T Nation


Okay, I have to rant. Since this is remotely physically related I’ll post it here. I’ve been doing some volunteer work at a local church which is situated next to one of these 30 minutes 3 times a week look like a goddess in under a year places. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the place before, other than to know several of the overweight gals I work with go there and they can’t figure out why they are still overweight. They have recently decided that if they eat nothing but Lean Cuisines and Slim Fast they might be able to squeeze themselves into the same size pants as they wore when they started working here 3 years ago. I digress and that is a whole other rant.

I was shovelling gravel into the kiddy playground area for the church watching these fat ladies waddle into this “fitness center” and waddle back out 30 minutes later without any sign of having done anything. I was curious so when I finished my task I went to check the place out. Albeit, when you’re overweight any movement is going to cause some weight loss. They were selling that their clients never needed to workout for more than 30 minutes 3 times a week to achieve results that still ellude me after a year of hard work. I can’t wait for this fad to go away. It is a fad, right?

It defies all that I’ve ever been told about getting and staying healthy. They hop on these machines and then walk in place on a pad moving when the TV tells them to. Watching the pace I wouldn’t come even close to a target HR and they state emphatically that the workout should never exceed 30 minutes 3 times a week. No wonder the cackling women at work haven’t dropped a pound or inch in weeks. They are all standing around complaining about it. Meanwhile, I’m shopping for new work pants now that I’ve shrunk out of the last new ones I brought six months ago.

Any sales pitch that starts with you don’t have to work hard to look great is definitely suspect in my book. On a side note 30 min of movement is better than none I suppose. What I hate to think of is the discouragement they will experience when they don’t reach a goal they’ve been told they will be able to obtain with this never changing program.

“Any sales pitch that starts with you don’t have to work hard to look great is definitely suspect in my book.”

Right here you touch upon the exact reason these places have such appeal and will not be going away any time soon.  Most people don't want to hear the reality of a situation usually.  They'd much prefer to be spoon fed a bunch of BS about how looking like a god or goddess can be achieved with minimal effort and in minimal time.  The ones who truly are interested in a change will eventually go searching for a better answer and hopefully come across some quality resources(such as T-Nation).  The rest will continue along at these "fitness-in-a-box" joints wasting money, seeing minimal to no progress, and being blissfully ignorant as to what a real solution might entail.

I’m afraid T-bone is right…they will not go away soon…

“Curves” and “Lady Fitness” are some of the fastest growing franchises in the U.S…and have been for the past few years…

They are also at least PARITIALLY responsible for many gyms “cleaning up their image” in order to attract the “Soccor Moms” and the “Boomer Women” (a HUGE part of this market) that is being lost to the “Women-Only” market…

It’s American Capitalism at it’s best…find a niche and fill it…


The really sad thing is that after it doesn’t work as advertised, the duped clients will then go around telling everyone how “working out didn’t work” for them…

[Edited in a “day late/dollar short” attempt to avoid a bad hijack. Sorry.]

My wife loves Curves and lost over 30 lbs combining it with the weight watchers points system after she had the twins.

Her view of Curves is you only get out what you put in. The “machines” are hydraulic so if you push say 25 lbs at it it will push back a specific percentage say 90% so that the remaining 10% causes the movement. THe harder you push the harder it pushes back. You are supposed to work at the tempo of the music played, but nothing is keeping you from doing double time.

The machines do not give you a measure of force output that you can see or record. This way you dont kow if you are actually making strength gains or not.

There is now a franchise called “Bellie Busters” aimed at men using the same type of machines, music, and jogging in place mats. 2 are slated to open soon in my town.

[quote]TShaw wrote:
FYI: The founder of Curves donates substantially to anti-choice groups.

(Sorry if this takes the thread in other directions than you intended; I just found it interesting.)[/quote]

Oh, so there is something good about the company!

