Exercise: Is it better to be the Tortoise or the Hare?

by Shaun Angel, CPT and Owner

As a personal trainer, one of the biggest training mistakes I see people make when I talk to them about their program is the lack of understanding that exercise is a positive stress.  I think the pendulum has swung so far to the side of trying to reduce chronic, negative stress that is so high in our lives and culture that we forget that positive/acute stress is how we improve our mind and body through exercise. 

Life is hard.  Our body loves to be in homeostasis…to be balanced.  But, to improve our body, whether on the court or in general life, we have to move out of our comfort zones when we exercise.  Now, we should not go so far out of our comfort zone that we don’t function well.  Sadly, many programs do this and cite it as a badge of honor to not be able to walk the next day.  Or, they allow no time for recovery.  This much stress takes too much out of the body and requires much more recovery than what people think, which is why injury or burnout sets in if we continue this for long periods of time.   

Our bodies work best when we push them in small increments, and then allow recovery.  Then, we push again a little harder after our body has had time to strengthen.  We have to really pay attention as everyone is different and we want positive stress yielding positive results, not distress.  On the other side of the spectrum are those people who exercise like the tortoise and become frustrated when they get no results.  The reason here is they didn't require the body to produce an adaption.  Since the body didn't receive a signal it was doing anything hard and meaningful with its muscle, it stayed the same--this is the homeostasis we discussed earlier.  That is why walking is positive for the body in so many ways, but I do not consider it exercise.  Now, do not take this to mean that you should not be walking.  10,000 steps a day should be your goal.  That's movement.  Exercise should safely cause a stress stimulus to the body that produces an adaptation, and thus make you stronger to do more work the next exercise session.  Exercise should not compromise your health in the name of fitness.   

The better approach is to be like the hare during your workout—short, intense sessions, but staying methodical and incremental over the long haul like the tortoise.  This gets you used to getting out of your comfort zone, which then makes your exercise program work but not so much that you burnout and quit after 90 days.  So, if you are comfortable where you are and you just want to stay comfortable, that’s fine, but that isn’t the best way to improve.  Your body and mind have a hard time with maintenance…generally, things are either improving or stagnating.  Think of your next workout like a rubber band….stretch it a little but not so much you snap it.  You will likely be in the sweet spot.  This will stretch your comfort zones and the goals you have now will be passed quickly as you go to another level on your health horizon.  This can go for your nutrition as well.  Stretch yourself.  Try that new recipe with better ingredients.  Go for 2-3 days clean, but watch stretching your perfection so hard that you ‘snap the band’ and return to baseline and binge, setting yourself back. 

If you have questions with either exercise or nutrition or how to implement this hybrid “tortoise and hare” approach in your life, give us a ring.  All of our programs are based on this philosophy and our team is great.  We are here to help.

“..but I don't really care about building muscle or strength. I want to stop being obese. That’s my only goal.”

by Shaun Angel, CPT and Owner

I recently met a new acquaintance at a meeting--a local financial advisor who impressed me with a quality presentation about his services, and I want to share with you the story.   We had a great conversation in person, learning about each other’s businesses.  In fact, he asked me to follow up with him with more information on Livewell featuring Flex 151, as he particularly had interest in Flex 151’s time efficiency, citing that he did not have any time to exercise.  So, I waited what I felt to be a respectable amount of time and followed up, never wanting to miss a chance for a new business contact or a possible new client.  Even though he seemed very interested at the time AND had asked me to follow up with more information, I was humbled by his response.  But before I let you read his response, here is a little background on the original engagement.

Our verbal conversation was solely based on him complaining about people who want high returns and to retire early in the financial industry, while having no appetite for risk and who are continuously loading money onto their credit cards without contributing even 10% into their retirement account.  He felt like his hands were tied, and he was tired of being put on the defensive during the 6 month review he offers his clients.  “It is as if my hands are tied and I cannot get through to them that they don’t need to cancel the vacation, sell the car and be miserable now in anticipation for this huge long term event called ‘retirement’”, he said.  “All they have to do is be steady.  Steady in their retirement contributions, not emotional when the market goes too high or drops down, and conservative in their expenditures and debt.  Consistent clients who do a few things right and trust a good advisor can usually retire.”

