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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 6 of 9, 180 total comments)

mary norris

curves is great joined month ago lost 2 inches on stomach/thighs 2lbs the instructors at our curves are outstanding

posted Jul 24th, 2008 10:13 am

nicole washington

i use to be a member at curves but they had no daycare. Does anybody know if the home workout in the curves book is effective?

posted Jul 22nd, 2008 9:46 pm

Hard Worker

I work at Curves now and have for the past 3 years. I love my club and would do anything to keep it open and all of my freind happy. I hate it when people talk bad about Curves, sure some aren't as great as others, but SO WHAT? And the contracts vary from lcub to club and location to location, as so the prices. You wouldn't expect a big city to have its members only pay $29 a month, rent is not cheap! I get very frsutrated when poeople come in for a first workout and complain about how it is not "hard enough"! My awsner to them is always, "Well miss, maybe if you moved a little more you would feel something" This is an intense workout if you do it right! I make sure my ladies leave here sweaty, if they dont I yell at them (in the nicest possible way!). If you are not a member yet, DO IT NOW! You will not regret it. And if you hate it, well Curves is not for people who want to go to a gym to look for a date. Our slogan at my Curves is... It is not about the outfit, it is about the workout.

posted Jul 17th, 2008 8:14 am


I've been a member of Curves for 3 months and it's fantabulous! It's totally what my bod needs and I'm losing weight like a son of a gun. The best part is no one knows I'm a man. With my high voice and lack of facial hair I blend right in. See you tonight girls!

posted Jul 15th, 2008 10:09 pm


I joined the curves in Laurel, Md. Jan. 9, 2008 and ytd I have lost 52 pounds and 43.25 inches. Its changed my life!

posted Jul 14th, 2008 11:09 pm


I have been a member at Curves for four months. Yes, it can be a social party but I go there to workout so I start on the opposite end so they won't hold me up. You can work up a sweat if you are into the workout. I jog on the squares and I really push myself on the machines. I have not lost weight but I have lost inches (which was my reason for joining). I love the atmosphere and it works! If anyone is interesting in joining they do offer a free week before you join to see if it's for you. That is what I did. At the club I go to they offer it to anyone who comes in before they join. I agree that it depends on the club. Just do your own research and stop listening to other people! Everyone's experience and opinions are different.

posted Jul 11th, 2008 3:26 pm


I'm 66 and have been going to Curves 5days a week for 3 months. Have lost 19 inches and 6 lbs-it goes so fast and I thonk it was the smartest thing i've done since I retired

posted Jul 7th, 2008 7:06 pm


Several people has asked whether you work up a sweat, how intensive the workout it, etc. I haven't noticed anyone comment on the machines themselves. You really do get out of it what you put in. The machines all have hydraulic joints, providing a resistance workout. Ever move your hand back and forth through water, in your sink or in the pool? The slower you go, the less resistance you feel. The faster you move your hand, the more the water seems to push back. These machines work the same way, since with each rep you are forcing water back and forth inside the pistons. If you want to just go in to Curves to feel a little more active, you can go relatively slowly on the machines and keep it low-impact. But if you really do want to take it seriously, just step up your pace. The machines will fight back, meaning not only will you get more reps but each one will pack a stronger punch on your muscles! Also, as to those who complain about "low-intensity" women's conversation distracting them, if you are thinking of joining Curves or otherwise starting to exercise more on your own, please ignore those comments! During any physical activity, you should be able to maintain a conversation. If you are too winded to talk, that means that you have kicked up your heart rate past healthy levels and you are straining to a point that will likely do more damage than good. As your muscles and body become more toned and accustomed to strenuous activities, you will find that you can step up your exercise without becoming winded. But especially as you first get started, keeping your heart rate and breathing within reasonable limits ensures that you are burning energy (and fat) correctly and safely.

posted Jul 3rd, 2008 7:36 am


Hi my name is Angela, i am a recent employee of Curves. I agree with your story, but there is more to the eye behind the scenes at curves. Many Curves places treat their employees like , i was one of them.Our boss was more into making money, charging everyone for stuff, than about their health. You are right it is very social, but there is coaching going on. I come from an athletic background, unlike most workers. You are right the circuit is for many women ofver 37 in my mind. Not like a US Rugby All star like me. Curves is not the place to be i think. Curves doesnt really do nothing unless you are a little older.

posted Jul 2nd, 2008 2:21 pm


I just joined Curves last week and I absolutely love it. I love that you change machines every few mins and the 3o min workout goes by so fast. I can really feel it working. I am shy and dont talk much, just listen so it doesnt matter to be if anyone is being clique-ish. I am there to work out and lose weight and its working. I can see my self sticking with this. I also like the fact that you put your name in a jar everytime you work out 3 times a week (and again if you work out 5 days), then they draw names and you win things. I dont know if all locations do this, but its a fun idea.

posted Jun 24th, 2008 10:10 am

Denise could you possibly never work up a sweat?! Obviously you're not trying very hard! You get out of it what you put in to it. One good way to keep your heart rate up is to increase your jogging in place between stations. I'm not overweight or out of shape and I can work up a sweat, get my heart rate up and keep it up - I make that choice. I think Curves is awesome. The women only idea is oggling men and the whole atmosphere is very supportive, whether you are there to lose weight, tone up, or both. Maybe the real issue is your negative attitude.

