Being well-prepared for the Ninja Warrior competition and knowing what it requires can make a huge difference in the outcome. Or as the saying goes: “Being prepared is half the battle”. The following tips are from my own show experience during Ninja Warrior Germany and can help you to achieve your goals. Some are for the competition itself and some are for the weeks before.
And even if you are just looking for some tips to compete on a local Ninja Warrior competition and want to increase your chance for a top ranking, most of these tips will also be valid.
So, without further ado, let’s start:
1. Get into a warrior mindset
Having a strong will to succeed is essential and will push you further when it’s required. Watch motivational “warrior mindset”, ”warrior mentality”, ”chase greatness” videos like the ones below in the weeks before your competition. They will get you pumped. I even listened to them right before starting my run.
2. Train the right stuff
Ninja Warrior requires complex training as many skills are involved. Not missing out on some of them is crucial for succeeding on the course. Check out my “Ninja Warrior Training Guide” for more information.
3. Don’t lose too much weight within a short period before competition
A rapid diet increases your risk of getting muscle cramps due to electrolyte imbalances (including sodium, magnesium, and potassium), when not done properly. Stretch your diet over several weeks, if you want to be ripped at competition day.
4. Practice meditation for staying calm
Being fully focused on the current task and not feeling anxious about cameras and the audience is important when you are competing on the Ninja Warrior course. Having practiced meditation will definitely help you with that. There are some great apps like “Headspace” or “Calm”, but you can also find guided meditations on YouTube.
5. Take some ice baths
It sounds weird, but taking an ice bath will prepare you mentally for the competition. At first, it seems like an insurmountable obstacle, but after a few attempts, you will handle it. If you can take an ice bath, you are strong enough mentally for tackling that Ninja Warrior course! Read my guide about ice baths, if you want to give it a try.
6. Rest at least 3 days before the competition
Don’t make that mistake of training till the last moment. Your body needs some rest. A few days of minimal training will replenish the energy in your muscles. However, balance exercises, stretching, and some gentle running are fine.
7. Prepare your own food for competition day
Probably there will be some food for the athletes. But it’s always better to have something that you are used to and you know of being easily digestible and providing the right fuel for your body. Speaking of fuel, also pack some isotonic beverages.
8. Don’t take loads of magnesium when suffering from muscle crampsTaking too much magnesium will more likely result in diarrhea before it will fix your cramps. Instead, consume enough fluids and electrolytes to prevent or at least delay muscle cramps. High sodium sports drinks are a great choice. Otherwise, consume some salty foods when drinking water. Also, eating bananas should help. They are rich in potassium, which is another substance that can cause cramps when it’s deficient.
9. Be prepared for a nap in between
The competition can take more time than you might think. Having to compete late in the evening or even at midnight isn’t unlikely. Take at least a small blanket with you, so you can take a nap in between and stay fresh till your last run.
10. Don’t underestimate the distances
Not too few competitors already fail on the first obstacle, as they underestimate the distances. The water below makes it so difficult. So, when in doubt, always aim for a further distance and play safe.
11. Finally, be proud of yourself
Not many people voluntarily face new challenges and want to test their limits in such a way. Be proud of that and show everyone what you are made of!
Frequently asked questions that might also be of use
Can you wear gloves during Ninja Warrior?
The short answer is no. Gloves are not allowed during the formal Ninja Warrior competition and most of the local competitions as well. There are many obstacles that require pure grip strength. Wearing gloves with good gripping properties could make them easier, which would be an unfair advantage.
Apart from gloves, competitors can wear whatever they want. There are no restrictions. Even crazy costumes are fine but I recommend wearing them only if you have faith in your abilities.
What should you wear for Ninja Warrior?
There are no restrictions, but I recommend wearing no loose clothes. They shouldn’t get in the way and restrict your movement or even touch the water when it could be avoided. So, take good fitting but stretchy clothes.
Also as a guy, consider not wearing a shirt at all or taking it off during the course, as some obstacles are easier when you can use the friction of your naked skin. For the girls, I recommend a sports bra or something comparable for maximum freedom of movement and friction when required.
What shoes are recommended for Ninja Warrior?
Having the right shoes for Ninja Warrior can make the difference between handling an obstacle with ease or getting wet. I have dedicated an entire article to that topic. Make sure to read it, so you won’t regret a wrong decision:
Follow all these tips thoroughly, and you will gain a headstart and prevent some mistakes I have made at first. Good luck and go hit that buzzer!
Do you have further tips that might help other athletes? Let us know below. That would be awesome!