Roo hosts a workshop on July 9th from 2-4pm. $30 per person with a 30 person limit. Register!
What is American Ninja Warrior?
American Ninja Warrior is an NBC television show where contestants do their best to navigate through the insane obstacles in order to make it through the various courses in hopes of advancing to the next round.
Tell us about the Indy Qualifier.
The qualifier courses consist of 6 obstacles. The first and last obstacles are the same for each city, but the middle 4 are different for each city. The first obstacle is always some form of spaced out steps that you have to jump between to get to the other side. The last obstacle is always the Warped Wall that you run up and have to pull yourself up and over. As far as the middle obstacles, they are kept secret so that competitors can’t build similar obstacles at home in order to practice. We don’t get to practice the obstacles before it’s our turn. The first time we get to touch the obstacles is the one time we have to succeed. If we fail any obstacle, we’re done. Each run is timed, and the top 30 athletes from the Qualifier courses move on to the City Finals Course.The Indy Qualifier airs June 13th on NBC at 8/7c.
How many qualifiers are there?
This season there are 5 city qualifiers to kick things off. Los Angeles, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, and Philadelphia. All athletes who are chosen for the show get to run their respective city’s qualifier course. The Finals course consists of all the Qualifier obstacles (however they are often tweaked to make them a little harder), plus 4 more obstacles on the back end after the warped wall. Same deal as the Qualifier course, except the top 15 athletes from the Finals courses move on the Vegas Finals where they will try to conquer Mt. Midoriyama. Vegas has 4 stages. If you make it through a stage, you advance to the next stage. If you fall, you’re done. Each stage increases in difficulty, with the final stage being a huge rope climb to the top of Mt Midoriyama. If somebody can make it through all 4 stages in Vegas and get to the top of Mt. Midoriyama, they achieve total victory and top prize is $1M.
How many people compete to get to the final show?
Over 70,000 people applied for Season 8, but only a little over 100 competitors get the call for a shot to become the next American Ninja Warrior.
In a way, I think I’ve been training for this my whole life. I’ve always loved obstacle courses, and have always enjoyed swinging around like a monkey. I’ve been more focused more on ninja warrior training the past year, once I discovered Ninjas United up near the cities. I’ve been going up there to train on the weekends when I can, but it’s a bit of a drive so my training has not been very consistent. Once I got the phone call a little over a month before I had to compete on the show, I made a point to head up there more regularly.
How do you think CrossFit has prepared you for this?
Body weight movements are important in the CrossFit programming, and between pull-ups, oly lifting, kettle bells, etc my grip when dealing with any type of bar is pretty strong. Through the various movements, I’ve gained skills and got better at knowing how to move my body. I’ve been able to maintain a solid foundation of general fitness, so when I got the call I wasn’t starting for square 1. Obviously, with any sport you need to focus your training toward specific things, but CrossFit provided me a good basis to build from and get ready for the show quicker on short notice.
What made you want to be an American Ninja Warrior?
The first time I saw the show, I knew it was something that I would love to do. I’ve always loved obstacle courses. I’ve never been a big fan of distance running, but I enter races and deal with the running so that I can do the obstacles. American Ninja Warrior is just obstacles, and they are the biggest, baddest obstacles out there. I’ve also worked a lot with homeless dogs throughout my adult life. I’m using this platform to encourage people to adopt their next dog. I figure if I can have some fun trying crazy obstacles and save the lives of a bunch of dogs, why would I not want to do this?
You teamed with Progression to host a one day workshop for anyone who has interest in training for American Ninja Warrior. When is the workshop?
The workshop is July 9th from 2-4pm. $30 per person with a 30 person limit. Register!
What made you want to host the workshop?
This type of training is becoming more popular since the show has done so well. I’ve had people ask me when I go up to Ninjas United to train and express interest in giving this a shot. With the addition of the peg board at the gym, and seeing people have fun trying to make their way up, I think there will be interest from a number of people. Also, seeing how difficult the peg board was for a lot of people, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be exposing some weaknesses that people weren’t aware of. Hopefully I can address that, and help those interested get stronger in those areas and make them even more well rounded than they already are.
What does it mean to you to have a facility like Progression to train at?
Without Progression, I would not have been nearly as prepared for the show as I was. Besides the facility, the community has been so supportive. When people see me off in the corner doing something weird, instead of looking at me funny, they’re encouraging. Knowing there’s a great group of people supporting me win or lose gives me motivation to keep going regardless.
What is your biggest fear going into the Indy Qualifier?
Having an obstacle where I had to hang by my fingertips from a little ledge. That’s my weakness, and depending on the size of the ledge, it can easily take me out of the competition.
What did you have to do to get to the Indy Qualifier?
I had to submit an application and make a video introducing myself, telling my story, and proving that I have what it takes to take on the course. It’s all in the producers’ hands as far as who gets picked, so you wait and make sure to pick up the phone when you see a phone call with an 818 area code.
You made it to the Qualifier! Where can we watch you compete on live television? Will there be a viewing party?
There is a viewing party at the Thirsty Belgian that night for Progression folks. I won’t know if I make the show until I watch it myself since not everybody that runs the course makes TV, but I can let people know how I did on the Qualifier course and whether or not I moved on to the City Finals course at that point. The course was awesome, and I have no doubt it’s going to be a great show regardless.