The iron man from Gifu, touted as having only 3% body fat, is unfortunately plagued with being able to use only 3% of his brain.
Yasushi Yamada proudly wears the orange jumpsuit as a fireman from the Gifu prefecture. His first appearance was in Season 12. Like other successful firefighter contestants before him, Yasushi displays a stunning mix of strength and agility. Sasuke announcers continuously shower him with praises of his physical supremacy throughout his run across the obstacle course.
Indeed, the man is a picture of the ultimate male Japanese physique: super lean, super muscular, and super TANNED. Just take a look at the clip above. It is no surprise that Yasushi takes his time in showing off his body before the start of every obstacle. We can see him “casually” swaying his arms back and forth while flexing every bit of muscle on his body. Some viewers have even complained that his body is so toned that his abs look disgustingly unnaturally.
Sasuke Ninja Warrior history has shown us that the obstacle courses demand both agility and strength, two qualities that seem to come naturally from Yasushi. Tragically, that is not the case for our iron man if he isn’t smart about where and when he uses his strength and agility.
Lactic acid buildup is the deadliest Ninja Killer. Yasushi has failed at several key obstacles because of lactic acid buildup. He is notorious for trying to muscle his way through each obstacle without regard towards effective ways of body placement and maneuvering. Audience members can feel his frustration as he hangs helplessly on the latter half of Pipe Slider obstacle on Stage 3. He would put so much force into swaying back and forth to build momentum, only to land in water when his arms gave out.
Looking at the clip above, we painfully watch as time expires for Yamada on Stage 2 no less. Again, his technique, or lack thereof, leads to his muscles giving out. We want to see him make it as an all-star. The way he currently expends all of his brute force will surely take him out of contention sooner than later.
Technique is crucial in this competition, yet Yasushi refuses to adopt it. Instead, he favors the use of brute force to overcome each obstacle. While that may work for much of Stage 1, Yasushi will continue to pay the price in later stages if he doesn’t wise up and use his strength conservatively and when appropriate.
Strength is only half the battle. Ninja Warriors must also use their wits on their journey to Total Victory.