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Curves is a circuit gym and weight loss facility designed specifically for real women. The phrase "real women" denotes that Curves is for women of all shapes and sizes. Founded by Gary and Diane Heavin, the first Curves location was opened in 1992 and grew to become one of the largest fitness gym chains in the world. The gym is an advocate for women's health, helping women around the globe lead healthier lives. The fitness franchise is also famous for a 30-minute circuit training that works every major muscle group. Curves offers a unique exercise experience for women of all shapes, sizes, and ages to lose weight while seeking a “judgment-free” zone to exercise in. Curves has developed a culture of acceptance and teaching through their fitness classes, supportive staff, and comfortable environment. Curves is committed to providing women with the tools that will empower them to live more fulfilling lives. In 2014, Curves partnered with fitness guru Jillian Michaels to create a fitness program called Curves Workouts. All of Curves’ clubs are independently owned and operated by people in the local community.

 

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The Good

  • Cleanliness
  • Trainers and Nutrition
  • Locations

Cleanliness

Curves' exercise equipment is in prime condition. We did not find any reviews regarding the cleanliness of the company's exercise equipment but overall member's experience with the machines have been overwhelmingly positive.

Trainers and Nutrition

When it comes to personal fitness training, Curves offers two programs complete with a personal trainer and fitness plan: Curves Complete, a fully integrated, personalized weight loss and weight management solution and Curves Fitness program, a customizable meal plan and one-on-one coaching and support. Some of the goals and objectives are to help women reduce fat, increase lean muscle through strength training, boost metabolism and help them lose weight and maintain weight loss. Each personal trainer/coach for the Curves Complete program is required to complete a certification program with Cleveland Clinic, one of the most respected hospitals in the country. Curves' meal plans and additional coaching are extra costs on top of your monthly dues. If you are unsure what the best workout program for you is, a  personal trainer will help you find a workout that works for you. 

Locations

Curves locations can be found worldwide. The 4,000 global Curves franchise locations are each locally owned and operated. International fitness centers can be found in Africa, Asia, Europe, South/Central America, and the Caribbean. 

The Bad

  • Price and contracts
  • Upfront fees
  • Hidden fees
  • Equipment
  • Other available amenities

Price and Contracts

There are consistent complaints about the way Curves markets their membership costs. Curves' fee is advertised to be as low as $3.25 per workout. The company markets the total cost of their gym to total only $12.95, but when you read the small print, you see that the $12.95 is charged per week, coming to approximately $45 to $50 a month, depending on the length of time you sign up for. At this rate, Curves' membership locks you into a six-month contract. The longer the commitment you make, the lower the price. When Curves' prices are compared to other competitors in the fitness industry, its membership fees are lower than the average gym.

Upfront Fees

When signing up to be a Curves member, you have to remember to read the fine print. Many of these members have reported that the Curves membership is advertised as a three-month contract when in actuality it turns out to be a six-month commitment. Curve's enrollment fee is approximately $75. Currently, Curves is offering 50 percent off the $75 enrollment fee if you sign up now. The fine print contradicts this by saying Curves' Enrollment fee varies by location and requires joining Curves the same day of your first visit by signing up for at least a 12-month recurring billing contract. When comparing enrollment fees with other fitness center chains, we found Curves' enrollment fee to be less expensive than some of the most popular gyms in the country. For example, the YMCA's enrollment fee is $100. Another thing lacking with Curves memberships is that they do not have memberships for family members. This may be due to it being an exclusive female gym.

Hidden Fees

If you cancel your contract early, Curves charges members a $50 early termination fee. This is not something members find out until they want to end, freeze or postpone their Curves membership. Some fitness gyms offer prorated fees for members canceling in the middle of the month, which is a better option than what Curves offers. A few gyms we reviewed had more hidden fees than Curves as well.

Equipment

Larger gyms may offer more equipment and weights, as Curves does not offer free weights, ellipticals, or treadmills. In some locations, Curves customers know each other and spend more time talking than using the equipment. Since Curves' equipment is built in a circuit setting that members use one machine and move to the next one after a signal from the Curves staff member that the time with that machine is up, some customers spend too much time on one machine. Friendly chatting is acceptable, but Curves management should remind members that it's courteous to move on, when the signal is given, and allow others to use the equipment.

