How Beyond Design Helped Ultimate...        

How Beyond Design Helped Ultimate Ninjas Gym Reach New Heights— Literally

September 28, 2020

At Beyond Design, we live for the projects that require us to stretch our imaginations to deliver something unique for our clients. When it came to our partnership with Ultimate Ninjas, an adventure and climbing gym based in Chicago with multiple locations, we had such an opportunity.

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Ultimate Ninjas gyms aren’t your average fitness centers. Geared largely towards children and active people, they’re designed to be a fun, exciting, and unique way to get active and enjoy climbing, running, jumping, and more. Ultimate Ninjas gyms feature unique obstacles, courses designed to challenge both the body and mind and an overall mission focused on inspiring children and adults alike to embrace their inner warriors. It’s no wonder they’ve partnered with the famous American Ninja Warrior television franchise for course designs.

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In that spirit, Ultimate Ninjas asked Beyond Design with help on a very specific project— supporting the design, development, and engineering of an installation known as the Hell-Steps Cliff. This product, planned to be installed in all new Ultimate Ninjas centers, involved a structure that’s a mix between an alternating ascending/descending staircase and a ladder, featuring brightly colored rungs and a challenging obstacle for gym participants.

This design had been previously engineered in an early version, but Ultimate Ninjas needed help improving it. Namely, they needed the following improvements:

Replacing clear polycarbonate with wood

Replacing 6” x 2” aluminum with 3” x 3” aluminum

Improving the design and assembly of the monkey bars


To take on this project, Beyond Design assembled a team of our best Industrial Designers, led by the Manager of Industrial Design alongside the Senior UX/GUI Designer. 

In Phase 1.0, we delivered CAD development to include fasteners and other parameters already set forth by the client, creating files that would outline exactly how the project could be executed successfully— with regular meetings and input from the client along the way. 

When the time came, we helped translate the digital designs into the real thing— complete with improved construction, adjusted materials and dimensions as outlined by the client, and a smarter assembly design for the monkey bars.


In the end, Beyond Design was able to deliver on the promise that Ultimate Ninja gives all its members— the chance to explore, exercise, and imagine without ever having to worry about their personal safety or wellbeing, and the opportunity to do it all in a bright, inspiring space filled with on-brand obstacles and structures.

Beyond Design ensured that the project remained on-schedule and under budget for the entirety of the engagement, and ultimately were able to deliver an obstacle that was as challenging and exciting as every structure found at a Ninja Warrior gym—while being safe, secure, and built to last.

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