American Gladiators is made up of a variety of different events designed to challenge contenders and show off the abilities of the gladiators. Points are given at the end of each challenge to determine the winners of each episode. Most of these battles are timed, while others are won simply by completing the challenge.
These events include:
It may look like fun, but Altrasphere is a difficult event that tests contenders' strength and stamina. Contenders and gladiators get inside giant steel and mesh balls that look like huge hamster balls and must navigate them using their bodies. Contenders attempt to get their balls over the raised scoring pods, while gladiators are there to thwart these attempts.
Contestants must navigate a course while a Gladiator pelts them with tennis balls at speeds of 100 mph. The course is full of counter-strike weaponry, including air cannons and cross bows. At the end of the course, the contestant hits a target which plunges the Gladiator into a tank of water.
Each contestant goes head-to-head with a Gladiator on a 12-foot platform that hangs above the arena floor. The platform shudders and gyrates as the contestant tries to throw the Gladiator to the ground.
The Eliminator is the obstacle course that must be completed at the end of each episode. Tasks include diving off a 10-foot platform and swimming under a flaming surface, climbing a 35-foot pyramid, and leaping to catch a giant zip-line.
Gauntlet is almost like an insane version of the children's game "Red Rover." Contestants attempt to race through a 90-foot long course, while four Gladiators try to knock them down or toss them over a wall. At the end of the course, contestants make a 10-foot sprint and crash through a foam wall.
This one is pretty straight-forward. Contestants must cross a tank full of water by swinging from ring to ring on a line strung 20 feet above the tank. The catch is that there is a Gladiator below, trying to pull them from the rings.
Hit and Run
Contestants go head-to-head with each other as they race across a suspension bridge, earning points for each successful crossing. As the contestants run, however, four Gladiators are making things difficult by swinging 100-pound demolition balls at them from all angles.
Contestants joust with combat clubs against Gladiators from 15-foot high posts suspended above the water tank. The winner is the one who avoids being knocked off the perch and plummeting to a splashy finish.
Contestants try to put balls into five scoring "pods" while three Gladiators attempt to tackle them or push them out of bounds. This challenge lasts for a predetermined amount of time, and both contestants play simultaneously.
The pyramid itself is a 35-foot padded monstrosity. In the Pyramid challenge, two contestants attempt to scale the pyramid while two Gladiators repeatedly try to push them down, or toss them unceremoniously to the ground.