Community Post

Curves Gym now open at 22nd/Jackson aims to fill void left by Leschi women’s gym closure

Four years ago, Lisa Ingraham felt like she had tried every diet and every gym, but nothing ever worked for her. Then she joined the Curves in Leschi and everything changed. It was a combination of the workout style and the strong community of women that gave her the support to keep coming back.

But the gym closed in May, and the tightly knit group of women teamed up to figure out how to keep it open. Ingraham stepped up to spearhead reopening the gym at 22nd and Jackson (on the south side of Jackson where 22nd ends). The gym opened Monday, and 45 members already showed up to work out, said Ingraham. They don’t have a big sign or a website yet, but you can swing by to sign up or call 206.325.6200 for more information.

A social worker for King County, Ingraham holds a master’s in social work, specializing in helping teens. She’s still somewhat surprised by the chain of events leading her to sign a lease.

“It’s something I never thought I would do,” she said. “I never had a desire to own a business.”

With the support of mentors and members of the old Curves, Ingraham is hoping that the gym will be a positive and safe place for women in the community. She feels a sisterhood with the women in the Curves world, remembering times when, in the middle of a circuit workout, women would swap advice on “how to deal with chemo treatments, or how to handle your teenage son. People would swap recipes afterward and help each other stick with their weight loss goals.”

The Curves approach is a combination of proprietary workout machines and aerobic movement in a fast-moving circuit. You spend just 30 seconds at each machine before moving to a “recovery board” where jogging in place maintains a high heart rate but allows for rest between strength training. There is a fitness instructor present to help with additional instruction. Members can begin the circuit at any time, slipping into the circle of women coming and going on 30-minute schedules.

Lisa says it’s an ideal workout for busy women, moms and seniors to squeeze in cardio and strength training a few days a week. She wants to get the gym open the first week of September so old and new members can jump back into the circuit.

25 thoughts on “Curves Gym now open at 22nd/Jackson aims to fill void left by Leschi women’s gym closure

  1. I’ve shared a few drinks with Lisa at the Twilight Exit, ages ago. Great person, I wish her nothing but success.

  2. The Curves franchise has gone through some very tough times in the last few years- thousands of Curves clubs have closed. Former Curves owners blame lack of support from the corporate office as well as high franchise fees, non-adjustable equipment which leads to members’ hitting plateaus, over-saturation of territories, etc. (See Curves was just sold to an equity investment group and the founder, Gary Heavin, has just resigned. Many fitness people think that the handwriting is on the wall for this company.

  3. Lisa,

    DO NOT listen to the naysayers. Had I paid any attention to the many people that said “you can’t…you’re not gonna make it” I would not be a business owner in the CD right now. Not trying at all is the bigger failure. Oh, and @Fit dude, Jeeze what a downer. You couldn’t just keep your negative to yourself? Let me know if you ever get the moxie to open your own business so I can shit all over your ambitions.

  4. Fit dude: Thanks for that information. Unlike Stephen, I find it relevant and eye opening and I wonder how informed Lisa is about all of it. It’s crazy that such a woman specific place has such obvious and disturbing ties to the anti-abortion movement. Heavin’s resignation does not really erase or change that fact and his successor may very well support those same ideas. Does he?? Lisa was going to open the Curves at the failed Claremont in the Rainier Valley but bailed on that plan at the last minute. To me that doesn’t seem like someone who knows what’s up. All of the local curves have closed- Leschi and Hillman City Curves are long gone. Why is that? There was already a gym in the spot Lisa is moving to and it failed as well.

    If I may ask you Stephen, are you a franchise business owner in the CD right now, or did you start your own business without a parent company. There is a difference and as a business owner you surely know this.

    I don’t think sharing information that is “negative” is wrong or something people should hold their tongues (or fingers) on. Based on Fit Dude’s comment, I’m not sure how Stephen can ascertain that Fit Dude has no moxie. Who knows if he is or has been a business owner. I don’t think he’s trying to shit on anyone’s ambition. But you are making it clear you would like to shit on someone’s ambition. Talk about keeping your negative to yourself.

  5. I have to agree with Stephan. I mean, Fit Dudes subject line alone was negative (good luck…you’re going to need it??). It would be nice to read an article on this website and see people encouraging or supporting their neighbors in the comments section. Not pointing out why they shouldn’t have done something. We all have different political, religious, etc. beliefs…but we can still just be happy that one of our neighbors took a big and brave step in her life. Congrats, Lisa. I wish you the best of luck!

