I am thinking about joining Curves but I really don’t know that much about their gyms and what they offer. Do you have any information on them? Does their exercise plan really work or not? I think they are a “Women Only” fitness facility which I kind of like since I can’t stand being hit on all the time from guys when I workout at a regular gym. Is this true?
Yes, you are correct that Curves is a gym created specifically for women and most of the facilities do not allow men to join, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing that “nightclub” feel when you go workout at a Curves. The Curves 30 minute workout is designed to work every major muscle group on your body and burn up to 500 calories per workout. The basic workout style at Curves consists of a “Circuit Training” style routine where you do 30 seconds on each of 10-12 machines followed up with 30 seconds of walking, running or marching in place between each machine. You go around the circuit 2 times for a total of 25-30 minutes.
They have limited machines in each location and the overall rating from feedback of many members varies from “convenient” and “great” to “very small” and “too many people”. Curves has nearly 10,000 locations in over 85 countries, so they will most likely have a location near where you live. I think a lot of the issues really depend on the time of day you like to workout. If you go into a Curves at a peak time, you will probably have issues getting in a workout since there will be a number of women fighting for a spot and since the Curves gyms are on the smaller side, this limited amount of space can be an issue.
The main benefit of Curves is the large amount of locations around the country and the “small & quiet” setting they have compared to a larger gym chain. However, you pay a premium for this and when compared to the features of a large gym such as LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym or 24 Hour Fitness, it doesn’t even come close. These gyms have an enormous amount of specialized equipment which they provide along with specialized fitness services (aerobics rooms, spin classes, saunas, Jacuzzis, tanning, showers) which you can use for about the same price as you would pay at Curves. You are able to use millions of dollars worth of exercise equipment (in most major gyms) for a relatively small fee every month (usually less than $40/month). This is one of the major benefits of the larger gyms. However, you will most likely experience the “nightclub” effect in a larger gym with many of the male members flirting and hitting on the attractive women who workout there.
There are also the newer gym chains that cater to members who need 24 hour access and they have a mix between the big gym’s high-end exercise equipment along with a smaller and more intimate setting. Some of these gyms include Anytime Fitness, Snap Fitness and YouFit. These are actually very nice gyms with great equipment and nominal monthly fees (as low as $10/month for YouFit). You also have a key card or access pass that allows you to workout anytime during the day or night which is great since you can avoid dealing with an employee at the front desk that needs to check you in every time you visit.
So, it really comes down to the most important things you need in a gym. If you want access to high-end equipment and can deal with a few cheesy pickup lines once in a while, a bigger gym chain might be your best bet (you can also wear headphones while you workout which is a great way to distract any suitors). However, if you’re specifically looking for the “small and quiet” gym without any men allowed, then Curves might be the way to go!