key elements to challenge these parts of the body: upper body, lower body and balance. This means you’ll most definitely be hanging and swinging, therefore grip strength is essential.

There are several ways to improve grip strength.

  • Start with battle rope training. Great for grip strength and for getting your heart rate up, too.
  • Do pull-ups. Consider a portable pull-up bar for training at home and on-the-go.
  • Use a hand-exerciser. Keep it at your desk for some mid-day grip strength training.

Consider Your Cardio Strength Too

While most ninja warrior courses rely on strength and agility, it’s also important to build up your cardio so you can speed through the course with little issue. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a fantastic, quick way to get your heart rate up and build up strength in a limited amount of time. Download the below workout to help get you started.

Source: Cool Material

Train on Ninja Obstacles – A Lot of Them

It goes without saying that in order to train for American Ninja Warrior, you should train on obstacles, right? We are suggesting you train on as many obstacles as you can. Visiting a variety of ninja gyms that offer a variety of obstacles is your best bet.

Pro Tip: Save money on ninja training with a Ninja Passport membership. Get one free and one half price open gym to more than 170 participating Destinations. 

Eat Well

Flying through the air, precision landings, running up a warped wall and powering up the salmon ladder are all hard work! Make it easier when you properly fuel your body. Get the most bang for your buck when you prioritize protein and good fats. Lean meats, greens, low-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, and healthy carbs will set you up for success. Most importantly hydration can affect grip strength, so be sure to make daily water consumption a part of your overall plan.

Think Like a Warrior

To be a ninja warrior, you need to think like a ninja warrior. Sam Banola of Warrior Playground shares these mindset tips:

  • Step 1: State I am a Ninja Athlete. Say it daily when you wake up & think “what can I do today to better myself”. The more you repeat this action the better you will get!
  • Step 2: Believe it. You get to decide what you want to believe and when you believe it, you make it come true. The more you believe something to be true, the more you will take action to make it come true.
  • Step 3: Enjoy the journey.The process of bettering yourself will be long one, so enjoy the entire journey. Have fun with it & learn from your failures, knowing that each one will give you evidence of what you do not want, so you can re-focus on what you do want & how to get there.

All three of these steps are critical in your development & can apply to anything in your life especially ninja warrior training! 

The ninja community is one of the best, kindest, most vivacious group of folks around. When you train to be a ninja warrior you’ll join the ranks of elite athletes and every day folks striving to get fit, have fun and make lifelong connections.