Jackson BellFor the members of Curves, a...

Jackson Bell

For the members of Curves, a women-only fitness center that recently

opened, less is more.

Instead of sweating at a gym for a couple of hours, Curves


provides a concentrated but highly effective 30-minute workout,

employees said.

“It’s fast, fun fitness,” said Kim Shreve, owner of the Burbank



That, she suspects, is why the annual franchise survey conducted

by “Entrepreneur Magazine,” ranked Curves as the fastest-growing

franchise of any kind. It beat out such big-league stalwarts as

Subway, 7-Eleven,and Taco Bell.

With more than 5,000 franchises throughout North and South

America, Europe and Australia, Shreve contributed to the upgrowth by

opening the Burbank location Feb. 3. She also said prospective owners

are shopping for another site in northwest Burbank.


The workout consists of eight machines and rest stations aligned

in a circle that members use in intervals. This exercise strategy,

Shreve said, emphasizes the phases of warming up, aerobic activity,

strength training, flexibility and cooling down.

“The workout works every large muscle in the body,” she said.

Founded a decade ago by Texan fitness trainer Gary Heavin, the

franchise has exploded in popularity the past few years. Locations

have sprouted up in Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, Sherman Oaks and


Valley Village, to name a few.

A major reason for its success, Shreve said, is that it couples a

warm social environment with encouragement and support.

“We want to help our members reach their goals,” she said. “We’ll

even call you on the phone if we don’t see you in a couple of weeks.”

And that inviting atmosphere is what attracts member Jeannette

Anderson and her daughter, Brittany.

“It’s nice because it’s all women and there is a tremendous

diversity in age from young girls to seniors,” she said.

The cost is $39 a month with a one-time support fee of $149,

factoring in several promotions that reduce the price.