When it comes to whole-body workouts, some say that CrossFit is the holy grail. We’re also fans of more adventurous classes — like static trapeze and pole dancing — but when it comes to sheer physicality and pushing our bodies beyond their limits, we’ve known exactly what we wanted to be since we were 6 years old: ninjas.
As luck would have it, Westchester is home to two gyms operated by authentic American Ninja Warrior contestants. Let’s check out some of the insane obstacles you can partake in at each.
Photos by Dave Zucker
404 Irvington St Suite 202, Pleasantville; 914.747.1115
Founded in January 2019 by Westchester residents Allison and Eric Meltzer, this Pleasantville gym is a massive space dedicated entirely to the art and form of looking insanely cool while doing the most fun (and wildly difficult) physical challenges ever thrown at ANW hopefuls. The team, including Luis Moço, Lucio “The Mustache Ninja” Battista, Henry Ferrarin and Yancey Quezada, has a combined 17 seasons of competition experience to help you get in the swing of things — literally and figuratively.
Constantly shifting their equipment to provide new and challenging obstacles for guests of any age, coaches provide expert training on classic tests like the rolling logs, spider jump, rock wall, ropes and rings, salmon ladder, and six different heights of warped wall, which are all timed and culminate with a super-satisfying buzzer at the end. Grint Ninja was also the first gym in the country, according to Eric Meltzer, to debut a home-grown version of the “shrinking steps” from this season of ANW and have an entire “parkour house” in the center of the gym.
Open Sessions: Wednesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; age 15+; $25
Birthday Parties: 90 min. exclusive gym use Friday through Sunday, plus use of party room; $595 up to 15 guests (+$25 each after)
150 Clearbrook Rd, Elmsford; 914.909.9444
Started by five-time ANW competitor Noel Reyes back in August 2018, this facility located within The Westchester Gym specifically gears itself towards the county’s younger ninjas, though teen and adult classes are also available.
Guests can test their mettle on classic obstacles like the quintuple step, doorknobs, peg board, warped wall, salmon ladder, cliff hang, slack line, Tarzan rings, and tons more, divided between those focusing on balance and the upper-body.
Kids classes are broken up by age and skill level — beginners classes age 6-8 are specifically set up for smaller children than intermediate and advanced classes. Expert guidance is always on hand from Reyes, “Newark Ninja” Desmond Odom, and fellow American Ninja Warrior Anthony Eardley.
Open Sessions: Teens & Adult — Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; $25
Kids Classes: $25
Kids 6-8 Beginner — Fridays, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Kids 6-12 Intermediate — Friday 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kids6-12 Advanced — Friday 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
$75 day camps also available
Birthday Parties: 60 min. in Ninja Room and 30 min. in Party Room; includes ninja & party hosts, pizza, drinks, and gift for the birthday child; $499 up to 30 guests (+$25 each after)
Competition: Seasonal; NNL affiliated