35 answers

Curves Work for You?

I've once again decided it's time to do something about my weight. I used to be thin and trim without trying, was very active in sports, aerobics, etc. Then kids came. I've slowly put on weight for the past 10 years. I've tried several "life style changes" (aka - diets). W.W. worked for a while several years ago, I've tried that recently and I just can't seem to stick to it. Also did Thin & Healthy, once again worked for a short while, couldn't handle it in the long run. Prism and I didn't work well together at all. We have a local Curves, but I don't really know anything about it. I was wondering if any of you have tried it, what are the pro's and con's to it, and is it something you'd recommend?
Just found out we'll be going on a cruise in Feb, would love to shed a few pounds before then, though losing around 60 would be my long term goal, I would love to hear a few success stories and tips on how to stay motivated.

What can I do next?

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Try spark people its free sight and you have all the plans for exercising .. and oh did I mention its free!

1 mom found this helpful

I never tried it personally but my sister started going there and loved it! In fact she liked it so much she ended up getting a job there and she looked hot. Good Luck C.

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Try spark people its free sight and you have all the plans for exercising .. and oh did I mention its free!

1 mom found this helpful

I cannot tell you exactly what will or will not work for you. Everyone is different. I joined Curves after I had my son. I went from a size 12 to a size 4-6 (I'm in between sizes). Curves worked so well for me, when a job became available, I applied, and worked part time. What I enjoyed most about the program is that only women are in there working out (no meat market and no need to look your best!) and you're done in 30 mins. Also, when you go in at the same time everyday, you see the same people and develop a connection which in turn you get a support system or as I like to call them, an extended family. I must say, you need to work out a minimum of 3 times per week, as well as focusing on your movements and intensity (not just going through the motions as most do), to see the results. I started with 3 days per week because you can't just jump full strength into any aerobic program and eventually went to 6 days. I'm now back to maintaining with a 3 time per week schedule. If you want to try it out, most Curves locations will give you a two week trial. I recommend you do this and watch for membership specials.

On the flip side. Curves did not work as well for my mother. In fact she had better luck with another program, Take Shape for Life. It's a safe, rapid weight loss program developed by a Dr. Anderson. I learned about the program from my mother-in-law. My, I guess you would say, aunt-in-law lost over 100 lbs in 9 months and has kept the weight off for 2 years now. My mother lost 30 pounds in 3 months and is in the transition stage still dropping the weight. Both my mother and mother-in-law have been able to get off their cholesterol and blood pressure medications. I was so impressed with the program that I just recently became a health coach. If you would like to learn more about the Take Shape program, please feel free to go to www.wendytonnous.tsfl.com (not a solicitation). You will find that more and more doctor's are getting involved with this program for their patients.

Again, I will NEVER tell anyone which weight loss program to choose as EVERYONE is different. It is up to the individual to decide what is right for them. Please look at your options and research thoroughly.

Good Luck to You, T.!

1 mom found this helpful

HI T., I had a curves membership a couple years ago. I did it for about six months with no real improvement. At first it was fun i had a friend going with me, then when she dropped it I felt silly going by myself. The curves i went to was pretty small so you were very close to everyone there.(physicaly) I might have lost some intches but not any weight. I also recommend going in and seeing what your curves is all about, I had also toured a y and liked that set up alot better. Good luck!

I do work out at Curves and for me it is the commitment to me. I also am in the health and wellness industry with a great weight management program. You actually loose inches before you loose the pounds because it is powered by the amino acid called leucine, which body builders use to keep their muscle mass when working out. Together the weight management and the curves has truly helped me. I am 56 and never had to diet till about 4 years ago. I want to keep a handle on it before it gets out of control. We can talk more if you like.

I tried curves and liked it. I've never liked going to the gym but there you knew what to do with everything and it was not intimidating at all--I was the youngest by at least a couple of decades most of the time! The only thing I didn't like was that there was no childcare available, so I ultimately dropped my membership and started riding my bike with my little guy on the back. that really helped shed the pounds, and it was good for the environment, we ride to the library, park, local grocery...

Good luck! I know how you feel!!

