I risk sounding quite dramatic with my next statement, but joining 9Round in Manhattan, Kansas back in December was one of the top 10 best decisions of my life. I don’t think I realized how stressed, overwhelmed, or “in a rut” I regularly felt (usually SAH mom related) until I realized how great I started to feel (equal parts mentally and physically) after making a group fitness regimen part of my daily routine.
I’ve been a member of various gyms and gotten on extended running kicks on and off my entire life, but joining a “boutique” gym like 9Round was life-changing. For various reasons unrelated to the Manhattan gym, I decided to discontinue my 9Round membership once I moved to Madison, Alabama and give Orangetheory Fitness a try instead, and seven weeks (and a lot of sore muscles) later, I am 100% hooked!
OTF and 9Round share many similarities and differences, so while I physically felt comfortable jumping right into OTF, there was a bit of a difficult adjustment period. (It’s hard when you get used to something that you love so much and then have to adjust to something new, even if it’s just as great.)
If you’re considering lacing up your tennis shoes and giving these specific gyms a shot, here is a look at them side-by-side.
9Round versus Orangetheory: Similarities
Members are highly encouraged to buy a heart rate monitor to wear during workouts. (It wasn’t super fun investing in an OTF heart rate monitor after investing in one at 9Round. Oh well!)
Both gyms have screens hung on the wall where members can track their heart rates (usually names are abbreviated or a nickname is used.)There are coaches guiding you through the workouts so that you never have to wonder what you should be doing. (I had to come up with a nickname on the fly at 9Round and came up with “Whimsy” because I’m so. not. witty and can’t come up with funny stuff like that quickly! Everyone at the gym made fun of me for my not-so-tough nickname. LOL)
Both gyms offer modifications depending on one’s fitness level. (Absolutely necessary when doing side plank leg raises. So hard for me to do!)
Members will never do the same workout twice. Each day’s workout is different than the day prior. (I love this so, so much.)
Both gyms offer a variety of challenges to “spice things up” for members from time to time. For example, right now I’m participating in All Out MAYhem, where members who complete four out of six brutal workouts this week will receive a cooling towel and water bottle. (Jamie and I agree that we could never have too many water bottles!)
Both gyms strive for workouts to be full-body and use a combination of body weight exercises as well as a variety of weights and equipment. Cardio is also involved. (I’m loving how much fast of a runner I’m becoming at OTF, but I sure do miss the fun of doing pad work with my favorite trainers at 9Round.)
9Round and Orangetheory: Differences
At 9Round there are no class times. A new round starts every three minutes, so members can show up any time and jump in for a workout. At OTF, there is a schedule of classes than members must reserve a slot for ahead of time. (Man oh man, this took major getting used to.)
9Round has one type of heart rate monitor that is worn under one’s shirt. OTF has two heart rate monitor options: one worn above the stomach and one that’s worn around the arm. (I have the kind that you wear right under your sports bra under your shirt, and I love it because you never have to charge it, unlike the kind that wraps around your arm.)
9Round requires members to purchase a pair of boxing gloves and wrist wraps with membership (though the gloves and wraps are sometimes offered free with membership purchase, depending on various promos). There is no additional expenses at OTF besides the membership fee and heart rate monitor. (My gloves at 9Round were hot pink and amazing.)
9Round workouts are 30 minutes long. OTF workouts last right at an hour. (Both of them leave you dripping sweat.)
OTF has a lobby and showers, and 9Round does not. (I’ve never used the shower at OTF anyway, but maybe in the future if necessary.)
A monthly membership at 9Round is generally cheaper than an unlimited monthly membership at OTF. Prices vary gym to gym. My membership at OTF is approximately $70 more per month than what I paid at 9Round; however, my workouts at OTF are twice as long. (OTF eats a nice slice of our monthly budget, but I would give up many other things in order to keep paying for this gym.)
OTF requires members to cancel their reservation at least eight hours prior to the class time, or they are charged a small “missed class” fee. This allows others who are on the wait list to have ample time to be notified that there is a spot for them. As aforementioned, there is no penalty for a missed class at 9Round because there are no class times.
OTF focuses on running, rowing, and weight training. 9Round focuses on kickboxing.
Where do you work out? How often do you go? Do you want to try to workout more but struggle with finding the motivation? I’d love to hear your thoughts on fitness and discuss!
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!