A former Washington, D.C., police officer earned a shot on “American Ninja Warrior” that aired Monday night.
Will Washington makes a living helping others get in shape at his Prince George’s County, Maryland, studio, WJW Fitness.
Washington sent in an audition tape on a friendly dare and got invited to try the obstacle course in Denver.
With 20 days to train for the course, Washington added a 30-pound vest.
“For my cardio, I did a lot of heel running and a lot of stairs but always with a vest,” he said.
For other exercises, he attached another 40-pound weight to his waist.
“I’m 70 pounds heavier, now,” he said.
A ninja’s energy is in the core, Washington said.
“Because if you have a big stomach, or you have a lot of food in your stomach on the time that you go, you’ve to realize that you’re going to be hanging for long periods of time and moving in abnormal ways that your body’s not accustomed to,” he said.
A ninja also needs a powerful grip, Washington said.
“Strength in your hand, as much as possible,” he said. “Hand and forearm strength are huge, because you don’t know what you’re going to be grabbing.”
To prepare for Denver’s thin air, he trained wearing an oxygen-depriving mask.
“The first time I put this on, it felt like someone was suffocating me,” he said. “I lie to you not.”
Contestants get to look at the course once before trying it, but they don’t get to practice on it.
“The quickest way to fail is to start thinking about it and hesitating,” Washington said.
But training for the show wasn’t as intense as training for the Metropolitan Police Department, he said.
“Intensity-wise, D.C. police training beats ‘Ninja Warrior’ training every time, intensity-wise,” he said. “Mainly because, unless you have a coach training you for ‘Ninja Warrior,’ you don’t have anybody yelling at you.”
Washington said he’ll go back to the show again.
"'Ninja Warrior' and I have some unfinished business."