Monday, July 7, 2014

The Flex Belt Review

A few years ago, I reviewed one of those "as-seen-on-TV things" and thought it'd be fun to give another popular item a spin.  My favorite thus far is definitely the workout video category, but what about the fitness gadgets?  I've seen The Flex Belt and the accompanying chiseled abs on TV way too many times, so my curiosity was peaked.

In my current state, there is no way I could chisel my abs, but "The Ukrainian" was more than willing to give this product a spin in my place.  (Maybe I can use it later, though!)

The Flex Belt retails for around $199.  It uses Electronic Muscle Stimulation to tone the abdominal muscles and has been cleared by the FDA.  The contents of the box are a user guide, charger with the programming unit, the belt itself, a storage pouch for the belt, and a pack of gel pads.  The gel pads need to be stuck onto the belt per the instructions, and when their stickiness wears off, they will need to be replaced for about $15 for a multi-pack.

The gel pads.  There is a non-stick cover that you peel off before use and replace after use.

Programming the unit.

Now, I was told that typical results are evident in about a month or two, but after a couple of weeks of consistent use, "The Ukrainian" is helping me provide a review.  He followed the first couple of weeks of the program suggested in the instructional manual, with recommended settings so you increase the intensity gradually.  When the "program" is done, it will alert you with a beep, though the rest of the time it is quiet.  "The Ukrainian" would usually be on his iPad while using this, so yes, it seems very convenient -- oh, and no sweating, either.  I could also see an added benefit of not having to strain the neck and back, since you're not doing crunches on the floor.

In short, he says that yes, you really can feel your ab muscles contracting from the stimulation.  And no, I doesn't not hurt.  Still, he recommends not doing this on a full stomach, just as you probably wouldn't do regular crunches on an empty stomach, either.  After two weeks, he feels like his core is a lot stronger, which he notices particular while doing other activities like weight lifting, gardening, and running.

From my vantage point, it's not like he suddenly got ripped, though he does appear to have firmed up a bit there already.  As I've learned over the years, you can't spot-reduce fat, only dieting and cardio can help with that.  But working on muscle mass and definition CAN help, and this is a pretty easy way of getting that started.


FTC Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of The Flex Belt to try and was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive review.  However, I did include affiliate links here.

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