Classes

Curves is designed for women who are either just starting a fitness plan and don't know where to begin, or are starting to exercise again after a long break. Curves is not a gym designed for women looking to get in top bikini shape, or preparing for a marathon. It is low impact cardio, and circuit weight training, designed for women who are overweight, have never participated in fitness before, or women that feel uncomfortable in a traditional gym setting. Curves' workouts are all 30 minutes max. The gym offers cardio, upper and lower body weight training, and some Zumba variations mixed into cardio routines for variety. Curves' cardio machines are built with hydraulic resistance, so the difficulty of the weight training is based on the effort you put into it. It is designed this way to save the time and effort of changing weights. There are many complaints that their 30-minute exercises are ineffective and don't offer any real results. The workouts are always the same and don't offer any progression or variety as your body becomes accustomed to the workout, and eventually plateaus. There are many complaints that the 30-minute exercises are ineffective and don't offer any real results. One thing Curves members complain about is the gym's limited hours, which for some is inconvenient and don't work for busy women with a hectic schedule. Curve hours are basically open from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., then from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Then the gym is only open two hours on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. This is rare for a gym to have such limited hours, making Curves inferior to competitors in that area.

Other Available Amenities

When it comes to other amenities like pools, water massage beds, saunas, tennis courts, etc. Curves does not have them available. Curves facilities are designed to appeal to women of all sizes and shapes, and help them feel comfortable while exercising. Curves gyms do not have any mirrors on their walls, this is intentional. They believe it helps women who may be embarrassed about their size or physical abilities who don't want to watch themselves workout. When compared to other fitness center companies, we found most offer additional amenities like pools, saunas and locker rooms (or even massage sessions) with their memberships, making Curves inferior in this area.

The Bottom Line

Overall, with 25+ years of experience, Curves is a gym with an accepting environment for women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. It is designed to be judgment-free by offering women a place to exercise where they feel safe and supported. If you're hoping to get your body in top shape, and lose a lot of weight through exercising, Curves is not the place for you. Their workouts are designed to fit people with less active fitness backgrounds so the Curves circuit workout will seem very easy for someone in even relatively normal shape. Although Curves' monthly membership prices are lower than many chain gyms out there (with the exception of Planet Fitness at $10/month) Curves is not a very cost-effective place to exercise. Many of the exercises and circuits could easily be done at home or your local rec center for a fraction of the cost. Their six-month contract is a drawback for many people who aren't sure if the plan will work for them long-term. Another major drawback is Curves' limited hours, which is not compatible with women with busy lifestyles. We recommend going into your local Curves and asking for a free week's trial before signing a contract of any kind to decide for yourself if the workouts are challenging enough for your level of fitness.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

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18 Reviews

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Tracy Womack
August 8th, 2019 Cedar City, UT DETAILS
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Curves is a great gym. They have great trainers that will help you with what you need and help you meet your goals.

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Liz
June 24th, 2019 Arlington, TX DETAILS
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I love that Curves is just for women. The trainers and coaches are great. They take time to train you on the exercise machines and encourage you to do well. I have met some wonderful woman who encourage you even when you don’t feel like working out.

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Karin Emma
May 29th, 2019 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
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Nice gym, whole body 30 min workout at your pace. No pressure

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Cheryl Joordens
May 20th, 2019 DETAILS
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The Natomas Curves is great!! Everyone is friendly and helpful. They not only have a good workout but also offer classes. Fabulous place to workout

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Reese
May 20th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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My family has been a member of Curves and the machines are top quality. The gym is non threatening and is accommodating to everyone. I felt like it was perfect for my family and the short workout that is specialized just for you is great for my busy lifestyle.

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Michelle De Oliveira
February 13th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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Overall I liked curves, but after a few months I started to get bored with the workouts and it felt like a chore to go. I also didn't like the very limited hours that they were open. It made it difficult to go consistently. The staff was friendly and very helpful though and it was always clean.

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Abigail De Oliveira
February 13th, 2019 American Fork, UT

The local curves by me is a dump. The teachers are there to socialize not to teach. It may be effective but the teachers in my area aren't supporting the program

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Cristiana
February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT

I did a trial at Curves and I like the idea to work out in women environment, but the price compared to the other gyms are too expensive. Customer service was great but still doesn't make sense to pay much more if you can pay less and have more options on a regular gym.

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Average Mom
February 5th, 2019 Decorah, IA DETAILS
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I have been a member of Curves off and on since 2002. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased one in 2017. I have lost weight and kept in shape and could not imagine life without Curves! I could not imagine working out in a gym with men and have never felt judged. I can be myself and not feel like I am being judged. Along with any gym; your workout is what you put into it! Older and younger members, age does not make a difference and that is where the hydraulic equipment is so efficient. One machine will work opposing muscle groups and are designed to simulate smooth aquatic exercising. No need to wait for a machine to become available and constant adjusting of weights. The machines may be pretty but they will make you work! The hours and pricing are decided by the franchise owner. Do not be afraid to ask what your state laws are to protect you when signing a contract. Ex: In Iowa there is no penalty for breaking a contract at any time. There is always staff there to assist and oversee your safety on the machines. My Curves has always been very clean and the Curves circuit has been thoroughly been tested effective by Texas A&M University. Please check out their testing reviews and video online.

