Long-term efficacy of women participating in the curves fitness and weight loss program
© Canon et al;licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 15 September 2010
The Curves fitness program involves a 30-minute circuit resistance-training program performed 3 days/week and an optional weight management program. While initial studies have shown this program to be highly effective (Nutri Metab 6/1/23, 2009), the long-term success rates of women participating in this program remains to be examined. This study examined the long-term efficacy of women participating in the Curves program from 6 months to 8 years on weight loss and maintenance.
Several long-time Curves franchise owners were invited to obtain consent from members of their clubs who had been a member for at least 6-months to participate in the study. Participants agreed to allow their weight and measurement member histories to be printed out and forwarded in an anonymous fashion to researchers. Member histories were examined to determine the amount, the time to peak weight and body fat loss (BIA), as well as length of time the weight loss was maintained. Participants were then stratified into length of involvement in the program as well as those who lost < 5%, 5-10%, and > than 10% body mass. Descriptive statistics were performed to determined percentage of members categorized by these groups. In addition, data were analyzed by ANOVA to examine differences among participants falling within these groups.
Data were analyzed on 235 participants who were members for 36.9±22 months, initially weighed 179±40 lbs, had a percent body fat of 38.6±6%, and participated in an average of 329±230 workouts. Mean peak weight loss was 13.5±12 lbs corresponding to a weight loss of 7.3±5% and a fat loss of 3.4±2.6%. The average time to peak weight loss was 9.0±11 months and weight loss was maintained an average of 10.4±13 months. Participants who were members for 6-12 months (9%) lost 8.7±6 lbs and 2.6±1.5% fat; 1-2 years (26%) lost 13.3±13 lbs and 3.3±2.8% fat; 2-3 years (23%) lost 11.1±9 lbs and 3.0±2.0% fat; and, >3 years (41%) lost 16.2±13 lbs and 3.8±3.0% fat. When categorized by magnitude of weight loss, 42% of the participants lost less than 5% body mass (3.2±1.2%), 35% lost 5-10% body mass (7.0±1.3%), and 23% lost > 10% body mass (15.3±5%). Participants in these groups lost 5.6±2.4, 12.2±3.5, and 29.8±14.3 lbs and 2.3±1.7, 3.3±2.3, and 5.3±3.4% fat, respectively. It took them 5.0±5, 9.1±9, and 15.9±16 months to achieve the weight loss and it was maintained for 6.4±9, 9.9±10, and 15.9±16 months. Overall, 29% of this cohort maintained weight loss for more than 1-year (20.2±16 lbs, 10.2±7% weight, 25.2±16 months [range 12 – 74 months]).
These findings support contentions that women following the Curves program are experiencing significant benefits in terms of weight loss and maintenance.
This study was supported by Curves International, Waco, TX.