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AG Ninja Goes to Fargo, ND

The AG Ninja team had the opportunity to work on a brand new Ninja facility in Fargo, ND, starting with the custom design all the way to the installation. This facility is no joke!

Click on the facebook link below to view photos from the installation.

 

Check out video footage of this awesome new space. You’ll be ready for some obstacle training after you watch!

 

 

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AG Ninja Goes to Bend, OR

The AG Ninja team had the opportunity to work on this really cool project in Bend, Oregon at Free Spirit Yoga Fitness Play. Our team had such a fun time from the start of the design process to the final installation. The results couldn’t make us happier!

Click on the facebook link below to view photos of the final installation.

 

Check out the video below to see the original design come to life!

 

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AG Ninja Goes to Charleston, SC

Another awesome ninja facility with a creative design by Interactive Sports Zone and equipment provided by AG Ninja. This was a 6-week project for our team, from design to install. What a cool concept – parents can shop in the mall while their kids blow off some energy – sounds like a win, win!

Check out photos of the facility by clicking the following facebook link.

 

Watch as AG Ninja takes Flip! Ninja from an owner’s dream, to a design concept, and then to reality! (Some cool GoPro video footage included)

 

 

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Evolution of Design

It’s no mystery that to be successful in business, one must evolve and adapt to the ever-changing consumer demand. Sometimes it’s not necessarily a change in consumer taste, but also recognizing that the things you are currently doing could be done a little better, thus making for happier customers. Stagnant companies become obsolete and ultimately fade away.

Really listening to your customers and evaluating their feedback is critical to ensuring you are offering the right products in the right way.

Over the last 3 years, we’ve completed dozens of large projects across the country. Many of them have gone smoothly, but a few had some bumps in the road, which can be expected with a growing company. The biggest mistake for us on these handful of challenging ones would have been to fight through the challenges and then to ignore them and move on to the next project. However, we have taken away something valuable from every project to ensure that any problems which may have arisen are not repeated on future projects.

As we reflect on ways in which our obstacle designs have changed, below are some updated features we thought were worth highlighting.

  • Mounting of Various obstacles – It may sound simple, but we’ve made quite a few changes to how our obstacles are hung. Two things gym owners want to see with hanging things are flexibility and ease. Obstacles that are mounted should have the ability to be adjusted in some manner, and they should be fairly simple to install.

The Flying Rings – original hanging design versus new hanging design

The flying Rings are a great obstacle, but the original design had a few limiting features. The most significant limiting feature was the fact that we started off welding the drop down sticks to the crossbar. Functionally, they were fine, but it meant these crossbars were not usable for any other obstacle. This wasn’t good for our customers. So, we changed the hooks to a bolt-on design and gave them a cool look as seen in the above photo.

  • Aesthetics – We are big on looks! When we sell a product to a customer, not only is it going to function well and last long, but it is going to look great. We put a lot of effort into creating a “look” to our Ninja line. We want people to walk into a gym and say “Ah, that’s ag Ninja’s stuff.” The Flying Rings pictured above were part of the group of obstacles that we felt needed that extra flare. Additionally, the flying bar trainer is another great example of an obstacle that had a drastic face lift as well as some beneficial material changes.

The Flying Bar Trainer – original design versus new design

The original design of the Flying Bar Trainer consisted of wood and steel mounting pieces. In addition, it was one of those obstacles that had the mounting bracket which prevented variation in the width of the obstacle. In the new design, there is more attention to the aesthetics while also allowing for variation in width.

Below are a few other examples of some obstacles in which we added some of our own touches that are more visually appealing…

  • Functionality – A lot of work goes into the design of a product to ensure that it functions the way we intended. After we design, we manufacture, and then we test it to ensure it is safe. Even then, you really don’t get good quality feedback until it is out there being used on a regular basis. Often times, the product gets into the hands of the customer, and everything is perfect. Sometimes, however, there are minor flaws a customer will point out that they may be able to live with but want you to be aware of for future customers. This feedback is invaluable, and we absolutely welcome it. A few examples of products that have had some design tweaking along the way to allow for better functionality include a few of our obstacles hung by a swing and our slanted steps.

Obstacles hung by a sling – We have a number of obstacles which freely hang by way of a sling. Determining the best way for a sling to attach to an obstacle has changed a few times. After evaluating feedback and testing various methods, we nailed down a good looking solution.

 

 

Slanted Steps – Slanted Steps are a must in a ninja facility, so it’s pretty important that they function well. Version 1 of the steps looked great, but they had a few characteristics which may not be desirable in all training situations. So, we went back to the drawing board to develop a step that was versatile and allowed for ninjas of all ages and sizes to use them.

 

Obstacle Training, in my opinion, will continue to grow and will be around for a long, long time. Methods will change, regulations may change, and customer taste is always a moving target. It’s a mighty fun ride for us, and we know the importance of continuing to evolve so that we aren’t left watching the train leave while we are sitting at the station.