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Shaylee
December 31st, 2018 Provo, UT DETAILS
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It is very nice that at this gym you can work at your own pace. There is a good resting time between each station/machine. Good for older woman.

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Nana Asiata
June 11th, 2018 Herriman, UT DETAILS
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Curves is a great workout for women that are plus size women. I like that they have a great workout program. The people there are friendly and very nice.

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Avery Fowler
May 31st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I tried this out once and realized I needed little more of an intense program.

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Bernita
March 20th, 2018 DETAILS
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I joined curves in nov 2017 and I absolutely have nothing but high praise for it. I m 66 yrs young, had the curves bioage test which aged me to b 60! I had lost 65 lbs since 2006 and needed to excercise to lose inches and tone. I have lost 14 lbs and 14 inches overall! It takes only 30 minutes and I go 5 days a week. Curves hrs r limited bcuz its been tested that hardly anyone comes in afternoons. If u r serious about losing weight this is THE place to come. Members enjoy the happy friendly place. Gyms fail bcuz u go and have to spend HOURS on machines that eventually get boring and tiring so u quit. Machines at curves r measured by your individual strength and range of motion. The computer system constantly adjusts the program to you and its fabulous to sit at the computer and see how u did! It allows me to challenge myself to become better at the cardio and strength training . U will have an option of joining monthly (NOT 6 Months as in this article) or annually. I chose monthly to see how it would work out but now will b changing that to annual. We have an AMAZING coach!! Always doing fun activities in our place. Do u live near a curves? Go see what it all about! AT NO COST!! I BELING TO THE CAPITAL CURVES CIRCUIT IN RALEIGH NC. WE'D LIVE TO HAVE NEW MEMBERS SO PLEASE COME JOIN US!!

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Elizabeth
February 22nd, 2018 DETAILS
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I GIVE THEM MINUS ZERO RATINGS :/ I NEVER FINALLISED MY MEMBERSHIP AND NEVER ONCE USED THE GYM YET THEY STILL TOOK $80 @ MONTH FOR THE STUPID FEES. WHEN CONTACTED THEM ABOUT IT THEY JUST BLEW ME OFF SAYING THEY WOULD STOP THE PAYMEMTS. ITS BEEN 4 MONTHS THEYRE STILL TAKING MY MONEY. CURVES BY FAR ARE HORRIBLE RUDE PEOPLE THE COMPANY SUCKS

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Alesa
July 24th, 2017 Helotes, TX

Your review needs to be updated and you may need to visit various locations. As a Curves Coach, I can tell you that the results are based on individual effort and motivation. I am a retired AF Medic and get a challenging workout! Things have changed at Curves; the price for the Curves personable and supportive environment places Curves above many other fitness models. We provide on-demand personalized attention and coaching that does not involve Personal Training fees, and GOOD business owners and employees will explain the different contract/month-to-month fees completely. Please re-eval to ensure your unbiased review does this company justice.

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Sherry
June 26th, 2017 Saint Petersburg, FL

Have been a member of Curves for over 12 years. I am living proof that it works IF you are willing to do the work. The only reason women (OF ANY AGE) do not have success on the equipment is of their own making. No one can do slow reps or use less than their full ROM and expect results. This is hydraulic strength training designed mostly for women, but have watched men have great success as well. Cardio, muscle and strength is gained on the equipment - mats are for metabolic conditioning/recovery. I played at it for a while myself until I was ready to get serious. Over the last 7 yrs, I have maintained my 30 lb weight loss, perfect BMI, Body Fat % (lbs) and love my toned body. I am proud to show off my "guns" and great abdominals even after two children & menopause. If for any reason you choose to terminate your membership early, the maximum fee is $50+tax. There is always a coach out in the center helping correct any mistakes and cheers us on as we work out with intensity. I LOVE CURVES!

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Kris
September 8th, 2014 CA

It's a very inviting and clean gym. I feel like I did not get enough cardio or weight resist ants from the machines. I prefer to go to a traditional gym. Maybe when I'm older I will reconsider.

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Sydney
August 5th, 2014 Richmond, VA

I have attended the circuit training at curves a few times. The environment was very welcoming, I felt more comfortable there, as I am no bikini model, than I have felt in typical gyms. Going through the circuit, you do get a decent workout, although I did feel that i could have had a better cardio workout doing the elliptical. I did enjoy myself and never found myself bored our counting the seconds until I was finished as I have on more stationary machines.