As the manufacturers of the PACE non-franchise hydraulic exercise program (www.pacegroupexercise.com), we enjoyed a great deal of success in helping thousands of women open their own independent non-franchise clubs back in the late 90's and early 2000's as the Curves for Women phenomenon swept the country. What most of these Curves franchisees did not know is that the original Curves club in Harlingen, TX, had our PACE equipment and that Gary Heavin once sold PACE equipment. They bought into the claim that Curves invented hydraulic exercise equipment and developed the concept of circuit training. Those wise independents who did their homework found out differently and did not get locked into a franchise cookie-cutter formula.
We are now enjoying renewed success as hundreds of Curves clubs are closing across the country leaving employees and members in the lurch. We have recently had a surge of former Curves employees and members buy our PACE circuit training program instead of buying the club closing. There are apparently MANY disgruntled Curves franchisees out there (see http://www.franchisepick.com/is-curves-for-women-a-good-franchise-investment/) who feel that Curves violated their franchise agreement by oversaturating the market and their lack of support.
We who have been around the fitness industry for awhile see the downfall of Curves as inevitable given their nonadjustable equipment. Members are told to "push faster", but let's face it; a 50-60 year old woman can only push so fast in 30 seconds. Eventually, virtually 100% of Curves members will hit a plateau- that is when they get frustrated and bored- and start dropping out. I have heard many stories of how a Curves club once had 300-400 members when they first opened, then they dropped down to 50. Anyone in the fitness industry knows that in order for someone to continue to enjoy results, you must increase the resistance, intensity, duration or frequency as well as adding variety into a program.
Does the fact that Curves close are closing at an alarming rate indicate there is no need for these types of clubs any longer? Hardly. There will always be out of shape ladies who are too intimidated with the larger coed clubs; especially as the baby boomers age. Those 300-400 ladies who were once members of a Curves may still be looking for a club- one that will offer superior equipment and a variety of equipment and services.
The entrepreneurs who invest in a business that fills a need during tough times are those that will be leaders of the pack as the economy improves. We invite anyone interested in more information to call our toll free number 888-604-2244 or visit www.pacegroupexercise.com.