Bouncing off the walls: Hone your Ninja Warrior skills at this gym in Bushwick

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We have a confession to make. We’re TV junkies. Don’t get us wrong — we would never sacrifice an opportunity to get outside even for our most favorite show but we definitely enjoy a weekday night parked on our couch, remote in hand. One of the shows we frequently turn to when nothing’s on is American Ninja Warrior. So when we got a tip from one of our readers that a parkour gym in Bushwick called Brooklyn Zoo, which opened in 2014, offers a Ninja Warrior class, we grabbed a few of our friends and went to check it out.

Walking into Brooklyn Zoo is like walking into a really cool version of your gym except the cardio equipment has been replaced with a foam pit and the weight sets are now uneven bars. When we arrived, there was a group in one corner doing handstands and another tumbling into the foam pit. While we waited for our class to start, we watched someone continuously landing on their back on a trampoline, trying to gain enough momentum to run up an adjacent wall. We started to get a little nervous that we may have signed up for more than we could handle.

Our class started off easy enough though. The instructor lead us through a warmup that while it reminded us of a seventh grade gym class (think crab walking), left us feeling more nimble than we have in years (and we do yoga!). We hear each Ninja Warrior class is unique but ours was spent testing our balance on uneven bars, learning how to swing off of one set of bars to another, and (our favorite) running up walls. This feat has always impressed us on the show and it turns out that it’s a totally doable trick for even beginner ninja warriors like us. The class finished with an obstacle course that gave us a glimpse of what it might be like to be on the show.

One of the things we enjoy about the American Ninja Warrior is that outdoor athletes like climbers make for competitive contestants because so much of the course requires upper body strength. We challenge you to test whether your outdoor physical aptitude gives you a leg (or an arm) up on these obstacles. The class is $25 but you can save $5 by registering online.

Want more sorta outdoorsy inspiration? Check out the rest of this week’s newsletter.