By Dorothy Segovia
the hottest women-only gym stepping across the United
States. Founded in 1992 by husband and wife Gary and Diane Heavin,
Curves now has over 8,000 franchises in eight countries.
Curves 30-minute fitness and weight loss centers
provide fitness and weight loss in a fun, fast and safe environment.
Santa Maria, California Curves that I visited was peppered
with positive slogans and a bevy of pink post-it-notes celebrating
the biggest losers. Barbara Huff, co-owner of the
franchise with her husband Joe, researched other gym franchises,
but it was the phylosphy and service focus of Curves that
got her attention.
Smiling, Barbara gives a tour of the gym and
shows me how to take my pulse. My target heart rate is supposed
to stay between 22 and 26 beats in a 10 second count. Barbara
shows me the platform where I begin warming up. Meanwhile, she
gets on the machine in front of me. Her instructions are precise.
Somehow she manages to give me complete attention while scanning
the circle of women like a hostess at a party.
is the Amway of the exercise world. Curves slogan Why
just join a club when you can join a movement? is the war
cry from over 3 million members. This 30-minute combo program
of diet and exercise buoyed by community is the foundation of
to this program gave me an incentive, declares Ida, a California
Curves member who lost over 100 pounds in 2 and ½
years. Now I help other women. We are like family. We are
a support group for one another.
Curves International, Inc. corporate mission statement
is We commit our methods, systems and motivation to helping
people, whether a Curves member or franchise owner, to
help themselves in their quest to attain a better quality of life.
The Curves member guide written by founder Gary Heavin,
is packed with inspirational quotes, a detailed plan for the weight-loss
program and The Curves Story.
years ago Gary took over a fitness facility. He was studying physiology
and became interested in learning how the body works. Gary wanted
to go to medical school but realized he was unable to afford it.
Because he was not exposed to traditional methods of fitness and
weight loss, Gary was free to create his own fitness program.
By the time he was thirty, he owned fourteen centers and had written
The Sweet Joy of Sugar Free Living, which outlined his
formula for metabolic change. Gary suffered financial losses in
his early 30s, but always retained his desire to create
the most effective health and weight-loss program for women.
1992 he and his wife Diane, an experienced advertising executive,
opened the first Curves in Harlingen, Texas. In 1995 the
couple began their franchise operation. Although Gary is the CEO,
the power of his wifes advertising savvy gave Curves
its image and a 2004 Effie® award for effectiveness in advertising
with their Power To Amaze campaign.
Curves plan includes a 30-minute workout on a series of
hydraulic resistance machines that make it possible to combine
strength and cardio training in the same workout. It is the equivalent
of a 90-minute workout in just 30 minutes. The recovery stations
or platforms in between each machine (which are placed in a circle
with participants facing in) give members a chance to keep their
heart rate up before switching to a new machine. Each 30 minutes
is guided by the Curves CD, which is music, with audio
instruction that tells you when to change machines and check your
has on-site weight loss classes and members weigh and measure
themselves monthly. Ida, the California Curves diet instructor
who we met earlier, began as a member.
My family had a history of obesity and my doctor told me
straight that if I didnt lose weight, then I was headed
for diabetes, and other problems. Ida explains. The
individual attention here at Curves is the difference that
made me successful.
is a terrific place to move from couch potato to gym rat. This
women only gym keeps mirror pressure to a minimum
and the community atmosphere of the clubs helps boost the motivation
level. In addition, Curves members can use other Curves
gyms when they are traveling to other states. Or countries. Plus,
each member receives the exclusive Curves magazine entitled
Diane, which is filled with stories, health news and fun
facts about fitness.
To find a Curves facility near you, or
to learn more about the Curves weight-loss plan, visit
the Curves website at www.curvesinternational.com.