There’s no doubt that during Ramadan we all put on a little bit of weight. So now is the right time to lose those konafa and basbousa rolls. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to go to the gym for a long workout, then Curves might well be the solution for you.

As an international workout studio franchise, Cairo has several chains. Curves is for women only, which may attract those who’d like to work out in privacy without distraction from the male race. The franchise is known for its 30-minute workout program, which it claims to help you burn up to 500 calories in just half an hour, but of course that depends on how hard you work yourself.

The entrance of Curves is just across from the park at the end of Samir Abdel Raouf Street in an easily spotted purple building. The interior is not that spacious: the dressing rooms and the reception area are almost bigger than the workout area. All fourteen appliances are placed in a circle and a trainer will tell you when to start and when to move onto the next exercise machine.

You can start with any of the machines; there is no specific order to follow. You train every muscle group for about two minutes. Between every station there is a recovery board where you have to walk or jog in place. It is here where you train your endurance. We were told that all the machines are designed especially for women; but this reviewer didn’t notice any difference between these machines and others at regular gyms.

The good thing about Curves is that you won’t easily get bored because the program is so varied. You get to use every machine, whereas you might skip some in other gyms because they are being used by other people.

Usually, there are several other women taking part in the program during your workout; and this is exactly where we had some hygiene issues. There is not much time in between the workout shifts to clean the machines; so basically you're sitting on someone else's sweaty machine. Furthermore, at the time of this reviewer’s visit, the room was a bit hot and badly ventilated. Afterwards, you will feel quite exhausted and sick of hearing the trainer yell ‘change’.

If you don’t believe the 500 calories in 30 minutes myth, then see for yourself how many calories you have worked off. You are provided with a micro chip that you can stick into the machines so that you see exactly how many calories you've burned. If you are not the type that likes to chat during a workout, then Curves might not be the place for you. Given that you usually work out with other women, many of whom love a little chit chat, Curves is like a tea party sans tea.

If you can really motivate yourself and you are short on time, Curves might work out very well for you. A full year’s membership will set you back 3500LE, while you can take a six-month membership for 2500LE or a three-month membership for 1500LE. Enjoy your workout.