For this week’s blog post I tried out 9Round. 9Round is a kickboxing inspired workout which takes only 30 minutes to complete. There are nine “rounds” (duh), which are nine different stations where you do different exercises until moving on to the next station. This design means there are no class times; you can show up at your own convenience and be done in 30 minutes. It’s a fun idea that works well for the modern American.
Unlike my topic from last week (Kayla Itsines), 9Round seems more like an effective workout with a poor digital strategy. The company works via franchises, which means they have pretty minimal control over how franchisees run their social media. The website itself is polished and effective; it advertises owning a franchise as well as trying out a free class. The corporate Instagram features a clear theme with a color trend (red, black, white….go dawgs?) and motivational quotes. There are no before and after photos, perhaps because that would ruin the theme. I think it would be good for them to find a way to incorporate those since making people feel bad about themselves is the gas the fitness industry runs on, but overall it’s a good Instagram page.
Unfortunately, things start to unravel at the franchise level. The location I visited has a private Instagram…uh? They haven’t accepted my follow request yet but it’s already looking bad just for the fact that they’re private. I checked out a few other franchise pages and they all featured grainy photos getting less than 50 likes. Owning this type of franchise is probably attractive to mostly 45+ year old adults with a background in the fitness industry…i.e. people who don’t quite grasp the importance of social media or know what they should be posting. I get it, hiring a social media manager seems like an unnecessary expense. But I know from experience that there are plenty of people who will do way more work than they should for minimal payment…it’s called an internship. Especially in Athens where your main target group is college students, there’s no excuse for a bad/non-existant social media strategy.
On the bright side, I really enjoyed the workout! I think it would be great for people who want to lose fat and gain some lean muscle but feel they don’t have the time. Since there are nine different stations where you do different exercises, I didn’t get bored out of my mind like I usually do with cardio. However, if you think you’re going to learn actual kickboxing, think again. The focus was definitely on cardio and there wasn’t a lot of actual instruction. I was pretty much just flailing around like a sad fish when it came to the kickboxing influenced exercises…. but yay, burning calories! While I don’t want to name the actual location I went to, I’m sure this could be different depending on where you go. I’m not sore today but again, it’s mostly cardio (like all of these chain gyms).
Here’s the thing: The price tag on this workout is absolutely insane. When the trainer showed me the EIGHTY DOLLAR PER MONTH COST I clearly did not hide my shock well, because she didn’t try very hard to sell me on it. Or maybe I just look poor (true…hire me). Regardless, here’s the other thing: I looked at the employment application to work there, so I know the only real requirement is to complete a three month training course. I personally will not be paying $80 per month for Becky from my Management 4000 class to train me. If you want to lose weight and tone up, 9Round is great…but if you really want to learn kickboxing, it’s not so great. And the digital marketing strategy definitely needs improvement.