Women find strength through community and workouts at Curves

Leslie Hanes

When Leslie Hanes’ husband passed away 15 years ago, the ladies at Curves sent her flowers.

“I got more support there…what gym sends you flowers? That’s the kind of community that I found,” she said.

Soon after that the club came up for sale, and she bought it, despite already running Discovery Trekking from her home.

“It was kind of crazy,” she said.

Originally, the club was located in Willow Point, but when the old plaza got torn down and replaced Hanes had to move.

She bought her current building, at 919 Ironwood Road, and renovated it to house Curves, Jenny Craig and Discovery Trekking.

Curves is a women’s only gym. The 30 minute workout circuit features alternating upper and lower body exercises and is the same at Curves locations all over the world. The machines use hydraulic resistance, so there is no adding or removing weights for a harder or easier workout, it all depends on how hard they push the machine.

“The whole circuit gives you a complete cardio and strength training all in one,” Hanes said. “It’s very safe.”

Each machine is also outfitted with a computer of sorts. The system is called Curves Smart, each member has a key tag that they insert into the computer that has stored all of the data from their previous workouts. The computer gives signals when participants aren’t pushing as hard as you should be, and it raises goals as they are met, like having a personal coach on each machine with you.

The Campbell River location is unique to the Curves franchise.

Hanes said that because the focus is around the 30-minute, quick in, quick out, workout, that other facilities often don’t have change rooms and showers, but all of those services are available in Campbell River.

Hanes insists that the Curves workout isn’t just for retired women. If calorie burning is what you are after, Hanes said that you can burn up to 500 calories doing a single half hour workout. There is a coach on the circuit at all times to assist, encourage and celebrate as each member completes their workout. And if you don’t show up, the staff at Curves will call you to see what’s going on and encourage you to come back.

“We found that people quit very easily, they give up if they don’t have a goal,” Hanes said. “So we have to be invested in that goal with them and take responsibility for their success.”

With the success of her members in mind, Hanes has kept the doors of her club open even when it wasn’t financially viable. Though it is now, she said she continues to make tough business decisions, whether it be cutting hours or whatever, so that the business remains sustainable. And so far it is working out.

“I just love it,” she said.

Hanes isn’t only looking after her members, she is also supporting local businesses in the community.

Once a week she has a home business set up a table, for free, on location. She has a bulletin board advertising for small businesses in the community, as well as a table of their business cards.

“We try to just build relationships with other businesses to help each other grown and keep business in Campbell River,” she said.