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A women-only fitness center offering 30-minute total body circuit workouts.

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  • Established: 1992
  • Founder: Gary and Diane Heavin
  • Headquarters: Waco, Texas
  • Accessibility: Fitness facilities and gyms
  • Diet Type: 30 minute workout circuit training
  • Gender: Female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Jillian Michaels

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Women have hectic schedules, balancing work and family, without time to schedule a workout. Curves, a nationwide fitness network for women only, solves a busy girl’s problems.

Curves offers 30-minute workouts three times a week and approaches diet and fitness practically for the modern-day woman with a full schedule. Each gym employs trained professionals (although, these aren't necessarily certified personal trainers or exercise physiologists) to teach women how to use equipment and how to perform exercises. Plus, Curves fitness facilities are just for women so any discomfort they might feel in a co-ed gym is instantly relieved.

Curves expanded its diet and fitness options in 2012 with Curves Complete, a total weight loss solution for busy women combining fitness, meal plans, and coaching. Curves Complete provides a wealth of resources, community support and diet and fitness experts – now including famed trainer for Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels.

Starting January 2014, Curves launched Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. According to Mike Raymond, the Chief Marketing Officer for Curves, the Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels will add Michaels’ renowned methods for training and coaching to Curves’ traditional circuit workout. Each month, Michaels will update the workouts by introducing new moves.

Participating Curves centers offer 2 memberships: Curves Fitness and Curves Complete.

Curves Fitness memberships include access to Curves Specialty Circuit Classes and Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. This membership focuses only on fitness and workouts.

Curves Complete memberships offer access to all fitness classes of the Curves Fitness membership, plus customizable meal plans and weekly one-on-one support from a Curves Complete Coach. Each Curves Complete Coach has completed a certification program developed in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic.

  • World’s largest chain of fitness centers for women, with thousands of locations across North America
  • Workouts are short and manageable
  • Female-only gym for a comfortable, supportive atmosphere
  • Employs trained professionals for instruction and motivation
  • Celebrity diet and fitness spokesperson Jillian Michaels creates new workouts
  • Nutrition and diet plans offer low-calorie and low-carb options
  • Includes online diet and fitness resources
  • Additional in-person and online resources are available
  • Nutrition and diet plans cut certain foods, specifically high-carb grains
  • Website does not detail nutrition and diet plan before membership
  • Franchised facilities might not provide the same quality of experience at each one
  • Males are not allowed to join Curves

Curves provides online diet and nutrition plans with the gym membership. A self-assessment determines which of the two diet plans a woman follows. One plan calls for a low-calorie diet, and the other plan calls for a high-protein, low-carb diet. Both plans call for six small meals throughout the day.

The low-calorie diet simply requires women to cut their daily intake to 1,400 calories per day in the first phase. After the first two weeks, intake is increase to up to 1,600 calories. The low-calorie diet plan could be considered too little for more active women wanting to increase muscle mass and metabolism. For women wanting to lose weight, the low-calorie diet plan would be effective, but the sustainability of a low-calorie diet is questionable.

The high-protein, low-carb diet plan limits carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day during the first two week. After that, intake is increased to 40 grams per day. The plan encourages women to avoid pasta, rice, bread and potatoes, among other high-carb foods, which could be ineffective for more active woman, especially runners.

A typical day on the Curves’ high-protein, low-carb plan looks like:

  • Breakfast: Blueberries on low-carb cereal
  • Snack: Protein shake
  • Lunch: Salad made with dark greens, cooked chicken, avocado and vinaigrette dressing
  • Snack: Celery stalks with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Grilled lean steak, green beans, mushrooms and peppers
  • Snack: Whole almonds

In addition, the Curves six-meal diet plans might be ineffective for the women the fitness network wants to target: busy working women with hectic schedules. Women balancing work and family might not be able to eat six times a day or even have time to prepare six meals a day.


Curves built its fitness network on the Curves Circuit, a five-part program completed in 30 minutes. Women warm up, complete aerobic exercises and strength training, and then cool down and complete stretching exercises. At Curves gyms, women can jump in to a circuit at any point and go until they’ve completed the full workout.

Women alternate between strength training machines and cardiovascular exercises. Machines focus on strengthening major muscle groups. Between each machine, women recover by walking, jogging or running in place to maintain heart rate throughout the circuit.

In order to complete the Curves circuit, women must be at a Curves gym. The machine-only approach might be effective for women just learning to exercise but also might not be strenuous enough for women who are more knowledgeable about weight training and for women who need different types of lifts offered by free weight and body weight exercises.

