American Ninja Warrior fans have all heard of Mount Midoriyama. But what exactly is it? Where does it come from? And how in the world did Isaac Caldiero prevail last year when facing the daunting course?
Mount Midoriyama is the finals course for the show. It is split into four stages, each with its own set of challenging obstacles that contestants must complete if they wish to become the next American Ninja Warrior. In total, Mount Midoriyama consists of 23 obstacles. The final stage, known as Stage 4, includes a 75-foot rope climb. On Season 7, Isaac Caldiero– an intense ANW competitor who dedicates his life to training for the show– was able to climb the final stage of Mount Midoriyama in 26.14 seconds. This beat out runner-up Geoff Britten by just three seconds.
Before that– meaning, for six full seasons– no one on the series ever made it to the final stage of Mount Midoriyama.
Stage 1 of the course consists of challenges that test a contestant’s agility and speed. Competitors must complete this first stage within the time limit to advance to the next round.
Stage 2 tests strength and speed. Challenges in this stage target the upper-body. The timing works similarly to the first stage– competitors can only proceed to the next stage if they complete the stage within the time limit.
Stage 3 looks at a competitor’s upper body strength and grip strength. It does not have a time limit, unlike all the other parts of Mount Midoriyama.
If competitors are able to complete stage 3 of Mount Midoriyama, they advance to Stage 4– a 75-foot rope climb that they have to climb in less than 30 seconds.
American Ninja Warrior is a spin-off of the Japanese show, Ninja Warrior, which is no longer broadcast on TV. In Japan, the ninja warrior competition was originally named Sasuke, and was the origin of Mount Midoriyama. Similarly to the American show, Mount Midoriyama on Japan’s ninja warrior was a 4-stage course located in Yokohama Prefecture.