Anti-choice - Anti-murder. tomato/tomahto

Actually, “Curves” is right! If you train for just 30 minutes three times per week you can drop weight and get in good condition. The key, of course, is what you eat after you leave Curves (for the day). I think if they stepped up their nutrition counceling they would have more success.

The wife of a friend of mine was grossly overweight, so she signed up at Curves and about 8 months later she had lost 60lbs. I’m sure there are plenty of other success stories regarding this chain. or this “style” of chain.

What we all have to remember is that being a “fitness bigot” helps no one. Sure they soft peddle the theme: “you don’t have to train hard to succeed,” or whatever they say in their advertisements. That is good marketing, and it’s also true! Do you think that overweight middle aged women (their target market) can actually train hardcore T-Man style?

How do you think an overweight 45 year old woman would respond to the hardcore pitch: “Train until sweat pours into your eyes…at curves you get the nastiest hardcore workout…we won’t let you up for air until you are thin!” Ha ha…come on guys open your minds and lighten up.

Incidentally, I usually train for about 30 minutes at a time. Granted it’s all out and a little crazy, but to each his own!

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Anti-choice - Anti-murder. tomato/tomahto[/quote]



I?m pro choice?I choose life?

I agree any excercise is better than no excercise, and the fact that those women are getting in the gym and doing something is good. But it is still frustarating to watch. My girlfriend used to lift at Woman’s World (it was free), and she would come home commenting on the lack of effort most people had there. Most times she was only one using the dumbells or barbells.

I dont have a problem with women’s only gyms, as i cant go to them so they dont really affect me. What frustarates me is one of the local normal gyms introduced a “womens only” area. I just find it hard to comprehend that guys lifting heavier weights or grunting while putting forth some effort makes some women uncomfortable. I guess some people are really insecure.

I am lucky in that my gym doesnt cater to that crowd. Its a hardcore powerlifting gym or anything, but it has no juice bar/spa, etc. Just your basic free weights, machines, and some cardio equipment. As a result its cheap ($100 a year), and the only people that go there are the ones who are serious about lifting. If i couldnt find a gym like this i would probably get some sort of home setup.


I agree with zeb totally. Everyone seems to forget what we are here at the nation. We are the elite, we can and should run and lift circles around 90% of the population. The fact that these women are making a commitment, putting in a tad bit of effort to try and better themselves, makes them better than half the damn country to begin with. Who knows, maybe a year down the road these women will be ready to transition to a real gym and learn some more about training and nutrition. This baby step so to speak is a fine beginning point in my mind, and with proper support and influences in thier life, they will make progress and transition into even better situations as we all have.

I for one am going to continue this rant because someone inportant in my life goes to this “gym.” This important person is my wife. She fell right away for the gimmic of 3 times a week for 30 mintues and with guaranteed results. So I asked her if they gave her any direction as to what her diet should consist of and her answer was, I quote, “they have a recipe of the week ont he board.” I know that I would not eat the same thing for each meal, it just does not make sense.

So after attending this gym for about 6 months, she is the heaviest she has been in her life. Her last weigh in put her in tears and that sucks. I told her that diet is a major part of weight loss. You have to eat right to lose weight. She then wanted to know what to eat so I told her. Two days later she was eating like we never talked and she never cried.

So two days ago we probably had the biggest fight since we were married in May 2004. It was about dieting and exercise. She purchased some Atkins shakes and her plan was to have a serving for breakfast and lunch and a sensible dinner. Sounded like she was getting her diet information from a commercial. (Meanwhile I have tubs and tubs of Low-Carb Grow!, Surge, Powerdrive, etc. in the kitchen!)

I told her that it was a bad plan. You are making diets up on your own. You are not an expert. You are going to starve youself on this diet. That is going to make you feel like crap and really weak. And then you are going to fail. So she wanted to know when I became the diet expert. My response was that I read articles on T-Nation everyday and what do you do to research this topic? Nothing. I gave her the T-Nation website in the past and she never looked because she does not want to bulk up. Even though men try for years to put weight on, she thinks that she is going to become ripped if she lifts a weight! So I pointed her to another website…

I read a lot of stuff there and was pleasantly surprised.

