Curves, also known as Curves International and Curves for Women, is a fitness center operating in the United States and in over 85 other countries. They currently have 3,175 locations around the United States with an estimated 4 million members. Since its founding the center has grown in membership thanks largely to their weight loss and fitness facilities aimed at women. There are some locations however, that are open to men.
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Curves was established in 1992 by Gary and Diane Heavin in Harlingen, Texas, with the goal of creating a fitness center for women with emphasis on weight loss guidance and strength training. This proved very popular with the women in the area and within three years they were franchising the gym. As proof of their success, the company is now recognized as one of the biggest franchise firms in the world, with thousands of franchise now operational.
Today the company is operating not just in the United States but also in Japan, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. In Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine it is known as FitCurves. Even though the company has gone through numerous changes, they remain true to their vision of developing facilities for weight loss and fitness for women. As pointed out earlier though, some locations allow men.
Curves founder Gary and Diane Heavin are also known for their charitable acts and activities, including contributing more than $1 million to the American Cancer Society in 2009, and the following year in 2010 Gary Heavin used their company jet to bring doctors to Haiti to aid victims of the earthquake.
The membership fees depend on where you apply and the membership plan you avail of. Most locations though, charge $12.95 a week and this includes coaching, training and meal plans. If you are interested in the Curves program you can sign up for a free consultation. Taking all the expenses into account, the monthly fee comes to around $30 to $35, although in some areas it could be higher, and in some locations there is a $60 joining fee too. If you are planning on joining you need to contact the one nearest you to get an accurate estimate.
Those who join Curves will be able to participate in the core program, which centers around circuit training and the use of special hydraulic resistance systems to attain the desired goals. In addition to this, the Curves strength training program incorporates full cardio training, and as noted earlier it also comes with personalized meal plans and coaching so you know exactly what to do. But the biggest benefit that Curves offers members is that the workouts are tailored made for women, and is aimed specifically at women who have very little experience gym training but serious about getting in shape.
Unlike other fitness centers that just focus on training, Curves has coaches who will help address any confidence issues that you may have.Curves offers a comprehensive workout plan, with slight variations depending on the locality and your plan. Generally there are sixteen stations and you spend around 30 seconds on each, which slowly increases your strength without causing the frustration that comes with using strength machines extensively. Curves working stations are also varied, consisting of recovery pads and strength training.
Those who join the Curves program can use these strength training stations to burn calories rapidly, and the more effort you put in the quicker you will lose weight. The presence of the recovery pad however, prevents any burning out or any kind of joint injury. While many of the workouts are low impact, they have been proven to work, and it’s also the only fitness center that allows you to dictate the pace.
In 2002 research was done at Baylor University’s Exercise & Sports Nutrition Laboratory to determine the long term effect of Curves’ training regimen. After extensive research it was proven that the Curves program is successful helping women shed off pounds, reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, and at the same time maintain weight loss. At the same time the study showed that the meal plans employed in the Curves program helps in weight loss by keeping fat storing hormones at bay, something that is usually released when you are trying to cut down on calories.
These studies have been verified and published in several health and medical publications including Nutrition and Metabolism, the Sports Nutrition Review Journal, Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. Following this study, several other researchers have come to the conclusion that Curves’ aerobic exercises will increase metabolism and strengthen the joints, muscles and bones, leading to better overall health for women.
For more information about Curves, visit their official website.