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Does Curves for Women really work?

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I have been thinking about joining a Curves, I just have never meet anyone else who has gone there. If anyone has please share your experences with me.
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Hi, I went there for a little while and I think it can do some good especially if you are just beginning.  Depending on your age and fitness levels you will probably quickly outgrow curves.  You need to keep challenging your body to see continued progress.  It may be a nice place to start but then consider a regular gym where you can make your workouts a little more intense as you get more and more fit!!!  I did like it when I went there (they also recommend doing addtional cardio everyday too)
I saw a spokesperson from Curves on TV one day. She said the workout was easy and won't get you sore when you start. Could that be because it's totally worthless? That's my guess. I know a woman from another forum that used to work there. She said it's bad because they couldn't adjust the machines for many of the ladies. She also said she had to to the circuit several times a day because they don't want their customers to work out alone. The point of that is it was so ridiculously easy she could do it several times a day.
I gained ten pounds.  And arm flab.  And I was dieting while doing it.

They say you get out of it what you put into it.  Everything works from, what seems to be, air pressure, and you're only on each machine for a minute or so.  Even if you give every machine your all and run like hell on the platforms between each machine, it's not really doing much for you.

Besides, there's no time to sanitise each machine and I'm sorry, but I don't want to sit on someone elses sweat.

I stuck it out for a year before giving up and finding something closer to home, for less money, and that made me feel good about those thirty minutes.
I don't know one person who goes there that is in good shape.

I don't mean that to sound as mean as it does, but that seems like a no-brainer to me... every person I know who attends Curves does it because they 'don't get as gross as the gym used to make them' or they say something like, "it just feels more feminine."  Whatever that means!!

I think a local Y or just about any gym with hours that work for you is a better choice.  Just IMO.
I started out at curves.  I weighed 235 lbs and lost 45-50 before I quit and joined 24 hour fitness (since have lost another 25-30).  Curves is a great workout if you currently have no fitness regime. 

The real benefit to Curves is the environment*.  It's all female, mostly out of shape women, so there's this comfort in being surrounded by people in the same boat.  You go in, you do half an hour, pushing yourself hard or not, and you leave.  You can be social or not, you can get a good workout, or a small workout.  It's the gym membership for the person who is either uninterested or intimidated by the big gyms. 

If you are dedicated to losing weight and getting healthy, you will outgrow Curves, as I did.  But I owe Curves a lot.  I got healthy there.  I read the book that came with my membership and stuck to the diet (for the most part!) and I learned so much. 

The other drawback is that since it is a circuit workout, you have less control.  You get in the circle and you do the defined workout, whereas at gyms, you do whatever you want.  I see Lady Fitness gyms popping up and rumor has it that they have both circuit and regular gym sections... so that's something to consider.

*Curves is a franchise, so while the circuit is set up the same, the decor and staff are different at each place.  Some are saccharine and team-like, which I loathe, and some are friendly, but respectful of your privacy.  If you go to one and find the staff or environment obnoxious, maybe check out another before you rule it out. 

That Lady Fitness place seems better, but there's no free weights :(
My partner's mom used to go to Curves and her main complaint was that you had to bring your own wipes (provided you want clean equipment) and that in general the facility was not exactly on the clean side. 

She stopped going.

I would recommend going to a regular gym.
See the franchise thing is where this makes it a different experience for everyone.  I always saw people cleaning, I didn't find it gross.  It was comfortable, clean and fun.  And you have to bring a towel to the regular gym too.  In fact the regular gym demands it.

Yes, I did all the hard work, but joining Curves saved my life.  I had panic attacks, I had health problems, I had self-image issues, yadda yadda yadda.  I tried a regular gym.  It was overwhelming and made me feel awful about myself.  I was too self conscious to work out in front of all the fit people at the regular gym.

I'm not saying that Curves is the best or the answer for everyone, but it was for me. 

I love going to Curves.  We have 3 in my town.  The one I go to is clean and decorated very nice.  I never used to exercise at all so this has been a huge step for me to actually begin.  I really, really like it and I know it was the best thing for me to do to get back on the healthy track.  I have lost weight and my arms are toning up.  For me, it is quite a workout.  I run in place and do the weights and the whole time I am sweating hard and breathing fast.  A whole lot different than sitting on the couch watching tv.

Btw, my Curves has towels and hand sanitizer.
I think you really need to assess you own fitness level. Curves is a fantastic place for people just starting out and do not know a lot about fitness.

My mother, who is 53, never worked out a day in her life.  3 years ago, she joined Curves and has lost over 60lbs.  She started with the regular given work out.  As she outgrew this, one of the Curves trainers trained with her for a week and made a more intense work out for her that followed the same circuit. 

