Channel Your Inner Ninja Warrior at These Chicago Gyms

Now approaching its ninth season, American Ninja Warrior has taken off since its debut in 2009. In fact, producers of the show received nearly 1,000 applicants in its first season. Last year, however, that number has increased to 50,000 applicants and growing. Turns out, there are more than a few people who want to take on Mt. Midoriyama. Whether you’re training to become the next American Ninja Warrior or just want to be in top shape for your next adventure race, you’ll want to add these Chicago gyms to your training schedule:

CrossTown Fitness

Before you take on the salmon ladder or the rope climb, you’re going to need the endurance and the strength to do so. That’s where CrossTown Fitness comes in. Their high-intensity interval classes are the perfect combination of strength and cardio to have you prepped and ready for your adventure race. CrossTown’s personal trainers are available to help you reach specific goals, whether it’s improving your arm strength or helping you achieve your first muscle up.

Junior Ninja Warrior (JNW)

There’s no better Chicago gym to hone your inner ninja warrior. This gym has all the obstacles you’d expect to see on a real ninja warrior course, from a warped wall and swinging ropes to monkey bars and cliffhanger holds. JNW was founded by parents who were fans of American Ninja Warrior. They noticed their kids setting up obstacles in their backyard, so they decided to create a gym where kids can tackle the obstacles they see on TV.

CrossTown Fitness has partnered with Junior Ninja Warrior to create classes for adults that combine the challenging obstacles of a ninja warrior course with the strength, endurance and mobility that you’d find in a high-intensity interval class at CrossTown. These ninja classes are open to members and non-members of CrossTown and you can register online.

Brooklyn Boulders

If you look at the American Ninja Warrior course, there are more than a few obstacles that require insanely good grip strength, like the cliffhanger holds and rope swing, and it has often been the downfall of so many contestants. Having good grip strength may not only help you out during your next adventure race, it has actually been linked to better heart health, according to the Washington Post. And what better way to increase your grip strength than with rock climbing? If you’re new to climbing, you can learn the ropes in a small group intro class at Brooklyn Boulders where you’ll discover the basics of climbing.

You can also test your grip strength skill level at their bouldering walls. Bouldering is rock climbing without the use of a harness, but don’t worry, you only climb as high as you want and there are soft mats directly below you for your safety.

Are you ready to start training for your next race? Learn more about CrossTown Fitness or register for a class at Junior Ninja Warrior.