Ever fantasied about unleashing your inner ninja? Well now's your chance, as new class Ninja Warrior comes to Gymbox. We sent in Christina Leronymidou of Fitness Magpie to see what it was all about. This is what happened.
On entering Gymbox Covent Garden and announcing my intention to take the brand new Ninja Warrior class, I was greeted with an enthusiastic high-five by instructor Firas. In fact, he was high-fiving all the prospective Ninja Warriors on arrival and pointing us towards the functional training frame – my favourite part of the gym!
As far as assault courses go, Ninja Warrior is probably the most notorious. Originally a Japanese TV show called 'Sasuke', I first became aware of the concept when Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to qualify for the finals of the US version, 'American Ninja Warrior'. Her jaw-dropping qualifying run of the course was so impressive, it went viral – cue major woman-crush on The Mighty Kacy – and a year or so later, Ninja Warrior came to the UK.
With its fingers always on the pulse of fitness trends, Gymbox launched its Ninja Warrior concept class earlier this month, which was perfect timing, as at around the same time, in a momentary lapse of sanity, I signed up to my first obstacle course race. At a slight loss of how to even begin to train for an OCR, Gymbox's Ninja Warrior sounded like just what I needed. I couldn't wait to have a play on that frame!
The class kicked off with a dynamic warm-up followed by a series of circuits in teams expertly directed by a very energetic Firas. The different exercises all target the various skills you would need during an assault course, including swinging from the monkey bars, explosive jumps and learning how to fall safely. There was a big emphasis on core strengthening and conditioning as well, with an entire circuit dedicated to hollow holds both on the floor and hanging from the bars.
One of the most valuable parts for me was the chance to play on the bars. Various versions of monkey bars feature heavily in assault courses, so I need to get used to hanging and moving on the frame. Even if you're not training for an OCR, it's great fun – like being a kid in the playground again!
The last circuit of the class was my favourite: we were split into two teams, with each person taking on one station, including a mini obstacle course, goblet squats, med ball slams (this is where you blow off all the pent up steam!), sit-ups and running up and down stairs. There was a lot of sweating and a bunch of happy high-fives at the end – just the way I like it!
Check out our full class timetable right here.