32 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

Welcome to my 32 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR) post where I detail how I’m going to get fast and strong!

Hi everyone!

Our little woolies got sworn last week… so now they look like total weirdos.

I wrote my intro post to this series 2 weeks ago (34 weeks) and I’ve been working hard… but also trying to be really smart to rest and recover adequately.

The rest and recovery part is always what I’ve been worst at… I’m an enthusiastic dude who likes to throw himself into everything, and I’m getting to the age where I have to be way smarter now.

I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a back issue that I’m having, and she mentioned that my overall flexibility is really, really good… so I’m really thrilled to hear that. Flexibility is so important to avoid injury, and to perform in this sort of sport.

Obviously I’m going to need to be way more flexible to attempt particular obstacles, especially balance ones, but it seems like I might have a good base to start from.

32 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

My main concern at this point is will I have enough time to get strong and tough enough for this competition. I honestly don’t know… but soon I’m going to have to go to the ninja gym where this contest will be held and try out their obstacles to see what needs work.

I know this gym used to have a 14’6″ (4.4 meters) warped wall that I always struggled with.

The reason I struggled with it is because their previous wall, the 14 foot one, was too easy for me. I just used to run up it without any care for technique. I never learned to run and jump because running was enough. The extra 6″ on the upgraded wall is just enough to prevent me from cheating my way through it – and I’m already nervous to tackle it. There is a bit of a psychological barrier here… for a while I kept bailing at the last micro-second… which I did enough times to actually become my technique. This was a couple of years ago so I’m hoping I can start fresh.

There is a very strong possibility that this 14’6″ warped wall will be the last obstacle in the course… because… traditions.

The other 11-14 obstacles are anyone’s guess… I just know I’m going to have to get very good at maneuvering myself while hanging from my hands. A skill I do not currently have.

One super motivating factor is that I told a friend about the competition and now she wants to fly from Chicago to the west coast to see me compete. People say stuff like that all the time, but she is actually very likely to do it… and she flew with me to Colorado for a competition a long time ago and seemed to enjoy it, so now I’ve really got to step it up and put on a good show.

Now let’s see what I’ve accomplished in 14 days…


34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

I took this an hour ago…

A loss of about a kilo a week is a good healthy approach I think. I don’t want to lose any strength at all or not build muscle… but I do need to shed any excess body fat so I’ll have an easier time hanging around and throwing myself through the air.

I’d like to keep this progress up until I hit a BMI of about 20-22. I think that’s about the range I was in last time I competed.

I think everything else is trending in the right direction. Bone Mass looks good, I’ve taken a year off Metabolic Age in the last two weeks.


34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

My usual process at the moment is to have breakfast which is porridge (oatmeal) with ground flaxseed, sunflower seeds, almond slivers, pecan bits, black chia, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

At lunchtime I either work out or run… and for lunch I have kind of a flatbread sandwich with lettuce, spinach, kale and mushrooms, and have cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and an apple on the side.

That’s it. I’ve been skipping dinner so that I sleep well (now that it’s summer).

I’m still trying to follow this guide… but I’ve been a bit slack with the beans, spices and vitamins. It’s a work in progress.

Upper body

34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

Last week I did the following workout on Tuesday and Thursday.

  • pull ups (3 x 6)
  • chin ups (3 x 6)
  • hammer grip pull ups (3 x 6)
  • push ups (4 x 6)
  • tricep dips (4 x 6)

I also did a bunch of yard work on the weekend, a huge amount of mowing and some sawing and moving heavy stones. I really do think that doing stuff is essentially the best work out you can get… even repetitive movements are slightly different… different branch widths to saw, at different angles, etc. A lot of gym rats don’t like the weight machines because you’re not working the stabilizing muscles, and I think the functional fitness of yard work, etc goes another step further.

At the very least my grip strength got a great work out…

Lower body

34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

My physio therapy session was on Thursday. I’ve still been having problems with my knee and they basically said it’s from my flat feet and a general lack of strength in that area… so they had me do 2 sets of 10 lunges (each side) holding 17 pound (or kg, I never know) weights – and I was sore for daaaaaayyyyyssssss.

So I clearly need a lot of work there. I’m supposed to do that every day, so I’m motivated to be much stronger when I go back in a week and a half.


34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

We’re 12 days in and I’ve only done 1 run in July.

Not ideal.

My knee issue and the heat have been holding me back, and so once my knee is in better shape I’ll start up again. I’m going to go for a light, short run today to see how it feels.

My endurance really isn’t great… my lung capacity is way smaller than it was… so I’m going to have to do cardio every day to build it back up.


34 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR)

My injured ring finger on my left hand seems to be faring a bit better now that I’m doing pull ups on the rings instead of using a bar. I’ll keep an eye on it and see how it goes. I’m going to need it to be solid for when I start doing laches…

A lache is swinging from one bar, letting go completely and catching another bar… it’s an essential move for obstacle course competitions.

My lower back injury seems to be working itself out… which is good because I’m spending an hour and a half most nights on rehab.

My knee is not great, but I’ve got a plan to tackle it.

I think generally I’m looking pretty good at this point.

Thanks for reading my little 32 weeks to ninja comp (UNAA OR) post!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments…



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