Exercise! - Pros of Curves vs. Ballys?

View Full Version : Pros of Curves vs. Ballys?

07-27-2004, 01:17 PM
Hey all, I have a Ballys membership that I don't use! Hee- yes I know, naughty me. The trouble is, that driving home and getting into the gym - there are so many people there that I have to wait to use stuff.

I don't really wanna pay for two memberships, but if Curves can get me in and focused more so than Bally's I'd be willing to consider it.

Got about 50lbs I wanna lose, am working on a diet plan (Not doing so well yet) and wanting to get both fit and toned, on top of losing weight. I used to be fit, but now things I used to enjoy doing leave me feeling fatigued and upset. I want to run without feeling like it's a huge effort to move my body from point A to point B.

Can you guys share some of the things that have really sold (or swayed) you from Curves?

07-27-2004, 01:51 PM
These are the cons I've heard of Curves. It's a really good gym for beginners - but once you start to get in better shape, Curves has very little to offer in the way of variety for your workout. I guess it gets boring. I don't belong to Curves because I like working with free weights, so take my second-hand comments lightly. I'm sure others will have better advice for you.

I have heard that Bally's is very crowded everywhere and that it's basically like a meat market. I haven't been to one, but that's enough to keep me from joining.

Do you have any other options in your area besides Curves and Bally's?

Hey -I just saw that you live in the Chi-town burbs. I have a friend who lives in da Heights. I don't know how far that is from you, but she's a member of a gym that is neither a Curves nor a Bally's. I could find out for you if you like.

Anyway, good luck with your search.


07-27-2004, 05:41 PM
I go to Bally's and have been a member for 4 years or so. I have been to about 6 different Bally's gyms. I don't have a problem with it being crowded and I never had to wait for a machine. I tend to avoid their peak times which are around 5pm and Mondays are the worst. When I go on Saturday and Sunday, there are like 5 people there and me. I have made it a habit to go around 6pm or later (unless it is Monday, then I go around 7:30 or later) because I really hate when there are a lot of people.

I'm not sure if it is different at the particular gym you go to, but you could try going at different times of the day and try out the different days and see how it is. Also, if you have a different Bally's near you, you could try that one. I love Bally's though and if you are already paying for that, maybe you should try to see if you can work around the peak time schedule?

07-28-2004, 12:54 PM
I had a bad experience with Curves. I like the fact that it's small and casual, and most of the people exercising there are moderately overweight to quite overweight.. It's good to see "real" people exercising with you. Sure, that's all good but..

The thing I didn't like was that it was boring and the music was horrible. This could have been just my Curves. We listened to the worst elevator music imaginable, and they didn't want us using headphones cuz they could "tangle with the equipment." We had something like 16 machines, and all of these were strength machines. You get your "aerobics" from jogging on a pad for a minute. The music is one thing - it's just 30 minutes, but they wouldn't let me come in for more than 3 times a week. I don't know if this is a Curves policy or if my local Curves was just cheap.

I guess if the Curves is directly on the way home from work, it might be ok, but I didn't like it because I had to not only drive way out of my way for it, but even though I worked there 30 min/3 times a week, I saw no weight or inches change. I felt like I needed more aerobics or something.

It could be just me though. I've never tried Bally's, they don't have those here. :(

07-28-2004, 01:06 PM
The thing with most "popular" gyms like Bally's and 24 hour fitness is that they are generally cheaper than others because they rely on the fact that people will buy memberships and not visit the gym after a couple months. That is why these gyms also have a peak around January/February which drops off and goes back to the normal regulars. The only bad experience that I've ever had at a gym is 24 hour fitness because I have been to a couple different ones in different cities/states and they are always crowded no matter what time you go (except maybe 2am). If you are looking for a gym that has more "serious" people all the time and doesn't really rely on people quitting, there are quite a few specialty gyms out there but they are generally more expensive and they have limited locations. I love the gym, I think it is great and I attribute it to a good deal of my weight loss now and in the future.

I have heard of mixed reviews of Curves though I have never been to one. I walked by one once and I saw what the people were doing and I wasn't really impressed though I really like doing my own thing.

