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9Round Japan


Recently I was invited to visit 9Round Japan fitness center to try their newly imported from the USA, 30 minute ‘stress buster’ fitness center workout they have launched in Japan.

Personally I have never been one for circuit style / class training, simply I am generally clumsy and don’t feel comfortable following fast paced instruction and I prefer to ‘do my own thing’ during my workouts, so I cannot say I was expecting to enjoy the session nor should I expect a mere 30 minute workout to be particularly challenging. But I was certainly curious as I have wanted to try something new and thought it was worth checking out.

The format was explained to me before visiting and it was simple enough, 30 minutes of kick boxing related workouts across 9 ‘stations. Oh and bring a towel…

That’s it? Really? It has taken me more than two years to learn and master free weight techniques at the gym for my body building, so I can really expect this 30 minutes to be mostly instruction and discussion with the instructor. Easy time.

It’s wonderful to be reminded how our assumptions can lead to incredibly wrong conclusions.

Walking into the venue and the atmosphere was warm and inviting but the red paint and dark fixtures also signalled it’s time to get down to business. Not a large space but that is not the point, this workout is designed for efficiency, not for lingering.

The workout routine varies, but the menu for me was as follows.

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Medicine Ball Squats + Front kick
  3. Double Edge Bag Punch 20x + Shuffle
  4. Front Kicks on Heavy Bag
  5. 20x Uppercut + Duck Under
  6. Freestyle With Trainer
  7. 10x Knees + 10x Hammer Punches
  8. Speed Bag
  9. Medicine Ball Sit Ups

Okay, time for gloves on and let’s get started!

As you probably predict at this point, it was not so much an easy workout! By the end of the 2nd set on the medicine ball squats I was already feeling the pain (the good kind of pain!) and looking forwards to the next routine simply so I could catch my breath and switch onto a new muscle group, finally the siren sounded for brief moment of reprieve and a gulp of water until it was time for heading into the next set which would hopefully be gentler.

Gentler? Ha! Hopeful much?

After 30 seconds or so of front kicks on the heavy bag I was already thinking about the next break and pause to catch my breath. And that’s how it went all the way through the routine. Feeling exhausted towards the end of the set and final push, faster, give it more, 15 seconds. GO! Then what felt like an incredibly short break with the heart rate barely having time to drop a few beats a minute.

Despite the punishment of the session, something about the intensity and the focus that you apply, in retrospect the time actually flew past. Before I knew it, 30 minutes was done and I was finished.

No mistake about it, this is the good kind of high intensity training that pushes you to your cardiovascular and mental limits and leaves you with a very enjoyable buzz and satisfaction that you get after having completely exhausted yourself. And despite all the pain having just put myself through, almost instantly I was thinking about when I would be doing it again. It’s that good.


9Round is a high intensity, time efficient way maximise your workout benefits in the the shortest practical time to fit your busy schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed the workout and will certainly be going back!

The flagship gym is located at 3F, 3 Chome-15-17 Sagamiōno, Minami-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-0303

More branches around Tokyo be opening soon! If you would like to arrange a session for yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to them directly via Facebook. Although the official website is in Japanese, they have English speaking staff available to help with your enquiries!


About The Fit Japan Guy

After moving to Japan I found there is so much more to the health and fitness scene than I could ever have realised, but sadly much of it is not apparent to foreigners. It is my goal to help people discover the health and fitness lifestyle opportunities that Japan has to offer.