Want to know the secret to getting fit while living in a RV? Just ask the new American Ninja RVer Isaac Caldiero.
This 33 year-old busboy and rock climbing superstar got into the kind of shape mere mortals like us only dream about, all while RVing from one climbing spot to another. Even more surprisingly is that he became the first American to ever win the million dollar prize not by living in a fancy RV and hauling around lots of workout gear – but by traveling in something much simpler and training with Mother Nature.
Training with an American Ninja RVer
Caldiero achieved his super human physique while living in a 1978 Dodge Jamboree that he bought in 2011 for just $1,200. “With savings put away, I made a quick snag of a killer deal on a motor home,” he wrote on the website FiveTen. “After rebuilding the carburetor, installing new spark plug wires and distributor cap, new brakes, new water pump and thermostat, resealing the roof and lots of interior decorating, it was finally time to put the beast on the pavement.”
NBC’s American Ninja Warrior is a competition that no American has ever won before. It requires competitors to “jump, climb and swing their way across insanely challenging obstacles on a course that looks like a giant Erector set co-designed by Rube Goldberg and the Marquis de Sade,” says National Public Radio in this article about Caldiero’s victory.
Getting fit on the road didn’t require a fancy RV or a lot of money either. He and his girlfriend Laura Kisana eeked by on a $10,000 annual income over the last six years so they could pursue their dreams of rock climbing glory. As they traveled all over the country in the old RV, this celebrated rock climber was getting into shape in some of the most scenic spots in the country. He told Outside Magazine about his outdoor gym training over the last three years that led up to his winning the American Ninja competition.
“This year Laura and I were working a bunch so we’d climb, do some pull-ups, push-ups, and some cardio. I had these atomic climbing holds that you can dangle from a tree limb or a bar—they build your grip strength well.”
Ever since he started climbing at age 15, he’s tackled notoriously technical climbing routes on the continent with ease. According to Outside Magazine, Caldiero “was one of the first people to complete a ropeless ascent of a 5.14a.—it was an old classic route in southern Utah, one of the first 5.14a’s in the country, called The Present.”
Now that this American Ninja RVer is a millionaire (or at least close to being one after paying taxes on the prize) will Caldiero go out and buy a Prevost? Not likely. He told NPR “You definitely aren’t going to see us out driving around in fancy cars and living it up. You know, we’re going to keep down to our roots, and we’re going to go rock climbing.”