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The Importance of Mental Prep Before a Competition and Best Practices for Reducing Recovery Time After Vigorous Training: Joovv AMA with Jake Murray

If you're a fan of the American Ninja Warrior TV show, then you definitely know who Jake Murray is.  If not, then allow me to fill you in.  Jake is an absolute beast and is always a top competitor, known for conquering even the most challenging courses with ease.  Before competing on American Ninja Warrior, he excelled at parkour and rock climbing.  Last season, he advanced to the finals and finished stage 1 with the fastest time, an incredible feat that has earned him enormous respect in the ninja community.

We were honored when Jake agreed to participate in a Joovv AMA.  So without further ado, here are his answers to your questions…

What do you use to help your body recover after an intense training session or competition?

Self-care, such as stretching and foam rolling/muscle release are a huge part of my recovery.  Equally as important for me, I stay hydrated during training sessions and use a branch chain amino supplement immediately after.  Seems to do the trick!  

If you had to teach a class/subject on one thing, what would you teach?

I'm not at all ashamed to say I think I would kick some serious rump at being a Phys. Ed instructor.  That's only if we're sticking to the traditional realm of education.  Otherwise, I'm very studied in the practice of skateboarding. :)

What is something you enjoy that most people would be surprised to learn?

How much I train and how dedicated I am to the training would probably come as a surprise to most.  I have fun when I run the courses on America Ninja Warrior, but there's a ton of hard work that goes into preparing for those runs. 

Have you used red light therapy?  If so, what type of results did you see?

My father is a chiropractor and has treated me with laser therapy after very demanding competitions.  My shoulders take the most abuse while "ninja-ing" and reducing recovery time is crucial.  But unfortunately, I don't live anywhere near him to undergo continuous therapy.  He speaks highly of red light therapy and its results. 

What ninja obstacle is your favorite?  Also, which one is most challenging?

The flying bar is SUH-WEET, but my absolute favorite ninja obstacle is the quintuple steps.  Whenever I see the quin steps for the first time each season, I know it's time to begin my journey towards the Mountain and adventure awaits!  

The hardest obstacle is, of course, getting accepted onto the show.  Don't believe me?  Try it!

What’s the favorite thing you’ve bought this year for less than $1k?

Hands down, the best thing I have purchased for less than a grand is my car.  It is a 1995 Ford Aspire.  Check it out here.

If I opened up your fridge right now, what would I see?

Eggs, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, celery, and orange juice.  For the time being anyway.  

What's the worst job you've ever had?

KFC.  I was a high schooler.  It was a minimum wage job.  I wanted skateboarding.  It wanted me to mop greasy floors.  It wasn't meant to be.  (Btw, I am not above mopping!) 

Do you get 8 hours of sleep per night?

Unless I have somewhere to be, I wake up, ask my body if it's had enough sleep, and we go from there.  We're both very open to compromise. 

What 2-3 things help you to prepare mentally for a difficult competition?

Mental imagery - running through the course in my head several times over.  Deep breathing - calms the nerves and keeps my thoughts from wandering.  And positive self-talk - to remind myself why I'm here, what I've done to get here, and how much I love competing. 

If you could put a billboard anywhere, what would it say and where would you put it?

This is by far the most difficult question I have ever been asked.  Think of the possibilities.  Do I take the obvious route and go with an image of me on horseback wearing a turtle neck with cut off sleeves holding a falcon on my wrist with the word "Bangerang" printed above?  Or do I take the much less selfish road and raise awareness for a global crisis like climate change?  I sincerely don't think I could choose with a gun to my dog's head. 

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Thanks for submitting your questions for Jake!  And thanks again to Jake Murray for being a part of the Joovv AMA family!  Also, don't forget to check out Jake's Instagram when you get a chance.

If you missed the chance to submit your question for this AMA, stay tuned for the next one.  We'll let you know in advance on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.