Updated: 01/13/2018

You’re about to learn everything you need to know about Curves. We looked at the membership details, clinical research, customer service, and side effects. And since that wasn’t enough, we also read through hundreds of comments and reviews to see what people really thought about it. We summarized and refined to give you the bottom line.

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What is Curves?

Curves is an international fitness franchise that caters exclusively to women. However, there are some states where men are allowed to join the program. Curves offer a more intimate setting than the ones offered at gyms. According to the Curves Company Sheet, the part designated for exercise is usually about 1,200 to 2,500 square feet. Curves provide a simple circuit program which alternates in-place cardio with resistance machines. Typically, members complete the circuit about 1½ times per 30-minute session. Even though they are encouraged to work at their own pace, members are prompted to change stations after every 30 seconds with upbeat music playing in the background. Aside from standard workouts, other curves for women franchises offer customized exercises, diet plans as well as Zumba. If you want to join a Curves program, you should be able to locate one by using ‘Curves locations near me’ on your web search engine.

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How did Curves Start?

Also known as Curves Fitness, Curves for Women or Curves International was co-founded in 1992 by Gary Heavin and his wife, Diane Heavin. The first Curves was opened in Harlingen, Texas. This new concept featuring weight-loss guidance, 30-minute fitness training which included strength training, and an environment designed explicitly for women soon became a success. Since the idea was being well received, the co-founders started developing plans for turning Curves into a franchise, with the first one opening in 1999. Curves managed to establish 6,000 franchises in seven years, according to the company’s fact sheet. Its facilities can be found in more than 85 countries including the US, Japan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico. In countries such as Russia, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, the franchise is known as FitCurves. [1]

Curves Customer Testimonials

Curves Claims

Curves for women, claims to be the largest fitness franchise in the world. Curves International Inc. was recently recognized as one of the world’s ten largest franchise companies. It also claims that members who use Curves Complete lose an average of 3 inches and 10 pounds with about 13 weeks of use.

Curves Products

Curves offer its members the chance to purchase products as well as nutritional supplements which are designed to support health goals and weight loss; as well as complement their work out plan. The Curve products range from apparels and accessories to nutritional supplements such as the Curves protein Shakes in chocolate and vanilla flavors, Curves Bioavailable Calcium, Time Released Biomultiple and Curves Omega-3 tabs among others. While some Curves total cost is pocket-friendly, others appear to be quite expensive.

Curves Ingredients

According to the Curves health club, their protein shakes contain the following ingredients: [2]

  • Whey and soy proteins
  • Cellulose Gum
  • Hydrolyzed oat flour
  • Corn Bran
  • Oat fiber
  • Fructose
  • Cellulose fiber

Does Curves Work?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended that one does a minimum of 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. However, weight loss might require as much as double that amount. If you are taking a Curves fitness program, your result is determined by the effort you put into it. On the bright side, you can make your workout as low or high-impact as you like. Therefore, if you are good at self-monitoring, then you can make your cardio exercise as intense or moderate as you want. When using resistant machines, if you are capable of working fast enough to keep your heart rate elevated, you will get at least 30-minutes of cardio per session. That’s it! What this means is, if you want to get your minimum required cardio, you will have to attend five days in a week. Therefore, achieving cardio at Curves primarily for weight loss might be hard.

The Curves fact sheet claims that their resistance machines hit every dominant muscle group. Allegedly, the more resistance you apply, the more you get from the machines which work with hydraulics as opposed to pulleys, weight plates, and levers. However, according to Cedric X. Bryant, an American Council on Exercise physiologist, the resistance only increases so far if one has no way of adding weight to it. Therefore, after a certain period, the exercise will no longer present a challenge. It is required that you also change the exercise routine for each muscle regularly but at Curves, your only option is to use the same machines over and over. Since the program lacks isometric work and free weights, such as planks, you will have to miss out on significant core-stabilization. [3]

All in all, Curves can be an excellent way to jump-start your fitness plan, but if you want to maintain cardio and muscle health, you will eventually have to move to something more challenging.

