Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Screw you, Curves

Guess what? I'm taking part in an "Avon fitness study" at Curves!

You know - Curves for Women! No Judgement!

This study is a total gimmick, I know. I'm paying $30 to "participate in the largest fitness study ever undertaken." That's a bunch of bull. But I wanted something commitment-free that would force me to move these pathetic excuses for muscles.

Big mistake. I've been twice now, and here's my verdict: Curves is the creepiest place I have ever been in my entire life. It's up there with Wal-Mart, seriously. I pictured a nice little gym with weights and classes - you know, a normal gym, only without men staring at your jiggly bits.

Nope. Maybe the rest of the world knew this (and to be fair, I think my mom did try to warn me) but Curves only offers the "30-minute workout" for "women's busy schedules."

("Can you squeeze four 30-minute workouts into your busy schedule?" consultation lady asked me, without enthusiasm. Yup, I replied, I'm pretty sure I can squeeze that in.)

Well, here's how THAT'S going.

When you walk into Curves, you see a bunch of machines set up in a circle with flat padded boards between each one. The drill is, you work out on a machine for 30 seconds, then hop onto the "recovery boards," where you must run in place or dance like an asshole for another 30 seconds. Then you jump on the next machine, and so on, like a spastic, sweaty hamster.

How do you know when 30 seconds is up, you ask? Well, there's a voice that tells you over the loudspeaker, in a much-welcome break from the INCESSANT, MIND-FUCKINGLY AWFUL MUSIC. The '50s-inspired soundtrack at Curves is kicked into hyperdrive by a synthesizer and back beat, giving the place the feel of an '80s gay dance club for geriatrics.

Speaking of geriatrics, you'd think everyone there would be old, but they're not. Most I've seen are in their 30s and 40s - and I've seen a couple young'uns like myself - although it's hard to tell their actual age because we try very hard not to make eye contact.

Oh - and did I mention that for the first four visits, you're one-on-one with a trainer? "Trainer" isn't exactly the right word, because they don't know anything, but they do stand silently in front of you the whole time to ensure that you both feel as stupid as possible.

To add insult to injury, I made the mistake of reading the Wikipedia entry on Curves. Not only was the franchise founded by a man, but "Today's Christian" quoted him saying that he donates to pro-life pregnancy care centers.

Son of a bitch, Curves. Give me my $30 back.


Tim said...

From what I know, every curves has a Dunkin' Donuts next too it...does yours? I think it's a franchise requirements. Keeps the fatties coming back all the time. I bet you burn a whopping 50 calories in your 30 minute work out.

I'm proud of you for getting active!

Sarah said...

Ha. No, we don't even have Dunkin' Donuts out here - but there is a mean little taqueria next door. And yes, I have followed up a workout with a Super Quesadilly Suiza.

Anonymous said...

Wow - dancing in between stations?? That does sound lame unless they're going to encourage that by serving alcoholic smoothies or something. - Mel