Former local athlete returns to Concord to open new gym

  • Mark and Laurie Weingartner opened 9Round, a 30-minute kickboxing gym, in Concord in December. NICK STOICO / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Monday, February 05, 2018

Before Laurie (Gatherum) Weingartner studied business in college and taught high school, she was a three-sport athlete at Merrimack Valley.

Her athletic career continued into college where she played softball at Bentley in Waltham, Mass.

After nine years of teaching at Campbell High School while coaching its varsity softball team, and another few years working at Southern New Hampshire University, Weingartner has returned to the capital area with a new venture.

In December, Weingartner and her husband, Mark, opened 9Round, a kickboxing gym located in the Merrimack Center Plaza off Fort Eddy Road in Concord.

For Weingartner, running the gym combines her business background gathered through her education with fitness, something she and Mark share a passion for.

“I had a pretty awesome fitness journey myself,” Weingartner said. “I lost about 70 pounds through diet and exercise, and we have always wanted to share our knowledge with other people. We want to help show them that they can do it, and we’re here to help.”

9Round is an international company with 630 gyms scattered across 13 countries. The Weingartners opened their franchise Dec. 11, right across the plaza from Planet Fitness. Several other branches have opened in southern New Hampshire. The Concord location is the farthest to the north.

While gymgoers have several options in the capital city, Weingartner felt that 9Round’s unique format offers something different.

“Unless you have a game plan going in, you’re not really sure what you’re doing,” she said. “So we knew there may be people in the area who are looking for something new but with guidance. Having someone tell you what to do – you don’t have to think, you just have to move.”

The system features nine stations that visitors spin through while up against the clock. Each station goes through a different workout for three minutes with a 30-second break in between.

Well, it’s not really a break. When the timer goes off, everyone stops at their station to go through a quick cardio workout.

The overall objective is to get in and out in 30 minutes while making the most of every second while you’re there.

“It’s a hard workout,” Weingartner said. “Some people have been very humbled because it’s full body, you’re moving for the entire 30 minutes. It’s hard to talk yourself out of 30 minutes.”

On a recent Saturday morning, Laurie and Mark were running the floor, bouncing back and forth between stations.

It has the benefit similar to working with a personal trainer, Laurie said, but the system allows them the flexibility to work with several people at once.

“I think people like how they’re told what to do and there is a trainer every step of the way,” she said. “We want to make sure people are doing it safely and correctly while having a good time.”

(Nick Stoico can be reached at nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)