Curves Benefits and Results

Curves International believes that the most efficient way to lose weight, and to maintain it long term, is by using some different strategies simultaneously. These plans contain various lifestyle factors, and they include:

  • Resistance exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Supplementation
  • Aerobic exercises

Each of the four lifestyle factors is incorporated in a Curves weight loss program together with the various principles that branch from these elements. Curves believe their training program is beneficial because it enables one to achieve maximum results in minimum time through targeting excess weight and body fat from different directions by use of a multi-directional approach. Curves claim to offer a plethora of benefits including:

  • Support- this entails of the support a member receives from the staff as well as fellow members of the facility
  • A conducive environment- Curves offers a fun, comfortable and non-threatening environment which is designed to be an enjoyable experience for the members
  • Sustainability- Curves fitness center prides itself on something that a woman can incorporate into her lifestyle thus maintaining it for the rest of her life
  • Resistance exercise
  • Suitable for everyone – by women of all ages
  • Cutting-edge nutritional recommendations

Problems With Curves Workout

Even though Curves for women gives its members, with tight schedules or exercise beginners, a chance to get a workout it has several disadvantages. Here are some of them: [4]

  • Lack of amenities- apart from bathrooms and changing rooms, Curves gyms don’t offer members other facilities such as showers and child care services
  • Zero progression- once a member reaches a plateau stage, the program does not provide any progressive exercise options
  • Zero individual plans- since the 30-minute circuit routine is always the same, Curves does not offer an individualized exercise routine
  • Zero focus- since the program features a combination of hydraulic resistance machines and a cardio workout in a short time frame, there isn’t much focus on a particular area of training
  • Zero eccentric resistance- while hydraulic machines provide resistance when raising or pushing against the weight, there is no resistance involved when lowering the weight or pulling it back
  • Repetitive exercise- Curves workouts require the same routine over and over again which might eventually become monotonous, boring and worse still fail to give results

What does a Curves Workout Entail?

The Curves fitness routine features a combination of strength-training and cardio exercise in a 30-minute circuit-training workout. The equipment for exercising is arranged in a circle. Members are then required to move from station to station as they alternate 30 seconds of running, jogging or walking on a ‘recovery board’ with 30 seconds of strength training. Circuit training takes about 25 minutes and is followed by additional 5 minutes of stretching.

Details on Curves and Weight Loss

According to ACE, losing weight at Curves gyms might take longer than you think. In fact, a study conducted by ACE on Curves’ workout discovered that the calories burned by participants were on the modest side. To lose one pound of weight, one is required to create a deficit of 500 calories every day. This can either be done through exercise or cut down the number of calories in your diet. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin carried out a study on the assessment of Curves for Women; they deduced that during the 30-minute workout session, participants burned a total of 184 calories on average but only burned 163 calories during the 25-minute circuit. The researchers also concluded that the Curves workout was equivalent to walking on a treadmill at 4 MPH for 30 minutes. [5]

Therefore, if you burn 184 calories at Curves, you will be required to cut down 300 more calories from your daily diet. However, the more you weigh, the more calories you burn using the Curves workout program.

How to Use (Take) Curves

Equipment used in Curve gyms offer participants the benefits of weight training together with a safe liquid movement, which provides an efficient workout while protecting the joints and bones. Low-impact machines in Curve workout sessions are used by participants who want to work at least two muscle groups at one time or as many as four by pulling and pushing instead of lowering and lifting weights. The essence of the exercise is to move as quickly as possible on each machine through a full range of motion; thus after every 30 seconds, you are required to switch stations so that you can allow yourself little time to recover and work out different muscle groups.

Potential Curves Side Effects

Since Curves feature a repetitive workout routine, a member has the potential of suffering overuse injuries. According to Kyle Battis, a certified strength and conditioning stylist, who claims using the same equipment in the same routine monotonously might result in tendinitis and bursitis.

Curves Product Warnings

Even though Curves nutritional products look appetizing, it is unknown what types of ingredients are used in their recipes. Low amounts of calories are provided in the foods which may not be sufficient in satisfying demands. While cutting down calories is essential to losing weight, there is a high demand for exercise, and it is unknown if these foods provide sufficient protein to satisfy a participant’s appetite.

The Curves training program comprises of strenuous exercise; this can increase hunger making it harder to suppress appetite. Such a demanding routine might require more and more calories thus sticking to such a low-calorie offering can be a bit cumbersome.

In regards to the Curves circuit, Cedric X. Bryant warns that the sessions will increase your strength but provide you with a minimal cardiovascular benefit which is contrary to claims made by Curves. Therefore it is recommended that you avoid straining as you stretch out the tubing. If you cannot perform a full range movement, you are advised to choose a color which indicates less resistance to avoid muscle injuries or strain. It is essential that you obtain clearance from your doctor before you start the circuit routine.

Any Curves Lawsuits?

Curves International has been faced with a plethora of challenges and controversies. In 2005, a severe debate came into play, this time in the form of six plaintiffs who filed a $20 million lawsuit against Gary Heavin, the company as well as the company’s lawyer Roger Schmidt. According to the six plaintiffs, Heavin had cheated them out of their share of profits. Apparently, Heavin together with Schmidt had pressured the six into signing a buyout contract which only left them with a fraction of what they were supposed to earn. [6]

Most of the plaintiffs worked as independent sales representatives after the company had already opened the franchises in numerous locations. The filed lawsuit had failed to mention that the sales representatives were paid over $26 million for their work.

