At Curves, women feel the burn

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

STAYING FIT: Curves members participate in the body basic class, one of the many services offered at the club in Picayune. Photo by Ashley Collins


Women can fulfill their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle at Curves of Picayune. Thursday, laughter and music filled the air as members participated in a body basic class led by Sandi Farmer, the club’s manager and owner, and circuit coach Kristie Fail.

Farmer started out as a Curves member hoping to lose weight in 2005 before purchasing the weight loss center in 2011.

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“All I did was workout before and it really helped me recover from an injury I got at work,” Farmer said. “As far as running Curves, I was a clean slate from the beginning and had to learn as I go.”

Five years later, Farmer can’t imagine not running the only workout center in Picayune catering exclusively to women. Originally from New Orleans, Farmer moved to Picayune in 1979. When she purchased the business, she turned it into a family affair.

She said her husband, Fred Smallwood, is her maintenance employee.

“He’s my jack-of-all-trades, like if anything goes wrong with the sound equipment, he fixes it,” Farmer said.

Curves is a facility designed for women that features a 30 minute workout that Farmer said is “fun, fast and safe.”

During her first appointment with a prospective member, Farmer gives a tour of the facility, which includes 12 cardio machines featuring hydraulic cylinders, which provide resistance to the user when it’s pushed or pulled. The machines are designed to offer members a circuit-style workout.

“Each member stays on the machine for 30 seconds and when the automated voice tells them to move on, they step on a board beside the machine, where they cool down before going on the next machine,” Farmer said. Each member goes around the circuit twice for a complete workout and can burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes. Farmer encourages members to workout at the club three times a week in order to see results.

Besides circuit training, the club also offers group classes. On Tuesday and Thursday, the club hosts a body basic class—targeting the arms, legs and core— and a body balance class on Monday at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 8:40 a.m. No appointment is necessary.

Farmer’s team, which includes Fail and Sandy Lemoine, makes sure to provide a positive support system at the club.

“We all have good intentions and start the year off with those good intentions, but a lot of times life catches up, between work and family, we lose track. Any time one of our members hasn’t been at the club for a little, we call to make sure they’re okay and encourage them to come back and fulfill that commitment,” Farmer said.

The club offers an optional service called the Curves Complete program, which offers members an individualized plan focusing on diet, exercise and personal coaching.

Every month, members are weighed to ensure they’re on track to losing their target weight.

While there is a gym membership fee, Farmer said the center is considered a wellness club, which means if the member’s health insurance company will cover the cost, she can receive a free gym membership.

Farmer encourages women of all shapes and sizes to join the club. Members must be more than 14-years-old to sign up.

“Friendships are made in the circuit. From the moment a potential member walks into the club she gets the feeling of having a good time; we keep workout music cranked up along with the energy of the club. And whether we’re training a new member, coaching an existing member or teaching one of our many specialty classes, our two circuit coaches are trained to assist members and make sure they are getting their best workout possible,” Farmer said.

Curves is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday, the center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To become a member, stop by the center located at 790 Memorial Blvd., Suite C, or call gym staff at 601-798-2780.

To learn more about Curves, visit