An Interview with Nicholas “Tarzan” Coolridge, Movement Artist and American Ninja Warrior Competitor


How did you get the name Tarzan?

In high school, I made a 70-foot rope swing. The whole town found out about it and started calling it Tarzan’s rope swing, so I adopted the name from that.

Can you tell us about your career in fitness?

There’s no one style of movement that describes what I do, so I call myself a movement artist. I take movements and create art around them: photographs in beautiful places, creative movements with video, things like that. Also, I compete on American Ninja Warrior.

How do you train for what you do?

Besides my own natural flow of climbing and messing around at the beach, I like doing yoga. It’s one of my favorite things as far as an exercise class. I enjoy barre classes, too, cause they help stabilize my joints for high impact stuff.

Do you work out for any reason outside of work?

Fitness is one of the primary things to being a happy person. Usually, when I feel bummed out, if I actually push myself to get up and get a sweat, I feel so much better. Every single time, without fail. It’s just a necessary part of life.

Fitness is one of the primary things to be a happy person… It’s just a necessary part of life.

Do you prefer working out alone or with other people?

What’s cool about what I do is that I don’t need anything but myself. But I enjoy doing acro yoga because you build trust and communication with a partner. It puts you in the zone. When there’s no one else around, you can slack off. But with others, you step up your game.

Are you excited to get on ClassPass?

I’m really excited because now I can find the classes around me that I want to take. Everyone always says I must be a rock climber. And yeah, I climb rocks, but I’ve never learned the actual technique of rock climbing. That would be a really cool class. And I’ve been really wanting to get into martial arts.

Since this campaign is about the new year, how has your 2018 been?

2018 has been really exciting because I’ve accomplished some of my biggest goals. It’s been my fourth year straight on American Ninja Warrior and getting into the national finals. And I’ve been on a road trip I’ve been wanting to do my whole life. For the last six months, I’ve been traveling across the country in a little camper van. It’s a huge checkmark on my bucket list. The adventure’s been a dream.

Any 2019 plans?

I don’t plan too far ahead. I’m just excited about finding places to work out with ClassPass. Normally, I have to specifically Google yoga, rock climbing or gymnastics. But now, those things are all lined up in a simpler way on one platform. It makes it so much easier.

Any advice for someone who wants to get into what you do?

People struggle with feeling embarrassed about training in public or even just going to a class. But go out there and try and fail, again and again. If you do that, you’ll become good at whatever you want to accomplish. Just try as many different exercises as you can. Do everything.

“When there’s no one else around you, you slack off. But with others, you step up your game.