I was wondering if any of the women here belonged to the Curves gym and, if so, what did they think of it? I am a member and I’m getting great results at present but I think that, by the time I come to a year’s membership, it just won’t be enough for me (as your body gets used to the same sort of exercise over time). What does anyone else think?
When I initially joined Curves, I liked the workout, liked the fact that in 30 minutes, I was finished. I went four times per week and lost about 5 lbs. in one month (and six inches). By the middle of the second month, I didn’t care anymore. The workout was the same, the music was the same (although they had several CD’s, it seemed like every CD sounded exactly like the others–I was hearing “Change stations now” in my sleep), and even the damn chatty people were the same. People, I don’t CARE about your husband who can’t cook, or your house for sale, or what newest version of ice-cream has hit the grocery store, just shut up and leave me alone so I can work out! I’m not there to grin and giggle and carry on like it’s junior high school! After three months, I cancelled my membership, and I’ve gained back my 5 pounds. It just wasn’t for me.
It isn’t the gym. It’s how your body naturally responds to routine. It acclimates. You have to change things up and challenge yourself in different ways if you want to realize continued improved results of weight loss, strength gain, cardio-vascular improvement and overall health and fitness.
My wife joined curves with a friend and they go at 6:00 am three times a week. It gets her out of the house, has a little time with her friend (There is NOBODY stupid enough to breath, let alone workout at that time of the morning), so they have the place to themselves. I don’t know if she has lost weight or not (any husband who values having his head actually attached to his body doesn’t go there). I can say she seems to like it. It has only been a few months, so who knows. So far, I would call it money well spent.
I feared the same thing before I joined a couple of years ago. Let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks. Also, you can make it as hard or easy as you want. I always felt I got a good workout and also got very good results. Due to financial problems I had to quit after a little more than a year. I don’t know if I would have actually quit if I wasn’t forced to, but I will admit that the same music all the time was starting to work my nerves. Also, it’s a pretty intimate setting so it’s hard to keep to yourself on the days when you don’t want to socialize without feeling like a jerk(or at least awkward).
Maybe in a (usually female) small group workout, but I go to Bally’s three times a week and literally do not speak to another human being for the hour or hour and a half I’m there. It all about the headphones or the TV.
I have been going for 4 months now and lost 31 lbs and 25 inches - so far so good. I am following the low GI diet which is brilliant (I try and sell it to anyone who’ll listen!). I’m really into getting fit and I work really hard at Curves. I know my fitness level has increased hugely but I also think that, by the time my contract has ended with them in 8 months, I’ll need more than they can offer.
However, I’ve been at gyms before and I get hung up on the amount of time I spend there, obsessed with numbers - time spent, calories burnt etc. In Curves I do what I need to do and go - my husband picks me up after so I can’t extend the time I spend there as I would have in the past. I’ve started to go by inches lost rather than pounds (though I do keep an eye on those too) but I’m really interested in getting as fit as I can and getting as toned a body as I can and I’m not sure that Curves will provide that in the longer term.
I also don’t talk to people on the circuit - I can’t talk and count at the same time and I need to focus on what I’m doing rather than on what someone’s husband said to them last night that was so hilarious (doesn’t mean I won’t listen in of course!).
I’m not bored with it yet and I used to get really bored in my other gym - I enjoyed the physical work but mentally it was dull, dull, dull. How long can you go on with a programme when you’re bored to death with it? Curves moves quickly, you’re constantly changing machines and doing something new every 30 seconds, you don’t get time to get bored. WOOKINPANUB, I agree, it’s not as easy as it looks and it’s up to you to work as hard or as little as you like - I work my ass off (literally) but others don’t seem to work up a sweat molecule ever.
I guess I have another 8 months on my contract with them so I’ll see that out and make a decision then. I would like to try to get into running but I think you need to be pretty fit for that already don’t you?
