The hit NBC show American Ninja Warrior has become more than a hobby for many. It's become a career. For a Clarksville native who now calls Cedar Falls home, he not only calls it a job, he's about to appear on the popular show himself.

From Ninja U coach to Ninja contestant

20-year old Chris Behrends is from Clarksville. He even went to high school with American Idol champion Maddie Poppe. He works and trains at Ninja U in Cedar Falls, which is owned by his uncle Scott, who himself appeared on the show back in 2019.

Chris tried out for the NBC show earlier this year and got the good news he was selected to appear in March. His episode was taped on April 2nd. This Monday, the world will finally get to see how Chris did. He told KCRG back in March prior to his episode being taped, that he wanted to '...get as far as I can without slipping up or anything'. No matter how he did, in my book, he's a champ. I can barely take a flight of stairs without getting winded...

Want to be on American Ninja Warrior, start training now

I chatted with Chris on Facebook and asked him about his crazy workout routine.

I work out every day. Essentially I do upper body workouts 3 times a week and do cardio/abs every day I’m not doing upper body. I’m probably putting in close to 12 hours a week working out.

As far as tips for anyone who may be thinking about training, or dreams of being on the show, Chris says go for it.

It sounds super cliche, but if you have that dream, all it takes is for you to step in the gym. Ninja U has created such a welcoming atmosphere/community, it always makes you want to come back.

Chris says Ninja U is a supportive place,

You always have people cheering for you whether you’re a beginner or a 3 year professional, it’s amazing


Chris has a big celebrity supporter

As mentioned, Chris went to high school with American Idol season 16 champ Maddie Poppe. On her Facebook, Maddie took to give Chris and Clarksville a shoutout:

Chris' uncle, training partner, owner of Ninja U, and former American Ninja Warrior contestant Scott Behrends also showed some love for Chris.

Chris is not going to be coming alone Monday

Chris Behrends is not coming along. His training partners and friends Nick Hansen of Cedar Falls, Jackson Twait of Hudson, and Levi Enright of Horton will also all appear on Monday's show. As Nick Hanson said, it's an Iowa takeover!

The show featuring Clarksville native Chris Behrends, Jackson Twait, Nick Hansen, and Levi Enright will air at 7 p.m. central time this Monday on NBC. Fingers crossed, they each have a chance at $1 million. That would certainly go a long way in helping to train for whatever comes next.

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