9Round Fitness: Local gym brings kickboxing to Manhattan

K-State student, senior Presley Stevens, works the heavy bag at 9Round Fitness on Oct 3, 2019. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

9Round Fitness offers a unique exercise opportunity in Manhattan.

Adam Rogers, master level trainer and the general manager at 9Round, and Kansas State alumnus in public health and kinesiology, said the experience is unlike any other gym and a great stress reliever.

“Our mission is to make our members stronger in 30 minutes both physically and mentally,” Rogers said. “We do that in a few different ways. Mental benefits for students — who are on campus, studying, dealing with stress and anxiety — include being able to provide a healthy outlet that’s always positive and always upbeat, and then you get to hit and kick things as well.”

The 30-minute sessions are broken into three-minute exercises at nine different stations (hence the name “9Round”). Each exercise is set up with the final 30 seconds saved for trainees to go hard and blast, with small recovery exercises between intervals.

“We have cardio, strength-based training incorporated into some of the rounds, when you’re punching or kicking a 100-pound heavy bag, there’s resistance built in,” Rogers said. “And there’s a trainer there who pushes you past your comfort zone, pushing you or helping your with modifications.”

Exercises change daily and customers can engage in weekly challenges.

Kassie Procopio, level three trainer and senior in anthropology, said the energy is high for a reason.

“My favorite thing is to yell at the clients,” Procopio said. “I shout to get amped up, and if they don’t think they can’t do box jumps — and then they do — I just go off the walls.”

Procopio said she is proud of her clients and the work they put into 9Round. She explained the need for high energy from the business model side:

“We have E-Squared, which is ‘Energy and Enthusiasm,’” Procopio said. “We’ve ranked fourth in the nation out of 300-400 other branches, and I think that’s because of our E-Squared is so genuine. We get connections and we love them.”

Rogers said the branch as a whole has been ranked consistently as one of the top gyms in the franchise for the two years it’s been open.

Grace Heineken, senior in construction science and management, said she has seen great results in her time at 9Round. Heineken said she is becoming stronger as a person and physically, with greater motivation to become healthier and having more energy.

All customers are allowed one 30-minute daily session of high intensity kickboxing-themed training. Owner Tim Vettel said this was to help customers both recover and build muscle, and acts as a safeguard for customers to ensure that they don’t push too hard.

Student discounts are available, and 9Round will celebrate its second anniversary in Manhattan later this month; all registration fees will be dropped to $2 per person and will save customers approximately $200. All customers receive boxing gloves, wrist wraps, a heart rate monitor and a membership to an online portal with nutritional guides and helpful hints to help them engage in their workout.