DENVER — If the treadmill and elliptical seem unappealing, a new obstacle course gym in Lafayette may fit your fancy.
Ninja Nation is a brand new world-class obstacle course gym and will open its first location in Lafayette on Saturday. A second location will open in Englewood near the Centennial Airport in the fall, said Founder Wayne Cavanaugh.
Ninja Nation brings the training for the popular show “American Ninja Warrior” to life. It opens obstacle racing to all ages and skill levels. Some of the country’s top Ninja Warrior athletes — including Geoff Britten, Jamie Rahn, Brian Arnold, Ryan Stratis and Karsten Williams — are members of the Ninja Nation team. They have gone on to lead the creative teams, operations teams and coaching teams.
“I’ve watched my kids really develop and excel because of great coaches and great environments for developing those skills," Cavanaugh said. "The ninja community is a phenomenal community for any individual of any skills or background or capability because it’s such a supportive community for development.”
Britten said he found "American Ninja Warrior" when his wife was pregnant and they were searching for a family friendly show to watch. He went to train for the show and became one of the only two participants who have completed all obstacles in the national final round.
He said it's the best community he's even been a part of.
“I’ve seen so many positive success stories from 'Ninja Warrior' and from obstacle training where kids can come in and get a workout in and get tired and sweaty and they’re high-fiving each other afterward," Britten said. "They don’t even feel like they worked out. And they want to come back and do it again and get better.”
He’s the creative director for Ninja Nation.
He said joining the team gave him the chance to introduce the sport to more people in a safe and encouraging environment.
Each obstacle in the facility was developed to focus on skill progression, so both beginners and seasoned athletes can tackle the same course at different levels of difficult. And there’s a bonus: Staff regularly change up the challenges and obstacles.
In addition to the obstacles, the arenas will also feature the most advanced technology available, which includes audio, video and lighting that produce a “Sportainment” experience, according to the press release. Users can wear wristband that tracks where they move in the facility and then produces a video of their training through an online portal, Britten said.
“Every detail at Ninja Nation has been designed to create a fun and empowering environment where you feel like a superhero in your own video game,” he said. “You even get to choose your own hero name. And in addition to the killer obstacles, we’ve developed programs where you earn points for achieving new skills and level up as you progress.”
The Ninja Nation facilities offer monthly memberships, classes, open gym time, competitions, birthday parties, events and a mobile unit.