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ACE First to Evaluate Curves® for Women - World's Most Popular Fitness Franchise

Posted: March 8, 2005 in ACE Press Releases

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Mar. 08, 2005) With more than four million female members and over 8,500 locations worldwide, Curves® for Women is the fastest growing franchise in U.S. history. In an exclusive study, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, commissioned researchers from the Exercise Physiology Department at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to determine the exercise intensity and number of calories burned in a typical Curves for Women workout.

Lead researchers Kristin A. Greany; John P. Porcari, FACSM; and Carl Foster, FACSM, tested 15 healthy women from two Curves locations in the greater La Crosse area (average age of 42). The heart rate and oxygen consumption of each participant was monitored as they participated in two complete Curves workouts.

The study found that the 30-minute Curves workout, including five minutes of stretching and cool-down, burns an average of 184 calories making it a good “moderate-intensity” workout for those who are not very active. The aerobic benefit of exercising at this intensity is equivalent to walking at a speed of four miles per hour on a level treadmill.

“At first glance, the results of the study suggest that the Curves workout offers modest training benefits because of the limited calories burned,” said Dr. Cedric X. Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. “However, this specifically-designed circuit workout does provide participants an effective aerobic training stimulus plus the added benefit of a total-body resistance training workout.”

Researchers did express some concerns about the Curves workout. The hydraulic resistance machines used in the circuit workout are not adjustable. Therefore, the machines may not perfectly fit some individuals causing them to sacrifice proper form. Women should also avoid the temptation to turn their Curves workouts into a social hour. Researchers noted some of the women in the study were more focused on chatting during their workouts than exercising.

Finally, not all Curves franchises are staffed with skilled fitness professionals and researchers feel Curves members may benefit from having their workouts supervised by more highly-trained individuals. Curves does offer basic fitness training for its franchise owners, however, that fitness knowledge may not effectively trickle down to individual franchise employees.

Complete study results appear in the March/April edition of ACE Fitness Matters magazine or on our Web site at http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/curves.cfm .

About ACE

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.

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Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 25 years, we have become an established resource for both fitness professionals and consumers, providing comprehensive, unbiased, scientific research impacting the fitness industry and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with 53,000 certified professionals who hold more than 59,000 ACE certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected fitness organizations in the industry and a resource consumers have come to trust for health and fitness education.