The January 2014 launch of Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels adds Michaels’ cutting-edge style to the traditional Curves circuit workout. New exercises, tools and programs will be added monthly and throughout 2014 as the integration between the two famed weight loss coaches continues.

Participating Curves feature CurvesSmart, a digital coaching system that helps keep members motivated by providing instant feedback, suggestions and progress reports detailing stats like muscles worked and calories burned.

In 2015, Curves introduced 3 new classes: The Introductory class, which is appropriate for all levels, and works to gradually build strength, conditioning and endurance in the whole body, and The Level One class, which is offers a more advanced total body workout, and the Level Two class, which offers a high-intensity interval workout to burn major calories.

Curves also introduced their Specialty Circuit Classes, designed to meet the needs of women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond, focusing on balance, flexibility, and strength.

These classes include:

BODY BALANCE- a low-intensity, Coach-led class alternating time on the Curves Circuit strength machines with intervals emphasizing core strength and stability. ARMS-CORE-LEGS- targeted bodyweight moves designed to tone and strengthen the arms, core and legs. STRETCH & STRENGTH- stretch and strengthen the same muscle groups back to back


Women looking for an easy way to fit a fast workout into their busy schedules can find a 30-minute option at the nearest Curves gym. The comfort of a female-only setting adds to the knowledge of the trained fitness professionals on staff – all of whom were trained to team the Curves Workouts with Jillian Michaels. The addition of online nutrition and diet plans, Curves Complete and CurvesSmart ID make the Curves fitness network a total weight loss solution for busy women. However, for women looking for more adaptable total weight loss plans, specifically in diet and in types of exercises, Curves and its products and services might not be a viable solution.

Common Misspellings

Curve, Curves deit program, curves for women, curves.com, curves jillian michaels


Curves International, also known as Curves for Women, Curves Fitness, or just Curves, is an international fitness franchise co-founded by Gary and Diane Heavin in 1995. Curves currently has 10,000 locations worldwide and an estimated 4 million plus members (as of October 2006). It is a privately held company by its co-founders, with corporate offices located in Waco, Texas. Curves fitness and weight loss facilities are designed specifically for and focused on women, although in some states, men are allowed to join.

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(Page 1 of 10, 181 total comments)



is it possible to get a copy of Curves Flexibility Chart - I had one from 1/15/07 and have misplaced it :( girls would not let me leave session untill I stretched my muscles and I have practiced it after all workouts ever since

posted Feb 18th, 2016 10:28 pm



I have been a member of Curves since 2012, and I cannot say enough how much this program has helped me. I am down over 20 lbs. now. I have increased my strength, toned my muscles, and decreased my stress level. I have met so many wonderful new friends through Curves. I know this program works! I have a previously broken back so I usually do the Jillian Michaels modifications they provide. I highly recommend Curves!!!

posted Aug 14th, 2015 3:05 pm

Carole Wing


The replacement of jogging boards with yoga mats has resulted in injury to my knees. Contemplating leaving Curves for another gym. Right now, I am not getting the cardio I once did due to the slippery yoga mats. To get a 30 minute workout, I do more reps and move slowly from machines when circuit is not too busy, spending less time moving on the mats (due to knee pain). Too bad Curves has changed in mid-stream.

posted Jun 4th, 2015 5:47 pm



Is there a dvd available of the 30 minute exercise class? That would be great to have when I am at my lake ho Is there a dvd available of the 30 minute exercise class? That would be great to have when I am at my lake house and there is no Curves.

posted Jun 1st, 2015 5:18 pm



I am a new Curves member, and I absolutely love it! I am only 23, but very out of shape and overweight and I go specifically at the times my Curves center plays Jillian Michaels. It is a nice addition to the machines. My center only plays it at certain times of the day, so those who don't like it can go at a different time.

posted May 5th, 2015 3:25 pm



Absolutely LOVE the Curves Circuit. I enjoy doing the Jillian Michaels sessions along with the traditional circuit and even the Arms-Core-Legs classes can push those muscles. Jillian isn't for the social Curves goer, but for those that are wanting to get in shape and want to push themselves. I'm burning almost 500 calories doing the combined circuit and love every minute of it!

posted Apr 21st, 2015 7:25 pm


I don't understand why the author listed eliminating high carb grains as a con. This should be a given in any healthy eating plan. The author should do some research regarding grains.

