NBC's summer test of strength, endurance returns Monday

(NBC) - After five summers of putting contestants through the physical wringer "American Ninja Warrior" is back for more.

The obstacle course competition series sought out athletes from all walks of life to take on the challenge in five cities for this season.

"Competitors, they'll build the courses in their backyards, they'll train in gyms and then all of a sudden they'll show up for our city qualifier and they'll see two obstacles they've never seen before, and that's what makes our show so difficult," says co-host Jenn Brown.

The athletes who complete the qualifying course fastest advance to the national finals in Las Vegas.

That's where they'll face an even longer course modeled after Japan's famed Mount Midoriyama, a course no American has completed.

The prize for the person who does conquer Mount Midoriyama: Half a million dollars.

"American Ninja Warrior" airs tonight at 9 p.m. EDT.


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