Curves to Go

Welcome to the second 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. When you sign up at Curves for Women, your first steps are to be weighed and measured. This gives you a baseline to monitor your progress in the coming weeks.

The recommended workout is 3 to 4 times a week or every other day. There are no hard and fast rules that say you cannot work out every day. If you’re just getting back into the workout swing, then every other day is probably best.

The Workout

The workout itself alternates every 30 seconds between a resistance machine and a recovery station. The Curves method employs circuit training and cardiovascular workouts in one very easy to follow set up. There are 8 to 12 stations of hydraulic machines and recovery stations available in each facility. They are usually set up in a circle, which makes it ideal for those working out to talk as they go through the circuit. There is no one right machine to start at; you just start where you want. You will complete each circuit 3 times, for a total of 30 minutes.

For example:

· Begin the workout on a recovery station walking in place for 30 seconds.
· Change Stations
· Leg presses for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Arm Presses for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Hamstring extension for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Bicep/Triceps Curls for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Leg Curls/Lifts for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 Seconds
· Change Stations
· Chest Press for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Squats for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Abdominal Curls for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Abductor/Adductor Press (works thighs) for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Oblique twist for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Recovery Station for 30 seconds
· Change Stations
· Repeat Circuit

How Does This Type of Workout Benefit?

The Curves workout offers all five components including warm-up, aerobic exercise, and strength training, cool down and stretching. The use of hydraulic equipment means there are never any weights to shift or train. You just move from one piece of equipment to a recovery station to the next piece of equipment. The ideal of resistance training is that it is safe and accommodating to every level of fitness.

Resistance lets you push, then pull rather than lift and lower weights. By creating a safe, load-bearing activities you can help maintain bone density and fight osteoporosis. Another benefit of the Curves workout program is the fact that strengthening muscles provides joint stability, which is crucial for treating arthritis. And while that looks good on paper, it feels even better during the actual workout.

Is 30 minutes enough time?

In a society where more is better, the Curves option takes advantage of quality over quantity. In other words, by moving from station to station, the heart rate stays up for the 30-minute workout. By keeping the intensity at the right level for you, you will build long, lean muscle. The combination of aerobic and strength training works well for those looking to lose weight because increased muscle mass burns calories and fat more efficiently, while the aerobic workout increases metabolism.

It’s a 2-for-1 deal.

What about encouragement?

One of the hardest parts about maintaining a workout program is the desire to get out there and do it every day. Curves take it to a place where not only do you want to go and do it every day, you enjoy yourself. The women working out around you are mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and in some cases daughters of some of the mothers present. The familial atmosphere and sense of community is pervasive. No one is a stranger, not even during her first workout.

How does it compare?

I’ve worked out at a lot of gyms. My regular workout includes a 90-minute treadmill power walking session on a regular basis. I wasn’t sure how the 30 minutes would compare to that. Especially after the first circuit, I thought that maybe this wouldn’t be such a tough workout. My heart rate was up in the 65% target zone. That was a good sign, but I didn’t really feel tired or fatigued. I pushed a little harder during the second circuit. Jogging lightly in place during the recovery station time and then really giving it my all during the 30 seconds on each machine.

By the time I started my third circuit, my heart rate was up in the 80% and I was starting to feel the burn. The third circuit was tougher, but I kept pouring it on. What amazed me was how fast the time flew. After the 30-minute workout, you need to take the time to cool it down and perform some flexibility stretches. This is good for your muscles and your heart.

Once is One Thing – What about the next visit?

I wondered the same thing, but on each of the six subsequent visits I’ve made, the workout just seems to get better. I am starting to recognize some of the other regulars. I feel a smile on my face as I open the door. I get started on the first recovery station and I shake it up whether jogging, walking, marching, doing jumping jacks or step up and step downing it. I give it my all on the machines and even though the time positively flies, I am ready to be done at the end of the 3rd circuit.

Do you recommend it?

Absolutely. Curves for Women offer companionship, support and an excellent workout. The entire design appeals to the fitness of mind, body and heart. So if you think you’ll never find the right gym for you, a gym where you can be comfortable or a gym where you can get a workout in without having to learn about fifty different types of machines or a place where you can get personal attention without paying for a personal trainer? Check out Curves. It just might make the difference you’re looking for.

This entry was posted in Fitness Programs and tagged , , , by Heather Long. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.