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