"Training isn’t training unless you’re training for a purpose”.
… If you’re training for something, you need to be specific about it.
Allow me to put this into perspective for you –
If I want to be a faster runner, I’m not going to devote a single minute to swimming.
… Get me? Good!
Train with an identity. Visualise yourself at the finish line and ensure every effort possible is made to actualise it.
Reverse-engineering is the most effective way to get to the desired result. Try it.
… With all that being said, let’s talk about specific Obstacle Course Training and what it’s taken to effectively prepare for an event like Australian Ninja Warrior.
The following can be considered “common criteria” for the majority of obstacle course events –
· Stores Carry
· Additionally, you’ll need to have decent strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, power and speed, to conquer all the obstacles.
To effectively address each of these “common criteria”, I’ve included a list of equipment/activities, for you all to include in your training.
Stores Carry -
Use things like farmers carry handles, kettlebells, dumbbells, as well as awkward objects like water filled bags, logs, tyres and dead balls.
Use the environment around you! Trees, Playground Equipment, a Fence, a Ladder, do pullups/muscle-ups – whatever it may be.
Again, use your environment! Being a real ninja is not about having access to the best facilities – it’s about being adaptive to the environment around you.
Walk along the edge of the gutter, the side rail at the park, stand on one foot and get someone to throw you a ball, use a Bosu ball to test your balance and add variations to complicate the movements.
Grip Strength / Hanging is a skill that will be concurrently developed with movements like the stores carry & pullups. However, to further aid your development, you can add rope pulls/climbs and high intensity drills with a battle rope, to condition your forearms & shoulders.
Furthermore, if you have access to a nearby indoor rock-climbing facility, you’re at a significant advantage.
Most obstacle course races are long distance - sometimes 500m to 1km between obstacles. Interval running of 400 metres is perfect, as it will allow you to maintain your pace in between obstacles. Longer runs of 3+ KM’s will help with your overall cardiovascular endurance.
I would suggest doing both single and double foot jumps, onto/ over a box or hurdle. If you do go higher with your jumps, then do these at low reps – Explosiveness is key, I’d suggest no higher than 10 per set. Incorporate skipping as well, to condition your calves and Achilles.
Want a challenge? Get on your guts and leopard crawl the length of the local footy oval! (FYI, I would suggest wearing long pants and sleeves if you were going to do this!)
Monkey Run, Bear Crawl – Do any types of animal movement(s), get yourself low to the ground and move as fast as you can!
For those of you interested in competing in Ninja Warrior or any Obstacle Course races, you need to be mindful that each of the abovementioned disciplines is simply, a slice of the whole pizza – you need to be versed all.
If you can comprehensively incorporate these activities into your weekly training, then you’re providing yourself with an outstanding platform to succeed, at your given event.
If you’re looking at this list and saying to yourself “WOW! That’s a lot of training – How am I going to fit all that into my current training?” – Do yourself a favour – deeply analyse your current routine(s) – 4 sets of 10 reps isn't going to cut it. So, scrap them! Alternatively, get your copy of EVENNETT | Hardcore now and experience a program tailored to the unconventional.
If you truly want to succeed – Train only for the end result.