I did curves for a year after I went through cancer treatment. I like it alright. All the equipment is in a circle and you use the equip for 30 sec I think and then do walking in place or some other movement for 30 and then the next machine. It gets you moving for 30 minutes, there is stretching afterward and I thought it did increase my energy. I did not lose weight, but it was not really my goal. The bad thing is, if there is a lot of talking, you can't concentrate as well, and you really have to think about what you are doing on the machines. The object is to work your muscles very hard on the machines for that short time.
Good luck

I got the curves membership and didn't like it. You are in a circle and switch machines when the music tells you to. In between machines you have to run in place on these little mats and you feel silly with eveyone watching everyone. The machines weren't hard enough for me even when they taught me the more strenuous way to do them. It felt like a waist of time. I just didn't like it went for 3 months and stopped. I would think an aerobics class or something would be better. Good luck

I have been a member of Curves for years. I like that I can go at anytime and get my workout in. Thirty minutes, and you are done. I would do it on the way to or from errands. The amount of workout you get depends on how fast and hard you work the machines. On the recovery pads, you can vary your movements and add more variety that way. I lost 52 pounds in 9 months by working out, watching what I ate, and drinking lots of water. Then I became pregnant. (Yes, old story, lose weight, get pregnant.) Next year my son will be in 1st grade, so I am hoping I can get back in the zone. I find I like the Smart Machine for motivation. It is amazing the work-out on that machine. I haven't weighed yet, so don't know if it's made a big difference. I found you have to go 3-4 x a week without fail to see results.

Good luck to whatever you try. The most important thing to remember is there is no magic pill. It takes a lifestyle change, but you can do it.

Hi T.,

I really don't recommend Curves for most people. They do an okay job of orienting you to the machines, but they don't watch you afterwards to make sure that your form is good. Also the machines don't have adjustable resistance, so the only way to progress on a workout is to keep adding reps, and you can only do that for so long. Plus it's the exact same circuit every time, so you risk overuse injuries due to lack of variety.

I think you'd be better off joining the YMCA or a local gym and doing at least a few sessions with a personal trainer to get you off to a good start. Don't know if you live close to Noblesville or Carmel, but Riverview Hospital has two Rehab & Fitness locations that are fabulous for beginning (or returning) exercisers. If you want more info send me a private message and I'll get you all the details.

Good luck!

Should you decide you really want to jump start this whole thing and get some solid advice from a 30 plus year professional, let me know. I show you things to do at the gym AND at home. You don't HAVE to have equipment. As a working mom, getting to the gym isn't always the easiest thing. HOWEVER, THERE ARE PLENTY of things you can do at home and don't even have to brush your teeth or get out of the house if you don't want to or can't. THAT kind of program works much better for working moms. They need things they can do AT HOME, NOT just at the gym. If you can do both, that's best so that you can get away, but you shouldn't rely totally on the gym. I also do nutritional counseling and help with menu planning and new recipe ideas.
I'm in the Fishers/Carmel/Noblesville area.

References available upon request. Trainer D.

I joined Curves after I started a desk job and started putting on weight. I had about 15 pounds to lose. After 4 months or so I had lost a pound and a few inches and then I got pregnant so I stopped doing the weight and measurement checks. I was disappointed that my progress was so slow.

There were little cards on the wall for each woman who lost lots of pounds/inches each month and I never made it on the wall which was frustrating b/c I worked my a** off there, came home sweaty and exhausted and in 4 months only dropped a pound. Looking back, I think the big weight losers on the wall were likely ladies who had a lot to lose so it came off a little more easily. And I wonder now if I hadn't gotten pregnant if the weight loss would have continued and that one pound was just the start. I've also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism so I wonder now if that didn't have something to do with my poor progress.

Anyhow, my experience was a mixed bag but I think once I'm done with kids and can focus on myself and not a pregnancy, I might try it again.

The Curves I went to (in NC) had a boot camp every Saturday for ladies who wanted a more hard core workout- they extended the workout time and the recovery stations were different I think. So I think, because Curves are franchises, it depends on the owner how creative they get in their offerings to clients.

Hi T.,

I have been going to curves for about a year now and I still love it. I have lost a lot of weight and Curves has kept me on track. Good luck!


I know you have already gotten alot of feedback, but I wanted to let you know of the 2 major issues I had when I briefly belonged to Curves- restrictive hours and NO child care. I had a very hard time making that half hour fit into my schedule during the actual hours of operation (basically 9-5 mon-fri and only until 12 noon on Saturdays). I had 2 kids at that point (now 3), and I work full time. So, although it only takes a half hour (except it actually takes longer once you drive there, change clothes, etc.), I had a hard fitting it in after work but before they closed for the day or after kids activities on Saturday but before they closed that day (not open on Sunday). If they had offered child care, it might have helped a bit.

I've been going to Curves for a couple of years and it's the only exercise program I've stuck with since having boys (11 year old twins). I LOVE that it's only 30min and since they got their Smart Machines in, it's like having a personal trainer to keep you working up to speed. I lost 3lbs in the first month of using the Smart Machines without changing anything else in my diet and it truly feels like a good workout when I'm done. As someone else mentioned, you just have to check it out and see if it could work for you. I wish you luck!

