Photo by: Vivian Rong
An enormous room decorated like a jungle is the first thing visitors see when they enter Warrior Gyms in Mount Laurel. The gym, based upon and themed after the immensely popular “American Ninja Warrior,” contains training equipment that the contestants on the show use to train.
Warrior Gyms offers many classes for all levels and ages, starting at age three, as well as offering open gyms where people can go to the gym and have some fun on their own with authentic Ninja Warrior equipment. They also host special events, such as birthday parties.
The parkour gym looks and feels like a rainforest, complete with powerful speakers that simulate jungle sounds, a gigantic two-story parkour complex of obstacles — such as lilypad jumping panels like in American Ninja Warrior— and three ‘warped walls’ that are painted to look like the natural wood of rainforest trees.
A teen Ninja Warrior class at Warrior Gyms consists of an outgoing and optimistic instructor teaching techniques on different aspects of parkour from the American Ninja Warrior show, such as swinging from ropes, running up warped walls and crossing a broken bridge.
The owner of Warrior Gyms, Vito Lasprugato, is dedicated to passing on his wonderful experience of parkour to younger students, so that they can accomplish their dreams of the Ninja Warrior world.
Lasprugato believes that when it comes to training to become an American Ninja Warrior, trainees deserve the best of the best.
“[There is a lot of] focus, determination and dedication to making sure that we made the most unique, creative, and more importantly, state-of-the-art facilities when it comes to Ninja Warrior training, parkour training and rock climbing,” said Laprugato.
Warrior Gyms is also special in that Lasprugato’s business partner, Brian Kane, competed on Season Seven of American Ninja Warrior and knows what it takes to accomplish dreams
of success in parkour.
“We wanted to make sure that our parkour area was one of the best parkour areas for parkour athletes to train in, for students to grow in. They’re pretty high up on the show, and people don’t realize that. So when they’re training for American Ninja Warrior, we should be training them high up as well so they get used to those heights,” said Lasprugato.
It is not shocking that attending the gym one time, even as an inexperienced Ninja Warrior, the thrill and excitement that comes from accomplishing the unique obstacles Warrior Gyms provides makes newcomers want to go back for fun again and again.
“I loved it. It was such a cool experience, and I would go back any day because it really was fun,” said Kaiyan Ling, a first-time Ninja Warrior at Warrior Gyms. “Warrior Gyms isn’t like most places you go to, but it was parkour and trying it here for the first time was definitely the right choice.”
The environment of Warrior Gyms was remarkably embracing and open that it made me personally feel like I was able to let loose, experiment and have fun with new moves that appeared impossible to accomplish. The positive staff and thought-out obstacles generated a lively and persevering course that emphasized to try until success is reached, which inspired me to reach new heights and enjoy the excitement of completing challenging adventures.
Embracing this Warrior Gyms experience encouraged me to grow out of my comfort zone and understand how much determination is required to be a true Ninja Warrior.
The session ended with teens ziplining down a painted river and feeling fresh and accomplished, having done something they never thought they could do: parkour, the kind of which only seemed possible behind a TV set.