07-28-2004, 01:13 PM
OK I've never been to Curves because I'm a guy. I've gone to Bally's for three years and lost 180lbs. It isn't heaven, it isn't a meat market, it's a gym. Plain and simple. It's like anything else in life, it's what you make of it. You can waste your money or you can use the gym to it's potential. They have services that if you take advantage of will help you. If you wait for therm to beg you to do it, you'll be waiting a long time. Monday nights are busy becuse everybody goes out on weekends and wants to look better than who they saw on Saturday night. Saturday mornings are busy because everybody is off. Go,check one out, make up your own mind.

07-28-2004, 02:18 PM
Jack, I figured Ballys was always busy on Monday because people slacked off exercising on the weekend and wanted to make up for it, silly me ;) No seriously though, I think the weekends are a great time there because of the slackers! (Or maybe the people with lives other than work, gym, home)

07-28-2004, 03:21 PM
Gotta second Jack on Ballys. I walked in my Ballys three years ago, weighing 257 pounds. Whereupon I realized that I had NO IDEA about what I was doing and signed up for five weeks of personal training. I told myself that I would do exactly my trainer told me to do -- weights, cardio, nutrition -- for five weeks, no questions, no whining, no complaining. I figured that I could survive anything for five weeks! :lol:

At the end of the first four weeks (we did measurements every four weeks), I had lost 16 pounds, 1.5" off my waist, 2" hips and 3.5" from my thighs! I'll bet you can guess that I decided to keep on going! So I kept working with the trainer and got the rest of the weight off in slightly less than a year.

Walking into a "real" gym at 257 pounds was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I never got anything but kindness, respect, and encouragement there. My Ballys is so far from a meat market that it isn't even funny. It's just a lot of real people, working to improve themselves. I'm still there every day in order to maintain my weight loss. :)

Like Jack said, every gym's different -- take some time and visit them at the times that you'd use them. Don't worry about image or steoretypes and definitely don't be concerned about what other people will think of you (like I was) -- I guarantee that anyone who notices you will only think positive thoughts because you're at the gym and not home on the couch with the Doritos. :D

07-28-2004, 06:29 PM
I'm gonna third Bally's over Curves. I don't go to a Bally's, but I go to Crunch, which is owned by the same company. While I've never been to Curves, my co-workers have, so I can pass on my perceptions based on what they said.

The biggest downfall with Curves is that it's not very flexible. Like people have said, it's good for beginners (and probably easier, given that more overweight people feel comfortable there), but people at my work have described the workouts at Curves as way too easy. At Crunch, I have the option to work out on a myriad of cardio machines, do free weights, use the weight machines, take classes, and even get a trainer if I want.

I joined Crunch 3 months ago, and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I was so nervous the first day I felt sick, but once I got there, I realized that everyone there was focused on his/her OWN body, not mine. And like Meg said, I always felt defiant, anyway, like, "at least I'm HERE, dammit!!!!"

So, my advice would be to screw up your courage and join Bally's. If I can do it, anybody can!

08-03-2004, 09:10 AM
I am new here and the best way to introduce yourself is to just jump in and start talking. So here goes.
Bally's is probably the best out of the two. You do not have much of a change at Curves. It is just a regular routine. It is not something that you can really change up to enjoy. Also you are limited as to the length of time you are able to work out. So if you wanted to work a little more, you can't do that.
Bally's also has a pool, sauna, hot tub, specialty classes etc. I don't think Curves has any of those. At least the ones I checked into didn't.
To be honest I joined Bally's cause they had that special of $19 down, $19 a month. Granted I could only go three days a week, but I felt that it was best for me at the time to just start off that way. I was worried it was going to be a meat market with the thin women with silicone breasts and men with biceps as big as my thighs, but it wasn't like that at all. Granted yes there are some of those people there, but there were also alot of older individuals, overweight individuals, average individuals. All there for the same thing, to get healthier or to stay healthy. The people there were all very friendly, and I think went out of their way to make me feel comfortable, knowing that I probably feared being there. I will be excited when I can go back and start working out again. I haven't been able to go in about 2 months and that bugs me. But as soon as I have the doctors ok, I am there.

