GA: Tell us what got you involved in 9Round and owning your own gym?
Julie: Mike and I were in our early 40’s and raising two small children when Mike, a full-time mechanical engineer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He began searching for an exercise regimen that would help with his symptoms and that’s how he discovered 9Round Kickboxing. I (with a previous career in marketing) was an avid runner, triathlete, and fitness instructor. I was quickly sold on the fun and effectiveness of the 9Round system. Mike and I were at a point in our lives where we were looking for a new challenge, something to call our own, and something that would make a difference in the lives of others. So, we took the plunge and opened 9Round Gastonia in 2013. We went on to open 9Round Lake Wylie in 2016. Exercise is the key to good health and we love providing such a fun, effective, and convenient way to stay healthy and fit.
GA: So what do you guys do- how are you different from other gyms/programs?
Julie: 9Round is a 30-minute, full body workout. It’s fun, fast-paced, and effective! The workout is a circuit format so you’re in each “round” for 3 minutes; there’s an active break in between each round; and you have a certified trainer working with you throughout your workout. We get to know our members and work to help them achieve their personal fitness goals.
GA: I see “kickboxing” in your name…am I going to get punched?
Julie: Fair question… but “NO”, there is no one-on-one fighting. You never get hit. We provide instruction and teach proper form. Members have heavy bags for landing their punches and kicks. When Covid restrictions lift (and members are comfortable), we look forward to returning to pad drills which are an engaging way to perfect members’ striking form and accuracy.
GA: What if I haven’t been to the gym in a while (or ever!)…is this going to be too much? Or what if I am in pretty good shape- is this challenging enough for me?
Julie: You do NOT have to be in shape or experienced to get started with us. We have all fitness levels from beginners to seasoned athletes. The circuit format allows members to work at their own pace; and our trainers work side by side with members to provide customized instruction and motivation every workout.
GA: I am pretty busy, and my schedule is hectic- are the class times flexible?
Julie: This is another great thing about 9Round. We have NO class times! Members show up when it’s convenient for them. Within 3 minutes another round starts and they begin their 30-minute workout.
GA: Are the workouts always the same- I get bored easily…
Julie: Our workout changes every day! Not only does this keep you from getting bored, but it keeps your body from getting caught in a rut of doing the same thing all the time. Our workout is always a good combination of upper body and lower body; and a good combination of strength and cardio.
GA: Is there a contract involved?
Julie: We have several membership options. Those who commit to a longer membership get the best value; but we do have monthly memberships options as well.
GA: Sounds like fun- is it?
Julie: It is fun! I always say, “it is the toughest workout that you will ever enjoy doing”. I think this is one of the reasons why 9Round has been successful. If you enjoy your fitness
program, then you are going to be more consistent, thus getting better results.
GA: Do you have any success stories?
Julie: We are proud to have LOTS of member success stories. Many involve weight loss journeys… some big, some small. However, we get equally excited for members who conquer other health issues such as curing Type 2 Diabetes and/or lowering blood pressure and eliminating medications. Our members also enjoy the benefits of reducing stress, increasing strength, and improving overall energy levels. These stories are so rewarding to us!
GA: How have recent health concerns affected your business?
Julie: Having to close our doors for a few months was very stressful for us and our members. Fortunately, we were able to provide an online daily workout option for members (which is still available). Upon reopening, we’re fortunate that our format already lends itself to 6 feet of distancing and the ability for us to sanitize equipment in between each member on every round of our circuit. We’re following all CDC guidelines. We have heightened our cleaning standards throughout the gym and are limiting overall capacity to ensure social distancing. Exercise is important for maintaining a strong immune system, so this is not a time for people to shy away from working out and taking care of themselves.