Most people who lift weights come with a general (and often vague) goal of being healthier, thinner, more muscular, etc. My training is very different. I come to this seeking all of the above PLUS one very specific goal- the level of strength and conditioning necessary to compete in Ninja Warrior.

What does training for Ninja Warrior involve? Well, it involves a lot of focus on skills and abilities like balance, grip strength, vertical leap, and sheer hang time (The second level involves almost exclusively hanging from and moving along horizontal bars). And soon, once I build up enough physical endurance, I will tailor my fitness program even further in a direction that will address all of the above skills and abilities.

Even at this relatively early point I already have a significant part of my workout that focuses on those areas above. I work on grip strength with rock carries, wrist curls, and farmers walks. I work on vertical leap with plyometric squat jumps (several different kinds). I have a lot of room to grow with regard to training for balance and hang time. The latter will be easy to do once I finish building my chin-up bar in the backyard. Regarding the former, I ask you all, any suggestions?

BTW, I found a guy who is training for Ninja Warrior that has posted videos of himself training on  Check them out.

  1. Nate says:

    Heh heh, I think that’s really cool. I only just heard about Ninja Warrior yesterday from a friend. Sounds like a tough competition, but a very worthy goal. Keep it up, and good luck!

  2. I would advise you check it out on G4. But don’t watch it after ten at night. If you watch after ten you will discover that they use it as a time to promote phone sex and penile enlarging and dysfunction drugs…lol.

  3. lifelemons says:

    That is really awesome that you have set a goal and are working to achieve it! And really being a Ninja Warrior is just kick a$$!

  4. Debbie says:

    Karate and Judo are good exercises. Hubby and I both took Karate, he a brown belt (almost black belt), me almost a brown belt. It’s also nice to know in case one needs to protect one’s self or family members. Ninja Warrior? I’ll have to check that out.

  5. seb says:

    That is awesome!!! This sort of training, seems like it would also be helpful for something like parkour.


    Submited post on – “Training for Ninja Warrior?”

  7. pinkrawkstar says:

    HAHAHAHA! That is awesome! Good luck in your ninja quest!

  8. JR says:

    Hi John,

    all the best to you on reaching your goals!

    I use a round bar aprx 1″ dia x aprx 2′ in length. Tie one end of 550 cord in the middle of the bar with enough length to hold your arms out straight and the end touches the ground. On the other end I have tied a 5-10lb dumbell to it. Then, with arms out straight, wind up the cord with just hand movement, arms out straight. This has helped in my grip strength and forearm strength. Of course combine it with your other exercises.

    Hope this is of use to you!

  9. Thanks. I used something like that a while back, but had completely forgotten that I could make one myself.

  10. Todd says:

    I work out. How close am I do being a Ninja?

  11. katieo says:

    Hey John, first time here and I laughed out loud. I have 2 ninjas-in-training living in my house. They are however, 5 and 3 years old.

    and thanks for the visit over in my neck of the woods! 🙂

  12. isaacme says:

    Wow I never knew you were trying for that. Is this a new goal?

  13. breederx says:

    Just droppin by to say hi and I’m glad to see your doing well! 🙂

  14. Isaac: It’s been a goal of mine for the last two months or so.

    KAtieO: I was a ninja in training from 6 until 11. I blame the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for that.

  15. NinjaWarriorWannaBe says:

    i am training for ninja warrior and i use those technics.
    i am only 12 and a girl. i rock too! i just want to know if it helps any in volleyball?

  16. Wouldn’t know NWWB, I don’t play volley ball. But best of luck in your goal to compete in Ninja Warrior. I just saw a 13 year old girl almost complete the whole women’s course.

  17. Michelle says:

    Is that the same as Kung Fu? LOL. Everyone was Kung Fu fighting…

  18. Stev0!!! says:

    hmmm…to my understanding it looks like someone would have to practice on certain obstacles to get ready. I’ll just try to find out how I can practice like this without well…breakin my neck lol

  19. notyourmamasninja says:

    Hey NWWB, why do you have to advertise that you are 12 and a girl??? No one cares! The only thing that matters is the end result, so you are gonna play with the big cats, you need to realize that. Plus, I know 10 year olds who would run circles around you, only they’re too busy working hard and training to go around gloating about it. Try a lesson in humility. Ninjas keep low profiles. So, as far as your attitude goes, you’ve already lost.

  20. NYMN, thanks for your benighted and ridiculous comments. Feel better now that you’ve wasted your time and mine?

    “Ninjas keep low profiles.”

    Hence the show on Spike T.V. Brilliant conclusion.

  21. MikeH says:

    Totaltransformation: just checking in on how you are doing. I just saw this thread and am doing a similar exercise routing. I have a pull up bar, balance board, home-made indo board, wall hang, and a 10′ thick rope. I would love to build a rumbling dice or something similar, but I’m not sure if my structural engineering skills are up for it. What other work outs do you do?

  22. Well MikeH, I just got a free gym membership so right now I am enjoying using an actual gym again.

    One exercise I have taken to is a bit like the curtain cling. I use my sweat towel and drap it over the pull up bars and grab one end in each hand. Then I do a set of pulls ups, then I do half a pull-up, pause in the middle of the movement and do a set of knee-ups. Then another set of pull-ups. By the time I am done my forearms are burning- not to mention my arms and abs.

  23. SeriousTraining says:

    Totaltransformation, I am seriously interested in beginning training for Ninja Warrior…I’ve been a fan of the show for awhile and I want to give it a go myself.. any tips on how to develop a Ninja Warrior training regimen? I live in the middle of the city so I don’t have the advantage of a yard to train in.

