After nearly two years of not doing more than long walks and a little pre-natal yoga, then a month-and-a-half of talking about the fact that I needed to start exercising again, I finally went and tried a free session at 9Round.
Not exactly a gym and definitely not a class, 9Round is a franchised fitness center that promises results with its 30-minute kickboxing-inspired circuit training. While it’s similar to other cross-training programs I’ve done, 9Round makes the most sense for my life right now because it’s easy to get in and out quickly.
By the end of my first session I was sore and sweaty, and I handed over my debit card to sign up. Here’s why.
1. The workouts are only 30 minutes.
As a busy working mom with very limited childcare, I don’t really have time to work out for an entire hour multiple times a week. But the 9Round workout is a quick 30 minutes: I spend three minutes at each station (or round) and there’s 30 seconds in between each one.
2. I can do anything for 3 minutes.
Okay, maybe I can’t do pushups for three minutes straight. Yet. But I can try. Just about every exercise seems less intimidating when I know I only have to do it for 180 seconds. And if I’m having trouble, the trainer can offer encouragement or correct me on my form. And if that makes it harder, who cares? I’m less than three minutes from the end!
3. There’s no class time.
Even before I had a kid, I had trouble getting anywhere on time. And to be honest, the thought of missing expensive personal training sessions or showing up late for group classes because the sitter was late or the baby fell asleep on me definitely contributed to my inactivity. But with 9Round, I just show up whenever I can and jump into the first circuit (or another if that one is full). Every 3 minutes and 30 seconds, a new workout begins.
4. I get to hit shit.
Since November 8, I’ve been a mess of stress and emotions. If the news isn’t making me sad, it’s making me angry. But imagining a literal punching bag is our new president, and then hitting and kicking it as hard as I can, has been surprisingly good for my mental and emotional state.
5. I don’t compare myself to anyone around me.
Unlike a group class, at 9Round I’m not constantly comparing myself to the other people working out at the same time. Sure, the buff dude in the headband may be running around the room holding a tire over his head, but that has nothing to do with me punching Donald Trump. And when it’s my turn to run with the tire, it’s way less noticeable that Headband Dude runs twice as fast as I do.
6. It’s fairly affordable.
While different locations offer different pricing structures, the fact that I can work out for well under $100 a month as often as I want (9Round is open 6 days a week) is pretty great. And the more often I go, the less I’m spending per session.
7. The gear is included.
Joining a specialized gym or signing up with a trainer may not be prohibitively expensive everywhere, but if you have to buy special gear, it adds up. With my 9Round membership fee, I got boxing gloves, wrist wraps and a heart monitor.
8. I can visit other gyms when I travel.
Because it’s a franchise, my membership entitles me to work out in any 9Round center in the country. Which means that when I go on one of my next food-centric vacations, I can at least work off a few desserts.
9. I feel like I’ve worked hard when I leave.
As much as I love yoga, or going for long walks or even slow jogs, those activities never really make me feel like I’m truly working my body. But when I’m done at 9Round, I usually need to just lie on the mat for a few minutes. Because I can’t move. And the next day, I hurt. In a good way, of course.
I promise no one paid me to write this. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I’m paying them!