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Seven seasons in, and still no grand-prize winner. That’s how mind-bogglingly difficult American Ninja Warrior is.
Based on the wild Japanese competition show Sasuke, ANW runs its participants through diabolical gantlets of obstacles, with the final course proving so difficult that no one has ever finished. But an American couple has its sights set on history this year. Competitors Brent Steffensen and Kacy Catanzaro, who happen to be boyfriend and girlfriend, have pushed the ANW boundaries: Steffensen is the first American to conquer the Ultimate Cliffhanger (in which competitors must traverse ledges with their fingertips), and Catanzaro is the first woman to reach the finals. Their quest for history has them training virtually nonstop.
“We do obstacle training, rock climbing, free running, and parkour,” Steffensen says. “Our goal is to get to the top of the mountain.”
And with every fall along the way, he says they’ve grown only hungrier. “Failing obstacles drives you to train harder and come back for more.”
Here is the routine that helped get the couple ready.
Brent and Kacey strength train 4-6 days a week, hitting all major muscle groups. They incorporate bodyweight workouts, including the one below, three days per week.