posted Jun 23rd, 2008 4:55 pm


I cannot believe the negative comments! I've worked out at Curves for 5 years and have lost 40 pounds(in the first year) and have maintained 20% body fat since then. Curves are indepentently owned, so it does vary from franchise to franchise, find one that suits you. Has anyone tried the advanced workout? It still kicks my butt every other day. The harder you workout, the stronger you get-you can NEVER out grow the Curves workout. I suggest you ask the owner about the coaches level of training. At my club two of the three employees are college accredited for fitness and diet classes. It's the best place for a 30 minute workout for your enitre body.

posted Jun 21st, 2008 7:55 am


I quickly skimmed a lot of the comments, but I did not see anything about Curves Smart, their new program. I would agree with many of the women above that you get what you put into it, and many women don't seem to put that much into it. But I also agree that even THAT much put into it is great for many women, and I hate to see their efforts disparaged! That aside, to those who say it's not a real work out--go back and try again, this time with the Curves Smart system. The resistance is NOT the same for every women, it is based on your total strength. Working out at only 65% of that (and that's not the highest program) is way harder than jogging a few miles for me, and certainly harder than what I did at Curves before. I love to hike and bike and speed walk, but this is by far more challenging than any of that, unless we're talking about a hike with a steep-ish 2000+ foot altitude gain... For people in top shape, or body builders--um, no, you will probably not be challenged. But for physically fit women who want a quick and decent cardio and strength training workout--try it again.

posted Jun 12th, 2008 9:25 am


I've been working out at Curves four years this month. I joined at the age of 57, disgusted with my weight and lack of fitness. my first 8 months I lost 20 lbs and 21 inches without doing anything but going 3 x a week. I actually wanted to go! staff at the 1st Curves I joined were pretty well trained and were required to be out on the floor with the clients. the Curves I'm with now is different, not well staffed but I am determined to keep my muscles and my bones. at 61, I am still very active and have lost another 17 lbs this spring. All Curves are independently owned. I feel healthier now than I did 15 years ago. You can make it work for you or not. Won't recommend it for a young girl who isn't really overweight. There are so many who are and don't want to work out in front of guys. I have never stuck with anything before curves.

posted Jun 10th, 2008 8:58 am


i have a 20 years old, and im very thin, actually a few punds underweight, so i'm not interested in losing weight, i just want to get reaaallly toned in have great abs and sculpted legs and arms...i just want to really get in shape..will joining curves do that? or do i need a regular gym with weights and all?..wen i went to visit, i noticed most women there were older and more interested in losing weight... please help me on this! thanx :)

posted Jun 5th, 2008 7:00 pm

Curves 4 Life

You don't sign a contract but you can sign an agreement for 1 year in order to take advantage of a $10 a month savings but in the event you must cancel your membership you're not charged more than $50 for the rest of your agreement period which other clubs cannot claim as they continue to charge the monthly fee throughout the duration of the contractual agreement. The Curves trainers do not receive extensive training but the equipment is not difficult to learn and the rest just comes over time (working there every day helps). The trainers are there to remind you of proper form and motivation as well as a friendly woman to talk to. So what if you're socializing while you're working out. Most of the gyms I've ever gone to were nothing but meet and greets anyway. The employees at Curves are the same women who join Curves thereby helping the motivation factor in addition to keeping Curves a comfortable place for women to work out. Curves provides a total body work out complete with cardio and strength training via hydraulics followed by stretching which is all done in 30 minutes. Nobody needs to spend more than 30 minutes exercising a day. Most women can only afford to fit 30 minutes for exercise in their daily routines. Many insurance companies cover a Curves membership as well and you can more than likely find a Curves near your home or place of work. This is not rocket science - you're getting the safest work out and everyone knows that exercise is good for you and where else can "real" women feel comfortable than at Curves? When I've gone to other gyms, I wasn't helped at all much less concerned with my heart rate throughout my work out plus I spent more time than was necessary working on machines I knew little about. Talk about a waste of time.

posted Jun 2nd, 2008 2:56 pm


I signed a 1 year contract, gave it 6 months.You have to do more than what they offer to get in shape. It's more of a social club than serious weight loss even some of the trainers are fat. I was forced to stay a member when I decided to quit. They said I had to pay double to quit so now I stayed a member and never go.I feel I was scamed.

posted May 28th, 2008 12:19 pm


I was thinking about joining but since I ready all the comments, and you have to sign a 2 year contract, I have changed my mind.

posted May 18th, 2008 7:46 am


LOVE IT--also do additional cardio on my own--My Aetna insurance makes it really affordable--some other insurances cover it too so be sure to check it out.

posted May 18th, 2008 7:46 am


I am still new at Curves, going on my third week. I am already seeing results, however in addition to my Curves workout I walk/jog on the days I do not go to Curves. Also, you really need to change your eating habits, as the old rule of calories in/calories out still applies no matter how many hours you work out. I agree with the comments about Curves having that social club environment and I?d like to add that at the particular Curves I go to, there is a group of women who act like its 1980 again, and we are back in high school gym class with their jock-girl attitudes. I say that if you encounter any jock-girls or social butterflies, just ignore them. I had one woman actually follow me around the circuit trying to strike up conversation about my personal life but I just answered with her with ?uh-huh? a couple of times and she stopped. I am all for camaraderie but it has to be in the right time and place, and weight training is not one of them. I believe that this is one time where individuality overrules team spirit, and I feel that my workout will not and should not be compared to others. I like going to Curves and will continue to go but my goal there is not to make ?friends? as I already have plenty of them. My goals at Curves are to improve my health by losing weight and improving my health.

posted May 15th, 2008 9:44 am


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