Fitness Fads

The word “workout” makes me feel many emotions. I know it’s something I need to do to stay healthy, but it’s not something I usually enjoy. So, I’ll typically find a workout to get myself motivated and will be consistent for about two months; then I’ll find an excuse to miss one workout, which then snowballs into me coming home from work and sitting on my couch on a consistent basis.

The average person should get about 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, according to the American Heart Association, and this is a target I’m actively trying to incorporate into my daily life. I tried out three workout fads that have hit Columbia recently: 9Round, Orangetheory Fitness and goat yoga. Although there are pros and cons to all three, each has its own purpose and could be right for you.


Quick Workout for Maximum Payoff

Part of my struggle to get and stay fit stems from the associated time commitment. So when I found out 9Round was only a 30-minute workout, it seemed like something I could get on board with. Don’t be fooled; although it’s only a half-hour, not a second is sacrificed, and 9Round can definitely work your muscles to the max.

The gym projected an intense vibe from the moment I walked in. The red and brick walls with punching bags hanging at most of the stations were a little intimidating at first, but the friendly staff walked me through the motions of the first workout before my session started. The space was small but didn’t feel crowded at 5 p.m. on a Monday.

9Round focuses on circuit training, with nine circuits per workout. Each circuit lasts three minutes; a quick exercise between each circuit fills out the full 30 minutes. A new circuit starts every three minutes, so 9Round-goers can jump in whenever they’d like.

The circuits are different each day, but the first and second circuits serve as a warmup, with exercises such as jump rope and lunges to get your heart rate going. Stations three through eight serve to condition with kickboxing-style exercises. For the final 30 seconds of each round, trainers are there to push you harder, often telling you to “punch it out.” It’s a great way to push yourself and release any anger, stress or tension. Finally, the ninth round always focuses on the core with an ab workout.

9Round trainers walk around the gym constantly, so if you’re struggling with some of the exercises like I was, they’ll come over and show you how it’s done. It might take some time to catch on to the necessary coordination of the punch bags, but the trainers say most people get it down within three weeks of starting.

9Round differs from most traditional style classes because there’s no official start time; it’s at your own pace and on your own time schedule. However, if you need a little healthy competition to keep you motivated, there’s a points board that keeps track of the top athletes in the gym and how many times they’ve done each workout.

Best For: People with a packed schedule. 9Round allows you to stop in at any time for a 30-minute workout, which is hard to find in a lot of other places.

Address: 901 E. Nifong Blvd.; 104 S. Providence Road

Price: First class free, $78 per month for unlimited membership plus a $50 enrollment fee that includes a set of gloves.

Orangetheory Fitness

Heart Rate Monitoring Makes for Motivation

I’ll be honest: Orangetheory Fitness was the class I was most intimidated by before going. I’ve had friends post about it on social media, and it seemed like the kind of intense, painful workout I would want to stay away from. But I was wrong.

Orangetheory is by far the most enjoyable workout I’ve had since I stopped dancing. That’s right — I just used the words “enjoyable” and “workout” in the same sentence. It’s an hour-long class that focuses on endurance, strength and power.

The Orangetheory staff is friendly, accommodating and, most important, knowledgeable. I showed up 30 minutes early to my first class, and the trainer took me into the room beforehand to explain how the heart monitor works, how I can keep track of my heart rate during the class and how the machines work. Each Orangetheory workout is different, and the franchise has not repeated a workout in seven years of classes, according to Orangetheory trainers.

Each class uses a mixture of equipment such as a rowing machine, treadmill and weights, and you can keep track of your heart rate throughout the workout on screens that are up all around the room. There are five heart rate zones that have corresponding colors of gray, blue, green, orange and red — red meaning you are using 92 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate. Each time you spend one minute in the red zone, you get a splat point. Once you’ve accumulated 12 splat points, you can achieve what the trainers call afterburn, where your body continues to burn fat after the class. This was great for me because I was forced to compete against only myself and not compare myself to others around me like I typically do at the gym.

Orangetheory is great for anyone who needs extra motivation to get to the gym and needs some one-on-one training on how to work some of the machines. It was best for me because I felt like I was being pushed and was able to be successful because I knew what I was doing and knew how to work the machines. Class space can be limited, so anyone wanting to try this workout should schedule it a few days in advance.

Best For: People who need motivation to work out
Address: 3103 W. Broadway No. 115
Price: $159 per month for unlimited membership plus heart rate monitor purchase required; other, cheaper options are also available for four or eight classes per month.

Goat Yoga

Baaaahdy, Mind, and Soul

Goat yoga was the workout I was looking forward to the most for two reasons. The first is that because yoga is not an intense, high-power workout, I knew I could do it with no problem. The second is that this particular form of yoga enables you to play with baby goats. What’s not to love?

I went to a sunset session at the farm off of Route Z, and it couldn’t have been more relaxing: the sun setting over a pond in front of the grassy area where the class was set, crickets chirping and the sounds of summer coming to an end.

Although goat yoga isn’t as strict and silent as many other yoga classes, it offers comic relief that can’t be found in your typical yoga class. The goats walk around as everyone executes various poses, and some of the more adventurous goats stand on top of yogis while they’re in positions such as the child’s pose and the tabletop position.

Goat yoga is great for beginners or more advanced yogis, and people can bring their mat or use one of the mats at the location.

For me, goat yoga was relaxing and brought my mind and body back to center after a stressful week at work and multiple more intense workouts. The instructor was soothing as she showed the class each pose, keeping our minds away from distraction and focusing on stretching and strengthening the core.

For the fall, Goat Yoga of Missouri will hold classes indoors when the weather is too chilly.

Goat yoga is great for getting friends together and can accommodate larger events if you have a bigger group that wants to get together for exercise — and to play with baby goats, of course.

Best For: People who need some stress relief and want to pet baby goats
Address: 11805 E. Judy School Road
Price: $35 per class

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