Fanny Josefine Ahlfors could best be described as a real life ninja. She’s a Swedish athlete that’s becoming well-known for performing insane ninja feats with her crazy upper body and core strength. Ahlfors started gaining her initial recognition for her crazy ninja/workout videos a little over two years ago.
She began sharing videos on her Instagram page followed by her YouTube channel, which quickly gained traction in the climbing and strength communities. If you’ve scrolled through your explore page on Instagram, or follow various strength focused pages, then chances are you’ve seen her videos at one point or another.
We’ve shared a few videos of Ahlfors on our page, and after her latest two-finger pull-up video with 15kg around her waist, we thought it was only fitting to learn a little bit more about this unique strength athlete’s career.
BarBend: Can you give us a quick background on yourself?
Ahlfors: I use to be a girl who was in the stable with the horses all day long, so I didn’t do any other training, climbing or anything like that. When I was around 20, I found kickboxing. I did kickboxing and boxing for some years, and I also competed. I won the world cup in kickboxing, which was my best fight.
After that, I tried to run, but got injuries so I started to do pull ups and crazy things when my legs were resting. But it wasn’t until I saw Ninja Warrior and started to climb 2 years ago that I started to get really stronger.
BarBend: Growing up, did you play any sports?
BarBend: You’re known to so many as a real life ninja, but do you see yourself that way? For example, when you do these crazy exercises, is that the type of image you want others to see for you, or do you just want to share different movements/workouts?
Ahlfors: My Instagram plan is continue to post crazy strong woman videos. But I do a lot of other workouts. I compete in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). My goal is to compete in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship in October in Ontario, Canada.
BarBend: You have so many crazy videos on your Instagram page. How do you come up with the things you do? Do you brainstorm, or find inspiration from others?
Ahlfors: I get inspiration from others a lot, and then mix it up with crazy ideas I have.
BarBend: Have you ever been scared when shooting a video?
Ahlfors: Yes, almost always, especially when it’s something high.
BarBend: When you make videos, how long does it normally take you to get the shot? Are the things you do multiple rep styled movements, or a one and done to prove to yourself and others you can do it?
Ahlfors: It depends on what I’m doing. Sometimes for videos I need to get stronger and it takes more time. Sometimes I have to get it the way I want it, which can take hours and causes my memory card to completely fill.
BarBend: Have you ever experienced an injury while filming?
Ahlfors: Thankfully no. I’ve gotten injuries, but not when I was filming.
BarBend: Do you have any tips for those who want to get into climbing? Where did you start?
Ahlfors: Honestly, simply find a climbing gym and just start going there. Everyone is always friendly and will help you out.
BarBend: For women readers specifically, what are a few tips you’d give to improve upper body and grip strength?
Ahlfors: It’s tough to start, but never give up. It will not come easy and you will not have “fancy” hands.
BarBend: What are your favorite exercises for training grip and core?
Ahlfors: Pull-ups and different forms of ab roll outs.
BarBend: Do you have an end goal with all of your ninja skills?
Ahlfors: One arm pull-up. Also, I want to try to get more people to see that there’s so many fun things you can do to workout instead of the basic gym workouts.
Feature image screenshot from @fanny_josefine Instagram page.