Naturally, I was blown away as I connected the parallels between our two very different fields of business; his being based on the financial side of health, and my own on the improvement of personal health and fitness.  I thought to myself: “Wow…just be consistent with your exercise, don’t go hungry, but try to eat right most of the time (we aim for 80% good; 20% cheat here at Livewell) and focus on the process (which eventually becomes an actual routine) instead of just  the outcome (which in our case is usually weight and in his case it is retiring on time or even early)”.  He told me that clients who focus on immediate returns and solely on the nest egg (the outcome) are much harder to stay consistent with building wealth than those that can submit to following the process.  Plus, they are not as happy along the way….all their decisions are tied up with the future retirement, and they are not enjoying the present moment leading to this wonderful goal in America called retirement.  Better to be enjoying your life well now and comfortable knowing that a sound plan in motion and adhered to is better than any get rich quick scheme. 

He asked me a few questions about the Flex 151 program, and I told him that I felt the health pursuit was exactly the same.  Too much focus on losing 35 pounds yields no compliance whatsoever with most personalities because when 5 pounds come off, they are STILL 30 pounds away!  Thus, most get demoralized and lose heart because they are so focused on a number. 

At Livewell, we too focus on consistency and enjoy far better outcomes along the way as we get healthier, fitter, stronger, lose weight, and have more energy.  Our ‘compound interest’ really kicks in as we stay consistent and the risk vs. return trade off is excellent because we don’t need to spend a lot of time to enjoy greater results due to our sophisticated yet simple program.  Most people underestimate what they can accomplish in a year, and greatly overestimate what they can do in a month, so just like retirement planning, consistency is key.  He definitely was nodding his head in alignment, and even said “That makes complete sense”.  I then explained to him how we focus our time with exercise, why it is he can get a 90 minute workout with our smart system in only 15 minutes, and what it is that we help with for our clients.  When I followed up with this individual to set a meeting in person (again, he has asked me to do this and wanted to come see my place), this was his response:

“Thanks Shaun.  I worked with a nutritionist several years ago.  We worked on diet, and I think I'm where I want to be with that. I don't really care about building muscle or strength - I used to look at those Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books and aspire to that, but I'm long over that kind of thing. I want to stop being obese - that's my only goal.”

I was pretty taken aback!  Then, my sales side kicked in and I realized that I was guilty of the #1 cardinal selling mistake:  assuming your potential clients understand what it is you offer after the initial meeting is over.  We had struck a chord together that last week.  We definitely had a meeting of the minds, but in the few days that went by, he forgot my message and went back to the message he has programmed in his head about exercise and resistance training, which is that it is no good for weight loss and muscle is only for bodybuilders.  Also, the programmed message played that said to him that the only way to get fit and lose weight is to spend a lot of time on weight loss, and time is exactly what this man did not have any left of in his day.  Either way, I failed…and miserably.  I take responsibility because I am part of the fitness industry that propagates this nonsense.  I have no doubt we could help this man feel better and hit his goals.

I want to share with you my response, because I feel like I owe it to my current and prospective clients to share why it is we offer resistance training at Flex 151.  There is so much confusion and myths surrounding resistance training in the industry…everything from it causes you to ‘bulk up’, to make you thick, not good for weight loss, not safe for older people, or just stigmas around it being all male dominated.  Part of my job is to slay these ‘sacred cows’ that we all buy into and believe in as truths and dispel them for what they are - myths.

Here was my response: 

“Thanks for the reply.  I am the furthest away from a bodybuilding, muscle head gym you will ever find.  With a name like “Flex 151” you likely thought of 'swole' dudes in spandex flexing their oily muscles.  Sorry about the confusion.  Getting large muscles doesn’t make one more healthy and certainly isn’t our goal for a healthy program.  Conversely, in our sedentary modern society, muscle is no longer just for bodybuilders.  We do have to maintain our muscle and strength (even if you don’t want strength) as we age if we want to hit our weight goals.  From 50-70 years old, people who don’t actively engage their bodies with some sort of resistance will lose 30% of their strength, and walking and jogging alone, although needed, will not suffice.  Maintaining and increasing our strength and skeletal muscle mass results in increased energy, keeping strong joints, bone mineral density, and ability to simply keep up in life/play golf/do hobbies.  But, specifically talking about your comment of “I want to stop being obese—that’s my only goal”, I would like to elaborate a little further:

Losing weight will occur if we don’t maintain our strength; however, it is muscle weight we are losing (not fat weight), which carries with it a corresponding drop of 50-100 calories per pound of metabolism per day when we factor in the hormonal consequences of the lost muscle.  Lose 5 lbs of muscle  = 250-500 calories a day of decreased metabolism, and the weight that we gain as we get older is not muscle anymore, it is fat, which makes every subsequent diet we go on in the future so much harder to move the needle because there becomes less and less muscle tissue to gobble up calories (fat doesn’t have metabolism except for the hormonal signals it sends back to your body to work against you).  The standard fitness industry won’t tell you this because they would rather sell you more powder, pills and impossible to maintain diets.  Or…they feel it is easier to go along with these pervasive myths instead of educating the right information.  

