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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Should I Join Curves or YMCA?

I'm unsure of whether I should get a membership at the local Curves or YMCA.

Curves is for women only, and is circuit training. In the main room, there is circle of various exercise machines with rest points in between each. You work on each space for 30 seconds and then move to the next, continuing until you've used each machine in the room and then you stretch. Curves recommends this 30 minute workout 3x a week, but you can come in as often as you like. There's a March special here that will take off the new member fee with a bag of food (for donation), then you pay $36/month automatic withdrawal for a year.

YMCA is co-ed and has multiple group workouts (including step aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, etc) throughout the day. These group workouts are 45 min to 1 hour long each. There's also a pool (can join group workouts or swim alone at designated times). There's also the option of a personal trainer for an additional fee. The up-front annual cost is $165 (college student rate).

Out of these two exercise centers, which would you recommend? Joining either, I would try my best to workout at least 3x a week. There's probably more variety at the YMCA, but Curves is a smaller group, therefore probably more close-knit. I'm not sure which organization I'd get the most out of (as far as weight-loss and enjoyment).

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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I guess it depends on what your exercise history and preferences are. I'm a self-starter and will go to work out no matter who's there or whether they're male or female. I just do my own workout and they do theirs. Some people prefer having it be exclusively female. I think if you're going for the exercise, not for the companionship, you'll find the Y is a better draw. (And you'll find plenty of other women to talk to at the Y too.)

The Y also has a greater variety of options. I've heard Curves is good as a beginning routine, but as you stick with exercise you're going to need to find new and different things to do (or you'll get bored and stop working out). Also, with the types of machines and free weights you'll find at the Y, you can control the difficulty of your workouts more.

Curves around my area have also closed up shop. I don't think the Y ever has.

I guess you can tell which one I recommend, huh?
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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I say YMCA.

Curves is good if you have never exercised before, for about 3-6 months. But by then your body will have adjusted to the unchanging routine, and you wont progress anymore.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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They both have benefits. You have to decide what's best for you. I chose Curves because i'm not quite ready to go to a gym where the guys are. I also think I get a very good work out at Curves. You get out what you put in. I just didn't think I would be confortable working out in front of guys at this point.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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I say the Y. I'm a member there and there's always something new to do with the range of machines. There's cardio machines I've never even heard of before there hahaha. And weight rooms and the classes are super nice. I'ma be going to a fresh start free weight class in march to learn all that stuff. And yoga and stuff... there's a lot to do. I'm not really fond of the pool though... like for working out. The one I go to is kinda small... but they have a hot tub! And I will so be using that when I feel good enough in a bathing suit hahaha.

So my biased opinion is the Y! :]
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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You could probably get a free 1 week trial at each to test them out and see what you like better!! I did.

I personally like YMCA better because the classes are so mch fun, everyones different ages, sizes, and personalities. It's a really nice feel, very welcoming. I dont feel weird sweating or wearing no makeup and even though Im slow at the classes everyone is at different levels and im not embarrassed at all (usually am).

With Curves I do like it, but it got boring for me quick with th repitition.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thank you for the comments, everyone

I'd be going to work out, not socialize. I wish I had a workout buddy, because its hard to stick to a workout by myself. But I think after investing (membership fees), I'll be more likely to stick with it. I don't think it matters if the group workouts are co-ed; I think they'll be mostly women and most of the instructors are women as well. I got a freebee week from the Y last year, but never got up the membership funds..

Thank you for your input, everyone

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Old 02-26-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
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The Y for sure. I belong to our local Y in Idaho and I just love the community of it. I don't know if you have kids, but it is a great place to take them. I am a stay-at-home mom, and it is a nice little treat to be able to have their daycare watch my son and then after my workout I take him swimming. I got a great deal because they adjust the price to your taxes if you need a little help. I have belonged to the Y, Gold's, 24-Hour Fitness, and the Y is by far the best. My aunt runs a Curves as a manager, and she looks great. I just think it would get old really quick. I would also feel claustrophobic. I love the spaciousness of a huge gym. I plan when to go when it is least busy, but even if it is at it's busiest, I can get some machine or run around the indoor track or swim. Curves is just circuit training, I believe; right? Another thing about the local Y here is they have a huge rock climbing wall. I love that. We climb all the time, and it's going to be great when I son is a little older.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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If you are having trouble coming up with the money, the YMCA is a nonprofit and they have scholarship funds available so that everyone can join. Ask your Y for a scholarship application, it is usually a sliding fee scale type of thing.

So I'd recommend the Y over curves, just for that reason alone.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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I've met a ton of people at the Y in the group classes its been great because we motivate each other. Also in the general fitness area, the more I've gone the more friends I've made with other regulars. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:31 AM   #11
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Are there any other gyms in your area besides the two?

I've found a Planet Fitness in my area (the website to check if there's one around you). I've never been part of any other gym so I can't speak of others, but I highly recommend this one to anyone. It's 19.99/month for a membership, no startup fee, and an annual rate in June or July of something like $30. I don't remember offhand. It's co-ed, so if you're uncomfortable working out around the opposite sex there is that, but it doesn't bother me. There are people there of all ages and sizes, so I don't feel like "Ugh I'm the fat one here". (And it's pretty damn inspiring to see a 90 year old man walking on the treadmill next to you.)

They have a 30 minute circuit area, a bunch of treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, different weight machines, and the standard weight area. Oh, and a FitP3/TV hookup on the equipment so you can watch TV while you work with 10 (I don't know if that varies...) stations playing the common favorite stations so you can watch TV while you workout if you want but not be stuck watching "the crap" that's on the one TV.

Oh, and as a member of PF you also get unlimited (abiding by state laws) tanning room use and massage chair use, and you can bring a guest with you every day for free. (It can be the same guest every day and they wont ask questions at all.)

By the way, in case you couldn't tell - I love my gym.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:38 AM   #12
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Anytime Fitness is the only other option here (besides Curves and YMCA).

I'd probably do better at Curves or the Y since the workouts are more organized. I have a hard time working out alone, so YMCA's scheduled group workouts or Curves' 3x/week recommended would probably help me.

My college also has a fitness room with equipment you can use, but this would be more like Anytime Fitness.. you go in and workout alone. Also, there are usually guys in there most of the time. I would feel more comfortable in the presence of males at the Y, because in group workouts, I'd be instructed on what to do.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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hm, this has given me a lot of information! i might have to look into the YMCA myself if they have gym, classes, AND daycare
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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I vote YMCA, but it depends on your fitness level & the Curves in your town. I have been a member of a great Curves and I have been a member of a crappy Curves. If you chose Curves, see about a 6 month membership - you will outgrow & grow bored of the routine over time.
After my Curves adventure I joined a regular gym and really loved all the different options & classes available - more bang for your buck!
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:56 PM   #15
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Yeah, I loved the Y in our area -- great equipment, lots of classes (I never went to any, but they looked good), lots of helpful trainers, and a really reasonable price. The best part was the day care though -- it used to be free (!) for an hour and a half a day (!!!), but then they had to charge a "usage fee" of $25.

A YEAR.

(Cries softly to herself)

I stopped going there only because they didn't have a good pool (good for laps, not for playing), and my kids had gotten old enough they needed a pool they could play in. But while they were really little, it was *perfect*.
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