The Wolfpack (a training group made up of accomplished American Ninja Warriors Meagan Martin, Brian Arnold, Ian Dory and Noah Kaufman) shared their workout drills with the American Ninja Warrior Nation audience during a Facebook Live broadcast. But the info they shared was too good to be said just once.
Here, the Ninja Warriors walk through a full rock climbing workout from warm up to cool down, with drills and exercises for beginners and advanced climbers.
Each and every skill they teach here is essential for success on the American Ninja Warrior course.
Editor’s note: Many of these clips were pulled from the live feed, resulting in their lower broadcast quality. But the exercises are just too good not to share.
Campus board warm up with Noah Kaufman
- Beginner’s approach to a campus board
- Make sure to warm up
- Begin with a simple hang
- Three finger open hand
- Four finger open hand
- Flexed grip
- Closed crimp grip
- Utilize feet if needed/possible
Start small. Build the strength to simply hang on without using your feet as an aid before pushing for more advanced moves.
Advanced campus board workout with Meagan Martin
- Doubles: moving up the campus board with both hands at the same time
- If using feet, start on the smaller ledges
- The goal of campus-ing is to climb using just hands
- Start skipping rungs if you’re advancing
- Try going down as well
- For coordination, use left and right hand on separate holds
American Ninja Warrior usually has obstacles that require having your hands on two different objects at the same time, so make sure to work on coordination.
Additional campus board exercises with Brian Arnold, Ian Dory and Noah Kaufman
Brian Arnold, Ian Dory and Noah Kaufman: Campus boardPosted by American Ninja Warrior Nation on Wednesday, December 14, 2016
- Pull throughs: Moving up the campus board without matching your hands (they should always be on different ledges)
- Switch hands to work both arms
- Focus on being adaptive to different challenges
- Bumps: Just a small pull, without pulling all the way up, to hone strength
- These exercises build towards L’s and lock offs
- Develop mental strength by working on dead hangs as long as possible
This kind of physical strength is especially needed for Stage Three of the National Finals in American Ninja Warrior. Mental strength is also essential as your hands will start to get tired and you will need to push yourself to make it just a little farther.
(Yes, that was Jake Murray wandering through the clip.)
Hangboard introduction with Brian Arnold, Ian Dory and Noah Kaufman
- Walk through of what is a hangboard
- Just start with dead hangs
- Improve strength noticeably by doing this three times a week with three sets of dead hangs
- Make sure to use all the different types of grips on the board
- Build a versatile grip
- Build body strength at the same time
- Lock offs: The ability to hang with a bent arm, preserving your power to move on to the next obstacle
- If you feel ANY pain, STOP
- Listen to your body to avoid any damage
The American Ninja Warrior course has new obstacles every year that Ninjas can’t try before facing. Build a versatile grip with adaptive strength to gain the advantage of knowing how to hang on to almost anything.
Finger holds with Brian Arnold
- Finger Holds: Building finger and hand strength by utilizing just fingers on the hangboard
- Add weight to provide more of a strength challenge
- Hang for no more than ten seconds
- To work on endurance, do not add weight, just hang for as long as possible
- Rest and repeat
It’s not always the big muscles that are needed on the course. Even the tiny muscles of the fingers will be needed to get through something like Stage Three.
Dynos with Brian Arnold and Ian Dory
- Dyno: Letting go with both hands and leaping to a new hold
- Focuses on body awareness and coordination
- Momentum comes from legs and hip
- Get hips as low as possible
- Drop your butt as far as you can, push off to a new hold
- Practice different directions
- To warm up and practice coordination, repeat small dynos while changing directions and holds each time
- Make sure to take both hands off the holds at the same time.
Build confidence in controlling your momentum. With obstacles like the Flying Squirrel and the Bar Hop, competitors need to understand how their body moves through the air.
Cool down with Noah Kaufman
- How to cool down after a climbing workout, as well as to treat any developing tendinitis
- When training hard, chances are you will start to feel aches and pains at some point
- Stretching is very important
- Straighten your arm and extend fingers open and slightly upwards to feel a pull in your forearm
- Then rotate your hand, arm and forearm
- Repeat for about 45 seconds to one minute to feel a burn in the arm
- Helps to create balance in the forearms
- Repeat stretch six or seven times a day
- Prefect for before and after a climbing workout
Training is hard. Make sure to not only listen to your body so as not to push too hard, but make sure to properly warm up and cool down to keep your training moving forward.
Nutrition advice with Noah Kaufman
- Nutrition is part of successful training
- Avoid refined sugars and foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce
- Incorporate ancient grains like quinoa, farro and spelt for carbs
- Make sure to get protein
- Watch the amount of dairy consumed
- Get sugar from fruits and vegetables for a lower glycemic index
- Aim to stick to a healthy diet 80-90% of the time
- Get a little bit of chocolate in there once in awhile. You can’t be perfect all the time.
Proper nutrition will give you not only the energy to train, but will allow your body to reach its full potential and help you recover faster from tough workouts.
A special thank you to EarthTreks Climbing in Golden, CO for hosting our Facebook Live broadcast!