Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's It Like Gym-ing in Curves?

Curves is an international gym for women in which you can exercise for 30 minutes a day on both strength training & cardio machines. More people are talking about it around me so I decided to decipher this worldwide known gym!

Circuit demo of 13 strength training
& recovery stations for 30 mins
  • The program starts with a pre-assessment test asking participants about their eating habits, in/active lifestyle, medical history, readiness and motives for seeking a healthier lifestyle
  • Staff members take anthropometric measurements such as weight, height, body fat percentage, waist to hip ratio, etc. Then they calculate your BMI and compare the anthropometric measurements to "ideal" or healthy standards >> personalized coaching is definitely a plus! This way, the trainer will keep track of any body changes; you'll be followed up all the way!
  • Exercising is by stations. As seen in the photo above, a circuit demo with 13 strength training machines with recovery stations in between. You spend 30 seconds on each station with 30 seconds recovery for 30 minutes total.
    >> The strength machines increase your heart rate such that you can burn 500 calories per a 30-minute session. You focus on both upper & lower muscles like your
    biceps, triceps, abs, hips, chest, hamstrings, etc.
    >> The recovery stations are placed in between exercising machines on which you can run, walk or jog in place to maintain your heart rate.
    Thus both stations provide you with interval training of muscle toning and cardio.
  • Trainers work on motivating you in your 1st interview by asking you to repeat statements like "I am my own boss, I'm doing this for my own self, I am willing to exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week." They also motivate you throughout your 30-minute workout.
  • The music is new, lively and timed - asking you to change station every 30 seconds.
  • The facility provides you with showers and lockers
  • They offer you a 1st visit discount and discounts for students. This way you'll pay 32 $ per month instead of 50$.
  • They have 7 different Locations in Lebanon and 10,000 locations in 85 countries so if you want to travel , there's actually a travel card you can take to enable you to keep on exercising worldwide.
  • To start with, the Zouk Mosbeh's location has a valet parking! Well that's fine, I mean if you don't want valet, you can park it yourself. But nope! That's not the case, there's no parking so you are bound to give it to the valet. So now, gyms have valets in Lebanon.
  • The 30 minute rule is seriously strict. You can't exercise more. Now the recommendation is 60 minutes per day, so let's say you are that motivated and want to spend 30+ mins exercising, you can't actually do that! You might be short on time today but can exercise 2 hours tomorrow, like my case - Nopes!
    The 30 minutes could be considered an advantage especially if you're reluctant about exercising - it's a good strategy to at least start exercising and finish the whole 30 minutes - if you're not active at all. I mean one could say 30 minutes are achievable and reasonable to do per day and that's what could classify the "30 minutes" as pro as well
  • In Curves' Zouk Mosbeh location, there were no dietitians and no trainers - Only students working as part time trainers. Now they are in fact trained to assess & motivate you, but I really think graduate trainers & dietitians are ought to do this! I have heard that other Curves facilities have trainers and dietitians, so they could be short on staff in this location.
  • You can't enroll for one month only and renew if you like the gym/whenever you can. Memberships are by 4, 6 or 12 months only.
  • They don't open on Sundays and open from 8 till 8!

So if you're thinking of joining a gym:
>> If you are self motivated, ready to commit and you want to exercise more than half an hour per session, almost all gyms have licensed and certified coaches while some even have dietitians. Get in contact with them before enrolling in your nearest gym and ask them if an exercise could be tailored specifically for you, with constant follow up!
>> If you need the push and the motivation but lack the commitment, Curves staff will make sure you finish the whole 30 minutes you're exercising with funky music & muscle strengthening along the side! 



  1. habbeitt ktir details thank u 4 the locations and phone numbers i might try it

  2. Curves around the world are all different. I work for Curves and its nothing what you were saying. A lot of research has gone behind Curves and they are continuously innovating and researching for new techniques and improvements.

  3. Well I'm not here to advertize for the place. I listed both pro's and con's for specifically the Zouk location. Other locations might be different, so tell us more about your experience

  4. I love curves!! It pushes me to exercise all my muscles half an hour everyday!

  5. When the membership is paid ahead of time (to 4, 6 or 12 months), it enforces the commitment so it should be considered as pro.

    Although the recommendation is now 60 minutes per day, the recommendation doesn’t specify the type of exercise and the intensity, so 30 minutes in the curves program are enough as the person is doing 2 types of exercise simultaneously as well as they are reaching a moderate-high intensity level. In addition, the machines are hydraulic in which the resistance is proportional to the person’s effort. Therefore, the effort depends on the fitness level of the person which will increase with time and the efficiency of the 30 minutes will increase as well.

    Other than that, I find this article very interesting and useful!

    Keep it up!

  6. Well about the membership being paid ahead of time, it is true only if you are committed/self motivated. We all know someone who has been paying gym fees for years and never showing up:p

    And yes about the exercise, many gave great testimonies! 3 of my friends actually have been committed for a year now, 4 times per week and are finding great results because of their system that focuses on all muscles in the same time, so yes many have found it very efficient.

    I personally preferred the gym which has all cardio and strength machines because I love to run and bicycle, so it's a personal preference.

  7. I live in South Africa. I also love to run and run approx. 100km a month and this is my main source of excercise. i decided to join Curves in May this year to "top up on my core strengthening". I am now stronger and fitter than ever - there are definate benefits to the work out - and to be honest I can't last longer than 30 min. and nor should anyone if you push yourself! Our memberships are paid prorata monthly in advance and it's a years committment. You do get the benefit of cardo and resistance training from the curves work out - with my heart rate elvation to 80% on a hard work out! I think it's a great concept and is for all fitness levels, beats standing in queues in the conventional gyms where you are just another number.(will in SA anyway) :) Really nice to hear all your opinions, just thought I'd add mine too :) Happy work outs!

  8. I agree with you the place is too small also and i only have time after 7, maybe they shuld extend till 9 opening hours and be more flexible with the half an hour rule

  9. Thanks for all your anonymous comments!
    and remember my friends i talked about, those who were committed to their curves regimen, well they still are so apparently it's effective!

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