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There’s a brand new Ninja gym in Michelle Warnky’s future

Her original gym has been dismantled, and she has the keys to her new space!

Dennis Mong/NBC

American Ninja Warrior Michelle Warnky first opened her Ninja gym, MLAB Ohio, in Worthington, Ohio in 2015. It’s credited as being one of the earliest Ninja-specific gyms. Michelle has trained hundreds of athletes there for the last 5 years.

Here’s how it began:

When Michelle first became interested in American Ninja Warrior, Ninja gyms weren’t exactly easy to find. In fact, the closest Ninja gym Michelle could find was in New Jersey. Wanting something closer to her hometown (Columbus, Ohio), Michelle built some makeshift obstacles at her local climbing gym and began training others. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to perform really well on the American Ninja Warrior courses!

Michelle first appeared on ANW during season five, but it was season six that was life-changing. The rising popularity of the show, combined with her success on the ANW course (a buzzer in qualifiers, all the way to obstacle seven in city finals, Wildcard to Vegas), resulted in Michelle’s phone and email being bombarded after the show’s airing. So many people wanted her help to train for Ninja Warrior! It was clear that her small set-up at the climbing gym was no longer going to be efficient.

Michelle had never planned to be a gym owner, but the community she had built needed a bigger space. So…in 2015, she opened MLAB Ohio, with the help of co-owners, Chris and Brian Wilczewski.

Michelle Warnky

Now, after 5 years, her community has outgrown this space as well. MLAB Ohio held a farewell competition on July 7th, and that same night, Michelle and her crew began the teardown.

It took a couple weeks, and a whole lot of hard work from staff and volunteers, but the original space was back to its original form by July22nd – no Salmon Ladders, Cliffhangers, or climbing walls in sight.

Michelle has the keys to her new place, and they’re hoping to open sometime in August. We can’t wait to see Michelle and the whole MLAB crew turn that giant gray space into a vibrant Ninja gym their community will love.