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American Ninja Warrior: Competition Secrets

The show American Ninja Warrior first aired on December 12th, 2009. It became so popular that even after 12 seasons, it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. It was based on the Japanese television series called Sasuke. Then, first aired in 1997 and has been running ever since. In Sasuke, contestants compete on an obstacle course that tests a competitor’s agility, strength, and overall physical prowess. It was a huge hit in Japan, and it inspired the creation of a show called American Ninja Challenge.

American Ninja Challenge aired in 2006, and it gave Americans the chance to compete on Sasuke. It became so popular in the United States that, eventually, producers realized it was a goldmine, and thus they created their own version of the show: American Ninja Warrior.

The show is an opportunity for athletic people to show off their skills as they compete in a highly prestigious tournament. However, as its name suggests, American Ninja Warrior is not for the faint of heart! Only the best of the best can make it through such a brutal competition.

The obstacle courses are extremely challenging, and they advance through multiple levels of increasing difficulty. Even though 12 seasons of the show have aired to date, the courses are so difficult that there are many seasons where nobody wins at all! For the few people who can earn the title of American Ninja Warrior, they can go home knowing they are one of the most impressively athletic people in the world, and they even get to take a huge cash bonus! While the money is a huge reason why many people compete, the glory of knowing you are an American Ninja Warrior is a magnificent prize all on its own.

The show has also inspired two separate spin-off series; Ninja vs. Ninja and American Ninja Warrior Junior. However, American Ninja Warrior remains the most popular to date.

In today’s video, we’re going to look at some of the secrets behind this prestigious competition. Make sure you stick around until the very end, where we’ll reveal which people have a surprise advantage over other competitors! Before we get started, be sure to leave a like on this video, and don’t forget to subscribe and click that notification bell so you can stay up to date with all of our videos!

Facts Verse Presents: American Ninja Warrior: Competition Secrets

It’s All in the Details

The creators of the show have to work hard to make the obstacle courses as challenging as possible. The show’s team will spend hours on end designing a course, which takes even longer to build. As the saying goes, however, the devil is in the details. The producers of the show want to design a course that will test the strength, agility, and balance of a competitor. To achieve this, they have to create an extremely challenging course. Even tiny changes can drastically alter how difficult an obstacle is. Executive producer Brian Richardson explained in an interview that “Moving a rope six inches closer or farther away can make a world of difference.”

There Is No Upper Age Limit

Originally, American Ninja Warrior required contestants to be at least 21 years old. However, they changed the rules so that people as young as 19  can compete. Any young athletes looking to show off their skills can compete in the spin-off series American Ninja Warrior: Junior. However, American Ninja Warrior doesn’t have an upper age limit. As long as a contestant is 19 years old and physically fit to compete, they can be any age! The oldest competitor, Chuck Mammay, was the oldest competitor on the show.

Mammay gets up at 5 am every single morning and participates in a strenuous workout. All of his hobbies are extremely athletic and include hiking, biking, and kayaking. Sadly, Chuck Mammay lost during the first round. Still, he served as an inspiration to older people all over the country! Meanwhile, Jon Stewart was 52 when he became the oldest person to finish the final course of the show.

It Is Very Difficult to Get on the Show

Most competitive TV shows hold casting calls to find prospective contestants. However, American Ninja Warrior does things a little differently. Every person who wants to compete has to send in a submission tape between two and three minutes long, as well as a photograph of themselves. From there, producers choose about 100 different people from different regions. These winners compete in a regional qualifying round, and the winners get to move on to the actual show.

For people who don’t feel like submitting a tape of themselves, the producers also allow a walk-on line. However, the walk-on line requires staying in line for hours, and only 20 to 30 people are chosen for a quick audition.

Since the show first aired, submission tapes have increased drastically. During the first season, the producers only received around 1,000 tapes from prospective contestants. However, the number of submission tapes now can reach up to 50,000! If you’d like to make it onto the show, click the like button to let us know!

The Course Is Scarier than It Looks

All of the people who watch American Ninja Warrior get a pretty good idea of what the obstacle courses look like. The camera pans through it several times, after all. However, what contestants don’t realize is that the cameras simply don’t do the courses justice. Even the most highly-trained contestants can freeze up at the sight of the courses.

In-person, the obstacle courses are humongous, and they are far more complicated in person. Watching competitors swing through the obstacles can make them look easy at times. However, for the contestants, it is far more difficult than they could have ever imagined. The glaring lights and the crowd only add to the intimidating atmosphere, making the performances of the contestants far more impressive!

The Show Brings in Professional Athletes

While many competitive TV shows like Wipeout don’t require a whole lot of training, American Ninja Warrior is very different. The show brings in professional athletes from all walks of life! The co-host of the show, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, is a former NFL star who played for the Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins, and the San Diego Chargers.

He once explained that the show is a favorite among many other NFL players. In an interview, Akbar said, “I get guys like NFL star quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers, telling me, I love this show.’ … Other guys texting me or tweeting me, saying, Look, give me your number. I want to get on this obstacle course because I think I could do it.'”

Some Competitors Suffer from Serious Challenges

While competitors have to be physically fit enough to enter the show, the producers of American Ninja Warrior aren’t afraid to pick contestants who have a lot of adversity. Some competitors have entered the show despite rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. These contestants serve as inspiration for other people dealing with all sorts of physical challenges. Matt Iseman explained in an interview, “You don’t have an excuse when you see how hard some of these competitors work and the adversity that they overcome.

The Producers Work Hard to Keep Things Fresh

American Ninja Warrior has become a sensation across the country. With over 50,000 submissions swarming into the studio every year, it’s no wonder people work hard to gain an edge over other competitors. People have built their own obstacle courses that mimic the courses on the show. Some people even build gyms designed entirely to train for the show! Prospective contestants train for hours every day, some year-round, trying to master the difficult obstacles before sending in their submission tapes. As a result, the producers have to constantly come up with new challenges to ensure the competition is still difficult. The designers need to make sure they are a step ahead of the competitors to keep things fresh and interesting every season.

The Toughest Obstacle for the Designers Was Stage 4

Obstacles courses aren’t just a challenge for the competitors; they are also a challenge for the designers. Executive producer Brian Richardson said in an interview that the toughest obstacle to build was “Stage 4 in Las Vegas.” Of course, what was challenging for the designers was even more difficult for the competitors! Richardson explained that “It’s four stories high, and with the way the desert winds blow in Vegas, it can be scary to be up at the top.”

Only Three People Have Achieved “Total Victory”

While a contestant has to win every season, only three competitors have achieved “Total Victory” throughout the entire show. Isaac Caldiero, Geoff Britten, and Drew Dreschsel were the only people who were tough enough to make it through the final obstacle course. Surprisingly enough, Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten both achieved “Total Victory” in the same season. Caldiero finished the course only three seconds before Britten, who was sour that he didn’t get to take home any prize money.

Some People Have an Advantage

While many people imagine that only the biggest and strongest competitors would ever have a chance at winning, the reality is very different. However, in American Ninja Warrior, Kacy Catanzaro proved that size matters, but in a different way. Catanzaro was five feet tall and weighed less than a hundred pounds, giving her an edge over the competition. Smaller competitors with incredible strength and agility usually perform the best on the show.

American Ninja Warrior is a thrilling show that displays the most athletic and talented people all over the country. Were you more surprised to learn that only three people have achieved “Total Victory,” or that people with smaller frames have an advantage over other contestants? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

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