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30 Minute Workout

The Five Components of the Curves Workout
The innovative design of the Curves Workout allows members to incorporate all of the critical components of an exercise program in just 30 minutes! All components of the Curves Workout combine to create a safe and effective exercise that will give you positive results! The 5 components of the Curves Workout are:

  • Warm-up
  • Cardiovascular Training
  • Strength Training
  • Cool down
  • Stretching

The warm-up is done the first three to five minutes of your workout. Each time you begin your workout, you should move the machines more slowly to gradually elevate the heart rate. Your body temperature will increase and blood flow will begin to move toward the extremities to prepare the body for exercise.

Cardiovascular Training
Cardiovascular work is sustained for twenty minutes and keeps your heart rate in its target zone. Working within 50-85% of your maximum heart rate allows you to effectively burn stored body fat and receive all of the amazing benefits of cardiovascular training, including decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity. Elevating and sustaining your heart rate is done by working hard on the machines and overloading your muscles through strength training, our next component.

Strength Training
The Curves equipment offers hydraulic resistance through the use of cylinders which provide a challenging cardiovascular and strength training exercise. Hydraulic resistance is a safe and efficient way to overload the muscles, stimulating muscle mass gains. When you are resistance training, there are five rules you should have your Curves staff teach you. The Five Rules of Resistance Training are:

  • Move across the midline of the muscles being worked
  • Keep elbows and knees within the plane of motion
  • Move the full range of motion without locking the joints
  • Go fast enough to create adequate resistance
  • Keep it simple!

Strength training has long been the missing link in women's fitness. Curves research has proven that when you increase muscle mass through strength training, you increase your metabolism as well as results.

Cool down
As you complete your workout, you should reserve the last three to five minutes of your time on the circuit for the cool down. By moving the machines slowly during the cool down, you allow your heart rate, body temperature, and breathing to return to normal.

Stretching after exercise is vital for increasing flexibility, maintaining joint integrity and mobility, and preventing joint pain. If that's not enough, it also helps increase strength! Research conducted by Wescott and Loud has reported a 19% greater strength gain when stretching after strength training occurred. Static stretching is safest-that means no bouncing.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds, increasing the stretch after 7 seconds. Maintain proper alignment and breathing. Remember to ask your Curves staff if you need assistance with correct form.

Click here for the latest information from the Baylor Institute on the effectiveness of our workout!

Frequently Asked Questions for the Curves Workout

How many calories are burned during the Curves workout?
The number of calories burned during the workout will vary with your intensity and fitness level. Calories burned can range from 150-522 per workout. In addition to the calories burned during the workout, you are also increasing your metabolism from strength training, which will allow your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Remember to work hard and focus on the overall goal-a healthy lifestyle!

Why do I need to check my heart rate?
It is imperative that you check your heart rate every 8 minutes as indicated by the cue on the music compact disk. Heart rate checks help us determine whether or not you need to modify the intensity of your workout in order to create better results. It also alerts us if you are working too hard and need to lower your heart rate in order to prevent over exertion. For this reason heart rate checks are mandatory.

Can I workout more than 3 times per week?
We recommend that you utilize the Curves workout three times per week due to the need for muscle recovery from strength training. If you desire to work out every day, modify your workout on alternating days by moving the machines more slowly. By working on the machines more slowly, you will be moving a resistance that is less than 50% of your maximum lifting ability. This will still elevate the heart rate to its target zone and provide a cardiovascular workout, but remain below the threshold for strength training.

What if I reach a weight loss plateau?
There are multiple situations that could spark a weight loss plateau. When the body begins losing weight due to a change in diet and/or activity level, it will try to reach homeostasis, or a state of balance. The body will react by trying to reserve energy sources, possibly affecting weight loss. However, once homeostasis is reached, weight loss will resume as long as a healthy lifestyle is maintained. Another reason for plateaus could be hormonal imbalances throughout pre-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Hormonal changes during this time usually result in weight gain. A common misconception about dieting can also result in a plateau. Women tend to restrict calories too much, lowering their metabolism. Research has shown that we need to intake enough healthy calories to increase our metabolism.

If you are experiencing a plateau, review your diet and exercise regimen. Keep a food journal to ensure that you are eating a balanced diet and check your intensity during your workout. Work hard! The Curves Workout should be the toughest 30 minutes of your day!

How many times do I go around the circuit?
The Curves workout is an amazing exercise that combines strength training and cardiovascular exercise in just 30 minutes! The equipment and number of times around the circuit will vary with each facility but the bottom line is the same:

  • Warm-up the first three to five minutes
  • 20 minutes of sustained cardiovascular work
  • Cool down the last three to five minutes
  • Stretch

If you feel like you can exercise at Curves longer than 30 minutes, we encourage you to work harder! Our research has validated the results of the 30 minute workout.

Is it safe to work out during my pregnancy?
Curves recommends that pregnant and/or postpartum women consult their personal physician before beginning or continuing our exercise program. Once approved your local staff member can work closely with you in developing a program that is safe and effective.

Advanced Workout
Ready for a challenge? Looking for a way to take your workout to the next level? Try the Advanced Workout!If you are a healthy member and have been exercising at Curves for over three months, you may participate in the Curves Advanced Workout. A Curves staff member will work with you individually to create a workout assignment especially for you! Your heart rate, intensity, and alignment will be monitored while you push yourself to set goals and increase your results! See your Curves staff members to set your appointment!

If you're a Curves 6 Week Solution class participant you should know...
Strength training and building lean muscle accelerates your calorie burning potential. Curves allows you to get a complete aerobic and strength training workout in just 30 minutes. The system is built around easy-to-learn hydraulic resistance machines, so there are no cumbersome weight stacks to change or manage. The machines are designed specially for women. And Curves makes it fun. Many of our members say that their time at Curves is the fastest 30 minutes of their week! The laughter, conversation, and sense of support that you see at the typical Curves is different from any other health club you may have visited in the past.


  1. 1 From the Spring 2005 issue of diane Magazine.
  2. Loud, Rita La Rosa, and Wayne L. Westcott. "Stretching for Strength." Fitness Management June 2000: 44-46