A Case Study on Curves

It is difficult to find much about Curves on their website as clearly they want to offer only enough information to get members to sign up, without releasing so much that it allows people to acquire the information without signing up.

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CURVES LOGO IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF CURVES INTERNATIONAL

According to their website, Curves provides women with a complete cardio and strength training workout in just 30 minutes. With a system that can burn up to 500 calories and work every major muscle group, you get an efficient and effective workout every visit. Over 4 million women have chosen Curves to meet their health goals.

Curves states that the program works because it gives women a complete cardio and strength-training workout in just 30 minutes, where they can burn up to 500 calories every time. The circuit is made up of resistance machines that work every major muscle group, two muscles at a time. And with a circuit coach to teach and motivate, women are said to reach their fitness goals in “no time.”

Then you have Curves Complete, which is a specially designed, 90 day weight loss program that combines diet, exercise, and motivation to help individuals reach their weight loss goals. Its claim is to help women lose as much as 20 pounds of body fat and 20 inches in 90 days. Curves has also developed programs such as Curves Wellness, which is for companies to become part of a network for their employees to receive discount memberships to Curves facilities, etc.

The Silver Sneakers Fitness Program for seniors is also another program that Curves has to offer. Lastly, Curves has a complete line of dietary supplements such as the Multivitamin which provides a solid nutritional foundation. Calcium protects your bones, and the Curves Protein Shake is a delicious post exercise recovery drink.

The monthly fees vary widely, depending on the area, country, cost of doing business, and whether you are signing a year’s contract or just going month-to-month. Sign-up fees can vary by promotions and coupons. The best way to get the actual cost at the Curves you are interested in is to call and ask. My mother stated that when she joined there was a special going on for $79, which included two months of membership, followed by $39 per month. This is simply for access to the facility, there are other costs associated with certain programs for weight loss, nutrition, etc.

When I was involved with the fitness industry, my gyms would often acquire female members who left the Curves programs. According to what these former members reported, they were leaving the programs largely due to the fact that they had seen some good results initially after joining, but because the program is designed for consistency and not dynamics, most members will plateau (or develop a resistance to the workout) after a short time and experience minimal to no weight loss or muscle gain after that. Most personal trainers will tell you that the key to losing weight and gaining muscle is dynamics. The lack of weight loss and muscle gain is due to muscle memory, which is a term that is used in the fitness industry to describe what happens when your muscles become accustomed to specific movements and end up acquiring the ability to perform these movements with little to no effect on the body.

Dynamics, on the other hand, is where your workout is designed to change throughout the workout and daily which prevents your body from developing muscle memory, and continuously “shocks” your muscles. In order to lose weight, one needs to consistently shock their muscles so lactic acid can build up to take place of oxygen, and cause fatigue. Your body naturally burns fat first, and muscles play a big part of your body burning that fat. By shocking your muscles, it causes muscle fibers to tear. Each individual muscle fiber that tears actually turns into two separate fibers, therefore building more and more as fibers are torn. These tears, coupled with oxygen returning to your bloodstream after lactic acid buildup, are what cause the pain and soreness one feels after a vigorous workout. The more muscle you have and build up, the more stamina you will have to work out harder and longer. The longer you work out, the more you will ultimately burn the fat away.

In conclusion, Curves would be a great system if they would simply change their design. I have always supported the idea of Curves, and even utilized a similar weight loss and fitness model for women in my facilities when I managed them. Their design of consistency at the forefront of a member joining their facilities is correct, but only for the first two months or so. A membership to a program like Curves is a fairly significant life change for most people, and new members need that consistency to develop a routine that they will work into their lives and keep them coming back. Most people will plateau on a new workout within three months, and as such if Curves would change their program to dynamic after a member has shown consistency in their first two months, they would see far better results over a longer period of time. They would also likely see less members leaving to seek alternative measures after feeling their Curves program began failing.

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