9Round Fitness Review: The Ultimate Boxing Workout

Punch your way fit in just 30 minutes

woman kickboxing
Getty Images/skynesher

After test-driving a 9Round Fitness workout in Cedar Park, Texas I have to admit the 30-minute boxing workout kicked my butt in all the best kinds of ways. The workout was intense, fun and best of all, the programming was genius - I didn't have to wait around for a class to start, I could just show up and get to work on my schedule. 

Compare 9Round Boxing Workouts to Title Boxing Club's Power Hour>>

9Round's Genius Programming

9Round isn't a Tae Bo-style cardio kickboxing workout; rather, it's a serious boxing/kickboxing circuit that incorporates heavy bags, speed bags, gloves and wrist wraps. Coaches put together daily workouts for members to follow, and they're there to instruct you as you go, walking you through the program so there's no wasted time between exercises. 

The truly genius part of 9Round is its round-based schedule. Similar to a real boxing match, 9Round features nine, three-minute rounds. Because a new round literally starts every three minutes, you can show up whenever you want and start your workout on the sound of the next buzzer.

Also, because the rounds are set up in a circuit, you can start at any station and progress through your workout from that point forward. This is nice when it gets busy - you don't have to wait for the first station to free up - you can hop in on station five, then cycle through to station nine before starting over at station 1.


As a franchise, every gym is set up the same way, so regardless of the facility you visit, there shouldn't be any surprises about what to expect. For instance, all nine of the stations are programmed the same way - rounds one and two are conditioning rounds with jump rope, jogging and other cardio-based exercises.

 Rounds three through eight are boxing rounds - you don your wraps and gloves and beat your way through the bulk of the workout. And the ninth and final round is the core strength round. During this round you perform exercises to strengthen the hips, abs, and low back.

More: Try a Boxing Workout at Home (No Heavy Bag Required!)>>

9Round Pros:

As I mentioned, I absolutely loved this workout. In a nutshell, here's why:

  • Workouts are planned and delivered by a trainer - there's no guesswork for the participant, and you have someone there to help you master your form during each workout
  • Workouts are only 30 minutes long - who doesn't love that?
  • You can show up and start whenever you want - you don't have to wait for a particular class time, so you can always fit a workout into your schedule
  • Workouts are tough, but appropriate for all levels. I'm all about working hard and pushing limits, but workouts need to be scalable for a varied population. 9Round routines are based on time, and are largely based around body weight exercises - this means you can easily adjust the workout by slowing down or speeding up your pace or incorporating modifications to make it appropriate for your fitness level.

    Check Out These Boxing & Kickboxing Must-Haves>>

    9Round Considerations:

    • Possible differences between franchises. The main thing to keep in mind is that 9Round is a franchise, so while the system is developed by corporate headquarters, there may be differences between owners and trainers that could effect your personal experience. 
    • Small facilities and limited hours. 9Round facilities are small and typically managed by only one or two trainers. This means the facility may not be open during times that are most convenient for you. For instance, the facility where I went is open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, then reopens from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. If I were an early morning exerciser, this schedule wouldn't work for me. That said, hours vary from facility-to-facility, so your local gym might be more accommodating.
    • Less individual instruction when the facility is busy. I was lucky and attended a class at a time when I was the only person in the gym. This meant I had individual, one-on-one instruction from the trainer who gave me pointers and form corrections throughout the routine. During peak hours, if there are two or three participants at each station, it's unlikely that a single trainer will be able to effectively provide individual tips or pointers. If you're familiar with the exercises and already have stellar form, this isn't a problem, but if you're new to the workout it could leave you open to potential injuries. Make sure you communicate with the trainer and ask for extra assistance if you're unsure about your form. 

    Continue Reading