9Round Fitness Blog


Kickboxing is the New Cardio


Even if you have a love-hate relationship with cardio, we can all agree it’s an essential step in any fitness routine. Maybe you aren’t the biggest fan of cardio because you’re stuck trying to figure out what works the best for you. With so many different ways to check it off your list, how do you decide what to do? If you haven’t experienced kickboxing before, it might be just what you need to punch up your workouts! And if you’re already a die-hard 9Round member, you might just find a few more reasons to love it. Kickboxing-fitness is the new face of cardio – and we’ve found a few reasons why it’s here to stay.


With 9Round workouts, you get the full kickboxing experience, minus the actual hitting people part, of course. We removed the most intimidating part about kickboxing, but you’ll still feel like a total bad a$$ doing it! While there are many ways to get in your necessary cardio, kickboxing hits everything on the list: full-body, aerobic, anaerobic and resistance training. You can forget about planning a specific “cardio” day because 9Round transforms a jumbled mess of “5-Day Splits” and “Cardio Days” to one simplified routine. If you’ve found another type of exercise that you love, like yoga or running, keep it as a great supplemental fitness activity in your routine!  


Another unique benefit that comes from kickboxing actually happens after the workout is over!

When you’ve just completed your last round and you’re ready to sit back and relax, your body is still hard at work. If you’ve ever heard anyone say that you burn calories even after your 9Round workout ends, they’re talking about EPOC. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC for short, is the extra oxygen your body needs to use to get back to its normal, resting state and using that oxygen requires energy (calories).

Think of a car engine that stays warm even after the vehicle is turned off and the “work” is over; it gradually cools down and this cooling requires energy expenditure. Similarly, after working out, our bodies want to get back to their regular level of metabolic function, so the oxygen used to throw jabs and hooks is gradually replenished. To restore muscle glycogen and rebuild muscle proteins damaged during exercise, your body will be using more oxygen and therefore, burning more calories. The science behind fast-paced HIIT workouts, like 9Round’s circuit, is incredible. Each three-minute round consists of 2 ½ minutes of aerobic activity and 30 seconds of anaerobic activity. These short bursts of intense activity are followed by a short active recovery break before the next round. With this combination, you’re getting a perfect balance between aerobic and anaerobic activity, which leads to higher energy consumption (calorie burn) even after the workout is over.


Would you believe that kickboxing can help improve your coordination skills and balance? A common misconception is that this sport is just for developing better strength or speed. When you’re performing all types of kicks, you’re training your body to focus on staying balanced, which requires muscle use. You’ll learn how to stabilize yourself, so each time you go up against the heavy bags, you can anticipate how they move and land those punches and kicks better each time. These skills will help outside of the gym, like during your supplemental workouts or catching your balance after tripping. ;-)


9Round members walk out feeling more empowered than ever after each 30-minute workout because kickboxing is an awesome confidence booster. Some say that they are able to relieve tons of frustration and stress as they’re throwing punches and kicks on a heavy bag! Trainers are great at helping members feel empowered too, whether it’s by motivating them to go harder and faster on the bag or teaching them how to master tricky jump rope moves. Members can train like athletes and feel just as confident as them too.


When we typically think of cardio workouts, one of the main downsides is how boring they can seem. Frequent runners might love going the distance, but it can be frustrating if you don’t get the same satisfaction from it. Because kickboxing workouts are fast-paced and always changing, you never feel like you’re stuck in a repetitive loop. Trainer-led drills keep you on your toes – literally – and spark an adrenaline boost by letting you put your practice to the test as the trainer cues you on what to do next. While you work on new combinations of punches and kicks every time, you’re staying out of a “fitness rut”. If you catch yourself watching the clock during your workout, counting down the minutes until it’s over, then it’s time for a fresh take on cardio.

We love welcoming newcomers to the 9Round Nation, and this is the sign you’ve been waiting for to spice up your boring routine. Get out of your fitness rut today and try a FREE workout on us!

(If you’re interested in diving deeper into EPOC we recommend this article by the American Council on Exercise.)