This Workout Routine Is Incomparable! (and surprisingly for all ages!)

It had been about twenty years since I found myself in a gym doing any kind of guided workout. Besides, I usually prefer the outdoors with walking or hiking, rather than being stuck inside.

But one day on my casual visit to Hyde Park Square, in Cincinnati OH, I noticed a new sign across from the post office. It read: 

My curiosity built and I became a bit excited and intrigued. It had been almost twenty years since I had tried any cardio kickboxing and I missed it.  I never wanted to join a full gym just for kickboxing classes (if I could even find a gym that offered the class) and my crazy schedule leaves me little time to dedicate a workout.

So I dismissed this sign… as it most likely wouldn’t fit in to my days…

9Round wasn’t going to let me shake it from my head that easy, it called me every time I stopped in the plaza and so I finally answered by justifying a short trial for the FemCalibur blog. 

I coordinated with owner, Matthew Arling, for a trial run, allowing all beautiful  Femcalibur readers, (that’s you) an inside look to 9Round, followed by entertainment with my experience.

I got so much more than a blog.

Matthew highly suggested I get the full experience by dedicating three days my first week.

“It’s best to do every other day.” He explained.

If you read my blog “Healthy is Hard” you already know that I’ve trained myself to be aware of what I put in my body. But eating healthy doesn’t keep you physically fit. The truth is, I STRUGGLED to go to the first kickboxing class at 9Round.

Walking into 9Round was intimidating. Not only had I not seriously worked out for months, but I also am uncoordinated. My feet and hands often refuse to work in sync. I had to literally give myself a pep talk before stepping through the front door of 9Round.

Once you’re in the door, you’ve done the hardest part of the workout.

The coaches are easy going, positive and encouraging.

Stephanie Autenrieb was my coach, and though a constant rotation in schedule is always happening with the trainers, it happened to work out that Stephanie was present all three days to assist me in my first week.

Stephanie Autenrieb examples form when kicking the bag

Stephanie was recruited to 9Round when her soccer coach, of Mt. Joseph College, informed her Matthew was seeking trainers. Stephanie jumped on board and after completing the 9Round fitness test she became a trainer. 

The test consist of:

  1.      jump roping for ten minutes
  2.      30 push-ups in two minutes
  3.     50 sit ups in 2 minutes
  4.    complete introductory work out

I was worried my coordination was causing Stephanie to physically work overtime, but she obviously can run circles around me!

The first workout at 9Round is always to warm up by jumping rope. If jump rope is struggle for you, they have weighted balls to use, keeping you in the rhythm.

In a moment of feeling ‘my legs might fall off!’ if I continue jump roping, the buzzer sounds and Stephanie reminds me, “Only thirty more seconds!”

The extra motivation keeps me moving until a second buzzer sound lets me know it’s time to move to the next workout.

After day one I walked away feeling proud I finished and even more proud that I made the first step to ever walk through the door.  That night, my body felt like it had an awarding detox and I actually felt more energized.

Day two of work out, I went every other day, was just as hard to walk through the door as one. I was tired, sluggish and worn down. The workout itself didn’t leave me incredibly sore, I could feel the burn but it definitely didn’t have me laid up. However, the daily mode of life, I think, was heavier than my limbs.

After completing work out two, I was pumped. I actually got myself there and did it!  

Day three I was excited to finish the week. The feeling of accomplishment swarmed inside and I was peppy like my ‘ole days. The amount of stress that was released was incredible.

In the past I’ve felt amazing after runs, but they never released the amount of stress 9Round had.

I asked Stephanie what she felt her big challenge in training me was. I was positive she would comment on my lack of ability to coordinate my kicks and punches, but she mentioned something I hadn’t even thought about.

I am ambidextrous.

Heck it confuses me.

“Practice on getting a set stance,” she kindly encourages, “So then you won’t be confused when starting a new round.”

I now try to always start with my right… or is it my left? No, I’m sure it’s my right.

“Is there anything you would want to tell people about 9Round?” I asked her, referring to this Femcalibur piece.

“It’s not like a typical workout.  It kicks your butt but it is a lot of fun.” She smirks.

I definitely agree!

So, how did 9Round land itself in the shopping plaza in Hyde Park, Cincinnati?

I sat down with owner, Matthew Arling, to get the inside scoop.

What exactly is 9Round?

9Round is thirty minute kickboxing fitness. No class times. There are nine three minute stations. One and two are strength and conditioning, three through eight is all boxing and kick boxing, and nine is always abs.

“The workout changes every day, accommodating all fitness levels.” he explains.

Matthew Arling Owner of 9Round Hyde Park, Cincinnati, OH

Matthew was inspired to open the workout franchise after being in finance for over fifteen years. Being part of cooperate America, Matthew finally decided to take the leap to starting his own business. Being active and enjoying working out, it only made sense that he opens a business of fitness.

After extensive research, and the spark in the back of his brain, with how much he’s enjoyed traditional boxing the last five years, he realized the lack of a fun cardio boxing in the greater Cincinnati area.

9Round has changed the scenero.

They best thing about 9Round, there are no class times. You can walk in anytime during hours, and begin. If someone is at station one, they might have you begin at station nine. You are in and out in thirty minutes; Accomplished, less stress, and another step toward staying healthy.