Curves Alternatives

Several products are similar to Curves products, they include:

Can Pregnant Women Join the Curves Workout Program

The Curves ladies gym allows women of all fitness levels and ages join the workout program, including pregnant women. However, just as with any exercise routine done during pregnancy, some precautions and modifications should be followed.

Since Curves is specially designed for women, their low-impact, hydraulic equipment uses pulling and pushing motions as opposed to lowering and lifting weights. This means that it is safe for women to use them even during pregnancy. [7]

Pregnant women, new to Curves, are advised to start the routine slowly. As with all fitness programs, they are required to get clearance from their physician before beginning a Curves routine.

Limitations of Using Curves Equipment

Equipment used in Curves training routine is meant for weight management and strength training and not bodybuilding. The machines’ structure and size are developed for the physique of a woman, and none has been researched for men.

Are Men Allowed to Join Curves Gym?

The irony of Curves International is that one of the founders is a man but men cannot join Curves. As of publication, the program is not open to members who are male. The concept specifically designed an environment that is female-friendly thus excluding men. Some men feel left out since they also desire to utilize Curves. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no way that they can be in the program.

How Men can Still Find Their Way Into Curves

Even though men are not allowed membership to the Curves health club and gym, they always find employment in the different facilities worldwide. The decision to hire staff for the facilities is made by individual franchisees some of whom are men. [8]

Why Men Can’t Hack Curves

If men were allowed to join Curves, the equipment available would most likely not serve them well. Most of the equipment in Curve gyms are built explicitly for the typical female body; this is according to the Curves website. The website also claims that the hydraulic equipment used by Curves was not only designed for women but also tested by biomechanical engineers and physiologists as well. Therefore, it was deduced that men would be better off working out in a traditional gym as opposed to a Curves gym. According to the website, regular gyms are typically equipped with machines designed for men.

Will There Ever be a Curves for Men?

Since 1992, the year Curves was founded, the franchise has seen a membership growth of about 4 million women with Curves for women locations worldwide. With such success, it begs the question: Will Curves ever establish a program just for men? As of 2013, Curves announced its decision to focus solely on females for the time being. A statement made by Curves International in 2013 indicated that the company was entirely dedicated to meeting the weight loss and fitness needs of women across the globe and did not plan to open training facilities for men at that moment.

What Users Are Saying

“”I have been using Curves for about 10 years. I love it!…I have become so much stronger using these workouts…I can go in tired and depressed and come out rejuvenated and happy!””

“”Curves can be great for novices. It’s a very comfortable, nonthreatening atmosphere…However, the Curves workout primarily offers strength-training, rather than cardiovascular, benefits.””

“”As being Afro American some of the food in the book I was not use too. Some of the recipes help but a lot of them didn’t.””

Also: read our Burn HD Weight-Loss Kit review »Curves Ingredients

The Bottom Line – Does Curves Work?

Should you rush right out and join your local Curves gym? The workout will get you results if you are willing to follow a balanced diet. But, we are concerned because several members in different locations have reported issues with customer services, such as rude employees and multiple billing errors. If you choose to join, you may want to pay close attention to the contract and ask for a tour first.

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What is Curve circuit training?

The Curves circuit is a group of strength training machines that target all the major muscle groups. You work through one machine after the other for 30 seconds each until you have completed all of stations. In between each machine is a 30 second cardio segment. You repeat the circuit for a total of 30 minutes.

Is Curves a gym?

Curves is not a gym in the traditional sense. The resistance machines are similar to what you would find at a gym, but they are used only for the circuit workout. In addition to the circuit machines there are also stretching mats.

How do I know if Curves is right for me?

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How much does it cost to start a Curves?

It costs approximately $34,900 – $39,900 to open a Curves franchise. This includes the franchise fees and purchase of equipment. Other costs include travel expenses while training, real estate and improvements, which vary by location, and education expenses, which also vary.

Can a man go to Curves?

Curves is advertised as a women’s only gym. While it is illegal in some states to discriminate against either gender, facilities reserve the right to choose their members. Other states allow women’s only gyms in order to provide women with a safe and private place to exercise.

How many calories do you burn on the Curves circuit?

Curves claims that you can burn up to 500 calories per 30 minute session. The average calories burned are 163-184 calories. The intensity level of a Curves Circuit is similar to moderate activities like walking 4 miles per hour on a flat surface.

Is Curves a women’s only gym?

