Janelle Coleman always loved exercising at her local Curves gym in Cloquet. Curves' unique exercise system features a structured 30 minute circuit workout — perfect for Coleman’s busy schedule.

When the Cloquet gym closed about 10 years ago, Coleman immediately started planning how she could bring another one to the area.

“I missed working out at a Curves,” she said.

Coleman had been actively working on opening a Curves in Cloquet when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing her to question whether she should continue pushing forward with the business.

“I wondered ... ‘Should I go through with this right now?’ and I decided just to trust it and go for it,” she said. “I’m glad I did.”

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The exercise circuit at Curves consists of 11 machines, plus a stretching station. There are mats in between each machine that serve as cardio stations. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)
The exercise circuit at Curves consists of 11 machines, plus a stretching station. There are mats in between each machine that serve as cardio stations. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)

After two years of work, Coleman met her goal on Feb. 15, and opened the doors of her Curves franchise in a building on Cloquet Avenue.

In the weeks since she opened, Coleman is happy to report a steady stream of business and positive comments.

“Most people are just happy to have it,” she said, explaining that there are currently no other Curves locations open in Cloquet, Duluth or Superior.

The gym replaced a graphic design company, Aardvark, that was previously housed in the building.

Coleman's purchase of the space was finalized in winter 2020, and renovations took about two months. She credits her husband, Travis Coleman, with doing the bulk of the work. They knocked out most of the walls in the building to create a large open space.

How It Works

The location operates from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and reopens for a night session from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

A small retail section is featured near the stretching station at Curves. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)
A small retail section is featured near the stretching station at Curves. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)

“Everyone is happy when they leave,” Curves employee Jenny Walewski said.

Coleman currently employs three staff members, and said there is always a coach on duty to assist members with their workouts.

All employees are also required to complete about 40 hours of online corporate training in addition to their on-the-job training, according to Coleman.

Walewski has a certificate in personal training. Her favorite parts are meeting all of the members and watching their progress, she said.

“I can already see differences in people,” she said.

Curves membership programs are based on individual needs, and people interested in the gym meet for a consultation with a staff member before they join to determine which program is best for them.

Walewski shared that the Curves fitness model can be great for those who may be hesitant to join a gym because all of the equipment is set up and does not require any adjusting before use.

The circuit mixes all aspects of a workout, with participants spending 30 seconds at each station.

The circuit includes 11 machines, with a mat in between each machine. While on the mats, participants take part in a cardio exercise of their choosing.

A voice informs them when to rotate, and instructs them to check their heart rates two to three times per workout.

Typically, a 30 minute workout consists of two rotations through the circuit. Participants end by visiting a stretching station designed to assist them while they cool down.

Walewski and Coleman said they both use the Curves circuit to exercise, and Walewski said it’s harder than some people may think.

The gym follows COVID-19 cleaning guidelines, and only seven people are allowed on the circuit at one time.

A 30 minute workout at Curves typically consists of two rotations through the circuit. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)
A 30 minute workout at Curves typically consists of two rotations through the circuit. (Izabel Johnson / ijohnson@pinejournal.com)

Dual Passions

Curves is not the only business Coleman owns. Aside from the gym, she also owns and operates two child care centers in town — Wood City Preschool and Little Red Preschool.

To manage everything, she hired a director to oversee daily operations at Wood City and is planning to sell Little Red in May.

“I decided three was too many,” she said of her businesses. “Early childhood is still my passion, but fitness is as well.”

Coleman and her husband have six children, and she said it can be difficult to juggle everything sometimes.

The family closes all businesses on the weekends to take a break.