My best friend's mother in law owns the local Curves. My friend has struggled with weight for years. After the MIL purchased the curves over a year ago, My friend started going there. She has always been very self conscious about her size and the way she looked and did not want to work out in a big gym with men or even with smaller women who were there for fitness more than weight loss. She did receive some medicinal assistance from her dr. but started going to curves 3 to 5 times a week. She was eventually featured in our local newspaper as a weight loss success story. Going to curves was a great thing for her. She continues to go today, because she still has some more weight to lose, but with an active 9 and 11 year old, the 30 min. work out at Curves suits her best. I think to this day she has lost over 40 lbs. and a little more than 30 inches. Hope this helps..Best of luck to you.

I never tried it personally but my sister started going there and loved it! In fact she liked it so much she ended up getting a job there and she looked hot. Good Luck C.

I've never "dieted". I've always just watched my eating habits. Both my mother and my sister are overweight by about 50-60 pounds, so I made sure I cooked healthy so I didn't have the same thing happen to me. I think that dieting won't work unless you change your lifestyle. Dieting to me is stressful, no fun, and depriving. However, if you just pay attention to what you're putting in your body and eat the higher fat foods in moderation, you will notice a difference. You also have to do some cardio. Even if it's jumping rope, jumping jacks, running in place, a mixture of all three, for 30-45 minutes atleast 3 or 4 times a week. I can guarantee you one thing, if those diets haven't worked for you in the past, there's a good chance they won't help you now. If you drink pop, and you don't want to cut it out, acquire a taste for diet soda. If you are eating a lot of snacks throughout the day, stop buying them, and opt for fruit, applesauce with cinnamon, or other lowfat foods. You can't eat unhealthy foods if they're not there. If you're eating out a lot, get on the internet and look up some recipes for you to make at home. If you're using grease a lot, replace it with olive oil. There are tons of ways to cut out a substantial amount of calories and fat from your diet, you just have to recognize them and change that part of your life.

I personally would not recommend Curves. You are very limited and I think you would get bored with it. If you don't want to go to a gym, then get home things to do. First thing, keep a diary of everything you eat and why you are eating it at that time. Are you hungry, bored, sitting in front of the TV, etc. I never had done this and finally decided it was time. If you are true to it and count every bite you put in your mouth, even just that little few bites off your kids plates, bites while cooking you will be soooo surprised how much your taking in. The book "Calorie King" is a great one to have to count your calories, it has everything in it even restaurants or anything you can think of. On the average, most women need to only consume 1200-1300 calories a day to lose weight and believe me when you start watching those, it's surprising how much more your taking in. If you live in Avon or up north there is a thing called Target Metabolism and you can have your metabolism checked and it uses the 2nd to most accurate way of measuring your body fat (Bodpod) and this way you know exactly how many calories you can take in. You can join here and get measured every 2 weeks so you know where your at or you can just go in to get these measurements and go from there. Don't know how much it cost if you don't join. This way too it isn't a diet because you don't have pre-measured food, etc. It makes you do the work to figure out ways to make that life-style change to eat better. Goodluck.

If you can get any sort of trial membership to Curves, do it. Walk in to the place and say something to the effect of "I'm curious about your club, but with all the options out there I'm just not sure what's best for me." They might give you a week or two (sometimes even a month!) for free. You're a potential customer and in this economy, they'll likely do anything to try to get your business.

Go every day and pay close attention to what exercises you do. If you can, write down the names of the machines or exercises either in the gym or in a journal when you get in the car. Pretty much every lifting or cardio machine has a label on it, stating the name of the machine, the body part that is trained, and how to use the machine.

Once your free membership is up go find a different gym that isn't a rip off like Curves (the ones I know about charge ridiculous fees for not a lot of equipment) and has a wider variety of options. Curves is a good way to start exercising if you have no idea what to do, but like other posters have mentioned it is not a good option for the long haul.

Feel free to send me a private message if you want more information, but here is a good way to think about an exercise plan: Lift three days a week, making sure you do a chest exercise then a back exercise, followed by biceps, triceps, and shoulder exercises, a large lower body exercise, followed by a quadricep and hamstring exercise, then abdominal and lower back exercises. Do 2 sets of 15 of a weight that is comfortable but getting pretty hard to lift towards the end of the set. After lifting, hit a cardio machine for 30 minutes, working hard enough to break a sweat but still able to talk. The entire workout should take no longer than an hour tops.

