The Most Difficult Thing About American Ninja Warrior, According To Jessie Graff

jessie graff

American Ninja Warrior is a TV show that brings the best and most daring athletes out to try their hands (and feet) at outrageously difficult obstacle courses. Competitors need everything from speed to strength to balance to make it to the end without falling. Veteran Ninja Warrior competitor Jessie Graff revealed to CinemaBlend what is especially difficult about the courses, saying this:

For me it's the grip endurance to get through all the upper body obstacles in a row. But the scariest are the balance/agility obstacles. They're the most finicky, the hardest to replicate for practice outside the course, they're usually something we've never seen or tried before, and they're kinda all or nothing. You can't feel it out or muscle your way through. You just have to go for it, and hope it works.

While all of the obstacles on a given American Ninja Warrior course look pretty impossible for those of us who have to obey the laws of gravity, many of them can be trained for ahead of time, and competitors need to have intensive training regimens if they want to last. Jessie Graff has said that her regular work as a stuntwoman is especially valuable for "adaptability and obstacle analysis," and she has added rock climbing, pull ups, and a monthly visit to an obstacle gym to prepare. Still, all the careful preparation can't necessarily give athletes all they need for whatever contraptions the American Ninja Warrior team comes up with for the different stages of competition.

As any American Ninja Warrior fan knows, Jessie Graff is an expert at making her way through those different stages. She has set and broken records as a female competitor, often while dressing like a superhero. Still, it can take trial and error for the greatest competitors (and any participating dinosaurs) to master certain obstacles. If athletes haven't had the chance to check obstacles out ahead of time and practice them, any of them could fall, no matter the size, skill, or level of experience. Luckily, there's always water beneath the especially tricky stunts to make sure that any falls don't result in serious injury.

The wide variety of obstacles certainly keep things interesting on American Ninja Warrior. No two athletes are entirely the same, and so there's no saying how anybody will perform on a new course. Jessie Graff always keeps things exciting as she conquers courses nobody would have thought possible for somebody of her size, and it's pretty easy to get sucked into a YouTube vortex of her American Ninja videos. Check out Graff in action as Wonder Woman:

I'm exhausted after just watching that! She was as epic as ever in the 2016 Los Angeles finals, and her recent performance in the USA vs. the World special proved that she's not taking it any easier in 2017. We'll have to wait and see what she has in store next.

American Ninja Warrior returns to NBC for Season 9 on Monday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well. If streaming is more your style, our Netflix premiere schedule will help you out.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).