9Round workout stations

Tracy Schrader and Chris Loper aren’t the first guys you’d peg to own a kickboxing gym. Schrader is a Dallas attorney and Loper owns all six Sport Clips franchises inside the 635 loop. Both enjoy working out – Schrader is a marathon runner and Loper kickboxes at his local gym – but if you caught them out of the corner of your eye, you’d expect to see them on the morning train, reading the Wall Street Journal in a gray flannel suit.

You know what happens when you assume.

Schrader, a 25-year Lake Highlands resident, and Loper, a 30-year resident of Lakewood, will open 9Round Fitness in Lake Highlands Town Center in mid-November. The workout facility will be located between Banfield Pet Hospital and Jersey Mike’s Subs.

“We’re two local guys bringing local money to create a local business,” Schrader told me. “When new things come to Lake Highlands, people support them. We believe this is a great concept, and we think a new gym in the neighborhood will be successful.”

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9Round has corporate offices in South Carolina and 800 locations across the globe. While we were lunching at Taco Joint to discuss the project, Dallas Police Officer Kevin Kelley saw the men’s 9Round t-shirts and stopped by our table.

“Are y’all members at Mockingbird Station,” asked Kelley, pulling out his membership card for the nearest location. “I love it, but I haven’t been this month because of the crowds.”

My interviewees swore they hadn’t paid the buff cop for his enthusiastic testimonial.

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9Round is a 30-minute, full-body workout which uses kickboxing as a tool. Patrons complete 9 rounds, or stations, of 3 minutes each, including core, strength and jump rope stations and 6 rounds of bag work. Members say their favorite round is the one where their trainer holds up mitts and let them pound out frustrations of the day (see photo below).

“What surprises me,” said Loper, “is that 60-70% of 9Round members are women. “It’s great for developing core strength and balance, plus users can let loose for 30 minutes. Everyone could use that.”

“I want to be clear – no one is ever getting hit,” Schrader told me. “There’s no sparring. It’s about empowerment.” Between each round is a 30-second active recovery time while the trainer gives additional instruction and helps users reach their goals and prevent injury. The workout changes each day, and there are no class times to hit or miss.

“Our founder says this is ‘the private jet of workouts,’” said Schrader. “We provide convenience and results. Our mission statement is ‘making members stronger in 30 minutes.’”

The two purchased 3 additional franchises, set to open in Casa Linda, Las Colinas and Allen after the LHTC gym is up-and-running.

“It’s fun,” said Schrader. “You want to come back. It’s a good workout. We’re excited about it.”

The $98 startup fee includes gloves, hand/wrist wraps and a heart rate monitor. Charter members will enjoy discounted prices before the gym opens. You can visit the 9Round website here or call 214-989-6014 for more information.

Pounding out frustrations of the day

Shannon Hudson, CEO of 9Round Franchising, with LH Town Center franchisees Tracy Schrader and Chris Loper of 9Round