“Kylie, you dumbass,” was the first thought in my mind, walking into 9Round Kickboxing and Fitness Gym.
“You are so totally going to die,” was the second.
9round features nine different types of exercises, hence its name. Each exercise lasts a total of three minutes, with a 30 second-long transition period where the trainers tell you what to do in the next station while you do a filler exercise, like star jumps or burpees.
When I walked in, I was bombarded by obscure rap music from the mid-2000s and two of the trainers, literally jumping over each other to greet and fist bump me. I was surprised — their cheery attitudes definitely contrasted the brick walls and black rubber flooring, but I was down with it.
Once I’d paid my $10, I was set at the first station, where my workout consisted of ski jumps and mountain climbers. There was a lot of jumping, and I was out of breath 20 seconds in. The next one wasn’t much better — lots of fancy push-ups. I suck at push-ups. But nobody laughed at me when I did the pitiful knee-ones, so I counted it as a win. Luckily enough, this station and the first were probably the most strenuous.
For stations 3-6, I strapped on some boxing gloves and went nuts on multiple sizes and shapes of punching bags. I’m a pretty energetic person, and it definitely worked to my favor in these stations, where I got to side-hook and round-kick and triple-punch a bunch of 100-pound bags until my heart was content…or the three minutes ended.
The third station was probably my favorite out of all of them. You punched a bag for a while, and then there was this exercise ball you had to balance yourself on, while you kicked your legs out, and then brought your knees to your chest. It killed my legs, but I felt like a total badass by the end of it.
The seventh station had me rolling around and groaning for most of it. I had to kick a punching bag with my shins, and then my knees ten times each. They were followed by five burpees. One burpee takes me approximately 45 seconds to complete. I just can’t hop up and down quickly for some reason, and spend the majority of the time writhing on the ground and attempting to do some pitiful modification of a push-up. My friend spent the entire three minutes laughing at me. It wasn’t entirely pleasant.
However, the transition exercise following was star jumps, which may have made my day. There’s just something really fantastic about randomly jumping up and flailing your arms while the trainer attempts to explain your next exercise to you. I honestly didn’t want that drill to end.
By station eight, one of the trainers had changed the music station from rap music to pop hits from last summer. My next exercise was probably the toughest one to do. I had to hit this tiny little punching ball thirty times in a row. For some reason, I kept on missing it and it took me the entire three minutes to go through two repetitions of it. It was pathetic. My hand-eye coordination sucks.
At the ninth station, I was gross, sweaty and beaming. I normally hate working out, but I honestly was kind of upset that this was coming to an end. My final exercise was a bunch of reverse crunches, where you repeatedly flail your legs in the air, and Russian twists with a medicine ball. I don’t know what Russian twists are either. I just kind of did sit-ups with my ball until the end of it.
The trainers were insane. They made my time there a lot more pleasant, because half of the time I was just listening to them banter about having us all run to a nearby HyVee in lieu of a station. Their patience with me was endless, and I could tell that by their cheerful attitudes that they really did want to see all of us improve and work as hard as much as we could.
9round was most definitely worth the $10 I paid at the door. I was seriously sore and exhausted by the end of it, but there was still a huge grin on my face as I walked out the door, trainers chirping compliments as I went. It was a blast.
And if I did star jumps all the way to my car, that’s nobody’s business but my own.