If you type “Fitness Boxing” into your search engine, you will be dazzled by the array of gyms providing this type of class. But do boxing workouts work? Are they effective? Get-Fit Guy goes undercover at 9Round to find out.
My Experience at 9Round
I told the 9Round trainers when I first arrived in the mostly empty gym that I was a “complete noob” so they promised to walk me through the workout. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a promise they could not keep.
After they set me up with a heart rate measuring chest strap, which fed my beats per minute onto a few TV screens around the gym, they got me set up at the first station. But by the time I was at the third station, the gym had filled up and they barely had time to tell me what I was supposed to be doing let alone hold my hand. Which is not great when you only have three minutes at each station and 30 minutes to get a decent workout done (more on that later).
Round One: Jump Rope
I was instructed to jump rope for three minutes. No warm up, nothing fancy, just grab a rope and jump. OK.
Round Two: Lunge Twists and Jumping Jacks with a Medicine Ball
Now we’re talking! This is what I enjoy—some full body, multi-joint movements. By the end of this station, I was fully warm (and a bit sweaty).
Round Three: Double End Striking Bag
The trainer, who had pretty much abandoned me at this point, ran over and put some boxing gloves on my hands and told me to punch this oval shaped bag that was suspended from both ends by a surprisingly erratic rope. I lost at least 30 seconds getting the gloves on my hands and another 30 seconds trying to figure out the physics of the bag, which left me with two minutes of very ineffective punching. I started to get frustrated.
Round Four: The Heavy Bag
After I stood there looking lost for a few seconds, one of the trainers came running over and showed me how to kick the bag 10 times from what I would call a crab-walk position (on all fours, with my belly facing upward). Then I was told to jump up and punch the bag 10 times. Again, I lost a lot of time getting instructions and then more time wrapping my head around these completely unfamiliar movements. My frustration kept growing.
Round Five: Maize Bag
This one was fun and easy to understand. Kick the bottom of the bag with each foot and then give the bag an uppercut with each hand. Now we’re talking! I finally must have been showing some aptitude for this workout since one trainer ran over and cheered me on for a few seconds. My frustration was replaced by catharsis!
Round Six: Horizontal Punching Bag
This was another station that I took to in a hurry. Still wearing the gloves, I was told to do a burpee, then with my hands on top of the bag, knee the bag from underneath with each leg and then pound on the top of the bag four times with both fists (like a caveman having a temper tantrum). I didn’t lose much time at all getting into this one and my heart rate hit an all-time high.
Round Seven: Kickboxing Bag
This is when things really went south. I was left standing for quite a while wondering what my instructions were for this station, then it took the trainer a full minute to show me how to do a front-kick and a side-kick properly. So, by the time I was able to barely execute the two movements, I didn’t have much time left at all. And with that limited time, I flailed around, ineffectively getting frustrated again by my apparent lack of Van Damme-ness.
Round Eight: Speed Bag
I don’t even know what to say about this. I have seen these bags on TV and in movies but I have never tried one. And in the three minutes that I used this one, I can easily say that I am no more proficient at it than I was when I walked in the door. And therein lies my biggest issue with 9Round (but again, more on that later).
Round Nine: Bicycle Crunches
Yes. I did bicycle crunches for the better part of three minutes straight. This not only seemed uninspired on the trainer’s part, but it was also boring as heck for me. Not a great way to end my session.