If you were (or are) a personal trainer, how would you train a client who wants to compete on American Ninja Warrior assuming that there are no ninja warrior gyms around to practice the obstacles? What would be the main focus points of your program?
Gymnastics, sprints, broad and box jumps, body weight strength, (especially rope climbing), indoor rock climbing walls, loaded carries to build grip strength, balance beam, ring pull ups, etc. Strange , that show , if it is still being produced, is extremely popular in India and SW Asia. I have been on the northern Afghan/China border and that show will be on some goat herders satellite feed. It seems to me, that you have to be around 155-170 lbs to complete, not made for big guys.
Lots of Japanese guys who do OK on the show are “trampoline enthusiasts.” I don’t know if it’s a sport in Japan or what. But just bouncing on a trapoline is kind of basic, but super dynamic and fast. It’s like plyomeyrics, only with way more force and rebound, and less impact.
Dudes I know who are good at wake boarding have mentioned practicing on trampolines.
For grip I would try tons of non-maximal holds, going for time. Pinch grip plates. Put plates in a pillow case, and grab it like a sack. Fat Dumbbell Handles. Something round, kinda like a door nob or something. Hanging off a chinup bar, from all different kinds of handles and grips. Use workable weights, and shoot to hold them for a long time.
I don’t think gym work is really sufficient. You really need to have some proficiency in rock climbing itself, given what the courses have looked like in the last few seasons. They’re actually implementing climbing walls for sections. And a lot of open handed grip obstacles have always been used.
I would say the absolute MUSTS in training would be actually training on climbing walls regularly, enough gymnastics work to be proficient in trampoline obstacles, and be lean with minimal leg mass. It seems that you can maintain a pretty good degree of upper body strength/size, but none of the great competitors have big legs. If it were me, I would stop squatting/deadlifting entirely, do zero leg work, and try to atrophy my legs as much as possible.
I would dedicate 80-90% of my training time to climbing.
Just Damn impressive: