Welcome to the first installment of the Curves for Women review. Curves for Women is a unique gym that offers an aerobic strength-training workout in a 30 minute format that is ideal for every woman on the go. Taking the plunge to check out Curves for Women led to one of the most interesting and fun experiences in a gym that I’ve had.
Let’s step over to Murphy, Texas where Rebecca arrives at the studio gym by 8:30 promptly. I’m going in to meet with her and discuss what Curves for Women offers, what they can do for me and ask the burning question. How does this all work? As I sat in my car and waited, I’d noticed the lot around me gradually being populated by other cars. When Rebecca opened the doors, she didn’t arrive at Curves alone, the morning crew comprised in age ranges from 17 to 70 was waiting to follow her in the door and get right to work on the program.
The atmosphere inside Curves needs to be experienced to be believed. One foot into the door and women are turning to smile and greet you. If they know you, they call to you by name. The smiles they offered didn’t falter at the sight of a stranger. At no point upon arrival did I feel out of place as I sat down at the front desk near the door to discuss the Curves program with Rebecca.
The visit began with a genuine sense of warmth and thankfully, no sales pitch. In fact, the first thing Rebecca wanted to talk about was me. She wanted to hear about my experiences, my goals, my lifestyle and what I had been doing. She wanted to know how I felt, what kind of things were stressing me and how was I coping with it. It never seemed prying or intrusive, just a sincere attempt at understanding the whole person, not just the fitness goals. I’m not sure how long the average new member interview lasts, but I spent nearly two hours talking to the owner and it couldn’t have been more comfortable than sitting down with a dear old friend over cups of cappuccino.
Curves for Women are marketed as a unique fitness facility and while that slogan is accurate; it fails to identify what makes it so unique. Gary Heavin and his wife Diane started Curves for Women over ten years ago. The most franchised fitness facility in the country, it boasts more than 9,000 locations. The principle behind the system is a thirty-minute strength building, aerobic and weight loss program in a comfortable atmosphere for women.
The fitness center embraces the total body fitness concept. The machines are all resistance based and there are no weights to adjust. Starting at one machine, you work out for 30 seconds and then change to a recovery station to walk, jog, skip, dance or even do jumping jacks for 30 seconds, then on to the next machine. No exercise gets old, no exercise requires a certain number of reps, it’s work as hard as you can in the 30 second window and then move on. This continues for a total of 3 rounds of the equipment giving a full 3 sets on the machines and rounding out to about 30 minutes when the circuit is complete.
I left Curves for Women that morning after we set a time for me to return the following week and begin the Curves for Women experience. Yet, without even touching one weight machine, I’d already discovered a great deal about Curves for Women. In a space no larger than 2400 square feet, I saw women of all ages, shapes and curves working out on resistance machines. They were talking. They were laughing. They were sharing stories and advice.
Have you ever seen the movies where the main character goes into a beauty shop and everyone knows everyone else? There’s a happy familiarity that makes even a stranger feel welcome and at home? That’s what the atmosphere at Curves for Women felt like. Only instead of getting a haircut or a manicure, you are getting your fitness done. There was no fashion show. No alien sense of strangers keeping their privacy bubbles up and avoiding eye contact. There was no loud music, just women, conversation and exercise.
My day got a lift just from sitting there, talking and listening. As I stepped out of the building, I couldn’t help but wonder — if I felt that good just basking in the atmosphere, how much better does it get to work out and feel that warm glow of accomplishment as well?
This is the first in a series on the Curves for Women experience. The opinions in this are completely my own. I would recommend, however, that you don’t just take my opinion. Check it out for yourself.