I often speak of how intimidating it can be to walk into a gym or dojo. It is scary, you feel awkward, and spend most of the time wondering if you look stupid. Heck it still bothers me strolling up to new places to train, new seminars, and workshops. My goal is to get women to step out of their comfort zone and take the first bite of their elephant towards their own personal safety, no matter how small. One of the things I appreciated about Fit to Fight was they had a crawl, walk, run method of bringing people into the gym. You didn’t have to start out with punch face, you could start out with punch bag. They had a 30-minute heavy bag class of loud, fun music that was a burnout blast. Instead of you and another person it was you and the bag. This approach gave a person the ability to choose their pace of when they wanted to move into to the other classes of self-defense.
My friend Christina is a personal trainer with Vital Fitness, she is also a sparring buddy of mine. I used to be a fad dieter and fad worker outer person (another technical term…) My weight would ebb and flow and I hated every minute of sweating profusely while not breathing well. Honestly still do, I am no runner. It wasn’t until boxing that I realized I could do something I love and burn more calories than anything I have ever done and when you are with people who hold you accountable it is definitely a big motivator. When I discovered through my heart rate monitor that one hour of hitting mitts and thai pads with Christina burned over 600 calories doing something enjoyable, I equated that to three glasses of wine and well….
Today I wanted to check out something different that still incorporated the frosting on the cupcake of the good parts usually in my normal workout, so I wandered into the franchise 9 Round. It is a 30 minute, come when you want, high intensity, kickboxing, small gym that has an emphasis on heavy bag work. They focus on cardio and strength training, there is a trainer there to tell you what to do for the day, and it’s all packed into, you guessed it, 9 rounds of fun. I met with Cara when I first came in, she was warm, welcoming, and extremely professional. After walking me through everything with their facility, she asked me what I wanted out of the day, and we got started. On jump rope. I left.
So today I jumped rope. And that’s all I will say about it.
I had a blast, I burned some major calories inside of 30 minutes, got to know Cara a bit and talk with her about self-defense. I really appreciated the emphasis she made on making sure a person was being safe with their punches and kicks. Whereas 9 Round is not, nor claiming to be a self-defense gym, it could easily be a toe in the door for breaking out of a comfort zone for some women, and Cara was great about teaching basic movement and form with the heavy bag. It was a smaller place and I was one of three people in there at the time. You ran through your nine workouts with your trainer encouraging you every step of the way, making sure you were getting the most out of it, and even with my Chatty Cathy self I was in and out inside of 45 minutes. Not too shabby for a great workout that was short, fun, and still taught me a few things.
When you look at how high statistics are of women freezing during an attack just getting the muscle memory of moving in an aggressive way and keep moving can be a tiny game changer especially when one is first starting out. If you can consistently rep a few foundational bits by learning to throw a good punch, snap kick, palm heels, and hammer fists then you are upping your chances even if it’s just minimal, of being able to do it when needed. Will 9 Round teach you self-defense? No, that is not what they are. Will you learn to punch or kick with decent form? Yes, and for those looking for something with a little less intimidation factor of rassling around on the floor with a strange sweaty man, this could be a good place for you to get your foot in the door.
Also, if you are already involved in MMA or other martial arts this was an effective, quick, relatable workout that could be a nice supplement or convenient fill in the gap. Think Walgreens to Walmart. Sometimes you don’t want to wander all the way into Walmart for a gallon of milk or nail polish, so you take the quicker option of Walgreens and venture a few different brands….
I never felt out of place or uncomfortable in any way, with the exception of I had to use the gym’s gloves (I think this was due to insurance franchise reasons or something). This was almost a deal breaker for me at first…. but then I got over my ridiculous self by mentally running my brain over how many helmets I have shoved my face into that the person prior just got done intensely adrenaline sweating in. I popped on the 9 Round pink gloves. They do give you a pair of your own with their insignia on them when you sign up for a membership so that solves that issue a bit; using other people’s gloves just grosses me out though and this is coming from a person who has caught their kid’s vomit in their hands.
I left thinking this was a perfect bridge for women who aren’t quite ready to walk into an MMA gym or dojo. The technique that was taught for punches and kicks was foundational and well laid out, so a really good place to start, and in fact Cara had a few little nuggets of information I gleaned that was helpful on the double end bag.
I love sparring, love boxing, love Muay Thai, love Jiu Jitsu, but sometimes it is super nice to just do a workout that requires no thinking on my part at all. I love having someone else just tell me what to do so my brain can shut off. When it involves punching and kicking things? Even better, and when it can possibly burn the equivalent of three glasses of wine? Well….
Check out 9 Round, there’s like hundreds of them, however I am now biased towards the one on J Street in Bentonville because I have been once (got a membership so going again) and Cara is there. 9Round Fitness
#ijumpedrope #metquotaforthedecade #9Round #hugsandpunches #convenientworkout #heavybagworkout #hammerfist #howdoyoueatanelephant #onebiteatatime #killthecalories
Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal