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Local Man to Appear on American Ninja Warrior

Marblehead resident Ron Cooper, who recently completed two world record attempts at the YMCA, will head to Miami next week to film an episode of American Ninja Warrior.

Some may think that completing two world record attempts, one for push-ups with a 40-pound weight on your back - and another for pull-ups, would be a good reason to take your foot off of the fitness gas pedal. 

Not Ron Cooper - who will travel to Miami next week to film an episode of American Ninja Warrior, a television show that challenges fitness "ninjas" to navigate a series of grueling obstacle courses.

Before a crowd at the last month, Cooper, 34, of Marblehead, and successfully completed 63 push-ups in a minute with a 40-pound pack on his back - and cranked out 36 pull-ups over the same span.

As soon as he finished the second record attempt, Cooper popped up, began embracing his family members and exclaimed "now on to American Ninja Warrior!" 

Cooper said he will be competing in the regional rounds next week, which will air on either G4 or NBC in May. If he makes it past the first regional round, he will compete in the regional finals on Thursday and if he advances beyond that stage he will be flown out to Las Vegas in late April to take part in the final competition.

Cooper said he will be heading down to Miami with a cheering section. He will be taking along his wife, Katie, and his two daughters, Emily (4), and Ashley (2).

"We believe in supporting one another in our pursuits and endeavors, as you saw with the Guinness World Record attempts," Cooper said.

When a representative from the show reached out to see if Cooper knew any local women who might want to compete, he mentioned that his wife was an All-American 5k runner and she signed on to compete as well. 

Here's a quick Q&A with Marblehead Patch's favorite local ninja:

Are you training specifically for American Ninja Warrior? If so, what kind of exercises are you doing?

Definitely. I'm doing a lot of different types of training, as I'll be facing lots of different types of obstacles. I am doing many variations of pull up exercises, poly-metric jumping drills, running, biking, balance exercises, rock climbing, basketball and strength training. I've even started to do a little bit of free running on my own, which involves efficient movements around obstacles through running, jumping, rolling, climbing and vaulting. All very hardcore, just the way I like it.
  
What will your mindset be going into American Ninja Warrior? Will it be the same as preparing for the Guinness World Record challenge?

I will try to be in the moment, which is what I did for my Guinness World Record attempts.  

You must be excited to display your talents before a huge audience. Do you think you will be nervous? ultra-focused?

Like Guinness, I'll probably be a bit excited, with a little bit of nerves mixed in, but mostly excited. I'm not really doing this to display any talents I may or may not have. I'm really doing this because I love it. I love training for it, I love watching the competition on TV, and I love competing in obstacle course races.

It makes me feel like a kid again running, jumping, climbing and doing crazy things. A year ago, I didn't know any obstacle course races existed. Now, at age 34,  I'll be competing on national television with the best in the country to try and do something no American has ever done. If that's not cool, I don't know what is.

Marblehead Patch will be posting updates about the Coopers' quest for American Ninja Warrior greatness as they become available.

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