Taste the Rainbow, Be the Rainbow

08-06-2004, 06:12 PM
I've had a number of clients who have been to Curves, Ballys, and a variety of other gyms. Curves fits a several specific workout types. The first would be the beginner, the second is a woman who prefers to not work out in a gym where there are men and there is no other option, third convenience sake - there is one across the street, on the way home or you can walk to it easily. Curves is very basic and they stick to a formated routine. This routine has worked for many people. People begin to lose interest if they desire to expand their workout beyond this routine.

Bally's is equal to Crunch is equal to any other full access gym. A full service gym like these has MANY options as to how to achieve your fitness goals, including a formatted machine routine (if that is what YOU choose). Most full service gyms will attempt to get you into program that works for YOU. At a FSG you have more of a variety of cario equipment, weight equipment, free-weights, and classes are usually included. Most FSGs have personal trainer's (ensure they are nationally certified) who are hired to perform the task of assisting people in achieving their fitness goals utilizing all methods available. The tendency is to work harder and smarter at a FSG.

I don't discount Curves or that type of workout facility as they do serve a purpose, however I recommend a FSG if you want to see more substantial results. And, I agree with everyone else in that you need to work outside of the peak times if you choose to stay with Bally's.

08-07-2004, 02:56 PM
Just a little bit of helpful info that curves doesn't tell you....

Right now in my area anyway it costs 149.00 registration fee. It's on sale for 75.00. If you buy a two month gift certificate it costs 99.00 plus tax and that INCLUDES the registration fee!! That makes it only 41.00!! Then if you decide to join for a year it's only 29.00 a month. Big way to save some bucks just thought I'd share that.


08-07-2004, 08:23 PM
There is a womens only gym here in Denver that is offering a curves type exercise routine and you can be a member of the gym as well so you can use other facilities if you have more than 30 minutes. I am just noting that because it is possible that other gyms could have that as well and probably womens only gyms would be a big provider of such a service.

08-14-2004, 12:31 PM
I had a really bad experience at a Bally's gym, and even though I tried them again, it wasn't any better the second time. The membership coordinator told me the price (at the time I was a first year teacher, and making about $24K per year, and that wasn't very much in 1996 in Baltimore!). I knew I didn't have the $35 a month they wanted, and I was really shy about joining anyway. This is pre-endocrine disorder, and pre-ankle injury, so I was at my thinnest then. Overweight, yes, but only about 40 pounds. I walked, and what I wanted really was a pool... my apartment complex didn't have one and there weren't any public ones near where I lived in Maryland. I also chased after my special education students. ;)
Anyway, the membership coordinator told me bluntly that the price wasn't too much to spend given that I'd lose weight which I really needed to do. I was horribly embarrassed, and walked out never to return. I called their corporate office and complained, but they didn't do anything. I tried another Bally's in the area, and received pretty much the same response.
The gym I finally joined when I came back to the Baltimore area is run by a local hospital and while the personal trainers aren't the best (and I can't afford that anyway!), the swim instructors are really good, and the people who work on the exercise floor are always available to show you how to use a machine. In between, I was a member of a local rec center where I swam, and a private pool, plus the pool that my students went to for Special Olympics. I liked the rec center. But I really like the gym I'm with now.

08-15-2004, 04:21 PM
I went to check out my local Curves, and I didn't even make it in the door. One look at the very limited hours of operation was enough to tell it's not for me.

08-15-2004, 06:59 PM
I use to belong to a woman's gym and they had all the equipment (smaller which was awesome), great personal trainers, but their hours just sucked big time like 0600-2100 Monday through Friday, and 0900-1800 on the weekends. Couldn't work it. Tried 24-Hour Fitness and it was just too over stimulating. Gold's was not clean. I was blessed with a small gym in my apartment complex. It has free weights (up to 70 lbs), a bench, about 15 different weight machines including Lat Pulldown and Leg Press, and of course treadmills, ellipticals, and a bike. This is an option for someone living in the city, therehas tobe more apartments like this. And it was great that I hada personal trainer before so I felt comfortable working out, but there are some awesome books out therelike BFL and Ironman that show proper form, talk about nutrition, and how to come up with a training program.

Just my 2 cents.