By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: Other | Issue: January 2007
Frannie Walden with “Curvaceous,” Curves’s exclusive line of workout gear.
In October of 2006, Curves celebrated the opening of their club number 10,000 and is now ranked the 9th largest franchise in the world. Its estimated membership to date includes more than four million women in all 50 United States and in 44 countries. Curves is ranked again and again as the Number 1 Fitness Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine and receives other honors from the same publication. Amazingly, Curves opened 6,000 of its locations in the span of seven years. This accomplishment is something that took McDonald’s 25 years to do.
Frannie Walden, new owner of both Broken Arrow Curves locations, has been involved with Curves since 1999 and has watched the company grow from 750 locations to its present number. “I worked as a Curves manager for six years and then I had the opportunity to buy these two locations,” Frannie relates. “I know the previous owners and so it was an easy transition.”
One of the big reasons for Curves phenomenal growth is its commitment to providing a complete 30 minute workout for women in a friendly and non-judgmental environment, using slogans like “no makeup, no mirrors” and “get fit and have a good time doing it” to describe the general atmosphere one can expect at any Curves location. The Curves workout includes a warm-up, cardio exercise, strength training, cool down, and stretching, all accomplished within a short amount of time, 30 minutes. This is extremely important for women, most of whom have extreme difficulty setting aside time for themselves. Frannie encourages women to look at self-care in an entirely different way. “At Curves, we’re about strengthening women physically and emotionally while building a sense of community,” she states. “Women are role models for their families. When moms make time for a healthy lifestyle, the family will usually follow.”
Most people have heard the old saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It was a belief in this philosophy that attracted Frannie to Curves in the first place. “I worked in the medical field and saw what happened to people who didn’t take care of themselves,” Frannie says. “I would rather keep people out of that cycle if I can.”
Frannie also notes that insurance companies are starting to realize that when clients take proper care of themselves it costs far less money in the long run. For this reason, more and more insurance companies are adding coverage for health club memberships. In fact, in 2005, Curves began a partnership with WholeHealth Network, an Axia Health Management Company and the nation’s largest complementary health and wellness company, to be the premier fitness provider for their covered benefits package.
In order to better help women in their quest toward better health, Frannie recently earned the The Cooper Institute Circuit Training and Weight Management Certification. This certification was specifically designed for Curves by The Cooper Institute, and focuses on kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, nutrition and weight management. In order to get the certificate, Frannie had to attend a week-long Curves franchise training program called Club Camp and complete college level courses in kinesiology, anatomy or physiology and in general nutrition.
“My skills as a weight management consultant have increased, and I am also able to better individualize programs for my members,” Frannie says. “I have more ability to effectively change our member’s lives, one person at a time, which is what this is all about.”