    Just looking for some advice for a beginner from someone who seems serious about this.

  24. Serious training. Any public parks near you?

  25. SeriousTraining says:

    Yeah, Boston Common. I suppose I should try to come up with a more creative approach to this… What were you thinking?

  26. Stroud says:

    Hey, good luck on the Ninja Warrior training. I’ve also begun the training. I have 2 acres of land which includes all kinds of natural obstacles to train on. But anyway I found a site that really helps my training (its not a spam site..) It is full of strength, cardio, ect exercises. Just thought others should check it out. I’m on week 2 of the training

  27. Stiletto says:

    Wow, this is impressive, TT. Are there any women who do this?

  28. Yup, they have a women’s version. You should try out. Why don’t you check it out on Spike TV. If you don’t want to wait check out this clip on Youtube…

    She wins the whole thing.

  29. zirkelrules says:

    that is great another fellow ninja warrior in training i am 16 and i to want to go on ninja warrior

  30. Welcome Zirkel. Best of wishes in achieving your dream.

  31. BEISON says:

    I’m a student at Illinois Institute of Technology, and we’re pretty much a tech school full of nerds. So of course we’re ALL crazy about ninja warrior. Fact is though, there’s not exactly the most time to train for the show when we’re trying to become chemists and electrical engineers and rocket scientists, so what we’re doing is making a ninja warrior club. We find places on campus that have natural climbing attributes. Like scaling a building, a 40 foot beam to traverse by hand over hand hanging, or maybe a specific spider walking location… We all see who can do it. Of course, it’s sort of not allowed, and definitely an underground club, but it’s the closest thing that us physically fit nerds can do to being a Ninja Warrior!

  32. Well darn, that makes me wish I was out in Illinois. I’ve started building my own ninja warrior course but the wood is more expensive and the building skills more advanced than I expected.

    I am getting my Ph.D. in history, so I can understand the limitations on time and training.

  33. Stiletto says:

    Thanks for the link. I don’t foresee myself doing this in the near future though. Way too much cardio for me.

    Ph.D in history? Impressive. Everyone in my family would have loved you. They’re all into history.

  34. Really. Maybe they should read my blog! I am always up for new readers…

    Better yet, they should read the history blog that I never update…

  35. Ryan says:

    hey man i’ve been training for a few years- i hope you have a great time training and eventually competing- the main thing i know is you got to work on every variation of pull-ups, push-ups, and if u have the resources, some of the 3rd stage obstacles. Then add weight, weight-lift more but keep a balance. Mix that with tons of plyo as others have mentioned, and perfect your technique and form and you should be great for ninja warrior. I would also recommend rock-climbing a lot if your into it. Thanks and have a good day man.

  36. MakotoIsMyHero says:

    Hey TT. It’s awsome to see there are other ninja fans out there! I’ve just started workin on training, but high school job pay make money for things is scarce, and homework eats time. Any good cheap and quick tips?

  37. Makol, come back soon. I should have some cheap training tips coming up in the next few weeks.

  38. Dark says:

    Ninja Warrior is bad ass.

  39. Hello Dark, thanks for the comment. The best level of the course if the third level. My shoulders burn just watching that.

  40. Awesome goal says:

    I too wish I could compete in Ninja Warrior. However I need to get into shape first then competition shape. Best thing to do is the mach course but i havent been able to find stats on scale of the obstacles If you could get that and practice you will do the best. change in scale form actual course can have devastating effects.

  41. Sin Nombre says:

    Stumbled on this while trying to find where to submit demo tapes to G4, because believe it or not I too would like to seriously try and get on that show somehow, because A. its badass, B. it would be outrageous fun, C. you would be a mini celebrity in japan if you did well, and D. did I mention it would be an amazingly kickass good time? If you’ve got any climbing gyms around where you live I’d say check those out cause that will give you some (alot) grip strength and it seems like the hardest parts of the challenge are those areas requireing grip strength (cliff hanger, curtian climb, those ring things, etc.) Good luck with your training, have fun with it.

  42. Azumi says:

    Hello 🙂
    I’m a 14 year old girl from Ireland.
    I’ve been a fan of ninja warrior for a while now, and I want to build the whole kunoichi training course, but I don’t have the facilities. I’m currently making a hop rocket and the rope thing. I also want to make a balance bridge and the balance stones, and the vaults of stage 2.
    Anyway good luck with your training.
    Hope you succeed

  43. allelscon says:

    Engaging website. Will definitely come back again.

  44. GRV says:

    can anyone tell me about ninja dojo in delhi i am willing to learn that

  45. Ren says:

    Hey, thanks for such a great thing. Though Imma start this myself. Im a girl and I love NInja Warrior and the people. So I wanna train and do my absolute best! 🙂 Imma start it next week on the 15th and continue and possibly sign up this year for Sasuke 21. If not, I’ll do it Sasuke 22. So that way I’ll be prepared and spend the entire time training.

  46. Justin says:

    I would suggest that you partake in some parkour (free-running). It helps a lot with physical endurance along with focus.

  47. king says:

    it’s interesting thing learning the ninja techquies

  48. NinjaManCeptNot says:

    Sp what ever happened to this?

  49. kittilia says:

    in reference to ninjamanceptnot(^^^^), did you ever succeed or make any progress with this?

  50. Joseph Weaver says:

    this Ninja Warrior competition sounds interesting and fun. I would like to know how to join it. If at all possible i wish to train with u as well

  51. john says:

    I’m 11 and training

  52. Sacko says:

    Im socer playr and runig ilke 2do nija warrior imstrong

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