If you’ve followed my blog over the last few years, you’d have seen several attempts and entries about my declaration of getting back into shape. The operative word is “try” (and I didn’t even use it in the sentence!).
My brother (who is now a fitness / health addict and is on our case about living a healthier lifestyle), says that my sleep deprivation, stress, and inconsistent eating and exercise patterns work against all my little efforts to try to get back to my pre-baby body. But can you blame me? It’s only when the kids are asleep do I have time to work and check off items from my to-do list. Sometimes I’m so busy I forget to eat and I end up eating the wrong things at the wrong times. Sometimes with everything I have to do — I will admit — exercise takes a backseat. There are days (like last Monday!) when I’d scheduled a workout, but at the last-minute my daughter’s school declares it a holiday and so now I have the kids on my hands.
But yes of course, I still try… I’ve never really paid much attention to the statistics of it all, until I walked into Curves.
Curves is the largest fitness franchise in the world that caters specifically (and ONLY) to women’s fitness and nutrition. It is a 30-minute circuit workout that’s designed to move every major muscle group. The workout supposedly gets you to burn 500 calories by mixing cardio, strength-training and stretching in that amount of time.
There are a lot of things about Curves that appeal to women. Here are some of the reasons why I take interest:
It’s a 30-minute circuit. My biggest constraint on a daily basis is time. Sometimes when I go to a gym or a class, the program itself is an hour. To add in the time to get there and the time to get out, cool down and take a shower would mean I’ve already lost 3/4’s of my morning. At Curves, because the whole workout is exactly only 30 minutes long, I can safely get everything else compressed into an hour, and that makes a big difference. Plus, it doesn’t feel like 30-minutes when you work out, because every 30 seconds, an omnipresent female voice will call out above the music, “change stations now.” Literally, I walk in and put my things down, and then after 30 minutes, I walk out and I’m done.
There’s a trainer built-in to the routine. Unlike other regular gyms where a physical trainer costs extra (and all he does is send you to the treadmill for a third of the hour), this one has a female instructor at the center of the circuit. Her role is to give us options as to what to do with our recovery time (this is the 30 seconds in between each machine station where you can jump and dance and move around as you please), and to make sure we you work hard on the machines in proper form and speed.
There’s versatility and flexibility in the routine. I learned from a wise coach that sometimes it’s good to confuse our muscles. I was wondering how that would work in a circuit like Curves where the machines are technically the same. I learned that there’s no one starting point in the Curves circuit, so we can start in a different spot each time. The other is that the people at Curves re-arrange the machines each month. Then there’s also the circuit with Zumba mixed into it. That could shake things up a bit — if you catch my drift. 😉
You get as much as you give. According to the trainers, the weight or resistance the machines give depends on the person using it. It gets heavier when you go faster and try to get more reps in. So it’s not a cop-out really. A lot of it still depends on you and how much of a push you want to give that day.
Great music is always a factor. My husband says I have two left feet. He’s probably right, but it doesn’t mean I can’t keep a beat. 😉 The music at Curves is fun. Honestly it makes me forget what I look like when I move, but it’s always nice to move to and let the sweat just take over. Anyway, there are no mirrors in Curves, and the outside glass is frosted enough so people can’t peek inside. I realized I don’t get self-conscious in there!
They guarantee results. If there was one thing that got me interested, it was that they guarantee losing inches and pounds with their program, IF you can commit to exercising 3x a week. And to prove they’re serious, they take your measurements and vitals at the beginning of your first workout, and then at the beginning of every month that passes. They happily discuss habits and lifestyles and make suggestions as to how you can help start this process. And the goals per month are realistic. This to me shows that they’re committed to your success.
Let’s see. I got my initial stats done (and oh my God I’m not brave enough to share them here!!!) and I have managed to show up three times a week (so far). According to one of the trainers, in the first month, you feel the effects. In the second, you see the difference. It’s in the third month when people see the difference.
So stay tuned! 😉