Grading on the Curves
Women today wear many hats, with careers, families, and social obligations. Exercise often becomes the first casualty when there is too little time and too much to do.Yet Curves, For Women, has a dynamic, 30-minute exercise program that can readily fit into even the tightest schedule. It’s quick, it’s thorough, it’s fun and, most of all, it’s effective.”We cater to the working women who don’t have much time,” says Curves manager and personal trainer Kim Jansen.Located in the Northstar Center in Edwards, Curves, For Women, offers its Quickfit workout mornings and afternoons. A woman can drop in at 7 a.m. before work, or at 6 p.m. when the workday is done.”It’s great for working women,” assures Curves member Ruth Van Fleet, as she hurries out the door. “You can have an entire workout in just 30 to 45 minutes.”Curves member Sandy Apps used to spend two and a half hours trying to fit in a workout at the rec center and drop her two children at daycare. Now she only needs 30 minutes.Using 30-second interval circuit training, women alternate between safe, aerobic exercise and resistance training to strengthen both the upper and lower body. The Curves program is designed to reduce body fat and burn calories. The 30 minutes includes a warm-up and cool-down, and at least 20 minutes of sustained, target heart-rate exercise, which improves cardiovascular efficiency and develops muscle endurance and power.The circuit includes hydraulic-resistance equipment, with three sets of strength-training exercises to work all the muscle groups. The hydraulic equipment works by using resistance you push forward and then pull back so it works two muscle groups at the same time, stretching and strengthening. There are no cumbersome weight stacks to change or manage either.Once introduced to the system, participants can start the circuit at any time (no need to wait for a class to begin) and finish at their own pace.The circuit begins with a warm-up on a padded, aerobic recovery station for 30 seconds. Participants move on to a hydraulic machine, and then continue alternating between the machines and the aerobic recovery stations always moving. A tape provides music to work out to and voiced instructions tell you when it’s time to move on to the next station. The circuit is completed three times.”It’s pretty much a no-brainer,” Jansen says.Jansen is always right at hand for guidance and assistance. With an associate degree in exercise and physiology, and doubly certified through ACE and NASM (the National Association of Sports Medicine), Jansen is well qualified to meet members’ needs and provide expert training. When done with circuit training, Jansen leads participants in a closing stretching routine.Jansen can also specially tailor the circuit and modify the machines for women who are pregnant, or those who have special health conditions, such as back problems.The system is comfortable for the beginner and safe for the elderly, but can be tailored for more advanced workouts.If members want to work more on problem areas, such as upper arms or thighs, Jansen sets them on an additional regimen of exercise balls, bands or free weights. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jansen offers “Kim’s Power Workout” for 45 minutes, offering alternate strength-training routines and increasing intervals from 30 seconds to one minute. Beginning March 6, Curves will also offer a Pilates mat class from 7-8 p.m. (which men reportedly also enjoy).Founded in 1992, Curves is the largest fitness franchise in the world today, with 5,000 locations in the United States, Canada, Spain and Mexico. Curves, For Women, is currently helping more than one million women reach their goals, and it has been consistently been ranked as one of the best new franchises in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Survey.There is a one-time initiation fee to join Curves that brings you access to any Curves center anywhere in the world and is fully transferable, and a low monthly fee. When on vacation, members can stop in at any Curves location.Apps joined Curves less than a year ago on a bet with her mother as to who could trim down faster after a holiday visit and too many goodies. Apps won the $100 bet.Since delving into the circuit program in earnest last September, along with the Weight Watchers program, Apps has lost 25 pounds and 5 percent of her body fat.In addition, she removed four inches from her waistline and five inches from her abdomen and now looks slim and fit.”If you do a combination of exercise and watch what you eat, the program works,” says Jansen.Lulu and Bart Garton took the Curves, For Women, business over just over a year ago and have made several positive enhancements. Curves is in a new, corner location in the Northstar Center with a larger, sun-filled workout room. It contains a changing room and restroom, as well as a selection of Carushka exercise wear (Curves members receive a 20 percent discount). There is also a line of supplements, specially designed for women.”It’s well run,” says Van Fleet. “There’s a world of difference.” qCurves, For Women, is open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., and again from 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. For an appointment and a free, “get acquainted” workout, call Curves, For Women, at (970) 926-4665.