9Round Fitness franchise opens in HooksettBy TRAVIS R. MORIN
Union Leader Correspondent
June 14. 2018 12:39AM
Right in the heart of Hooksett, Christy Masciarelli's 9Round Fitness franchise specializes in 30-minute kickboxing classes that members are always on time for — no matter when they show up.
Located right off exit 10 in a small strip mall, the Hooksett 9Round is one of 550 global locations and 10 New Hampshire locations belonging to the South Carolina-based kickbox-fitness franchise.
Built around a 30-minute circuit workout wherein members spend 2 1/2 minutes each at nine stations doing everything from jumping rope to speed bag training, 9Round's sessions have no predetermined start times, a point that Masciarelli says is key to the brand's success.
"The no class time is a definite selling point for people," said Masciarelli. "People are so busy now that it's hard to fit traditional fitness courses into the day. But here we can start your workout three minutes after you walk in the door, and in a half an hour you're off and running. It fits in everybody's schedule."
Marking the one year anniversary of her Hooksett location's opening this past May, Masciarelli decided to open her franchise after a year of working part time as a trainer for a 9Round in Epping. Though she had no experience with kickboxing outside of her year with the Epping location, Masciarelli knew that acquiring her own 9Round franchise was the right move for her.
"My kids are grown and I was looking at the next stage of life and thinking about what I want to do," she said. "I loved the 9Round workout because it's always upbeat and energetic. So, I thought to myself if I can do what I love, make a bit of money, work with my own people, and stay close to home, then that's what I'll do."
While Masciarelli said the price of setting up a 9Round franchise will vary based on state and location, she estimated that her own startup cost was approximately $100,000 — with all of the funds coming from her own savings.
Although standard economic criteria like population density and median income factored into her decision to set up shop in Hooksett, Masciarelli admitted that hometown pride was the deciding factor.
"I knew that I wanted to be in Hooksett or very close. It is my home town and my community," she said.
Masciarelli is the location's only full-time employee, but she stated that the facility needs anywhere from three to six part-time trainers in order to cover the business' unique hours. At present, the Hooksett location employs five part-time employees.
Since its 2017 opening, the Hooksett 9Round has 190 members, with Masciarelli noting that her franchise reached the point of profitability at roughly 110 members.
One of those members, Sarah Johnson of Manchester, said that the 9Round's circuit model acts as a great motivator.
"I think the intensity of the exercises pushes you," said Johnson. "When you're going to a gym you're relying on yourself. But here the trainers and the other members support you. No matter how hard an activity is, you can do anything for two and a half minutes."
Cam Leborgne, a senior at Pinkerton Academy and one of 9Round's trainers, echoed Johnson's point about the franchise's edge over a traditional gym.
"You're burning the same amount of calories, if not more, than you would at the gym," said Leborgne, who will be graduating this summer and enlisting in the Navy. "Here you're always moving, always working, and there's limited breaks. You can easily burn 500 calories a workout here, but some people can't even manage to hit that with an hour and a half at the gym."
What Jazzercise was to the 1970s and Tae Bo was to the 1990s, kickboxing themed workouts have been on the rise throughout the country in recent years, a point which Madison Skau, who handles 9Round's corporate marketing, isn't at all surprised about.
"Kickboxing is becoming increasingly popular because it's a full body workout that exercises both the mind and the body," said Skau.