GREENFIELD — Guess who's doing kickboxing these days. It isn't all the lean and muscular types, said Daniel Cortez who along with his wife, Jamie,k just opened 9Round Fitness featuring kickboxing at 6186 W. Layton Ave.
It's folks who haven't exercised a day in their lives, it's new mothers who want to lose the baby fat they gained and it's ladies and gentlemen who got married and let themselves go just a bit and want to get trim again, he said.
What appeals is the novelty of punching and kickboxing over the same old exercises they knew and maybe hated.
"They want to try something they can stick with," Cortez said.
"This is fast-paced, high-energy and intensity," he said. "It's a concept for all fitness levels."
Not only that, clients appreciate the personal attention they get, he said. He and Jamie are not only the owners, but they are the trainers who work with each client.
"The biggest perk is having a trainer work out with them," he said.
The half-hour full-body circuit workout has nine stations, six of which are on bags of the same kind professional boxers and kickboxers use, Cortez said.
A first-timer will typically warm up at the first station with jumping jacks or by jumping rope, he said. At station two they learn good punching form and kicks.
Then comes the fun part. Station three has a wildly bobbing and weaving double-end bag that's tied to both ceiling and floor. It takes a quick eye and quick reflexes to land a punch on the bag. A heavy bag is next at station four where front kicks are practiced.
Uppercuts and maybe a punishing knee or two are the assignments for station five's bag. Station six features another heavy bag awaits to stand up to good roundhouse kicks and punch and kick combinations. The horizontal bag that is just what the name suggests is station seven. Kickboxers punish that bag with chin kicks.
The speed bag is next at station eight. That's the little bag mounted on the ceiling that bobs crazily back and forth when it's hit. This is the bag that people associate most often with boxers, Cortez said.
The final station, number nine, is devoted to core strengthening, meaning sit ups, he said.
Pick it up
That's a sample of the first-timer circuit. The regular workouts are more complex and faster and different every day, he said.There will be different combinations of punches and kicks. Kicks will be higher, punches quicker, more moving around on the balls of the feet. A push up might get thrown in, too.
For example, the station 4 heavy bag exercise might be a jab cross followed by a roundhouse kick or a jab cross hook, or a jab cross uppercut, or even a sidekick, Cortez said.
If someone is not quite ready for the workout of the day, the trainers will modify the workout for them.
Sometimes, Cortez also will don punch pads and clients try to punch his hands off.
Even though there are no matches for these boxers-in-training, Cortez said during those punch pad workouts, "I'll work with them and teach them how to avoid a punch."
Cortez holds a black belt in tae kwon do and has studied jiu jitsu and a form of martial arts out of Thailand that makes elbows and knees weapons along with fists and kicks, he said.
"With my martial arts experience, I like to teach the proper techniques to punch and kick," Cortez said. Students might even be better able to defend themselves, if the need arises, he said.
Both he and Jamie have gone through the four-day intensive training that 9Round offers in safety and exercise design. In addition, Cortez said he hopes to eventually gain personal trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, commonly known as NASM, one of the best known personal trainer certifications.
Jamie has been in the medical field for more than a dozen years as a certified nursing assistant, Cortez said.
9Round Fitness is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for a gap from noon to 2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Members can come anytime. There are no classes, just personal attention.
The special opening cost for the first 100 members is $79 per month and a $25 registration fee that includes a pair of boxing gloves and other gifts. The regular price is $99 per month and a $99 registration fee. There are discounts for monthly and full-year options.
Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke applauded 9Round , as the newest addition to Greenfield's fitness choices.
"It's a nationwide franchise and I'm excited they chose Greenfield," he said. "I don't know much about them, but I hope to learn more in the future."
The Cortez couple hope to open a second fitness studio within five years.