Things You Didn't Know About American Ninja Warrior

American Ninja Warrior is an increasingly popular reality competition show which focuses on physical strength, endurance and sheer force of will rather than singing or other artistic talents. The show’s premise is simple: contestants must compete a series of tough physical obstacles in order to move further ahead in the show towards the goal of competing in the finals. Many of the obstacles featured on the show have become part of popular culture due to their difficulty—such as Mt. Midoriyama and and the warped wall. What else do you know about this hit show? Let’s take a closer look at some things you likely didn’t know about American Ninja Warrior.

It’s an American version of a Japanese show

American Ninja Warrior is actually a spin-off of a Japanese show called Sasuke, which has the same basic premise. Competitors from all over the world participate in American Ninja Warrior despite its name—and the two shows have sometimes even crossed-paths during special events towards the end of each season.

Crew members test out the course before every run 

It’s vital that the obstacles for the contestants are both safe and doable—though ‘doable’ doesn’t always mean easy in the slightest. To make sure the obstacles are safe to use and can actually be completed, well trained crew members are used to test out the courses before any contestants are allowed on them. Sometimes, production may be paused while crew members test out the obstacles in between contestants, in cases where the security of a particular obstacle needs to be re-checked.

Production can take hours 

Each episode of American Ninja Warrior is only an hour long, and it may seem like the competition flies by in no time. However, the actual production of the show can—and often does—take hours for each single round of contestants.

Production for the longer and more complex finale episodes, where continents must do courses one after another, and production is extended even further. During the filming of one of the show’s finales, filming began at ten in the morning and didn’t end until 4 am the next day!

Contestants aren’t allowed to practice the obstacles

While the show does make sure that contestants are fit enough not to be in immediate danger when going through the course, they aren’t allowed to practice any of the obstacles at home. Many of the more hardcore and experienced contestants on the show have actually build practice obstacles from the show in their own homes—the Warped Wall is a particular favorite for these practice gyms—but these practice obstacles are in no way official or endorsed by the show.

One contestant who has been on the show multiple time over the years revealed to fans that before contestants are allowed to go on the course, all they are given by the production crew is a run-down of what they have to do on each obstacle, rules for the course and each obstacle, and some basic safety tips. If you order one of the Dish Network Satellite TV Packages, you will be able to see all the exciting action on American Ninja Warrior.