Friday, March 23, 2018

Business spotlight 9Round by Michelle Libby those looking for a new workout adventure, 9Round on Elm Street in Gorham provides a fun, energy filled workout that will leave members sweaty. Ted Rioux, his wife Melissa Harris-Rioux and their daughter Terra Rioux own and run the franchise, as a part of their company Terra Health & Fitness, Inc. 9Round Gorham is the first gym in Maine dedicated strictly to kickbox fitness, soon to be followed by Scarborough and Westbrook in 2019. 
“This is a 30-minutes kickboxing themed workout,” said Ted. “With this sport you can combine aerobic training with anaerobic and resistance training. Packing a lot into a 30-minute workout.” When a member hits the 120-pound heavy bag, they are getting resistance training, he added. 

Ted worked for a medical device company for 20 years, but decided he needed to spend more time with his family and on his own health. He discovered 9Round while working. After that, he was hooked and wanted to bring it to his hometown of Gorham. His family business helped to change his own future and health. 

Melissa is a registered nurse at Maine Medical Center and also holds a BS in health and fitness. She is the motivating force behind the Rioux family, Ted said.   

“We provide an effective, affordable, safe and clean environment, and program for people to benefit from,” Ted said. Members are given all the equipment they need to execute the workout, Ted said. The 9Round circuit workout uses wrist wraps, boxing gloves and heart rate monitors as members work through the stations. The heart rate monitor keeps the clients’ heart rates in the perfect fat burning mode. Each member is coached and monitored throughout the workouts. If someone is working too hard, they are encouraged to take a break for a minute to drop the rate down before continuing.
The range of members is broad, according to Ted. From high school student athletes to men and women in their sixties, the workout can be tailored to a first timer just getting into fitness to a seasoned, hardcore athlete. 

“You work out at your own pace. Instructors help with form and move with your pace so you stay in the heart rate zone,” Ted said. The instructors are always on the floor. There are seven of them and two guest trainers with boxing and kickboxing experience who take turns working. The guest trainers also train the staff to make sure the clients are using safe techniques. 

The fitness club has an industrial feel with music pumping through speakers and a buzzer that notifies those working out that it’s time to change stations. On a TV screen in the corner of the room, heart rates are shown in large numbers with colored backgrounds depending on where the person’s heart rate is. The program is based on heart rate training. Green is the target heart rate, while yellow and red are okay for brief periods. The members work at the optimum heart rate for burning fat, which is 82 percent to 91 percent of the maximum heart rate.   

“It’s pretty intense for 30 minutes,” said member Wayne Franklin. “I like having someone there to motivate me.”

9Round has only been open for a little over a week. Members are still learning how to do the wrist wraps, and Ted wastes no time in demonstrating. He remembers most clients as they enter, encouraging and making everyone feel welcome. 

“There is so much stuff. I’ve never learned this much at a gym,” said Taylor, one of the clients.
9Round uses a program called PULSE that monitors each member and send them email workout results after every session. Points are given for being in the green or yellow zones to encourage clients to work out in the most beneficial target range. Each person has a “fighter name” that shows on the TV screen. Eventually Ted plans to hold challenges and events based around the earned points. 

“The days of the big box gyms with lots of machines is over,” Ted said. “People want more functional and specific training, where you get support from trainers as a part of the program.” 

They also offer a nutrition program, which is included. Melissa is the nutrition coach. “We help members execute the 9Round Nutrition Program,” said Ted. 

FMI, to read about the trainers or schedule a free workout, visit; or call 839-2860.

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