Don't be afraid to join your local gym. Maybe there is a YMCA you could consider? If you are fearful of how people may perceive you, I can assure you that most people are too focused on their workouts to even care (or, the ones you think would be judging you are probably too busy flexing their muscles and staring at themselves in the mirror!).

AVOID any vendors who sell magical diet vitamins, pills, flushes, shakes, programs, etc. Your best bet is to finally adopt a healthy eating and exercise pattern that you can follow for the rest of your life. If all of those gimmicky pills and programs really, truly worked would we be a nation of obese people? Nope!

you might to reset your blood sugars. Call me for a program I do with Usana Health Sciences. Chek out my add on the advertisement page.
Be Well,
Mar Carol G.

Hi T.,
At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I am a wellness coach and help people with weight management. Joining any exercise program will improve your health and help you only if you stay consistent. Curves may be a good start for you.

If you need to be held accountable and would be inspired by a financial reward, then you may want to consider our Weight Loss Challenge. You pay an entry fee, all of which goes back to the contestants in cash and prizes throughout the 12 week program. You receive weekly information with the weekly weigh in. Visit www.proweightlosschallenge.com to get more info, then contact me if interested in learning more. You can follow any weight loss program you choose. We give practical information and support no matter what program you are following. We support each other, make new friends and just have a lot of fun in the process.

I don't now if anyone else has had trouble, but my mom felt like Curves gave her bad advise and pushed her too hard. She ended up needing rotator cuff surgery! She hasn't been back since, she goes to the Y instead.

I've been combining Curves and www.Sparkpeople.com. Before I became pregnant in July, I had been very active with both and lost 19 lbs in 4 months. Curves gives me 30 minutes of a good workout. It will be as hard as you allow it to be. You can burn up to 500 calories if you are pounding it! Sparkpeople allows me to track my caloric intake and calories burned through exercise. I became amazed at how many calories I would eat because bored, it was left on my sons plate, or I just wanted a Big Mac and fries. Prior to becoming pregnant, my weightloss goal was 40 lbs. Now, who knows what it will be in April! Be blessed!

I love curves. Now because it works for and I like it doesn't mean it will for you. However, this is why I like it. No waiting in line for a machine - you get on the circuit and you go for 1/2 hour straight. I feel comfortable there, I never felt comfortable in the gyms. For many reasons. It is a workout no matter what a half hour of excercise is good for you. We all talk while working out about the world, what's going on in the area... and if you miss a few times when you come back they say where have you been is everything OK. You have a large group of support. So as you can see I can recommend it for many reasons. Most places will let you check it out and see if it is something you want to do. Good luck. And enjoy your cruise no matter what!!!

T., I do know that Cinch Inch Weight Loss Program has worked for many people and it helps stop the yo-yo dieting affect. The support is free and the Cinch replaces one or two meals, so that can come out of your grocery budget. But the best part is that you can earn rebates and get stuff discounted or even free. That is the part I like the best. Oh, and there is no monthly or annual fee. I lost weight after having my first son, now 20 months and have been able to maintain my lost weight through Cinch, it is very easy to incorporate into everyday life. Let me know if you would like me to give you more info! I also participated in MOPS last year. I had to take a year off, but I think it is a great program.
###-###-#### is my phone number.

In my area, I am not particularly fond of the Curves gyms. The same old routine every day. I like variety- keep the pace up, etc. The place I go to is Ladies workout Express. The difference is that (I found) they change the machinery to different strengths and music and workout routines change daily. It is a lot of fun and you do benefit from it- mostly losing inches.

My friend has been doing the hip hop abs videos as I go to the gym and she is doing far better in losing weight and inches than I am. She eats more than me too! LOL

I think whatever you do just make sure you get exercise! You will improve no matter what!

Best of Luck and Success!

Haven't gone to Curves but can tell you what is working for me. Simply brisk walking and following the South Beach Diet... low carbs, good fats, whole foods and low glycemic index foods. I hardly get sugar cravings anymore and the variety of foods allowed keeps my hunger satisfied. It's not so strict that you can't have a treat like dark chocolate once in a while. It is actually a VERY good heart health lifestyle change as described in 'The South Beach Diet Heart Health Revolution'. You really don't have to overdo the exercising and I know that adding some strength training and a few floor exercises really helps with toning so you don't lose muscle mass. I just do them at home. I feel better than I have in years too!

I did a Biggest Loser class through an adult education center and we got a 10 week membership to Curves. I was very bored with Curves and never felt that I had a good workout when I was done. I did sweat but that was about it.