So a basic analogy using your financial industry goes something like this:  trying to lose weight without maintaining and growing your strength is like a client trying to get rich in your line of work without accepting any risk or adding investment dollars to a portfolio.  Your hands become tied just like mine do.  That’s why we certainly are not a program for everyone because not everyone desires to do the work.  We do have to DO the work.  We just accomplish that work better and safer at Flex 151 because we are set up more as a ‘life-hack’ lab, not a gym.  Everything we do is concentrated, safe and intentional, including the time we save you to do a 90 minute workout in only 15 minutes.  I don’t play into standard fitness industry nonsense of recommending becoming a cardio bunny to lose weight nor buy into the calories-in, calories-out, deprivation diet being the only way for success.  If that worked, we wouldn’t have the abysmal numbers feeding our health care industry.  Ask anyone who just picked up miles or dropped more food when they stalled if it always resulted in a corresponding drop in weight.  We all know that answer is NOT usually.  We think different, act different and execute much differently just like I heard you say you do in your industry.  Positive ‘eustress’ is necessary just like accepting some risk in the markets in necessary to achieve our goals.  But ‘distress’ is not necessary.  You can lose weight, and ‘not be obese’ with our program as long as you do a few things right and consistent, but that weight loss will be the side effect of a well executed, simple plan just as finishing rich over the long haul is normally the side effect of a solid financial plan.  You and I both accomplish this for our clients through our educational coaching.  We are our clients fitness, health and financial mavens, or pilots, talking them out of immediate gratification and to continued incremental success and to finish the race well.  The same exact logic applies for both of us to win in life with our clients, we just operate on different sides of the same health ‘coin’.  Neither you nor I are get rich quick schemes and both of us are trying to rise above the noise in complex industries that have tons of sexy products that promise a shortcut.  Doing the work smarter, simpler and more consistent as part of a lifestyle:  that’s how our clients win.  We desire to simplify the fitness and health myths and confusions out there with a  simple system that leads to long term rewards for the mind and body." 

He had a very favorable response to my email that said “great analogy-that makes sense”.  I have never heard from him since, but he did check me out on LinkedIn and congratulated me on my 5 year anniversary of Flex 151 recently!  It’s ok, hopefully one day we will talk again when he is ready.  I am in health pursuit for the long haul, so I too don’t expect to ‘get rich quick’.  I hope that gives you a different take on resistance training effects on the body for your weight loss goals.  Think of your questions and email them to me at info@flex151.com.  I will answer you back.  If you know someone who suffers from this logic, we just may be the thing that can help them to “not be obese” without killing their time, energy and resources.  We offer free Discovery Sessions to learn more and a free one hour consultation to baseline your strength and workout on our Intelligent Training System.  I dare you to try us for a no obligation consult and free workout and fight back against obesity, no energy and your frustrations.  Click here to learn how the fitness industry has failed you.

fLast thing:  While “not being Obese” is a worthy goal, it is a very negative sounding goal to me.  My excellent team and I would prefer to help you Livewell!  It’s your life.  Transformed.  Now, that is bad marketing because it doesn’t prey on fear and lack, but we are not a place of scarcity, but of abundance.  You deserve to live abundantly with full health as you grow young.

