You might miss it if you’re not looking for it. Tucked between Outback Steakhouse and The Fresh Market on East Boulevard, lays a sleeping giant ready to build your biceps, crank up the cardio, and destroy (in a good way) your delts: 9Round Dilworth.
9Round is a boxing gym for the Average Joes and Janes of the world who want to get in shape, lose weight, build endurance, and increase strength in a fun, non-traditional way. Wave goodbye to your boring treadmill or weight room routine, because 9Round offers workouts that change daily and offer baked-in variation as well with up to 27 different movements per workout (3 different moves at 9 stations). With 417 locations and growing in 10 countries, 9Round members have logged over 100 million rounds and don’t show any sign of slowing down.
While looking for parking on a warm Thursday evening with my windows down, you could hear shouting from inside. Not the scary, mean shouting you might expect from the world of boxing, but upbeat, motivational “You got this” shouting. “We’ve got work to do!” This place might be intimidating for first timers. But the second you walk in you’re greeted by friendly faces ready to put you through 9 rounds of full-body bodyweight, free weight, boxing, and aerobic exercises in what is sure to be the most intense half hour of your day. Each 30 minute class burns up to a whopping 500 calories.
First timers, don’t fear. The circuit format also allows you to move at your own pace since each person in the class is doing a different movement at a different time – you’re never fighting to keep up but still pushing yourself as hard as you can. If you have trouble staying tuned in to your current workout routine, 9Round’s change of pace solves that with new moves every 3 minutes.
9Round is also ideal for a busy schedule (and whose isn’t these days) since there are no set class times and you can rotate in at the end of every 3 minute round. Each “round” or station has something different to offer: stations 1 and 2 are focused on strength building with dumb bells, kettle bells, and more to build strength and stamina; stations 3 through 8 incorporate boxing elements for hand eye coordination and timing; and station 9 is dedicated to the all-important core where you’ll crunch and twist your way to a svelte midsection.
Armed and ready to report my findings, I set off for my 30 minute induction into the 9Round family hoping someone would make a joke about “hard hitting journalism”… because I’m a sucker for puns. It might sound like chaos, but 9Round is more like a well-choreographed swarm of athletes jumping from station to station at the wail of a boxing timer every 3 minutes. Each station consists of 2 movements that you and your partner rotate between for 2:30 before a bonus movement during the last 30 seconds of each round.
I recommend bringing a partner, but everyone I encountered during my time in the gym was super welcoming and encouraging. Even if you don’t go with a buddy, you’ll feel welcome. The trainers took time to introduce themselves, remember our names, and check in every now and then to see how it was going.
When our 9 rounds were over, my workout buddy, Rachel, and I were ready for 9 more (…maybe). We actually had enough steam left to get a light run to nearby Freedom Park in before the sun went down. Don’t mistake, you’ll be huffing and puffing after 30 minutes, but you’ll also feel really strong and I recommend riding that endorphin wave as long as you can.
Each 9Round membership comes with access to their trainers, your very own pair of 9Round gloves, hand wraps for wrist support, an online nutrition guide and support in the 9Round Nutrition Forum, as well as access to a super cool heart rate monitoring system so you can blend science with fitness for proven results. Screens inside the club give you instant feedback on your effort via your personal heart rate monitor. The best part of all is that your first workout is FREE! You don’t have to have previous kickboxing experience or equipment to enjoy this perk, just sign up online and the trainers will give you a pair of loaner gloves for your first class. Mine were hot pink and awesome.
This stuff is seriously fun and I can see why so many are addicted 9Round loyals. Although I was sore the next day, it was a good kind of sore- the kind that told me results can be mine if I stick with this routine. I can’t wait to go back!
WHERE: 1412 East Blvd. (Dilworth Garden Shopping Center)
Monday – 7:00am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 8:00pm
Tuesday – 6:00am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 8:00pm
Wednesday – 6:00am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 8:00pm
Thursday – 6:00am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 8:00pm
Friday – 6:00am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 6:00pm
Saturday – 8:00am – 1:00pm
Sunday – 11:00am – 2:00pm