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

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • 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
jillian michaels 468

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 jillian michaels

Related Diets: Curves 30 Day Diet Plan, Curves Complete, LA Weight Loss, The Curves Diet Book, 24 Hour Fitness, Curves Smart, Elements for Women, Lucille Roberts


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 3 of 9, 176 total comments)


im 21 yrs old i been going to curves for a month already i love the results i hava lost already couple of pounds i usually go 3 to 5 times a week and kind off follow a heathy diet. i feel happy rrelax and it helps realized my strees.

posted May 27th, 2010 10:06 pm


I have just started but would like to express that my situation is unique and i think people and Curves should take notice that choosing to exercise is for a longer healthier lifestyle. I joined for these reasons. However, I joined with my mother who would love to lose about 30 pounds. I, however, am at the other end of the spectrum. I have always, and I mean always been thin and I am not bulemic or anerixic. I have a high metabolism. I want to gain weight, I always have. I want to exercise but what I really think is neat is that I am spending some great time with my mother. So please don't judge me when you see me working next to you as I am happy with me and I want to live a long and healthy life like you. I think Curves should also advertise that they do work with women who want to gain weight. It may not be the majority of women but I first joined to support my mom and learned I could work on me too.

posted May 19th, 2010 6:12 pm

Margie McElhenie Landreville

I Love it it is so much fun and so easy to do! Look out World here comes a NEW ME!!! Just Like A Butterfly!
You'll Love It Too!

posted Mar 16th, 2010 3:40 pm


Its a great workout for my busy life. In and out in 30min.

posted Feb 24th, 2010 6:06 pm


Yesterday was my first day. I loved it! the ladies were soooo nice and very supportive of each other. I used to think Curves was for "older" ladies and that the weight machines must be easy with no stack weights. BOY was i wrong!! I'm 21 years old and the weights were tough! with the smart card i get it programmed to ME and it pushes ME to my level. I'm very happy with Curves!

posted Feb 9th, 2010 2:30 pm


Just did my first day trial yesterday and was very happy and excited. Still trying but there is a good chance I will sign up.
It's just funny that most women at the curves I go to are over 50. I am 31 not in so bad shape and I don't think the program is too easy, it was fun and I can definitely get something out of it.
It's just wired that younger women seem not to be as interested.

posted Jan 19th, 2010 12:21 pm


i love going to Curves. i started going there when i was 15 years old and im now 20 years old. i havent gone for a while but its fun going somewhere where just women can work out and get fit.

posted Jan 8th, 2010 4:45 am


It WORKs! Working out at Curves and doing their diet plan has helped me get to my goal AND keep weight off over the holidays! TRY IT!!

posted Jan 3rd, 2010 3:36 pm


Curves in Ohio is AWESOME! I lost over 68 pounds. I am only in my 30s and in no way is Curves for 'old women'. We have women of all ages, shapes and sizes! Curves Smart makes me work so hard and I can work out 6 days a week because it tells me when my alternate day is so I don't overwork my muscles. I am very thankful to have found Curves!

posted Dec 9th, 2009 9:24 am


The food was awesome and I never was hungry.

posted Nov 4th, 2009 3:18 pm


curves is great ...I am 34 joined in may 09 a none gym person lost 16lb so far...want to lose some weight join curves..Wanna feel better about yourself and stop pulling on your clothes JOIN CURVES...I go 3 times a week LOVE CURVES...

posted Sep 28th, 2009 11:16 pm

Sharon Lesher

I like Curves, you only get out of something as much as you put in. I like meeting the other woman they are all very friendly along with the trainers. I work much harder with the Curves Smart program and there are people who want to socialize and some who want to work out, I do both. But I think it is great NO MEN. It is sad though that there isn't a place for the children to be there,, so the mothers could exercise and also the mothers and daughters could do it together.

