A Fitness Series – The One with all the Kicks
Kickboxing is an awesome workout. You kick, punch and have your heart pumping for the entire class. I’ve tried two kickboxing gyms in the last year so for this post instead of trying a new one out, I thought it’d be best to write about my experiences with I Love Kickboxing and 9 Rounds. They both offer kickboxing classes, but are in no other way similar. Let’s start with the basics.
Gym: I Love Kickboxing
Location(s): Trinity, Largo, Sarasota, Oldsmar
First Class Cost: They offer 3 classes for $20
Rentals Included: Gloves are included in offer and are yours to keep
Class Link: Click Here
Gym: 9 Rounds
Location: Safety Harbor, Dunedin, St Pete, South Tampa and New Port Richey
First Class Cost: Free
Rentals Included: Yes
Class Link: Click Here
Online scheduling is not offered at I Love Kickboxing, which is a bummer. You’ll need to speak to someone directly to get scheduled for class. It’s part of the experience and for them to get to know you. However, 9 Rounds does allow you to book your first class online. You simply input your information, select the best date and time for you, and boom you’re done. They’ll call and/or text you beforehand to confirm. Now let’s get into the workouts.
ILKB is an hour long class. The general format is always the same. You start with a warm-up which is designed to get your heart rate in and out of the fat burning zone. Seriously don’t be mislead by the term “warm-up.” The first 15 is far from easy. You have an instructor or two there the whole way to show you the moves and make sure you are in proper form. The best part of their culture is everyone is to progress at their own pace. After the warm-up, you stretch as a class and head into 6 bag rounds.
There are always 6 rounds and a speed round, but the combinations change every class. All your work is done on a free standing heavy punching bag. You learn all the basic punches and kicks with dope music playing in the back. When I first started going, I always felt like I was in a training montage of a sports flick. Even if you give minimal effort here, you will be sore the next day. After your bag rounds you go into partner glove drills which focuses on accuracy and coordination. You finish class with conditioning and boom your hour is over! FYI, class time varies by studio.
9 Rounds is only 30 minutes and does not offer class times! It’s an ongoing circuit style workout so you can jump in at any time. Like the name suggests, there are 9 rounds in the class. You start with jump rope to get your heart rate up and then it’s a mix of bag rounds, weighted exercises and non-weighted exercises. At 9 rounds, you work with a speed bag, a traditional double end bag, a maize bag, and an uppercut bag. The rounds are about 3 minutes each and go by quickly. I really enjoyed these workouts as they were convenient and you got to work with various equipment.
At 9 rounds, you have the opportunity to purchase a chest strap heart rate monitor. It’s relatively inexpensive as far as HRM goes. I paid about $70 for mine and it works with other apps on my phone; overall pretty decent investment. If you do buy one, you will see your stats on the screen while you workout. This is perfect for those of us who are competitive. You’ll know exactly where you are at all times and when you sure speed it up or slow it down. It’s the ideal opportunity to keep yourself in check. Having a good workout isn’t about being completely out of breath the entire time. It’s crucial to listen to your body and not overwork yourself to get the most out of it. The rounds always change, every time you come to class. Since the times are so flexible, the gym is never completely full. This is perfect because it allows more one on one attention from the instructor. After class you get an email with your stats and how many classes you’ve taken. Perfect for accountability and motivation. Oh and you get to ring the bell after your workout, which was honestly my favorite part.
Final thoughts! Kickboxing is a really fun way to workout. You feel badass, you burn loads of calories and your toning at the same time. Depending on your budget and schedule, either option can really help you met your fitness goals. I personally think it’s a great option for those just starting off and looking for fast results. Both gyms offer month to month memberships so you do not need to be locked in for a specific length of time. I love flexibility, homies! As of writing this post, 9 Rounds starts at $79/month for unlimited workouts and ILKB starts at $145/month for unlimited workouts.
9 Rounds – Safety Harbor
Value for price-point: 4 out of 5
Schedule Flexibility: 5 out of 5
Workout: 4 out of 5
Cleanliness: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
ILKB – Oldsmar
Value for price-point: 2.5 out of 5
Schedule Flexibility: 4 out of 5
Workout: 4.5 out of 5
Cleanliness: 3 out of 5
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thank you for reading. Catch you guys soon!