We don’t hide the fact that we’re big fans of the NBC television show American Ninja Warrior. There’s just so much to like about it, with inspirational stories of people who set a goal for themselves and then strain every part of their body, and will, in order to defeat the obstacle course. The popularity of this show, combined with the inspiring design of the course, gave us a great inspiration for our kids’ gym. Every day we provide kids’ fitness programs that they really look forward to!

If you’re unfamiliar with the show, you might dismiss it as just another way for tough guys to square off against each other. But it’s so much more than that. Let’s break it down.

Everyone Is Pretty Likeable

On American Ninja Warrior, it’s very easy to find a favorite to root for. Sometimes it’s the reigning champion, other times it’s the underdog. Sometimes it’s that guy who’s been there six times and just can’t seem to come out on top.

But it’s hard to find someone to actively root against. While all of the contestants are in top physical condition, few of them are showboating. (Well, there are a couple of showboaters, but they seem pretty fun.) They just want to do their best in a physical competition.

There’s another popular genre of television show that gets the attention of young people, boys in particular: professional wrestling. The action is certainly real, because there’s no denying that the wrestlers are performing those amazing stunts. But the drama certainly isn’t real, because wrestling is much more like a soap opera than most people are willing to admit. There are the good guys, there are the bad guys. Luckily, everyone on American Ninja Warrior is portrayed as being a likable person. That’s why…

It’s Hard to Root Against Anyone

There are often video segments created for each of the participants on the show, and each of them is portrayed as a strong, determined go-getter who is ready to make the most of their time on the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. Many of them build courses in their backyard, going the distance in order to complete their goal. With everyone portrayed so positively, there aren’t any bad guys like you’d find in wrestling. You end up rooting for everyone, and when they don’t finish the course you’re genuinely disappointed. There’s no joy in defeat, and there’s no gloating from the other participants.

It’s much the same at our kids’ gym, because no one is hoping anyone else will fail. Everyone is building each other up during our kids’ birthday parties and at our Junior Boots programs, and no one is being put down.

It’s Not Just For Boys

Baseball, football, soccer, basketball…99% of the sports you see on TV are all male-centered. But not American Ninja Warrior, because it has both men and women competing, showing off exactly what a well-trained human body can do.

We certainly follow suit at our kids’ gym, because we welcome boys and girls. It’s also a great birthday party venue no matter who’s attending your party.

The Course Changes

One of the most fun aspects of American Ninja Warrior is that the course changes over the years and even during the season. They’ve certainly come up with some interesting challenges over the years, many of them testing the limits of human hand strength.

While we can’t replicate everything they do on the course — let’s just say their budget is millions of dollars more than ours — we have built a kids’ obstacle course that is changeable and captures the heart of American Ninja Warrior’s equipment.

It’s Fun!

When you watch the participants on American Ninja Warrior, they’re very focused on the task at hand. But as difficult as the obstacle course is, there’s not doubt that they’re enjoying themselves.

The same is true for our kids’ activities. The courses are essentially out-of-the-ordinary playground equipment, and we all know how kids love to play. In short, it’s a great place for kids to get some exercise while having a load of fun at the same time. It’s also improving their social, thinking, and leadership skills at the same time.

One Way In Which We’re Better!

While people on American Ninja Warrior tend to be friendly and encouraging with each other, they’re still all in direct competition with every other person on the show.

We’re better than that! Every child who’s here for our kids’ fitness program is going to work together in order to reach their shared goal. While they might be racing against their own previous record, they’re all on one team and dedicated to helping each other out.

We love American Ninja Warrior, and we understand why kids do too.After all, it’s a lot of fun to watch, but it’s also a lot of fun to participate in. And while we can’t all fly to Las Vegas for our Junior Boots program every day, we’ve brought something kid friendly to Vernon Hills. Want to learn more about our children’s activities? Read more about them here!