Ninja Warrior. Mt Midoriyama. If you've seen the course, you know the obstacles. The Quad-Steps, The Salmon Ladder, The Warped Wall, The Ultimate Cliff Hanger, and the list goes on of treacherous man-engineered structures built only to frustrate and beguile mortal beings. I've set a course to reach these places. My training is rigorous and specific. I don't lift to get big, I lift to get stronger. I don't run to get faster, I run to be more explosive. My pull ups are not for show, they are for the ropes and ledges I must climb.
Stage 1 is like a basic test of all around athleticism. Right out of the gate your agility is tested in the Quad Steps. Parkour guys like to show off and do them
with a one-legged jump for each step. It's been proven a dangerous proposition as many great athletes have stumbled & failed the first obstacle by rushing and
jumping recklessly. Rope Swings, Jump Hangs and Rolling Logs test balance, grip strength and overall conditioning. The stage wraps up with the competitor-
dreaded Warped Wall, which eliminates all female and vertically challenged athletes with its 14 foot height.
Stage 2 separates the men from the boys with the Salmon Ladder & Unstable Bridge, back-to-back, testing the limits of upper body strength and endurance. Then just for fun, they throw in an inclined Metal Spin for everyone lacking in balance & coordination. All the push ups and pull ups in the world won't prepare you for navigating a good, old-fashioned spinning aparatus that you have to stand on while it accelerates down an incline (Calling all Log-Rolling competitors!).
Stage 3 is a freakazoid of walls and chains only a 150-pound, free climbing muscle hamster can annihilate. Japanese course designers engineered this stage with their own countrymen in mind. Obstacles like the Cliff Hanger, Arm Rings, Rumbling Dice, Vertical Limit and Hang Climbing were implemented to promote a competitor of small stature with superior quickness and great strength. Americans being of larger stature and heavier weights never completed this stage.
The Final Stage has evolved from a 49 ft rope climb to a mixed Ladder/Rope climb to the current behemoth 79 foot rope climb, with only 30 seconds to reach the summit.
An American has yet to even reach the final stage, but with the increased exposure and mainstream movement to network tv, more people than ever are
becoming familiar with the show and the competition. For the millions who've failed at becoming professional athletes, American Ninja Warrior is another
avenue to achieving success in professional athletics. The Obstacles don't necessarily require pinnacle hand eye coordination, but more basic strengths and agilities that regular joe's can acquire with training. As a personal trainer who once dreamt of playing professional baseball, the skills & disciplines required for Ninja Warrior are a welcome challenge. I will relish the opportunity to compete in 2014 if American Ninja Warrior comes back to Baltimore for the Qualifiers. And I'm kicking myself this year for not following the Qualifier Dates posted on G4.com. Next Year Baby!!!