posted Jan 15th, 2015 2:54 pm


Been member for almost 2 months and love this gym. They don't have Zumba or Jillian because too expensive. But would really like to see weekend hours here. Why not offer a DVD of Jullian to Curves members at reasonable price to do at home if they want?

posted Jul 6th, 2014 3:40 pm


HATE the new machines @Curves! They work fine if you are 5 feet tall. Sheesh. Really HATE Jillian Michaels screaming from a monitor. Sorry they got rid of 2 machines I liked. Zumba all the time. I am quitting because EVERYthing has changed. For the worse!

posted Jun 4th, 2014 12:07 am

Susan Swisher


Why can't Jullian Michaels videos be shown continuously? I love the exercise videos, Today I was told that they could only play them on tues, and thurs. from 10:30 to 11:30. This was information from regional office since all three owners are never present there is no one to ask why. What gives? I've been doing them for two months any day I wish. I'm a ten year member and will turn 75 in june, .

posted Apr 30th, 2014 9:15 pm



Been a member for 10 years and really dislike the new changes. Jillian Micaels is obnoxious and the DVD is loud and disruptive in a one room gym. They just did away with the recovery pads and replaced them with cheap 1/2 inch yoga type mats. Really unsafe to even march in place on these mats which offer no give or cushion on a concrete floor covered with a cheap carpet. And they slide all over the place. And some of the JM exercises are on the floor (yuck, dirty carpet) and so inappropriate for the majority of members. The employees are minimum wage workers who have a couple of hours of instruction and are unqualified to guide members especially when it comes to form. I will be canceling my membership and just doubling up on my yoga classes where safety is a priority and the instructors have completed 500 hours of training.

posted Apr 4th, 2014 7:28 am


As a faithful member of CURVES for over 10 years, I am down 80 lbs and have toned up. The staff is wonderful and the members are supportive and friendly. At 74, I was able to do the first Jillian session but the second started to do a number on my back. As, with most of the Senior members, the third is way out of my league. Personally, I prefer to do my Pilates at home. Anyhow, many members want to stick to the first session but the staff is unable to do this as the rules come down from Corp. Hdqs. Trying to do the circuit around the three or four who are able to do the Jillian workout is impossible. And the loud demands by Jillian are offensive. I do have to add that, for those who have stuck to the program, the staff is very attentive to making sure they do it right.

posted Mar 27th, 2014 8:04 pm


I am new to curves since January 1,2014. I like the circuit and have lost 3 inches on my hops and thighs. But I went to workout today and they took the hip abductor machine off the circuit , I am so angry cause now I fell my workout is so incomplete. The instructor told me that I could do Julian, but I don't like her. I want the machine back! I am not sure what to do now.

posted Mar 18th, 2014 8:40 pm



I've been doing Curves for almost a year now and love it. Within 2 months I dropped inches, and then decided to add the menu plan for 3 months and now down 25 lbs. I am back in my high school sizes! I do love the Jillian workouts though they kick my butt. Staff is good and I really enjoy my 30 minutes!

posted Mar 1st, 2014 9:35 pm



cant stand this woman !!! think I will join somewhere else. dont need the yelling out just a workout. she is sooooo offensive

posted Feb 19th, 2014 5:08 am



I have been a curves member for over 7 years ( am 60 years old). It is a great workout. I am stronger and have fewer back problems than before. The new Jillian Michaels program is tough but members are encouraged to do as much as they can and try to improve each time. Result are seen after 6 weeks of Jillian. I am getting used to the new computer tracking program - not confident in using it yet. Used Curves Complete for a year with the results I wanted. Very happy with Curves!

posted Feb 17th, 2014 8:05 pm



I don't like Jullian Michaels if she was not your person I would join Curves not eveyone likes her so may be you should see how many people would join if she was not your one to talk for Curves.....

posted Feb 11th, 2014 9:08 pm



Hate the new Curves with Jillian shouting from a monitor as we move around the circuit! We are ladies of a certain age and enjoy socializing as we exercise. Between Jillian and Zumba classes, there's only a couple of 30 minute slots each afternoon us!when we can just do the circuit in peace.

posted Feb 7th, 2014 6:37 pm



I've been doing the workout for 11 years. Lost 2+ pants sizes without living on a constant diet. I love it!

posted Feb 3rd, 2014 7:41 pm

susan lovato


Wonderful, cant wait for the new workout in January

posted Jan 21st, 2014 11:20 pm


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