Matt Shortis

By day, Matt is a mild-mannered sports reporter, radio producer, and college professor.

By night, he uses his strength, skill, and agility to transform into a fitness coach and American Ninja Warrior.

Matt has followed Nerd Fitness since 2014 after discovering the rebellion by chance (or fate). He was instantly a fan of the site and even went to meet Steve at the launch of Level Up Your Life.

During high school, Matt was active playing varsity golf and lacrosse, as well as wrestling.  However, he was always on the smaller side and felt intimidated by the high school weight room. After high school, as many people tend to, he became less active – focusing mainly on his work at the college radio station.

After some difficult medical struggles, Matt decided to take his health into his own hands.  Ever the lover of fast food – he decided to make major changes to his diet.  Getting back into a workout routine at home was his next step: he can still remember barely being able to shampoo his hair after the first upper body workout because he was so sore. But he stuck with it. Over the course of three months, he went from not being able to do a single pull-up to doing sets of 20. After several months of in-home workouts, he started giving friends and family advice and eventually pursued a personal training certification.

Through another chance encounter, Matt met someone who had been selected to compete in American Ninja Warrior, which in turn, inspired him to apply the following year. To his surprise, he was selected and he competed in the Pittsburgh city qualifier on Season 7.

After the ANW experience, Matt threw himself into all ninja-related areas of fitness – climbing, parkour, ninja, and gymnastics. Currently, Matt is preparing for season 10 of ANW while adding new skills like front and back flips, 1 armed pull-ups, and strengthening his handstand.

When he’s not working out (and frequently when he is, see below for proof…), Matt is spending time with his wife and five children. You can also find him reading a multitude of books or Star Wars comics.

Credentials and Education

  • Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM
  • Golf Fitness Specialist, NASM
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1
  • Animal Flow Level 1
  • Kettlebell Athletics Level 2
  • WFPF Parkour Level 2
  • Girls Gone Strong Certified Pre/Post Natal Coach
  • FRC Mobility Specialist

Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?
I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.

I loved Star Wars growing up. As I grew into my mid-twenties, it fell off my radar a bit. One day I came home and my kids were watching the show Star Wars Rebels. I instantly fell in love all over again.

Favorite video game?
If I go real old school, TMNT II: The arcade game & TMNT Turtles in Time. More recently, Zelda BOTW is incredible (though I haven’t played it as much as I would like). I played the original God of War non-stop when it came out. I also really enjoy some of the great multiplayer and party games like Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart.

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be, and why?
Can I have Steve Rogers’ super-serum? And his moral compass? Basically, what I’m saying is I’d like to be Captain America.

When I worked in a chain gym, my parkour and ninja workouts earned me the nickname “Spidey.”