Sam Sann is loved and respected in the American Ninja Warrior community. He owns Iron Sport Fitness in Houston, Texas and trains many Ninja greats, including Daniel Gil. The gym happens to be attached to the hair salon he also owns. (We’ve heard Sam’s wife acts as mom to all the trainees, making sure everyone is safe and happy.)
He’s been competing on American Ninja Warrior since Season 4, and his grace and determination have become legendary. In Season 7, Sam Sann gave an emotional run in the Houston City Finals. With many of his students and fans looking on, he carefully, but successfully completed the course and moved on to Vegas.
In Season 8, we did lose Sam Sann in the Oklahoma City Qualifiers after a fall on the Tire Swing. But his influence will still be deeply felt at the City Finals, as his student and friend Daniel Gil takes the course.
We chatted with Sam Sann in Oklahoma City before he ran his Qualifying course. He’s a total delight and seems to be adorably amused by torturing his students.
What's in the bag you'll be bringing to the course?
"Well, just mostly food. Basically food that gives me energy. Healthy food. My organic salad with lots of seeds, berries, stuff like that. Mostly antioxidants."
What's your go-to snack while you're training?
"I don't have a go-to snack. I just train until I'm super hungry. Then go eat."
Is there an exercise that you hate doing?
"My least favorite exercise...hmm. You know what? I love all exercise. If I'm in a group, I force everyone else to do it, and I watch them suffer, while I enjoy it."
What's an exercise your classes don't like to do?
"Nobody likes to do abs. Abs is my favorite to do with other people, but I can torture them. I can handle it but I have to see other people suffer. That's my way of saying that's how I work out."
What words of encouragement do you give them when they're suffering during abs?
"Keep at it! Keep at it! It's only temporary!"
Who comes to mind when you need a little bit of inspiration?
"When I get motivated, the truth is, you know what, I ask God to give me strength. That's my biggest thing."
What’s your favorite Sam Sann run? Tell us in the comments!