Northeastern engineering student by day, Ninja Warrior by night.
Who is Josh Levin?
Well…have you ever watched that show on NBC where everyday people do insanely difficult obstacles for a chance to win 1 million dollars (so basically just enough to pay off tuition and maybe a Chipotle burrito or two)? Josh is one of those people that runs the obstacles. And he succeeds.
I luckily had the chance to interview Josh about the life of an American Ninja Warrior. You can catch Josh tonight 7/11 at 8/7C on NBC.
Fit U: First off, what was your experience like on American Ninja Warrior?
Josh: My first experience on American Ninja Warrior was awesome! This has been something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, (I started watching the Japanese version ‘Sasuke’ when I was about 15) so even getting the callback from my audition video was super exciting. From there, I traveled down to Universal Studios Hollywood in early April to film the city qualifier episodes. Staying up both nights until 5am was pretty exhausting, but definitely worthwhile.
What were your competitors like?
Having been an avid fan of American Ninja Warrior for so many years now, getting the chance to not only meet but compete alongside some of the top names in the sport such as Kevin Bull, Flip Rodriguez, Jessie Graff, and Jesse La Flair was an incredible experience! Also, the Ninja Warrior community was extremely warm and welcoming to new competitors, and everyone had extremely interesting backstories in addition to being top-level athletes in many different sports.
How did you prepare for the competition?
I prepared for the competition by traveling to as many different Ninja Warrior gyms as I could all over the country to prepare myself for the variety of obstacles I would be facing. I also made sure to keep up with my climbing training as much as possible since climbing is by far the best way of training for Ninja Warrior.
*Fit U note: Check out Josh’s NU Snapchat takeover where he shows us a day of training!
How do you balance schoolwork and training?
For the last 6 months, I was actually pursuing a co-op at Apple in Cupertino through Northeastern’s co-op program in conjunction with my mechanical engineering degree. While there, my internship was as a manufacturing design engineer, so I did a fair amount of back-and-forth travel to China to visit manufacturing vendors. During my trips to China, I fortunately was able to find an excellent climbing community in Shanghai and trained there most weeknights after work. I also trained at Ninja Warrior gyms both in China and California for the duration of my co-op.
What are some of your favorite foods to keep you fueled throughout your busy day?
My favorite go-to snack is peanut butter and a banana. Literally all my friends can attest to this. I also like Clif Bar Shot Bloks to keep the energy high during competitions and long study sessions.
What is your go-to song to get pumped up before a climb or a workout?
I don’t really listen to music before training sessions, only just before when I compete. And that song is a secret for now 😉
How can Boston students get involved with climbing/Ninja training?
I recommend starting out with rock climbing for giving the best overall base of strength, coordination and problem solving to compete on American Ninja Warrior. Many universities have climbing walls on campus, but even if your school doesn’t, (like Northeastern) there are plenty of local rock climbing gyms popping up all over the country in major cities. After you have mastered the basics of climbing, it may then be the time to go visit a dedicated Ninja Warrior gym to test your abilities.
What advice do you have for students who are thinking of trying out for American Ninja Warrior?
If you’re thinking of trying out for American Ninja Warrior, go for it! Remember that as a TV show, American Ninja Warrior isn’t necessarily looking for the best athletes in the world, they’re looking for personalities. Being athletic helps, but if you can show that you have lots of energy and are passionate about ninja warrior, that goes a lot further than the number of pull-ups you do in your submission video. They’re actually casting the first-ever College Edition of American Ninja Warrior, so be sure to visit www.anwteam.com and apply with your team today!
You can follow Josh Levin on Instagram @josh.levin and give him #fitufam support for his run tonight!