American Ninja Warrior's new champ: 8 Things to know about Isaac Caldiero

Sep 15, 2015 at 5:22 p.m. ET

If you've ever watched American Ninja Warrior, you know that the show's obstacle course is no joke, and neither are any of the contestants that compete.

Every single man and woman that has attempted the challenge is an athletic beast of epic proportions, yet after seven seasons and 3,500 contestants, not one single American competitor has ever been able to complete all four stages of the course — until now.

Fort Collins, Colorado, resident Isaac Caldiero went down in history on Monday when he became the first American Ninja Warrior champ and walked away with the show's handsome $1 million prize after completing the brutal course in just 26.14 seconds.

More: Nastia Liukin to American Ninja Warrior’s Kacy Catanzaro: No, you're an inspiration to me!


Here's what we know about Caldiero and how he got to where he is today.

1. This wasn't his first Ninja rodeo


Caldiero tried his best to take down the course in 2013, but ultimately failed. He gave it his best shot again in 2014, when he was taken down by the salmon ladder in stage two.

2. He's a professional rock climber


Caldiero is an avid climber, a skill that is obviously integral to overcoming the Ninja Warrior obstacles, and he gives it huge credit in his training for the show.

"In the moment, when you finally see the course, it's too late to go train, so you just have to be ready," he said of his regimen to Esquire magazine. "Most of it, year-round, we're rock climbing and developing our grip strength and a lot of our coordination skills... I built a couple of the obstacles in my parents' backyard as well as just basic gym-type training. Pull-ups, push-ups, cardio, intertwined with rock climbing and ninja-specific obstacles."

More: Is Ninja Warrior UK the show Gladiators fans have been waiting for?

3. His girlfriend has also competed on the show


Caldiero's significant other, Laura Kisana, made it to the American Ninja Warrior Season 5 finals in Las Vegas and also competed in Season 6 and Season 7, according to her Instagram.

Like her boyfriend, Kisana is also a master rock climber.

4. He moonlights as a busboy

While Caldiero's passions clearly lie elsewhere, he pays the bills by working as a busboy. We're assuming those days might be behind him, however, considering his newfound fame and the addition of a cool $1 million to his bank account.

"I've worked a lot of hard jobs. Just to begin rock climbing, I was cleaning bathrooms in a trade for a climbing membership," Caldiero told Esquire when asked about his prize money. "Over the years, I've never made more than $10,000 a year. Even now that it's me and Laura, together we've never made more than that. So all of [a] sudden, now we just have this huge pot of gold. The world is our oyster. It's going to be an amazing ride."

5. He eats healthier than you do


If you want to be a ninja, you gotta fuel like a ninja.

6. His nickname is Nin-Jesus

Because of his skills and biblical good looks, Caldiero earned the moniker Nin-Jesus. He has fun with it and even appeared at an American Ninja event in a robe fit for the son of God.

7. He plays the piano like you wouldn't believe

Not only is he physically adept, Caldiero is musically gifted. Check him out at one minute 16 seconds in this video.


8. He's going to Disneyland

Isaac Caldiero just made history by becoming the first-ever American Ninja Warrior winner from America. What's he going to do now? He wants to hit the happiest place on earth, of course.

"At the end of the day, all we want to do is go rock climb," he said to Esquire. "I mean, we'll upgrade our RV. We have an old 1970 RV; we might get a new engine for it. Also, I've never been to Disneyland — maybe we'll go there."

Watch Caldiero's American Ninja victory in all its glory below.