So on my third trip to Curves, now that introductions and paperwork are out of the way, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Curves workout machines and 30 minute circuit. Stacy (my lovely morning Curves trainer) showed me around the small gym and gave me a demo of each of the machines, helping me to get my stance and form correct and showing me that hydraulics are man's best friend when it comes to changing machines ever 30 seconds.
The gist of the Curves circuit is pretty simple. They have 13 strength training machines, interspersed with "recovery stations". You use each machine for 30 seconds (music in the gym includes a timer to tell you when your time is up), then move to the next machine or recovery station. The combination of the machines gives you a workout that reaches your entire body, and the recovery stations give you a chance to walk, dance or jog your body loose between exercises. (Click here to see the circuit for yourself)
I was more than a little skeptical about the effectiveness of the Curves machines initially, wondering how they could give an effective workout to women of varying fitness levels since there is absolutely no adjustment to weight, resistance, height or depth of any of the machines. Stacy explained that Curves' machines work entirely on hydraulics, so the harder you push against the machines the harder they push back, and so you manage the intensity of your workout yourself.
Some of the machines were familiar to me from my experiences at gyms in the past, and some of them were new contraptions that had I not had instruction on, I may have never figured them out. In the end, all of the equipment was easy to use and I had a healthy sweat going by the time my 30 minutes were up. In addition to getting my workout done, I felt like I got to know a couple of the ladies at the gym and I can already tell that it isn't just a place the women go to work out; it's also a place that they go to escape judgement, catch up with friends and take a break from everything going on in their lives.
I look forward to my next two scheduled workouts. We'll see where they take me!