Training for Ninja Warrior… time to get started!

Hi everyone!

So a few days ago I noticed that Australian Ninja Warrior is open for casting which is extremely exciting. I’m in a fortunate position that since I’m an Australian Citizen and currently residing in the USA. I think I’m eligible to apply for either Australian Ninja Warrior or American Ninja Warrior.

3 years ago I had the incredible opportunity to compete in Season 1 of Australian Ninja Warrior. It was incredibly fun, and one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life.

Competing on Ninja Warrior

I got up to the Semi-finals and then went out on the 3rd obstacle, a balance obstacle.

Injuries struck…

Since then though, my fitness has dropped off to virtually nothing. I get puffed out walking up my driveway and I am not strong or flexible.

I’ve also got two long-term injuries that I haven’t managed to sort out. I get pain in my elbow whenever I do actions like; toweling myself off after a shower or closing a window which has been diagnosed as Climber’s Elbow. I think I’ve had this for over two years.

I’ve also had a hip flexor strain which I’ve had for about 6 months. It’s usually a 8-12 week injury, so I’m not sure why it’s not healing. This hurts if I lie on my back or run… particularly if I run down hill.

For a while I had a nightly routine where I would do the rehab exercises and a ton of stretches and it didn’t seem to help. I’ve now rested both injuries for 2 weeks and both actually got more sensitive (ie, a lower effort movement caused pain).

I’m keen to start training for Ninja Warrior again, I:

  • miss how strong and able I was in 2017
  • feel weak now and am not comfortable in my own body
  • loved competing in the ninja competitions
  • absolutely adored how supportive everyone was and how it’s all about the community versus the course… not my team versus your team

What’s required?

I’m going to give myself a year to train for Australian Ninja Warrior and 15 months to train for American Ninja Warrior. I can’t control whether I get in or not, but I can control whether I apply.

I’ll need to fill out the application form and to film a video of me doing cool ninja activities.

Here is my application video for Season 1:

So, I’ll need something like this… and I’ve got a year to get strong enough to do it.

I mentioned in my very first post on this blog that my intention was to train for American Ninja Warrior. What I didn’t mention is that this blog can help me track progress, discuss training techniques and ninjury rehabilitation, and order my thoughts around it all.

My plans…

I’ll break my plans up into different sections to help keep better track of them.

First thing to do is to try and get myself back to zero so I can try and train properly…

I’ve literally just purchased this scraper thing to try and remove some of the scar tissue for my Climber’s Elbow. A friend of mine suggested that the scar tissue might be the reason I’ve had this injury for 2 years.

Scraper thing for injuries
Scraper thing on Amazon

I get pain in two spots… both on the inside of my elbow. One right on the bony part (I think called the Medial Epicondyle). The other is about an inch from that spot towards the wrist.

Source

So, I’m going to follow some this video during my nightly stretching process:

I won’t worry about the electronic device yet, but I’ll add in the band work and use a baseball bat for the rotations each night.

So…. I’ll add in the scraper thing and the new exercises into my rehab time each night…

… the next step is getting my body ready for training.

Conditioning the body

As much as I want to just jump in… I’ll just injure myself in some new and exciting way if I start trying to do the salmon ladder. Instead I’ll start to strengthen my muscles first.

One area I’m worried about is my shoulders. They’re a hugely important muscle group for ninja warrior obstacles, especially all the upper body obstacles.

In my application video above, you can see how much I use my shoulders to move around while I’m hanging.

I don’t have a bench, so I’ll have to do all of these standing up.


I’ll do these shoulder exercises twice a week to see how it goes. I’ll start very light initially… I personally don’t think you can start too light, but you can do damage if you go too heavy too quickly.

I’m sure, just like most people, my pandemic-diet hasn’t been great. Between the pandemic, my own job uncertainty and the general stress of the US elections, I haven’t really focused on my diet at all.

Here are my current stats:

My diet has been the most carby it’s every been, and that’s mostly because we’re grocery shopping once every 3 weeks and processed carb things are the easiest to store. I’ll have to figure it out… I’m very much looking to be closer to 70kgs instead of 75kgs.

One of the other benefits I’d like to get from training is improved sleep. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been waking up earlier and earlier. 5:30am, 5am, this morning it was 4:12am. I’m waking up exhausted and unable to get back to sleep, so I’m just tired all day. I’m hoping the exercise will knock me out for a good 8 hours.

I’ve also noticed that my back has been hurting with all the time I’ve been spending in my home office chair. My hip flexor pain has prevented me from standing at my desk. Injuries have so many flow on effects.

As well as the above exercises I’ll also do some ab exercises 3 times a week and some running and then see how that all goes. Wish me luck!

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