“Depending on how hard you work, you can easily burn five hundred calories in thirty minutes,” Matthew informs. 

Ready to workout?

Trial workout is FREE with no obligation. You can schedule your first work out by clicking HERE.

You do not have to schedule your trial workout, but sometimes scheduling it is the first step to following through.

After determining your level of comfort, if you have any injuries, (which they do accommodate – knee replacements, shoulder injuries etc.) your trainer for the day will walk you through the workout plan. With members as young as fourteen, ranging all the way to eighties, there isn’t a fitness level they can’t modify.

(On a side note: my six year old went in for Stephanie’s interview with me and they had small boxing gloves for him. I was so impressed!)

Once you’re ready to join, you will have a ninety-nine dollar startup fee. This will cover wrist wraps and your boxing gloves (so you don’t have to keep using the communal, sweaty ones). As an added bonus you receive a 9Round drawstring bag for your new equipment, water bottle and snazzy keychain with your official scan in card attached.

Then it is only one hundred and nineteen dollars a month for unlimited access to workouts during gym hours. Want to work out two to five times a day? There are no limits here.

There are specials!

Currently, if you running in Flying Pig(Cincinnati), fifty dollar start up and only eighty nine a month, for up to three months. What better way to train? Just bring in your registration! 

9Round also partners with corporate businesses to keep the employees healthy and fit. Talk to you HR director if you think your business should team up with 9Round.

While the pricing may seem steep to some of my FemCalibur readers, I can tell you from experience, there is no sense of paying for a gym membership when you don’t use it. 9Round will hold you accountable for your workouts, sending you text message and emails following up. This is a workout that not only you will miss, but they will let you know you are being missed.

After speaking with Matthew I decided it was essential for me to find a 9Round veteran.

Shard`e Pettis is a 9Round Member 

Shard`e Pettis, member since 9Round opened in September, sat down with me to have a heart to heart, informing of the positive changes in her life since joining.

Full of enthusiasm, she explained how she stumbled across 9Round, losing her world of fitness for about five years before becoming a member.

 “I literally lived right across the street from a gym,” the Florida native remembers, “And I never went. Everything was always just so busy. I just never found the time or the right regiment.”

Now living in Cincinnati, in a doctoral program, she admits trying to find a local gym. But after paying to join, she only mustered to use it twice, canceling.

“I never could find the right workout routine,” she admits, “I never knew what to do once I was in the gym.”

Schooling for psychology, she understands self-care is a healthy party of life, so she was determined to find motivation to stay physically active. 

Shard`e took her search to the internet, where kickboxing sparked her mind, for a reason she isn’t sure.

“I just knew I didn’t want to run. I hate running.” She discloses.

9Round was the only local, cardio kickboxing gym to appear when she searched the area. Shard`e was ready to give it a try… and now she has finished her fiftieth class a little over a month ago; A day 9Round celebrates with a complimentary T-shirt.

It took, twenty three year old, Shard`e commitment to make it that far. Her first class wasn’t easy; in fact she describes herself as winded after the first thirty minutes.

Shard`e Pettis punching it out

“The rounds go by so fast now,” she smiles widely, “I’m almost never winded. And I can see the progress. It is one thing I really enjoy (seeing the progress).”

She reveals photos on her phone of before and after progress. She didn’t look over weight and out of shape in the first picture, but to see her comparison photo was stunning. Her muscles were truly defined.

“Look, I never realized I had back fat here like this,” she points at the before picture, “Look at how it’s disappeared.”

She proudly traces the after picture with her finger, highlighting the difference.

And Shard`e has a lot to be proud of! 

Not only is she doing wonderful things with her education and career choices, she is now making healthier eating choices and keeping physically fit.

“The trainers really motivate you. They know now what I can do. I can’t just go in there and be lazy,” she laughs. 

“And the part that makes me come back every single time is that I know they’re there and waiting for me to come back. I will get a text is it’s been a while since I’ve been in. They keep you motivated.”

I followed Shard`e to her workout for observation. Her stamina, coordination and balance were impressive. Gives me something to work toward!

Since my trial work out, I am now an invested member of 9Round. The truth is, sometimes I only get two days in through the week, but when I’m away for more than a day I can honestly say I miss it!

When Monday rolls around I’m so excited to get back to the bag. The amount of stress that has been relieved has been worth every cent, best therapy ever.

In edition, I’m thrilled of the amount of women in the gym while working out, it’s empowering. I sincerely feel like a part of something wonderful, fun and fit. 

Looks like I finally have a workout regiment too!

CHEERS!  – To Keeping YOU Younger!

May you kick butt as you stay fit! 


(Don’t forget to follow FemCalibur and 9Round on your favorite social media outlet!)

(9Round did not hire me to write this blog – it was my interest for the approach of 9Round. ~Rebecca)

Published by TheCloverNook

A background in the video production for over twenty years, Rebecca Ann Price continues her passion for story telling with her creation of Realm Komiks. An active contributor to Thrive Global and blogger for The Clover Nook, she specializes in “ Keeping You Younger" physically, emotionally and mentally as we travel through life together.

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