posted Aug 28th, 2009 1:59 pm


I've been a Curves member for almost 6 years. I'm 50 years old and have lost 125 pounds: 75 before Curves (diet and walking) and 50 with Curves plus diet. I think the workout can be excellent but people need to educate themselves about fitness and diet in general. When I started at Curves, my resting heart rate was 81, it is now 53. I have become very fit using the Curves program. That said, I did not accomplish this by exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes at 60-65% of maximum heart rate. I worked at at 75% and now work out between 80 and 85% 3-4 times a week, for up to 90 minutes, and walk 2 times a week. I have heard a lot of misinformation from other members and some of the people who work at Curves. Curves claim that you can lose weight in just 3 times per week at 65% heart rate was disproven by their own study. The Curves study showed that the women who succeeded, were by and large, obese, or morbidly obese, had not exercised much in the past, and worked out for 50 minutes, 5 times a week. Because 3 times a week for 30 minutes is part of that 50 minutes 5 times a week, Curves could say 30 minutes 3 times a week works. Statistics are very easy things to manipulate. A couple of years ago, the owner of a Curves I was going to was saying how you lose more weight by working out less hard. This is completely wrong, but that information came from the fact that when you work out at a lower heart rate (aerobic) you burn a larger percentage of calories from fat than if you work out at a higher heart rate (anaerobic) rate. That is true. However, you burn more total calories, which is what one needs to be concerned with when one is trying to lose weight and therefore more calories from fat, by the numbers, when you work out harder: at a higher heart rate. Curves manipulated the data to attract sedentary ladies and get them into an an exercise routine. I know a lot of women who quit Curves after a few months because it no longer seemed to be working. Bottom line, is, if you want to continue to see results, you have to increase your exercise as you become stronger. My Curves does have Curves smart and I mostly like it. For one thing, before Curves smart, I was working very hard, but often using the recovery boards to get and keep my heart rate up. Well, I am on the Curves Smart Endurance workout which has me working at a high rate and getting my heart rate up there on the machines. I am definitely working harder and have a noticed a difference. I have lost a little more weight, with minimal dietary changes, and I'm very strong and getting a nice, sculpted shape (for my age). I like seeing the read out at the end of the workouts. However, the heart rate monitor on the stepper is not accurate, and that could actually be dangerous. The machine ALWAYS shows my heart rate lower than what it is if I take my own pulse. Fortunately, I have learned enough about fitness and my own health to be able continue to work hard without hurting myself. At my Curves, because we still have mostly non-Curves smart members, we still have the regular heart rate check, which I use. The other thing about the Endurance level with which I adamantly disagree is that it says I'm supposed to do the work out 5 DAYS A WEEK. Everything I've read by Physician's, Trainer's, etc... says that one is not supposed to strength train on consecutive days. That's very bad for you, and shame on Curves for not doing their homework on this. We also have a problem with the machines not working consistently. This is more of annoyance than anything else, because when you're working your hardest, you know you're strong, the machine worked fine 2 days prior, and suddenly it's not giving you any green, or even registering at all, it reflects badly, and inaccurately on your numbers. I enjoy Curves and I have accomplished a lot there because I have taken it upon my self to learn as much as I can about fitness and because I work out in a way that I feel is best for me. We have some staff members who are very knowledgeable and helpful, and some who frankly, don't know what they're doing. Like anything else, do your homework, and do what's best for you.

posted Aug 22nd, 2009 4:55 pm


I manage a Curves is Australia and wanted to answer Elizabeth's questions about hygiene.

At my Curves and anyother Curves I've had contact with all machines are cleaned at least twice a day, sometimes more if they are in a high traffic area. There is also the use of a hand sanitiser before and after the workout. Many of our 'sweatier' ladies also carry a hand towel with them to cover the machines while they workout. So it really is very unlikely for to catch anything from the equipment.

As far as the CurvesSmart timing goes, if everyone is starting their workout on a recovery board and following the cues when on the recovery boards there should only be a 2-3 second delay if the CurvesSmart ladies are a little slow at registering thier tag with the machine. But this slight delay should be caught up at the next recovery board, we've suggested to our ladies that where possible have at least one station between ladies just so you dont get held up.

We've also found that since introducing the CurvesSmart system the chatter in the club as reduced, people are more focused on their workout and getting their results. Our members dont even talk to our coaches while their on a machine that's how focused they are!

posted Jul 22nd, 2009 5:13 am


I'm sorry for Kay's experience at Curves. I am a long-time member, over 3 years, and when I joined, there was no sign saying that children were not welcome. I suspect that it was added after some customers complained that so-called "quiet" and "well-behaved" children reached an age when they weren't so quiet and mom had to jump on and off the circuit to shush them constantly. This creates a problem for those of us who are continuing on the circuit. We shouldn't have to remember where Mom was so she can jump back in when she feels ready. However, it is not true that Curves is "for old ladies", and certainly not for ladies who've "already had their children and don't want to be bothered" (!?) I am in my forties and do NOT consider myself an old lady. To anyone considering joining, I say, join if you want to lose weight and diet if you want to keep it off.

