As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Former gymnast and avid downhill skier Julie Ralston stumbled across CrossFit while searching for an exercise routine that would motivate her mind and push her body to the pinnacle of fitness. After achieving her CrossFit certification, attending countless seminars, and co-founding CrossFit StumpTown in Portland, Ralston developed a training technique suitable for customers of any body type, age, or level of ability. Her program offers increasingly challenging reps of lunges, sprints, throws, and lifts, backed up by the positive vibes and friendly support of a community of like-minded athletes. Visitors to the 4,700-square-foot gym won't find treadmills or weight machines, but kettlebells for swinging, pull-up bars for intense upper-body conditioning, and enough open space to halter-break a horse and train it to love CrossFit.