A Well-Rounded Workout

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9RoundCdM_Nick Zou_03_credit Grace Leigh
Nick Zou, co-owner of 9Round Fitness in Corona del Mar | Photo by Grace Leigh

Get in shape and blow off steam in nine rounds of kickboxing.

By Sharael Kolberg


For an intense workout in 30 minutes that focuses on cardio, strength and self-defense, 9Round Fitness in Corona del Mar has just what you need. The semiprivate, instructor-led, full-body circuit training workouts are designed by certified professionals and include several types of kickboxing moves, as well as nutritional support and heart rate monitoring. We caught up with co-owner Nick “Kapow” Zou to find out what makes this type of workout so appealing to women and men, novices and experts.


Can you tell us about your background and experience with kickboxing?

Nick Zou: I have done kickboxing for approximately four years but have been an athlete for pretty much my whole life. I played high school and college basketball and am quite knowledgeable in strength training and conditioning. I am very confident in offering clear and easy-to-understand instructions and coaching to my members.


What does the circuit entail?

NZ: This unique type of kickboxing circuit provides members with nine personalized three-minute rounds of fitness that include activities such as kicking, punching, jumping rope, weightlifting and ab work. All rounds change on a daily basis to keep it challenging.


What type of workout does this kickboxing circuit provide?

NZ: It is a HIIT—[high-intensity interval training]—workout. It’s high-intensity cardio using kickboxing skills. It’s known to boost endurance, promote heart health, release endorphins and stress, burn calories, improve sleep, sweat out toxins and build lean muscle. It’s also really fun.


What can members expect during their first session?

NZ: The first introductory workout is free. Members can bring their own gear, borrow from us or purchase an unlimited membership that includes 9Round boxing gloves, hand wraps and [a] heart rate monitor. Each workout is customized to fit the member’s fitness level. Bring water and a towel and be prepared to sweat.


How does your program differ from other kickboxing workouts?

NZ: Our program is perfect for busy individuals who want to stay fit because there is no set class time; members can come whenever it fits their schedule. They just sign up online. Trainers are available whenever the client shows up. We also incorporate nutrition and heart rate training.


Gear That Packs a Punch

Make sure you have the equipment you need to maximize your workout while punching the sandbag or practicing your kicks.

Lululemon’s THE SMALL TOWEL, which comes in a multiple colors, is the perfect accessory to keep the sweat off your face so you can focus on getting fit. Throw this absorbent microfiber towel in your gym bag and you’ll be ready to go, from $22, at lululemon, Fashion Island. (949-749-4693; lululemon.com)
9Round Gloves -Signature
The 9ROUND CLASSIC GLOVES are a must-have and are perfect for everyday training, $39, at 9Round Fitness, Corona del Mar. (949-866-5199; 9round.com)
Alo Shorts
Sweat it out wearing the breathable, flattering and supportive Alo 5-INCH AIRLIFT ENERGY SHORTS that are made from a micro-performance double-knit fabric that is super smooth, lifting and has a second-skin feel, $68, at Alo Yoga, Fashion Island. (949-612-2102; aloyoga.com)
NIke Shoes
Keep your feet cool and comfortable during your circuit training with the Nike WOMEN’S METCON 8 TRAINING SHOES. These lightweight, durable mesh shoes have a springy cushioned base and grippy rubber tread, from $129.99, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fashion Island. (949-640-1107; dickssportinggoods.com)
Hydro Flask
Stay hydrated while working out with Hydro Flask’s pro-grade, stainless steel, 24-OUNCE STANDARD MOUTH BOTTLE that will keep your water cold for hours. BPA-free and phthalate-free, it’s offered in a variety of hues, $34.95, at Jack’s Surfboards, Corona del Mar. (949-718-0001; jackssurfboards.com)
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