Curves is marketed as a women’s only gym.


Previous Curves Review (Updated August 10, 2013):

What You Should Know

Curves is a fitness franchise that began with a fitness center for women only. Curves was founded by Gary and Diane Heavin in Harlingen, Texas in 1992. They created a 30 minute workout that combined strength training, cardio and stretching, using machines with hydraulic resistance. This workout is for women specifically, and the fitness centers are for women only. Some patrons say this helps them to not feel self conscious and be able to concentrate on their workout. The Curves corporate website also states that the hydraulic equipment is made especially for women as well. Curves is now a fully franchised corporation with over 10,000 locations in 70 countries around the world. In addition to the fitness center, Curves now offers nutritional information, personal training, group meetings and nutritional supplements geared towards a woman’s health and weight loss goals.


Not applicable. Curves offers nutritional support and nutritional supplements in addition to the fitness center workout.

Product Features

Curves is a fitness franchise with over 10,000 locations in 70 countries. The Curves workout is specifically geared towards women. It is a 30 minute circuit workout that incorporates strength training with hydraulic equipment with cardio in between machines. The equipment adjusts to each woman’s needs and increases resistance when the user pushes harder and faster. Curves recommends a member workout three times a week for 30 minutes. Curves also offers nutritional information, support, and supplements to help each member meet their personal goals. The nutritional supplements include multi-vitamins, protein shakes, calcium supplements, omega-3, joint and connective tissue support, glucose management, PMS formula, and a menopausal support formula. Curves founder Diane Heavin also publishes diane magazine, which is also for women.


  • Curves fitness circuit is a predetermined workout that does not require any previous knowledge of strength training.
  • Curves has dedicated staff at each location to assist the customer with their individual needs.
  • Curves has a dedicated corporate website.


  • Curves is a monthly membership fitness center.
  • Curves is for women only, male consumers must find somewhere else to work out.
  • Curves has two corporate websites that may confuse the consumer.


Curves is a fitness center and franchise that caters to women as its customers. The Curves website states the mission is to strengthen women. Curves is a women only fitness center that believes that women benefit from the exclusive atmosphere. They believe that the women feel less self conscious while working out, which enables them to reach their fitness goals. They also believe that the atmosphere feeds the social need of women to build a support network while working toward their personal fitness goals. Male consumers will have to find another fitness center to use. In addition to the workout, Curves offers nutritional support, nutritional supplements, and group support. The nutritional supplements are shown on the corporate website, however consumers must go to the local Curves location to purchase supplements. Consumers looking for a fitness or weight loss solution may benefit from a Curves membership. Curves does not offer a weight loss supplement. A weight loss supplement may be beneficial for those consumers looking to lose weight, in addition to an exercise program and diet. Consumers looking for a weight loss supplement should look for one with both an appetite suppressant and fat burner. This combination will yield the best results. A consumer should also look for a supplement with a dedicated website, offering customer testimonials and clinical trials proving the effectiveness of the product.
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.

36 Curves Reviews

  • What is the cost for a month?

    what is the cost for a month?

    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi Rose! For more information on where to purchase this product and its cost, please refer to the Curves official website.

  • How much does Curves cost A month?

    How much does Curves cost A month?

    • Lisa

      I just joined today was 99$ for two months of workouts only

      • Suzie

        Is this true. To join 2 months for 99.00

    • Your Name

      Curves membership cost is different at every location. I joined at one location for $46 a month and found a closer one to my house for $30 a month.

    • Laci

      Mine was 99 enrollment fee but they had a special at the time so it’s only 49 enrollment then 39 per month for contract or 49 per month if you do month to month. So first payment is due the day you join, it was 98, then after that it will be 39 plus tax. That’s for my local curves in Louisiana.

    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi Audrey! For more information on where to purchase this product and its cost, please refer to the Curves official website.

  • Does the Go Blue discount for health clubs work at curves?

    Does the Go Blue discount for health clubs work at curves ?

    (Blue Cross Blue Shield)

    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi Becky! For more information on where to purchase this product and possible discount, please refer to the Curves official website.

  •  I would like to try this product
    Carleen Stickney

    I read the new Diane magazine and found an ad for abdominal cuts and they have a free bottle for Curves members. I would like to try this product but I don’t see a place to try to get it….

    • Flo Fiance

      no comment yet

    • Beth J

      I’m looking at the Summer 2010 Diane Magazine and the coupon you are referring to – states ‘while supplies last’ – go to revolutionlifestyle.com/curves – better move fast – don’t know what supply they have for this coupon

    • Anonymous

      Try your local GNC store – they gave me the website to order.