It sounds like this is really working for you. I’ve only got around 10 lbs to lose, and I was hoping for a shorter contract, but they didn’t offer me one, so I decided to do power walking instead. I’m off it because it’s killing my knees and ankles. I really want to do the machines, but damn! It’s pretty costly!
Muscle confusion is in Ahnold’s book of weight lifting (I forget the official title). IIRC, he’s credited with popularizing the concept. Don’t stick with a routine; do something different within a few weeks to make the body respond.
My wife joined and tells me that they don’t have showers or changing areas. Which means, effectively, that you have to be able to arrive in your workout clothes and then go back home to shower. It’d be hard to, say, hit the gym in the morning on the way to work.
Hi Kalhoun. The GI diet scores carbohydrate foods on a scale of 1 to 100, glucose being 100. The scale is devised by the time that your body takes to absorb that food, ie glucose is 100, therefore it takes little or no time for your body to absorb it. The theory is that the lower the GI score, the longer it takes your body to digest and absorb the nutrients in that food. The foods lower on the scale, therefore, fill you up longer and take longer to move through your digestive system. It also involves your blood sugar levels - the theory is that a high GI food, once eaten, will be digested and absorbed quickly, you’ll get a sharp rise in your blood sugar level leading to tiredness etc and you’ll feel the need to eat again in a short time. Think about eating a bar of chocolate, you’ll feel good for a while after but often feel tired and maybe bloated shortly after that. Then you’ll want another chocolate bar or chips or something else. Especially if you replace your meals with this kind of food - we’ve all grabbed a bar of chocolate when we’re too busy to eat a full meal, but feel the tiredness hit us later that afternoon.
I was getting very tired about 3.00 pm, suffering from occassional (but getting more frequent) IBS attacks and generally feeling run down with no energy. I was irritable and cranky too. My hormones were crazy and once a month, I’d cry for a week. Since starting the low GI diet, every symptom eased back (and are now gone) and my hormones don’t rule me once a month either. I have tons of energy and much more interest in life.
All I know is that it works well for me, I’m losing weight slowly but surely (and isn’t that the best way), I’m never hungry and I’m thoroughly enjoying all my food. Even when I’ve gone out for meals etc, I’ve tried to choose low GI where possible. My husband and I were away for a few days last month and we couldn’t wait to get back home to eat our own cooking again, we really missed our low GI food!
I agree, that could be a problem for some people. People also go at lunchtime but I’d be uncomfortable returning to work without a shower. However, I’d also be uncomfortable showering in a gym (something I’ve never gotten used to) so I go after work and shower at home. As it happens, my gym only opens at 9.00 am when I’m to be in work anyway, so it wouldn’t suit me first thing in the morning anyway.
No, you just have to be dedicated. Some Dopers (and even some non-Dopers, I hear!) have had success with coolrunning.com’s Couch to 5K Plan. You begin by alternating walking with short periods of running, and build up gradually to running 3 miles. It’s really amazing to see your body respond to the demands that you put on it. Two years ago, I couldn’t run for more than one minute without having to stop. Now I run 10 miles a week.
Yep. Curves has focused on a niche market of stay-at-home or part-time employed women with no or school aged children. Their hours are too limited for most full time workers, as well as lacking showers and changing rooms. It doesn’t seem to hurt them - and it’s undoubtedly cheaper to run without paying for hot water, attendants, janitorial, etc. for lockerooms and showers.
The only thing I think they should really consider is child care. It would extend their market to SAHM’s. That’s what preventing me from joining right now - $90 to sign and $30 a month I could swing, but not another $10 a day for a babysitter on top of that. That would effectively raise my cost to $80 a month, if I go every other day. Too much.
I tried Curves for a year, lost some weight, looked pretty good…loved it…used to go at lunch. This is going to sound silly but it was that dance music they played…I couldn’t stand it! Unfortunately, the machine change is programmed into it so bringing your own wasn’t an option…rather listen to just about anything but that stuff!