Every man has at some point dreamt about having the strength of a warrior and the stealth of a ninja.
Evidence: the existence (and popularity) of NBC show “American Ninja Warrior,” wherein contestants complete a series of diverse and intricate challenges designed to embarrass them on national TV — which is possibly why far fewer men have made constructive steps toward achieving the ninja dream.
And yet, the ninja dream is closer at hand than it’s ever been before.
The show, now filming its eighth season, has inspired gyms around the country to incorporate obstacle courses and challenges based on its four-stage competition. Many of the gyms were opened by former American Ninja contestants and offer laymen the opportunity to take on the workouts at pretty reasonable price points (about $80 a month) according to OZY.
The exercises are built on parkour fundamentals like flexibility, explosiveness and motion, and challenge aspiring warriors to negotiate rope swings, monkey bars, foam pools, climbing walls and super-sized trampolines. Sounds like fun, sure, but toys these are not: the courses themselves are extremely difficult. It took seven seasons before a contestant on the show achieved “Total Victory” working within similar constraints.
If you think you have what it takes, or just want to test your personal limits, the list of participating gyms is long and growing longer.