Curves Celebrates 25 Years of Empowering Women to Live Healthy Lives

By Heidi Campbell

Every town has its share of workout facilities, and each gym has its own unique character. One of the most unique programs, located in Snellville, is Curves. Nestled in the Fountain Square shopping center off Highway 78, Curves is unique because it combines strength training with balance and community to encourage members to live a healthy life. The research-based approach works to prevent chronic illnesses, manage pain, build immunity, increase blood circulation, and improve emotional health. Curves is not new to the world of fitness; in fact, in September, Curves celebrates its 25th birthday.

The Snellville Curves location, owned by mother-daughter-in-law team Margie and Jennifer Maxey, is eager to participate in the 25th birthday excitement. On September 28th, Curves will work with Record Setter to set a world record for the World’s Largest Global Birthday Party. “We are excited to share in this excitement!” says Margie. “We plan to contact the Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor, and as many people as possible to participate in breaking the record.”

Curves, an international company, was founded in Harlingen, TX by Gary and Diane Heavin. Gary’s mom, who died prematurely when he was 13, inspired him to get into the business of taking care of women. The business, with slogans like “Curves strong” and “No men, no make-up, and no mirrors,” is a place where women can find support for not only fitness goals, but health and nutrition as well. Curves was sold five years ago to the investment group North Castle Partners, which also purchased Jenny Craig one year later. “Our goal is for everyone to eat better and live better,” says Margie. “We are truly passionate about women’s health and want them to be stronger longer. We understand that, as women, so much more is expected of us. We continue to ‘go’ until we close our eyes at night. We remind women that it is okay to take thirty minutes for themselves. It is actually beneficial to your family because it reduces your stress, keeps your mind sharper, and provides you with more energy.”

The Curves circuit is specially designed for women and provides a complete total body workout in just thirty minutes. There are twelve stations and these stations make up a series of movements designed to maintain an elevated heart rate through both high and low intensity activities. Thirty seconds are spent on a machine, followed by thirty seconds on a recovery board where members dance, run, or walk in place. The twelve machines build glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, back, oblique, shoulders, chest, and biceps, just to name a few. Jennifer explains, “It takes thirty seconds to fatigue a muscle and ninety seconds to recover those muscles before working them again. Once the workout is over, members move on to the stretching circuit to improve flexibility and range of motion, as well as decrease soreness and promote joint integrity. Stretching after your workout can also increase lean muscle up to 19%!”

Margie and Jennifer never planned to be co-owners of a fitness facility, but in 2012, when the opportunity was presented, they did not hesitate. After remodeling and expanding twice, they finally have the facility the way they want it. “It is a gym, but we want it to have a spa feel,” explains Margie. “We have created what we would look for in a gym, from the bathrooms to the carpet and towels. It is a gym, but it’s a women’s gym, and we like things to look and feel a little different than a men’s gym.”

The Snellville Curves offers a variety of options for becoming a member, including a month-to-month plan or a twelve-month plan. The program also accepts “Wellness” through the insurance companies, and has over two hundred members benefiting from this coverage. The most comprehensive plan is the Curves Complete, which includes fitness, nutrition, and coaching. All memberships include numerous video-led classes. With video- led classes, the coaches are able to be on hand to ensure members are doing all the movements safely and correctly. They not only advise members about their weight and nutrition, but offer vitamin packs called “Essentials to Go,” which include multivitamins, daily doses of calcium, and Omega-3 supplements. According to Margie, “They are designed to enhance members’ success and fill in any nutritional gaps. We have members and employees who swear these vitamins increase their energy level and general sense of wellbeing.”

Margie and Jennifer enjoy keeping their business involved in local events, fundraisers, and projects. They participate in numerous health fairs for schools and churches. They also partner with Chick-fil-A to help with community events, and have done everything from manning the cotton candy machine to supervising bouncy houses and spin art. Each year they host an Angel Tree to benefit the Amanda Riley Foundation, which is a local charity that raises money to support children battling cancer.

Exciting deals and activities happen each month where they offer teacher and military discounts. September, the 25th birthday month, has some amazing special offers in the works. In October, they will host a Potluck dinner to inform guests about Breast Cancer Awareness. November and December are filled with serving the needs of struggling community members through can drives and angel trees. They also have some exciting events planned for future Fridays, including “Sassy 60s” and “Sizzling 70s” where everyone dresses for the decade and works out to music of the era.

Not all gyms are created equal. Curves is a service-oriented place that focuses on what people can do rather than what they cannot. “Our approach is so supportive,” explains Jennifer. “One of our members had stage three esophageal cancer. She came in and worked out as often as possible. She wore her Curves shirt that said ‘I can and I will’ to each chemo and radiation treatment. She’s been cancer free for almost two years now. We have had other members who were able to work out throughout their entire struggle with breast cancer. If their physician will allow them to work out, we will modify the workout as needed and encourage them to stay active.”

Curves is a place where members are encouraged to build their confidence and become empowered, healthy women. “This is a community,” says Margie. “People meet here and become friends here. We want members to feel at home here. They know we are invested in them. We laugh with them and cry with them. Many of our members say Curves saved their lives!”

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