So now her past two dinners included the following.

-Chinese food takeout, steamed chicken and brocolli and an egg roll
-Boneless pork chops in an EVOO and soy sauce mixture, with rice, no vegetables (she is not a fan of vegetables, except for corn, she LOVES corn). Then for dessert some “Low-carb” ice-cream.


So what’s my point? I support the OP and this is my personal example of how “Curves” sucks!


How can I get T-Nation info across to her? I try to lead by example and I get no response. When she is on the couch watching TV I read and read or exercise.

I have tried to get her to read some motivational information from Dan John and Charles Staley.

I think curves is a fine starting point. There will always be those who just go through the motions and ultimatley fail but then there will always be others who push themselves to succeed. It is too bad that these places dont teach their clients about proper nutrition but then those who are serious about lossing weight will research the material themselves. I didn’t need to find T-Nation to know how to eat. Most people know that eating processed foods and all that other shit that is easy to prepare is not the right way to eat. How many times did your Mom tell you to eat your veggies?

People know what is good for them and what is not. People also know that moderate exercise will induce favorable body compisition changes. Most people are just too damn lazy to do the things that they need to in order to maintain or attain a healthy body. Its a hell of a lot easier to order a pizza or to “cook” something from a box than it is to actually prepare something from quality ingredients. Its also a lot easier to sit on the couch than it is to go to the gym.

Machine, show her the recent pics of SicTorn and Equus in the picture forum. Show her Jana’s photos (do a search). If she wants to look like that, she needs to lift weights. But, only SHE can decide to do it (frustrating, I know). “How to Build a T-Vixen” is a good article if she wants to give it a shot. Good luck

About Curves, I find it very interesting that their TV commercials show lots of heavy women having a good time - not in shape women sweating… As others have said, even a baby step is good, but I fear a lack of results would make most give up.

Uh-oh. I feel this thread is going to change in a hurry.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Anti-choice - Anti-murder. tomato/tomahto[/quote]

I’m thinking about actually starting a chain that only has those rotating belts things that you put over your fat areas and just stand there while it rubs back and forth.

My view is that most people in the US are lazy and don’t want to accept responsibility for the way they are. That’s why there is so much sugar-coating (pardon the pun) of obesity these days. No one wants to look in the mirror and admit that they eat tremendous amounts of shit and do nothing but watch TV where all these “experts” are telling them that its not their faults because they have a hormonal imbalance or some other problem, that 9/10 times these problems are caused by the obesity rather than the cause.

On the flip side, there were news reports last week about the life-shortening effects of obesity (there’s a shocker). I heard this “expert” on the radio stating that in order to correct this problem, that people need to vigorously exercise for 60-90 minutes each day!!! Talk about discouraging someone from even starting!!! I only work out 3-4 times a week and I never go over 60 minutes per workout. Like ZEB said, you don’t have to work long if you bust your tail.

There’s my rant.


Machine, I agree with Jillybop. You’ve done all you can. It’s up to her. Maybe just leaving her alone for a while is the best thing to do. At some point she may decide to take your help & advice. Apparently she is not ready & may never be, as frustrating as that can be. If she shows some interest, let her know we are all here to encourage & help. Good luck & try to be patient.


[quote]machine514 wrote:

How can I get T-Nation info across to her? I try to lead by example and I get no response. [/quote]

Buy John Berardi’s book and DVD combo. Offer to either cook meals or help. This hopefully will get her diet in order to start. For exercise try walking, riding bikes etc. to start. Alot of women (and men for that matter) don’t naturally take to lifting weights. Go slowly and try to make exercise fun.

From what I understand, Curves even advertises that its members aren’t there to get especially trim. Isn’t their goal to be more of a social club, with some “fitness” thrown in?