  6. I commend Lisa for stepping up to fill the hole left by the closing of her gym. It’s vital for some people to have a community and support group around their work-out activities. The community keeps them coming, which keeps them healthy. Need for this kind of community can trump ideological beliefs, so it’s not so surprising that women would attend a gym that supports a pro-life agenda. Not all women are pro-choice, either.

  7. Lisa, I admire you on what your doing. I know you will not fail.
    You took all the right steps to make it work for you, which probably the
    other owners did not do. You went away for schooling, your hiring
    all the right people to help you make your business a success. It
    WILL be a success, no matter what other people say.


  8. Any info yet about rates? The recording gives the hours, btw, but no website yet.

    402-22nd Avenue S
    Seattle, WA 98144
    M-F 6am-1pm, 4pm-7pm
    Sat 830am-12pm

  9. As moderator, I would like to step in here and try to stop this comment thread from becoming ABOUT abortion. It’s about a gym. It seems like the former CEO’s pro-life actions are something of a liability for the whole chain, so that seems relevant to the discussion. But this is about a local resident’s business venture in the neighborhood, so let’s not get too off-topic and carried away in that direction. Thanks.

  10. Maybe I’m just a hopeless optimist, but it seems the neighborhood would be stronger if people supported their neighbors’ ventures in general. Fighting Wal-Mart is one thing, but a resident starting her first business seems like a terrible time to get negative. Advice and constructive criticism is great, but “Good luck, you will need it” just isn’t useful.

  11. Question answered! $49-$99 join fee (apparently depending on whether you’re a past member, or sign up this month), $42 + tax per month unlimited access.

  12. Tom – I disagree. People should be informed as to where their money is going and should be able to share info in that regard. Especially as concerns the rights of others. Who are you to say that those saying “Don’t give your money to the uterus police” are to shut up? Sheesh.

  13. CURVES provides both of these things.

    We need more women like Lisa who are not intimidated by what others say.
    It is obvious many CURVES have closed as have many other businesses.
    Are we supposed to give up on starting small businesses.
    Yay to Lisa and all her faithful CURVES members. One of the wonderful things for us seniors is that CURVES
    works with Senior Sneakers where women on Medicare in certain health plans like Group Health can go to CURVES for free.
    What’s not to like.?(I would go anyway…- but this is a bonus.)
    Enough naysayers.

  14. Thanks Tom. We don’t want everything to boil down to the lowest common denominator of one issue politics. Fitness is good. A person starting a franchise like this is good for her and good for us. Who cares what some rich guy thinks about rights he doesn’t use. Lisa has a right to open a small business and deliver a much needed service to our people without a bunch of seagulls dropping in on her.

  15. There are more curves franchises than McDonalds franchises. Clearly they have been a winner. There must also be losers in this world. Sometimes you fail. Sometimes you skip a game. Lisa is going to give it a go. You have to play if you want to win. Congratulations.

  16. It is sad that so many are willing to do a hatchet job on fitness programs that do so much good for women. The spiteful people who will use any forum to further thier cause and denegrate any other cause are terrible. Curves has done alot for the good of millions of women. Promoting alternatives is not at all the same as restricting choice. Providing healthy choices, near home, at reasonable rates, in a safe environment is a positive contribution. Much needed here in the CD.

  17. Lisa, great job.
    People, who are talking about Gary, need to get their information correct. He stepped down, I would do research on your comments first.
    As far as Curves not everyone can be a business owner, just because it’s called a FRANCHISE you still have to do the work, that’s why their Curves fell through. People lets support one another not bring each other down. This is why the world is what it is today. Remember live your own life don’t live through someone else’s. It’s called an opinion it doesn’t mean your right.

  18. Gary has stepped down , lets be positive for one another. Im sure if we starting digging everyones personal life up there would be many problems. Lets be happy and promote excercise and stay on topic. Obesity is very common in our world, lets me happy for lisa not a downer.

  19. Pat love your attitude, thank you for the motivation. Too bad there were not more people like you out there. This world needs more of YOU. Stay positive. Thank you

  20. I don’t agree with the beliefs of everyone in my church, e.g. But in fellowship, we support each other and hope to learn from one another. People can change their thinking/feelings if they feel safe and supported, not threatened or insulted. I support choice, though I am a birthmother. I support Curves because great things happen there. Cleveland Clinic seems to be allied with the mission of fitness for women at Curves, too.