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9 Round Fitness: Punching, Kicking, Conditioning in 30 Minutes and No One Gets Hit

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The first sweat broke during Round 1, which was three minutes of jumping rope. Easy right? Well, when’s the last time you jumped rope for three minutes?

The three minutes of elevated “plank jacks” — supported on your elbows, springing your legs in and out — really got the blood moving. By Round 4, the gloves were on and I was hitting a punching bag suspended from the ceiling and anchored to the floor. Right jab, right jab, left punch…

Five more rounds, or stations, to go.

By the time my 30 minutes was over I had finished a nine station workout that had me throwing combination punches, kicking heavy bags and challenging every part of my body.

And it was fun, above everything else, even though I had no idea what I was doing for the first 20 seconds of each round.

That’s the motivational concept behind the four Arlington and Falls Church locations of 9Round Fitness. The idea is to make a workout efficient (30 minutes, max; no appointment time, you drop in when you can and start right away), safe (a trainer is on the floor at all times to help with techniques) and fun (yes, hitting a heavy bag is fun).

While the signature movements are based on boxing and kickboxing be advised that no one hits anyone else, ever.

“We’re not a kickboxing or fight gym,” says co-owner Rob Graveline, who grew up in Arlington. “It’s a 30-minute, full-body workout with a trainer included. We’re not hitting each other or making contact. We’re for all levels: You don’t have to be an elite athlete or an MMA fighter in training to appreciate this workout.”

The idea is to keep the body moving in a strategically designed sequence that incorporates different motions to achieve maximum results, namely calorie burn and muscle development.

The nine workout stations are modeled on nine rounds of boxing; a timer on the overhead sound system keeps everyone apprised as to how many seconds are left in their three-minute round, and when the bell rings, you have 30 seconds of “active resting” to get to the next station.

I was brand new to boxing technique but in the 30 seconds between rounds Graveline was able to show me the basics of what I was going to do for the next three minutes.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be versed in gym-lingo to understand the instructions. In my case, I completed each station successfully, if a bit sweaty and out of breath, but was well aware that my technique was monstrously beginner. With practice my technique would improve and I would get the maximum benefit from the exercise.

The exercises on the circuit change daily, so those dropping in three, four or five times a week get a completely new workout each time. And yes, you can drop in as often as you like, and without appointments, a huge luxury in the personal training world.

Membership rates are based on how long you want to invest in yourself: The longer the commitment, the lower the rate. Included in the membership is a surprising number of value-adds, such as a heart-rate monitor to target fat-burning zone (calories burned, heart rate, effort level and other data); nutritional guidance and one-on-one nutritional support; an online meal planner; and 9Round instructional videos and podcasts.

Your gloves and wraps are included in the membership fee.

As for Graveline, a career trainer for 27 years, enjoys motivating people to reach their goals. For him, he fell for the 9 Round concept as soon as he heard about it.

“It’s one of those things where everybody can do it,” he says, adding that one client is an 85-year-old woman. “We’re there to modify it to your ability to keep it safe and fun.”

And nobody gets hit.

A single membership is good for all three Arlington/Falls Church locations:

  • 2250 Clarendon Blvd, Suite L, Courthouse: 703-276-9763. Link
  • 2501 9th Road South, Suite 65, Penrose: Link
  • 972 North Quincy Street, Ballston: 703-276-9763. Link
  • 6649 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church: 703-276-9763. Link

An Old Town Alexandria location is expected to open this summer. Email Rob Graveline at [email protected] for more information

 The preceding was a business profile written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by 9 Round.

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