Crank It Up is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the fourth obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 9 in Kansas City.
It consisted of three sets of separate handles, and a laché bar after the third set of handles. On this obstacle:
- Competitors must jump to the first set of handles and crank the handles up and back until the handles moved forward, allowing them to advance by making a transition to the second set of handles.
- The second set of handles moved in a similar fashion with the first one, and after completing the second set of handles, competitors must make a transition to the third set of handles.
- The third set of handles moved up, but stop at 90 degrees (at the very top).
- From there, competitors must make a transition to the laché bar, and then to the landing platform to advance.
This obstacle was proven to be a massive toll on the upper-body strength, with many competitors tuckering out halfway through on the second or third handles. To prevent fatigue, many competitors had needed to get a strong transition to conserve arm energy. The obstacle proved to be incredibly brutal. as during Kansas City qualifiers, 35 competitors failed on this obstacle, including Sarah Schoback, Sara Heesen, Mike Chick, Spencer Johnson, Maggi Thorne, Roo Yori, Kirsti Pratt, Deren Perez and Justin Cranmer. No female competitor could get past the obstacle in qualifying. The obstacle also became the cut off for advancing to Kansas City finals, both with the womens' top 5 and the regular top 30 leaderboards.
During Kansas City finals, the obstacle was modified with the removal of the second set of handles (for a total of two sets of handles), thus increasing the jumping distance between the sets of handles. Although only 5 competitors (Sarah Schoback, Sara Heesen, Deren Perez, Craig Schafer, and Annie Dudek) fell on the obstacle (all of which failed it in the city finals), the obstacle's upper-body toll was one of the contributions to the Kansas City finals' zero finishers, combined with the elimination rates of the Broken Pipes, Bar Hop, and Floating Monkey Bars, making it the second time in American Ninja Warrior history that no competitor could finish a city finals course (after the Philadelphia finals on American Ninja Warrior 8). This obstacle also served as the cut-off for the womens' top 2.
Also during Kansas City finals, there was a special completion on this obstacle, when Maggi Thorne, who previously failed on the obstacle during Kansas City qualifiers, was able to battle her way through both sets of handles. With every female competitor either failing on Crank It Up or Broken Pipes, she became the first and currently only woman to get past it. Her completion ultimately awarded her the "POM Run of the Night". With her eventually failing on the next obstacle, the Bar Hop, her run also became the third instance where the "POM Run of the Night" was not awarded to a completion on a course.
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 10
On American Ninja Warrior 10, Crank It Up appeared as the fifth obstacle in Dallas. During Dallas qualifiers, it did slightly less damage than during Kansas City qualifiers on the previous season, likely due to its placement as the fifth obstacle. Although the obstacle had eliminated competitors like Andrew Lowes, Nate Burkhalter, Josh Norton, Chris Cambre, Victor Gonzalez, and Louis Moore, it had only taken out 12 competitors in total.
Also, unlike during Kansas City qualifiers on the previous season, only two female competitors, Quest O'Neal and Karen Wiltin, attempted the obstacle during Dallas qualifiers, likely due to its placement and the high elimination amounts of the previous obstacles (the Catch & Release, Bouncing Spider, and Tuning Forks). However, neither of them completed the obstacle.
During Dallas finals, similar to during Kansas City finals on the previous season, the second set of handles was removed, leaving with just 2 sets of handles and creating a larger gap between both of them. Only Chris Cambre, Steven Tucker, and Adam Ster fell on the obstacle; all of which fell on it previously during Dallas qualifiers. Additionally, Barclay Stockett became the second female competitor to complete the obstacle.
American Ninja Warrior 11
On American Ninja Warrior 11, Crank It Up appeared as the fifth obstacle in Baltimore. This time, the laché bar was placed lower and almost equally high as the second set of handles.
During Baltimore qualifiers, a total of 14 competitors failed on the obstacle, including Allyssa Beird (who was the only female competitor to attempt the obstacle), Eli Bell, Ryan Lee, Logan Kreglow, Clayton Mirage, and Alex Goodwin.
During Baltimore finals, similar to during Kansas City finals on American Ninja Warrior 9, and Dallas finals on the previous season, the second set of handles was removed, leaving with just 2 sets of handles and creating a larger gap between both of them. This time, 7 competitors failed on this obstacle, including Eli Bell, Daniel Eiskant, Justin Andelin and Kevin Liang. The obstacle was also served as the cut-off for the top 2 female competitors, since 3 of the 4 women who made it there (Abby Clark, Angela Gargano, and Karter Ohlson) failed on it. Additionally, Allyssa Beird became the third female competitor to complete the obstacle.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
- Crank It Up was one of the eight obstacles that won the first edition of American Ninja Warrior: Obstacle Design Challenge, and designed by Kevin Brekke, who would later hired to become a professional obstacle designer at the ATS Team, the company that builds the obstacles for American Ninja Warrior.
- The obstacle's original design had some handles with one rotator and some others with two independent rotators, but later only handles with one rotator were used.