The machines are resistance machines - meaning that if you are the machine for 30 seconds and do 25 reps, you are working much harder - ie: producing harder resistance - than if you were on the machine for 30 seconds and did 10 reps.

Seeing my mom's success, I (I'm 22) also joined Curves.  It did not provide me with the work out I was looking for - I prefer free weights so I joined a different gym.  But I have a lot of respect for Curves and what they do for women - it just wasn't for me.

Curves, like any work out or gym, will be what you put into it.  If you work out hard on the machines, you will get a hard work out.  it is GREAT for beginners and will teach you a lot about fitness - just remember to get cardio in somewhere else as well.
Thank you all for your responses! I am currently 27 years old and weight 350! I need to do something for myself now so my young son will have me later. I do need something to start me out, I walk but much, so if this is good for beginners I think I will try it. So again thanks to you all!
My mom lost 45 pounds with Curves!
GOOD LUCK!!!! Let us know how it goes and how you like it - I really hope it works out for you!
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Hi,  I have been at Curves for about 4 years and find it great.  I rarely exercised prior to going except walking the dog.  I have made lots of friends there and we all support each other in trying to stay healthy.   I go about 3-4 times a week and found some great benefits to it.  I have lost about 10 pounds,  decreased  inches and many of my blood tests have improved.  If you are a serious exerciser than it is not for you. Took my daughter once who is heavily into jazzercise and she felt it was not nearly enough for her.  It is something I can sustain and keep with and do regularly.   I sprained my ankle about 5 months ago and could do much of anything for a month.  I really felt the difference by the not going.  Most Curves have a "free" week to try it. 
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Another thing you might want to think about, if you're pro-choice, and pro-science-based (v. faith-based) education, is that the man behind Curves contributes heavily to anti-choice and abstinence-only education causes.  So, I'd never go, simply for ideological reasons.  But that's entirely a personal choice

But a women-only gym is a great idea, and I'd definitely recommend getting a personal training, at least for a few sessions.  I've got one twice a week, I go 4 times a week, and after only a few weeks I can feel a change.
I joined curves about six weeks ago. I have had been a member of Gold's Gym for over 4yrs, but I haven't been there in over two years because frankly, it is intimidating. I have lost 12lbs and the women and staff at my curves are really cool. But you have to be careful which one you join because they are independently owned franchises as kellywood mentioned. My Curves (Pflugerville (Austin, Tx)) really encourages their members to workout more than the recommended three days, plays cool current music and really accommodates each member. I only bought a three month membership because I plan to use my Gym membership when I shed a few more pounds and can handle the harder workout. I also added more cardio 3 weeks ago about , via a bike ride 3 days a week, so I can build up my stamina. I could not have riddem my bike without the workout I got at curves.

Joining Curves really got me motivated to exercize. I would recommend it for anyone that needs a little push to start working out.

Good Luck
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I joined curves almost 3 months ago.  I was kind of nervous about it at first because I am also over 300 lbs.  The staff at the curves I joined is very positive and supportive, which helps a lot.  Since joining I have lost over 10 pounds by exercising 3 times per week at curves and just eating healthier.  I have not started counting calories just yet.  As of the end of July, I had also lost 13 inches.  I will have another weigh and measure at the end of August and look forward to seeing how many more inches I have lost. 
I went to Curves & didn't like the fact that you cannot join unless you pay them for a whole year.    I went for 3 months and decided I needed more so I joined a gym down the street and they refused to let me out of my contract.    I also had switched to the gym because my cardiologist said Curves is more for seniors or people who cannot do alot of psychical activities and recommended that I get more agressive & join the gym and work with a trainer.   And to be honest,  I lost a lot more weight at the gym and felt I got a lot more then I did at Curves.    I also got very bored with Curves,  you go in a circle and hop from machine to walking in place to another machine,  and it goes so fast I really didn't feel like I was getting a work out.    But everyone is different,  this is the just my experience.    :)
My Mother in law swears by her Curves center. This is a lady with diabetes and quite over weight, poor conditioning, but Curves has been a great fit for her! I agree with other members who felt that gyms can be intimidating, very true! And when they are busy, it's hard to get to use the machines you want. 
Another thing you might want to think about, if you're pro-choice, and pro-science-based (v. faith-based) education, is that the man behind Curves contributes heavily to anti-choice and abstinence-only education causes.  So, I'd never go, simply for ideological reasons.  But that's entirely a personal choice

LOL  That makes me WANT to go there!

And BTW... "faith based" education still includes science, it just doesn't include unprovable theories that contradict God's word.  The Bible is scientifically sound.
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