Since its founding in 1992, Curves gyms have grown to a membership of 4 million women. Because so many women utilize Curves, some men may be feeling left out. But Curves has specifically designed a female-friendly environment that excludes males. As of publication, Curves is not open to male members.
The Harvard Business Review described Curves' concept as "cheap, fast exercise for women only, with no-frills spaces suited to middle-aged clients of average build." The idea behind this concept is to create an environment in which women feel comfortable exercising; to preserve this atmosphere, Curves does not allow men. They also do not have mirrors in their clubs and encourage women to dress comfortably, earning them the unofficial motto of "no makeup, no men and no mirrors."
Even if men could join Curves, they would likely not be well-served by the available equipment. According to the Curves website, much of the equipment is specifically designed for the typical female body. The website claims that "the Curves hydraulic equipment was designed for women and tested by physiologists and biomechanical engineers." Men would be better off in traditional gyms which, according to Curves, typically have equipment designed for men.
Although men cannot join Curves, some gyms do employ men. The hiring decisions are made by individual franchisees, some of whom are men. As Curves International explained, "Often times, these men are active business owners that have a passion for helping their members move toward a better state of health and fitness." In fact, one of the founders of Curves, Gary Heavin, is a man.
Curves for Men?
With the success of their all-female gyms, it begs the question: Will there ever be a Curves just for men? Curves has opted to focus its business solely on women for the time being as of 2013. According to a 2013 statement from Curves International, "Curves is totally devoted to meeting the fitness and weight loss needs of women across the country ... At this time, Curves does not plan to open facilities for men."