 

Brad Thornton

Chief Operations Officer/Designer/Co-Owner

Brad@InteractiveSportsZone.com

 

 

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AG Ninja Goes to St. George, Utah

AG Ninja is excited to showcase our latest install at Bare Foot Gymnastics in St. George, Utah in June 2019! Bare Foot Gymnastics was looking to expand their facility to include Bare Foot Ninja. After contacting AG Ninja, we custom designed their expansion to maximize their available space while utilizing the most obstacles to cater to multiple age groups and skill levels. After AG Ninja manufactured and installed the equipment, the finished product captured everyone’s attention in the gym! Bare Foot Ninja now offers Ninja classes, and we are excited to see what big things come out of this new facility. Check out the photos below to see the before and after of the installation. Be sure to scroll down to view videos of the obstacles in use!

 

 

 

Check out a demonstration of the AG Ninja Salmon Ladder at Bare Foot Ninja

 

 

Demonstration of the AG Ninja Cliff Hanger – hang on; it’s a nail biter!

 

Are you ready to create your own Ninja facility? We are here to help you every step of the way so that this popular and ever-growing sport can find its way into your reality! Start the process by filling out our 3D gym design form.

 

 

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AG Ninja Goes to Austin

AG Ninja had a blast installing a state of the art ninja facility at Austin Ninjas in Austin, Texas in January 2018. AG Ninja worked directly with Austin Ninja to custom design their available space. From there, AG Ninja provided our own manufactured equipment as well as installation. With multiple obstacles of varying difficulty, this Ninja facility is able to accommodate Ninja trainees of all ages. Notably, Austin Ninja is the training home of Ninja Warrior competitors Rick Hinnant and Damir Okanovic, and it has been an amazing project to watch unfold with real results seen live on ANW! Check out the images below to see the magic come to life in this premier ninja facility!

 

 

Below is a video of Brad Thornton (Chief Operations Officer/Designer/Co-Owner) demonstrating how to tackle the AG Ninja Salmon Ladder at the Austin Ninja facility.

 

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Ninja Training Finding It’s Way In to Fitness

Gym_Design_With_Ninja_Training

More and More, we are starting to see people in the fitness industry come to us with an interest in Obstacle Training. Why? Because Obstacle training is one of the most exciting and fun ways to get a full body workout. On top of that, it’s great for all ages.

It is so important to look forward to your daily training regiment. Dreading a workout is no fun. In short, Obstacle training is fun! Recently we have worked with several fitness facilities who were opening new locations and wanted to dedicate a substantial amount of space to Ninja. Some of the facilities are even going as far as creating several different Ninja areas, each catering to different age groups and skill levels. The video below shows a design we created for a customer that was looking to do that very thing.

Do you blame them? Seriously, would you rather do 10 pull-ups or rip through a set on the salmon ladder? Same muscles being worked but I can assure you one is a lot more fun than the other. We have over 60 other obstacles each which targets a certain muscle group or multiple groups depending on how they are used. You can check out the selection HERE!

 

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Sport Obstacle Highlight – The Flying Rings

Flying_Rings

No, we certainly don’t have a shortage of “Flying” obstacles. Can you blame us? Who doesn’t like to soar through the air, reaching for a bar, a pipe, rings, whatever? You miss, you land on a big soft resi or in a foam pit. Fun times. I literally spend a good 30 minutes each day just trying to think up different new flying obstacles. So, in comes the flying rings!

We’ve been offering this one for a while but we haven’t really given them their fare share of attention. The obstacle is personally one of my favorites and I often try to encourage clients to consider them. Yes, they appear to be difficult, but once again, like many of our obstacles, there are a number of ways to use them.

First off, if you watch the show, the obstacle is designed a little differently then what you might expect. Instead of tethering the rings and having the athlete essentially jungle swing from rung to rung, we kept the rings free. In addition, we went with pairs of hooks and rings instead of singles. So, this requires one to swing with both rings in hand and lechè over and loop on to a set of hooks with the rings. Not only does this require body control and precise technique, but it also really brings in the element of mental focus . Once you have launched yourself in to the air, you now have to hone in on these small hooks and stay completely focused on them so that you have a shot at latching on to them with your rings.

“Wait!” you say…”That sounds hard!”

It is! But there are many ways to make it more Ninja novice friendly

  1. With your youngsters, you can slide the rungs closer together and use the obstacle as more of a ring toss. In other words, the athlete is still hanging from one ring on a peg as they are reaching for the peg across from it.
  2. You can also start them out on swings only while holding on to both rings – working the proper tapping technique and getting accustomed to the grip strength required to hold on with the extra force from the swing. From there, the athlete can ease in to a swing and release everything all together (including the ring), landing on a resi or in a pit. Next, they can release with ring in hand, learning to get it up and over the bend in the rung. And so on.
  3. The rungs are designed in such a manner to also allow your athletes to use a bar in lieu of the rings if needed. A bar will be easier in that it requires a little less precision than the rings. So you can have them perfect this before graduating to the rings.

If your more experienced Ninjas need an extra challenge, space the rungs further apart or have them perform the obstacle with one ring only (both hands on one ring). Have them face the opposite direction when they begin so that they have to turn 180 degrees mid air to make the catch. So many ways to do it!

Remember, obstacles like the flying rings can put your athletes in extremely vulnerable positions (including upside down!). It is important to mat appropriately. With obstacles such as this, you will want to go thicker on the safety mat than you would with say a monkey bar at the same height.

Train safely and email with questions or comments. Below is a quick video showing the flying rings.

 

Brad Thornton

Brad@american-gymnast.com