  • I can't find the website to request the free sample?
    Regina Mitchell

    I to have been looking for the abodominal cuts, free coupon. I can’t find the website to request the free sample. Please help. Thank you.

    • Flo Fiance

      where is coupon for sample????

    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi Regina ! For more information on where to purchase this product and possible sample, please refer to the Curves official website.

  • Need an phone number to call.

    need an phone number to call trying to join

    • Maribel (Editor)

      Hi Deborah ! For phone number and other information please refer to the Curves official website.

  • Curves franchise draw from your bank account.

    “0” stars…My final personal experience was not pleasant, and I would never darken the doors of a Curves facility again! I joined during a 6 month trial special to tone up and provided the necessary bank establishment information to draw the monthly payment as required by the facility. After 6 months, I wrote a letter of termination of use at the facility because I was unable to attend on a regular basis and the withdrawals from my checking account would be terminated once the letter was submitted which I did. The bank account used was set up specifically for Curves. It wasn’t until over a year later after submitting the letter that I received an overdraft charge for an account that I did not use. Much to my surprise, Curves was still drawing from my account. When I tried to contact the facility, they were no longer in business, so I contacted the corporate office via email which they said they were not responsible, but they did contact the previous owner of the franchise to see if I submitted a termination letter which was affirmed. I completed an affidavit with my bank to submit to Sun Trust Bank and that is as far as the bank took it. Therefore, I was robbed of $1200 by Curves because the draws according to the bank were made by Curves! Think twice before you let a Curves franchise draw from your bank account.

  • "Silver Sneakers"

    Do you offer a discounted rate for “Silver Sneakers” program from Kaiser Permenete?

    • Your PLName

      Yes they do. I have used it.

  •  Emotionally
    Tina (Verified User)

    Curves is my favorite place to workout I start in 2003 and since then i have lost a total of 80lbs and kept it off also Im now a Curves Coach and now that jillian michels is our New Spokesperson and gives us much more add workout my body is shaping in place i thought was a lost cause but Im here to tell you im looking and feeling wonderful today so say CURVES is the Best Place to workout and be mentally,emotionally,phsicially,and spiritually!!!!

  • Why there is no prices on your Websites?

    I would like to know your prices but none of your websites give that info. Is it so high you can’t put it on the site or what is the problem?

    • Laci

      I’m sure it varies by state, because of th cost of living. My local curves (in Louisiana) costs $39 a month if you sign a 1 year contract or $49 a month if you do month to , plus you have to pay a 1 time enrollment fee of $99

  • I would like to know if my daughter is eligible at the age of 14?
    Jill Anderson

    I have a 14 year old daughter that I would like to bring into curves. She is 5’5 and 185 pounds. i would like to get her on a workout/fitness/diet routine that I can be a part of. She wants to work out in a gym and I don’t want a year contract commitment. I would like to know if she is eligible at the age of 14.

  • Asking for clinic in his native area.
    josephine faison

    could we PLEASE, get a clinic set up in wallace area?

  • Sally Voss

    where is closest location

  • I am looking for Curves site where I can get a free bottle.

    I am looking for Curves site where I can get a free bottle, am I missing it somewhere?

  • Can I go to Curves out in other city with my membership here?
    Joan Padeck (Verified User)

    I am a Curves member in Massachusetts, and will be in California for a week. Can I go to Curves out there with my membership here?

    • Liz Hutchison

      Ask your Mass. curves for a travel pass. Show pass a any Curves. They will sign it and you get credit for attendance.

  •  Is this product purchase without being a member?
    Andrea (Verified User)

    I live in Chicago and have a question about the Curves supplements. I was a member of Curves at one time, but had to quit my membership. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good workout, but I just couldn’t make it there. Although, I have lost 35 pounds on my own. My only gripe is with the sales of their supplements. I love the joint and connective tissue supplement, but cannot get it at the Curves near me because they will only sell it to members. Is there any way I can order this product without being a member?

    • curves member

      You might try to find another curves in your area, Chicago has a few. As far as I know there are restrictions on selling the vitamins to anyone. My local Curves does.

    • Curves member

      You can definately go to another Curves and buy supplements…just go to Curves.com and find another one. There supplemnts are the best.

  • Can't sign in to the site.
    Dolly Rauch

    I jouned Curves complete and I find it almosy impossible to sign in to the site. All I get are messages to join.
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Lisa Acton

      Hi Dolly. I am wondering if you were using the Curves Free 30 day trial of Curves Complete, because that may be your issue. If you are not using the free password correctly, it may not let you in. Call your local Curves and let them give you a replacement voucher. I am sure they would be happy to do so. Good luck on your goals!