A new fitness center in Petaluma allows anyone and everyone to learn kickboxing without ever being kicked or punched.
“You do everything that you do in kickboxing except get hit. We use kickboxing as a vehicle for physical fitness,” says owner Philip Grainger.
Kickboxing, like other mixed martial arts sports, is growing in popularity in the United States as both a spectator and participant sport. At 9Round Fitness, it is definitely a participant sport, although the only contact is with training bags.
“You do get self-defense training,” says Rachael Dundum-Holt, manager of the newly opened 9Round Fitness franchise in Petaluma. “There is knowledge behind every move, but the emphasis is on fitness.”
The 9Round Fitness workout concept is unique. It is a structured 30-minute workout designed to be accomplished at whatever pace that makes visitors comfortable. Members quickly rotate through nine “rounds,” completing the full bout in 30 minutes.
Each “round” has a specific workout, most involving the use of a multitude of kick heavy bags, double end bags and speed bags. Workouts and challenges at each station change daily.
A personal trainer works with each member as he or she moves through the various stations. The trainers work with the members to learn not only how to use the bags, but how to use their own bodies to get the maximum benefit from their concentrated workouts.
“The focus is most definitely on kickboxing, but you get a good solid all-over workout,” says Dundum-Holt, a professional trainer and kick boxing advocate.
The 9Round Fitness Center is located in a long rectangular studio in the Gateway shopping center off Lakeville and Payran streets. It is a long, vertical, brick-walled airy space that allows for ample room between stations, much different from the cavernous rows of workout machines seen in larger, more traditional fitness centers.
Prominent on the walls are monitors that allow each visitor to keep track of things like heart rate and calories. The in-house monitors can be used in conjunction with a phone App that is provided free with membership. The monitors also allow members to receive weekly and monthly progress reports.
Dundum-Holt said that the membership has ranged from mothers looking for a good quick workout to both men and women serious about improving their kickboxing skills.
“We get people who want to lose weight,” she said. “First and foremost we’re are about improving health, but weight loss is a huge added bonus.”
Included in the workout is a custom meal plan designed for each individual with suggestions for healthy eating to complement the physical workouts.
Grainger is a champion martial artist who is originally from Northern Ireland. He ended up in Petaluma four years ago when his wife, a registered nurse, got a job in the area. His goal was to operate his own physical fitness or martial arts franchise. “I met with the owner of 9Round, and decided that was what I wanted to do,” he explained.
Next step was to find a location. Grainger did it the old-fashioned way — he drove around town and looked. He finally settled on the location in the Gateway shopping center.
“This location was perfect,” he said. “it is located between the east side and west side and it has easy freeway access.”