Reckon you’re Ninja Warrior material?
Good news – applications for season two of the hit show are already open.
If you’re over 18, a resident or citizen of Australia, and “physically and mentally able to partake in an intensive obstacle course”, then you are eligible to apply.
But you’ll need to be in fighting shape: if you do progress through the 20-minute audition workout, filming begins in December.
Need to shape up fast? Try this Ninja-specific workout from 2017 grand-finallist Nathan McCallum. It’s brutal on the upper body, but it will shred any vestiges of belly fat while building gymnastic strength from head to toe.
Do 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.
With your hands double shoulder-width apart, lower yourself over your right hand so that your left arm straightens. Repeat on the other side. “These are a great way of getting rid of strength imbalances in your upper body,” says McCallum.
Air squat jumps
Drop into a deep squat, your thighs at least parallel to the ground. Explode up, jumping as high as possible. Land softly, immediately lowering into the next squat jump.
Stand beneath a high chin bar. In one fluid motion, drop to your chest, push back to your feet, jump up, grab the bar, and complete a chin-up. “This is a big compound move that will build serious full-body strength,” says McCallum.
Hanging leg raises
Grab a high chin bar with an overhand shoulder-width grip. Maintaining a slow, 3-count tempo, raise your legs until they’re parallel to the floor, then lower. “This torches both your core and grip at the same time,” says McCallum.
MCCALLUM’S NINJA WARRIOR PRO TIPS
CHIN-UPS, CHIN-UPS, CHIN-UPS
“Coming into Ninja Warrior,” says McCallum, “the first thing I did was add 3 sets of 10 chin-ups at the start and finish of every training session. So I was getting out a minimum of 60 chins every single day, on top of all the other work I was doing.”
ADD WEIGHTS TO YOUR REGIMEN
“My training centred around explosive jumps and plyometric work – box jumps, burpee box jumps, clap push-ups,” says McCallum. “But as the show approached, I added some weighted bench, squats and deadlifts at the end of these sessions. I focused on slowing the eccentric phase: three-count down, pause, then explode back up. The weights don’t need to be super-heavy – it’s all about exploding out of that launch position.”
DON’T FORGET PROPRIOCEPTION
“Controlling your body is crucial to doing well in Ninja Warrior. And that’s not a strength or speed thing – it’s a balance thing. It’s about being able to, say, hold your body in place after sticking a running jump. Chin-ups, box jumps, burpees – these sorts of moves are key to building this body composure.”
For more workouts from the Australian Ninjas, check out the August issue of Men’s Health – onsale now!