posted Jul 19th, 2009 8:54 am


I loved Curves and lost over 30 pounds with it after I had my baby. Unfortunately, after we moved I tried to transfer to a Curves at my new location and was told that my child would not be welcome to quietly watch me workout like she had before at the previous location. Something about Curves was for old ladies and they'd already had their children and didn't want to be bothered by the presence of mine! I thought this was insane and took my business elsewhere. Apparently, it is standard practice to exclude women with well-behaved children present in most Curves locations. At the location where I had a great experience with Curves there were women of all ages and most were gracious and eager to be successful with their health goals. There were many a mom with kids in tow and never an instance of trouble for the ladies from the children. In fact, most people seemed a little disappointed that my little sweet pea didn't show up with me on rare occasion.

posted Jun 29th, 2009 4:40 am


I am currently participating in the 30-day challenge, and am looking for an opinion: how sanitary is it to share equipment with strangers in such rapid succession? I'm concerned about MRSA (antibiotic-resistant staph).

Also, the Curves Smart doesn't quite make sense to me: half of the women are sticking to the circuit and following the timed cues to change stations, while those doing Curves Smart are working at a different interval: how can this be effective? It seems to negate the efficiency of he timed cue - group workout environment.

Thanks for any input and encouragement you can provide. I've seen people have significant success with this program!

posted May 28th, 2009 7:04 pm


I joined curves about two months ago and I only want to lose weight in my stomach area. The problem that I have is that every area of my body seems to be doing great, but my stomach is continuing to protrude out there. My weight is 129 , height 5'3 and I am 37yrs. I have had three children and trying to lose this excess fat that has been haunting me. Is there anyone out there that have had this similar problem?

posted May 28th, 2009 2:02 pm

Jennifer L. S.

Curves Real cost $59/month ($39 base, $5 curves smart, $45/3months website fee) plus enrollment fee varying from free (recent promotion with a bag of groceries donated) to full price around $150.

I just completed my participation in their "30 days for 30 dollars" fitness study. Although I liked the workout and felt energized rather than tired after my workouts, over all they didn't help me loose weight.

I am an RN with a BSN. I had a nursing research class where we learned what elements help make a good reliable study. Having now participated in this so-called study I can easily see how it will yield highly inaccurate results. Here are a few of the issues I observed: There is way to note which arm/leg was measured during before and after measurements, which could vary greatly from side to side, and do on myself. Hands were not required to be washed before % body fat assessment and contact with electrodes could effect your measurements. My height was not measured but asked, this will affect the BMI results. I believe I was wearing my shoes for my original weigh-in but not for the follow-up, with shoes I would have gained an additional pound. Original measurements were easily visible to both measurer and participant during re-measure (this can lead to inaccuracies as the post measurement is suppose to be less). There is no control for variations in measurements from staff member to staff, such as arranging for the same staff person both times. There is also no pre-measurement prep guide like be sure you're hydrated, wearing similar clothes to original assessment, and if you eat take only a light meal. All of these affect your post measurements and therefore the results of the study. Furthermore the study results could easily be skewed by an individual changing data (as all data is self entered) due to embarrassment and would be better put in by the curves staff.

Study measurements are inaccurate and in this case, my BAD results were very discouraging to me. I was prepared to have not lost weight but only inches. However, I gained multiple pounds and was told "I've never seen anyone gain this much weight (3.75 pounds)." I was not highly encouraged to go on the website mentioned in the study. Also, although I worked out on "curve smart" machines, I didn't get to use curves smart, thus the question about using a curves smart machine seems irrelevant to my workout. I also agreed to as part of the study (per the paper work which I read) to go on the website ??we necessary? but was never told to do so until TODAY when I finished the study. Therefore this is not just a curves ??princess? problem but a design problem. Participants and facilitator participation is not dummy or average person goof proof as it needs to be for an unmonitored study set up like this.

Overall I am very discouraged and frustrated. I have no confidence in any of the measurements taken aside from weight, which I gained (3.75 lbs in 30 days). To me this shows curves to be ineffective and POINTLESS.

posted May 18th, 2009 10:36 pm


I joined Curves two months ago and started Curves Smart two weeks ago. I am 38 yrs old and pretty overweight. So far I have lost 24 lbs and 18.5 inches. I love Curves Smart, it challenges me much more than the regular program. I should note that I've also changed my eating habits, drink LOTS of water and I also work out for 30 minutes every morning at home (staionary bike) and walk for at least an hour every night (I've got two dogs who need it as much as I do)

posted Apr 23rd, 2009 2:09 pm


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