Steamboat Springs Not every woman seeking fitness and weight loss wants to work out in the presence of men.
In fact, Bernice Trujillo said, most do not. Trujillo is the manager of the new Curves for Women fitness center, at 1625 Mid-Valley Drive in Steamboat Crossings, and a certified personal trainer. The business offers its services to women only, and after less than two months in business, Curves already has 100 members.
The Curves franchise in Steamboat is owned by longtime Frisco residents Polly and David Schwan, who also operate similar businesses in Frisco and in Edwards.
Trujillo said the Curves concept is meant to give women a complete workout in 30 minutes. It can be as intense as they want to make it.
"This is actually an exercise circuit," Trujillo said. "We incorporate recovery stations as well as strength-training stations."
Curves employs exercise machines that work muscles in both directions as the exercisers push and pull on levers. The machines have hydraulic components that resemble small shock absorbers. They ensure that the harder and faster exercisers work, the more resistance they encounter. That allows the exercisers to tailor their workout to their own level, Polly Schwan said. The exercisers are also taught to monitor their own pulse rates every 7.5 minutes to ensure they remain within the target range for their age.
Curves was founded by Gary Heavin, and there are franchises in small towns and big cities all over the country. Steamboat members will have exercise privileges in any Curves location, allowing them to stick with their fitness regimen when they travel, Schwan said.
In designing the Curves program, Heavin's guiding principle was to combine strength training with a weight-loss program, Schwan said. Research has shown that the bodies of people who are strength training while losing weight will protect muscle tissue. An overweight woman will lose only body fat while increasing lean tissue and metabolism, according to the staff at Curves.
One of the big attractions to Curves is that it's quick and convenient, Schwan said.
Exercisers change stations every 30 seconds so they are encouraged to work as hard as they can and never get bored.
"That's what's fun," Schwan said. "You go really quick. You work out for 30 minutes, stretch, change clothes and you're out the door."
The circuit training at Curves doesn't begin at any specific time during the day it just goes continually (except for a two-hour break in the middle of weekday afternoons) so members can show up whenever it's convenient for them to begin their workout.
Sandy Bollaert was in the midst of her second week of working out at Curves and smiling as she worked an exercise machine to the beat of peppy music. She learned about Curves from a friend in Colorado Springs.
"I'm way out of shape," Bollaert said. "This is fast and it fits into my schedule. It works what you need to work."
Annual memberships at Curves cost $29 a month, or exercisers can pay $39 on a month-to-month basis. There is a one-time membership fee of $149, but that is being discounted substantially during a special introductory promotion, Schwan said.