first learned about the 9Round-Circuit-based boxing concept years ago while on vacation in Miami, where the Fitterati raved about the 30-minute training session.
After a Trump presidency and global pandemic later, I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got to try it for myself after discovering it hit the British shores.
There are now studios in Belfast, Glasgow and London – where there are 13 alone, including Bankside, Acton, Seven Sisters, Bow, City Road, Cannon Street, London Dock, Fulham, Croydon, Earl’s Court, Stratford, with newly opened outposts in Shoreditch and Hoxton – each offering a free trial lesson before signing up for membership.
So I think it could be the fitness scene’s best kept secret.
There are no lesson times
The nice thing about 9Round is that you can literally take a class every three minutes with no commitment or booking. It’s so flexible and easy and convenient to insert into a small gap in your schedule, it adapts to you and not the other way around. As someone constantly racing from the office to meet overly optimistic class bookings, this was truly a godsend that took late or missed class fees out of the equation.
How it works
As the name suggests, there are nine rounds, each lasting three minutes, with a short break in between to move stations. The session begins with skipping, followed by four rounds of traditional boxing and kickboxing, including pad training with a trainer, before removing your gloves and attempting the speedbag, which is concluded with a solid abs session. And all of this only takes 30 minutes.
You just start training as soon as the first lap is clear and I’ve found that even at peak times in the pre- or post-work rush, I rarely (if at all) had to wait.
The training changes every day
While the circuit follows the vague structure above to ensure a full-body workout, the actual exercises change daily – even skipping is toggled with heart rate-increasing effects. There is a whiteboard next to each lap that details the exercise, but the trainer also walks you through each lap. There are also CHOWs (or challenges of the week) with prizes for the winner.
You work one on one with a trainer
Investing in a personal trainer doesn’t come cheap and 9Round is the best you can do without spending more than £ 50 per session. Throughout the workout, the instructors will give you tips and tricks on how to improve your technique, and there is also a special round for pad work (the only contact box in the session). This personal one-on-one element helps you to get your jab, hooks and crosses to the point and at the same time improve your coordination and your stance. There are also special technique lessons during the week and on different weekends for those who want to sharpen themselves in a specific area.
You can monitor your heart rate in real time
Heart rate measurement is more popular than ever in the fitness world. When you begin your membership with 9Round, you will receive a MyZone MZ-3 heart rate monitor that tracks the intensity of your exercise as well as the amount of calories and fat you burn. It will then appear on the screen in the corner, which acts as a great motivator to encourage you to keep pushing yourself with each session. You can track your progress more scientifically in the enclosed app.
Level things up with a challenge
If you want to see real improvement in your fitness, strength and mental resilience, there is nothing like a challenge to keep you motivated. 9Round runs the Stronger in 30 Challenge, which, as you can probably imagine, takes place over 30 days with unlimited workouts over that period. Your very first session will take measurements on your arms, waist, hips, legs, and more, and also take a fitness test so you can compare results at the end of the month. You will also receive nutritional advice and be encouraged to set goals. I was really impressed with the progress I’ve made.
It’s fantastic for stress reliever
After all, there are few things that can be compared to boxing when it comes to relieving pent-up stress and tension from the day. Put on your gloves and hit or kick your problems away. It just really works.
Prices start at £ 49 per month depending on the studio, and you can try a course for free before committing. For more information, visit 9round.com