Hi T., I worked at Curves for about 2 years and there are a lot of great PROS to it. For one, it is a half hour work out...and it includes all the major muscle groups while keeping your heart rate up. The people who had the most success with it were those who were there 3 times a week and also did some sort of diet with it (my mom has lost 40 pounds on weight watchers and curves). It is a very positive atmosphere and the workers are meant to help motivate and encourage you as much as you would like. Get a buddy and you will have accountability and great conversation during the workout too. I would recommend it completely and encourage you to give it at least a one month trial and see how you like it. You can often start paying month to month for a little more and then after that you can decide to have a year contract. The price is very reasonable too. Good luck and have fun.

Can't provide any info on Curves T., but I can recommend the Zone "diet". It has amazing results if you follow it properly, both in terms of weight loss and energy. Then when you feel more energetic, you actually feel like working out.

I would not recommend Curves, especially if you used to be very active. Curves just isn't enough. You are better off joining a health club! But I have to say that I really liked their diet plan. You could probably find the book online somewhere.


I used to work at a Curves and I'll be honest with you....it seems to work for some, but others not. It will work if you do it like you are supposed to and a lot of that depends on you and the staff of your Curves. You have to understand that you are to work on the machines fast...do as many as you can but still keep good form. Then, the recovery is that...letting your muscles rest. A lot of people run like mad on the recovery pads and that's completely backward!! Also, make sure you are doing the machines correctly...if you aren't sure ASK!!!! The staff is supposed to watch and make sure you are, but it's sometimes hard to watch everyone. There are a couple of machines that are great for your abs as long as you do them right.

Also, some of the clubs have started using the new Smart Machines. We were just getting these in when I quit working there. One of my friends said they are GREAT! You basically put your information on your card and then slide your card in the machine. Then, there is a readout that tells you if you are doing the machine correctly and at the right intensity. Obviously these machines are expensive and so not all the clubs will have them. But, they can really help you know if you are getting all you can out of your workout.

Now, my personal experience! lol I had to work out there while I was employed and I was surprised that even though I'd worked out in a regular gym before, I managed to trim up a lot!! I still like the freedom of a regular gym just because I like to change my workout a lot. But, this is a good program and it does work. I work inside a gym teaching dance classes so I get a comp membership...otherwise I would probably stick with Curves and just change every so often.

I know I threw a lot out there, but I hope it helps. Of course being an all women's club is a plus, too. I recommend it if you are trying to just get something started.

Good luck!!!

Hi T.,
I didn't really like the way Curves was set up and it didn't seem like a really good fat burning workout. I prefer to work out at home. I do The Firm (love it-kicks your butt and did see results in less than 10 workouts!)and I also do Leslie Sansone in home walking and jogging dvds. Then I throw in some tae bo, yoga and pilates (I'm all over the place, lol). Kudos to you for wanting to get moving again, I know how hard it can be with kids. But like the other ladies said go in for a trial and see if it works for you. Good luck.

Hi T.. I did Curves several years ago. It was great for me at that time. A friend and I went during the lunch hour at work and I lost about 30 pounds and many inches! Then I met my future husband and we started dating at lunch and Curves took a back seat. I joined again right before we got pregnant (thought it would take longer!) and I just couldn't stay motivated to go by myself in the evenings. It really does work and it's fun. Wish they had on-site babysitting and I might consider going again just to get out of the house. Good Luck!! Oh - most require a year membership so you have to keep paying even if you don't go.

I have 2 small girls and like you, I was always small w/o any effort. Then I had 2 c-sections in 3 years and voila...insta-pounds! I have done Weight Watchers in the past which worked, but it is too easy to cheat. I didn't like Curves. I went to the initial session and was bored to tears so I stopped. My friend did it for about 4 months and saw little change. It is just cardio with a touch of strengthening and didn't feel like a real workout. That and you are limited to only a 30 minute session, which to me is not enough!

I have been on Nutrisystem since Sept 4th and have lost 18 pounds without even exercising (I kick myself when I think of how much I could be losing if I would just get my butt to the gym!)! It really does work, but you have to strict. The nice thing is that each meal is planned a specific way to ensure you lose pounds, so skipping a snack or something is not good. It is also easy to take on the go, so it is easy to follow. The weight will come off slowly, but steadily.

The first month is kind of a pain as you try to figure out what types of foods you like & dislike. You are able to send back anything you don't like and exchange it for foods you do. You can also look at all of the items on their website and order over the phone w/specific selections and then mold your deliveries each month.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want additional info. Good luck in your weight loss!

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