SmallBiz: Women's gym focuses on goals and motivation

SmallBiz: Women's gym focuses on goals and motivation

April 27th, 2012 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

Joshua Michalski, co-owner of the Curves franchise on Gunbarrel Road, stands among the training machines at the center on Thursday.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Name: Curves

Location: 1408 Gunbarrel Road

Contact information: 423-893-1919,

Hours: Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to noon and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Products/services: Curves is a women's gym and exercise program where members get a full workout including warmup, strength and cardio training, cool down and stretching in 30 minutes. Members set goals when they join the gym. Those goals are tracked both electronically and by a trainer, who helps motivate exercisers through their routine. Members pay a variable down payment and then a $39 monthly fee.

Age: Curves has been in the Chattanooga area for years, but franchise owner Joshua Michalski overhauled the way his franchise location operates when he took over in February. He wanted to better motivate clients, and now makes sure they set clear goals when they join and always have a coach pushing them during workouts. "It's just being more thorough from beginning to end," he said.

Growth: Since taking over the franchise, Michalski has grown membership by 10 percent. He's done some advertising, but attributes most of the growth to word of mouth. "Referrals are the lifeblood of Curves," he said.

Future goals: The Gunbarrel Road Curves' membership now sits at about 110. Michalski hopes to grow that to around 300 by the end of the year. He expects his site will reach capacity at 500 members, a target he's aiming to hit by the end of 2013.

Why open a gym? Michalski was attracted to the Curves franchise because of the tangible health benefits he sees in clients. "In some cases, you're helping some women prevent diabetes and heart disease," he said. "It's incredibly rewarding."