I’m the type of person who shies away from circuit training. To be frank, it has less to do with my ability to conquer the workout—I consider myself relatively fit, having gone through HIIT, competitive dancing, and spinning—and more to do with the environment it’s held in. When I think of circuit training, I envision cramped studios with poor ventilation. Not to mention the anxiety-inducing task of navigating through complex equipment on my own, or feeling a bit of an amateur in a class full of ripped gym-goers who know exactly what they’re doing.

But this year, as cliché as it may sound, I promised to try new things I’ve never experienced before. Lo and behold, I finally found a circuit training class that piqued my interest. The catch? You can incorporate it with zumba, is held in an all-female gym, and lasts for only 30 minutes.

As a busy, on-the-go woman who treats time as gold, this workout seemed too good an opportunity to miss. But being accustomed to one to two-hour long exercises, I thought to myself: can I really get what I need out of this 30-minute exercise?

Read to find out!


I had my first Circuit Training at Curves Philippines in Century City Mall, Makati. It is the first (and currently) the only all-female fitness gym in the Philippines with branches in over 50 countries worldwide. Plus, if you’re a member, they’ll issue you a travel card that gives you access to any of their branches—may it be local or abroad. How cool is that?

As soon as I stepped inside the studio, I instantly knew that the vibe was different: I was greeted by an all-female staff that treated me like an old friend, and there weren’t any potential creepers lurking (fellow lady gym goers, you know what I’m talking about)—just plain ole’ good vibes that got me pumped to work out.


Browse through my roster of workout attire and you’ll find that plain black leggings comprise 90% of my bottoms. Thankfully, Core Athletics’ Hold Your Core Crop Leggings in Merlot Red (coming soon on BeautyMNL) exists, and is a welcome addition to my rather dull activewear wardrobe. Not only do the high-waisted leggings fit like a glove, but the subtle, muted shade makes me look and feel classy while sweating it out. Plus, you’re guaranteed no chafing and no post-workout sweat stains!

I paired it with Gametime’s Infinity Tank Top in White (coming soon on BeautyMNL) that’s form-fitting yet breathable—tight in all the right parts, it offers incredible support in the chest area, which didn’t make me conscious whenever I would bend down or bust a move.


First, the staff gave me a quick studio tour. The locker room was peppered with success stories and empowering notes from members—a sweet touch that gave the studio a homey, welcoming atmosphere. Besides selling activewear, they also sell cold refreshments in case you forget to bring water.
Second was a fitness consultation. Coach Bea sat me down and asked me about my diet, exercise routine, and fitness goals. After taking down my weight and measurements, she made me use a fat loss monitor device that analyzed my body’s fat percentage. Coach Bea then went through each of my measurements and asked me specific results I wanted for each area: from losing 1-2 inches, to toning, or just maintaining.

And then, the moment of truth: the workout. I tried their Curves Circuit with Zumba (optional), a 30-minute workout that includes strength training for every major muscle group, sustained heart rate for cardiovascular fitness, 
and flexibility training to improve joint mobility. Notably, Curves Philippines uses patented hydraulic resistance machines that provide both cardio and strength training to its users.


The class setup had all the machines in a circle, creating a Zumba space in the middle where the coach continuously dances choreography for the entirety of 30 minutes. You can either start off in the Zumba space or on one of the strength training machines, depending on which you prefer. After every 1-minute interval, you switch to the next station, which should be the Zumba space if you started off with a machine, or vice versa. Not to worry—there will be coaches on standby in case you need assistance with the machines!
This process goes on for 30 minutes straight, which was a dynamic, adrenaline-pumping 30 minutes, to say the least. I found myself activating my muscles in each station, losing my breath at the end of each 1-minute interval, and picking myself back up to conquer the next. It seems overwhelming to switch stations non-stop, but it was immensely gratifying to finish each one. Plus, being surrounded by female gym goers with the same goal gave me the energy I needed to pull through.
Lastly, the class ended with stretching to reduce muscle fatigue and boost muscle recovery.


Despite how quickly the 30 minutes passed, I felt the aftermath of a 1-hour long workout. Though my body was exhausted, my mind felt sharper afterwards—which was probably the endorphins kicking in and doing their magic. I could honestly say that I enjoyed the workout! So much so, that I was already planning my next visit as soon as I freshened up in their spick-and-span locker room. Plus, I was boasting that post-workout glow during the dinner I attended afterwards!


For busy, on-the-go ladies, this is the perfect all-women studio to visit for that quick, calorie-burning workout. Don’t be fooled by how “fast” the workout is—expect to overload muscles on your arms, core, and legs, which makes for a challenging full-body workout. It’s also refreshing to work out with like-minded women in a supportive environment, where everyone in the studio feels like family!

What’s also notable about Curves Philippines is the accountability it gives to its members: they’re not just here to provide fun and effective workouts, they are also highly results-oriented and will push you to meet your goals. For best results, they recommend you to work out with them 3-4 times a week. Sure enough, they’ve got testimonials to prove how effective it is!

And lastly, it really isn’t a stretch for me to say that the workout clothes I wore made me look and feel great during the entire workout. Perfect for both low- and high-impact exercises, I could easily see myself wearing the same outfit in yoga classes, spinning, or even during boxing. And of course—in my next Curves workout!


1. Wear comfortable attire. Whether you prefer tight or loose-fitting clothes, don an outfit that makes you feel 100%. How you feel about what you’re wearing translates to the way you move, so it’s best to wear clothes you exude confidence in.

2. It’s okay to make mistakes. Nobody gets every single move right the first time, so don’t be too hard on yourself! Forgot how to work a machine? Coaches on standby will gladly help you out. Missed a Zumba move? Just shrug it off and keep moving!

3. 3 F’s: fun, form, and female. Besides having fun and letting loose, engross yourself in the rewarding pain of holding the proper form. Finally, go ahead and immerse yourself in that inspiring female energy you can’t get in any other gym!

Curves Philippines’ 2 Weeks Unlimited Specialty Classes Deal is available via Deal Grocer’s Fitness Flash Sale for P1,250. Available for a limited time only!

So, would you try circuit training in the only all-female gym in the Philippines? Hit us up in the comments section below!


ADDRESS: 5/F Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Avenue cor. Makati Avenue, Makati
LANDLINE: (02) 809 0253
MOBILE: (0917) 539 5298

ADDRESS: Lower Ground Level, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing,
cor. EDSA cor. Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong
LANDLINE: (02) 984 4274
MOBILE: (0927) 367 9341

ADDRESS: G/F The Magnolia Residences, Dona Hemady Street,
cor. N. Domingo St., New Manila, Quezon City
MOBILE: (0906) 526 7307

ADDRESS: 4/F Eastwood City Walk 2,
Eastwood City, Quezon City
LANDLINE: (02) 718 5409
MOBILE: (0917) 737 7835 & (0921) 272 2346

ADDRESS: 3rd Level, Arcadia Building
Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Laguna
LANDLINE: (049) 536 0344
MOBILE: (0917) 506 6559 & (0933) 861 7617

Photos by Mark Jesalva

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