Making the rounds
Fitness routine at 9Round keeps ‘em guessing, coming back

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

Oct. 16, 2014

Every day at 9Round there is a new nine-round, 30-minute workout routine, said owner/trainer John Stocks. Since the gym opened in May, he has been enjoying the flexibility of creating exercises that keep his clients guessing.
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

OCONOMOWOC - Members of the 9Round location in Oconomowoc walk through the door knowing the only predictable things about the workout they are about to receive are the greeting beforehand and that they will leave the gym sweating.

Outside of enthusiastically welcoming them to the gym, owner and trainer John Stocks keeps his clientele guessing. Every day offers a different workout, with exercises at the nine three-minute-long workout stations, or “rounds,” constantly changing. 

Member Gina Maniscalco of Pewaukee said the routines are guaranteed to be challenging.

“I leave sweating in spots I didn’t know I could sweat from,” she said. “It’s the best 30 minutes of my day when I can get here. I even convinced my husband to sign up.”

Amid a flurry of activity on Tuesday at the location, at 1420 Summit Ave., Stocks spoke of the benefits of this unique fitness regimen, which incorporates kickboxing, cardio work, strength conditioning and fun.

ENTERPRISE: How did you get involved in working out? And how did you come to own a 9Round?

STOCKS: I played football and basketball at Waukesha North High School. When I graduated in 1991, I needed something to do. I was used to practice and doing physical activities. My friends would ask me to write workout plans for them and be their personal trainer.

I went to the 9Round franchise in Brookfield for a free workout. When I went on their website, I saw the steps to own a franchise listed. I had been working in the salt department of a water softener business, and thought I’d open my own business

ENTERPRISE: What do you like about this workout in particular?

STOCKS: It is unpredictable with the daily changes and it never gets easy. As you get in better shape, that just means you can go harder. It’s scalable for anybody.


ENTERPRISE: What are some of the workout’s benefits?

STOCKS: Customers have noted greater flexibility, weight loss, more energy, increased confidence and better health all around. I will see some of them start very timidly with the punches, then get into it. It takes some deprogramming, because we are taught not to hit people or things.


ENTERPRISE: Do you appreciate the ability to come up with new activities and a new plan every day?

STOCKS: We are sent a suggested routine each day, but can deviate from that. I often do. Just one example is when I had people bend down to touch an object after each jumping jack they did. It made something routine, like jumping jacks, that much harder. 


ENTERPRISE: How do you motivate your customers?

STOCKS: I think it is very important to believe in them. There will be times where people tell me they can’t do the activity I just said. People underestimate what they are capable of all the time. I just tell them that they can do it. I also have a sense of humor and want them to have fun. I’m not a personal trainer who yells. If I were to suddenly try that, it would come across as disingenuous. I think it is very important to have fun. With how hard the workout is, if you didn’t have some fun, you’re not coming back.


ENTERPRISE: What is the age and career range of your clientele?

STOCKS: We have everybody from 14-year-olds to 64-year-olds. There are teachers, nurses, students, X-ray technicians, social workers and retirees, to name a few.