Skepticism is Expected: Is Yours Healthy or an Excuse? Further Flex 151 Review Information

By Shaun Angel, fellow past skeptic of our style of exercise, CPT and owner of Flex 151

This blog is narrowly focused towards skeptics.  If you are a happy Flex 151 client, or someone happy with their existing exercise routine, I am not talking to you.  I will warn you that I am all over the place in this blog…at times it may seem like ranting or venting, but my intentions are purely an attempt to spur an action by your choosing to read it, whether that 'action' is coming in to try us out or beginning your own routine outside of Livewell ...heck, even hiring a different personal trainer is ok by me.  I just want you to take action and start your journey towards a healthier you. It can get tiring hearing clients tell me that they are telling people about us, yet those people receiving this information come back saying 'it cannot work' and those same people are not actually doing anything themselves.  It would be like me telling a financial advisor what they do doesn't work, with me doing nothing and knowing nothing about finances, AND not even contributing to my company's 401k.  This Evansville and Owensboro area is TOUGH to create meaning behind WHY we need to take control of our own health and care about being healthier.  I take part of this blame, as I am supposed to be in the health arena educating about our mission.  So, hopefully something strikes you that can lead us to one more person we can try to empower with knowledge and understanding and thus incubate into a healthier life.  Between you, we and the many other great people around that are trying to improve our local health; we can ALL make a ripple effect that affects our children today and tomorrow.  That is our goal at Livewell!  If you get to the end of this blog, I have a gift for you in return for your valued time in reading and checking it out.  

This post is not a high level, esoteric discussion about the state of our health or how to get healthier.  I am not going to give you tons of motivational stuff that sounds good but has no meaning by someone who is more confused than you are but acting like they know what they are talking about.  I will not hit you with the need to set SMART goals, tell you that you need more motivation/desire, etc or that fat loss is simply cutting your intake, exercising more and 'wanting it' more.  You hear that regurgitated stuff daily.  Nope.  What you likely need is something you can start and actually stick with long enough to find out what it is your goals really are.  You need motivation, but motivation comes from action, not trying to get more motivated.  You may think your main goal is strictly weight loss, but how would that weight loss actually make you FEEL and what would that mystical number on the scale allow you to do with your life?  Maybe what you are really craving is to have more energy for the kids or being more engaged in the boardroom.  That would be nice, but you, like me, have run out of time to do it all.  Desire IS NOT enough, and you are likely a VERY high performer in many areas of your life already.  Maybe exercise and fitness are not your strong suit, just like making tons of money has not been a strong suit for myself.  It is about taking ACTION.  Now. 

Tony Robbin’s says “All change happens in a moment.  Momentum defeats rationalization. Things in motion tend to stay in motion.” 

Basically, do something, start something and continually improve.  Sounds simple, but overcoming the resistance of inertia is the hardest part of a lifestyle change.  It is much easier to put it off, saying to yourself you need to do more studying, and go and buy the car or next material thing or go on the next vacation to feel better rather than the hard work of starting a self-improvement program.  Many people spend all their time talking about it and not actually doing it (insert finances, job/career change, buying something, or in our case, a fitness program or initiating the start of a healthier diet).  

If you are actually starting to read this post now, likely you are the type that likes 'the details'.  Maybe you look for background information from someone that is not affiliated with a product or service you are using that lends credence in an unbiased way. You are the type that hates salesmen, especially passionate and high energy guys like me.  Even though you scrub every review site you can to make your decision, you are still uneasy about making that step, purchase, etc.  You don't trust reviews, especially in the fitness industry, since you know how biased they normally are, the fact that proper lighting can work wonders...you already know that many people have already gained their weight back from that starvation diet or chronic running or ballistic exercise program after it left them burned out and they quit.  You also don't listen to personal feedback from your close friends and family because, well, you know...you have to make your own decision and really don't trust other's opinions.  Nope, you want research, to learn of the "Why" behind something before you begin or purchase something.  Your personality profile is a true "Green" and you value your hard-earned "green" money.    

I want you to know that I get it and understand you...because 5 years ago I used to be you.  I made decisions based on tons of research, started businesses based on elaborate business plans and by the time I took ‘flight’, I was obsolete.  Now, with a different mindset, I am more of a Ready-Fire-Aim guy but that is only after a lot of research and soul searching to know my true WHY.  So, overcoming my own ‘analysis paralysis’ is now easier, because I know myself better and instead choose to continually improve and make progress instead of focusing on perfection.  So, I cannot talk to you about your habits of making your next router or fancy washer/dryer combo or vehicle purchase.  What I can talk you about is health and the pursuit of becoming better at that...to become better at thriving in life.  

That is my #1 goal for you.    

The first question I want you to ask yourself, right now, is ARE YOU IN THE ARENA? If you are, then great!  If your program and nutrition is working, then please stay at that gym, or with your home based workout, or with your trainer...eat the foods that are working for you, the diet that makes you feel healthy, etc.  You will know that what you are eating or not eating is truly working if you are experiencing increased energy levels and reduced cravings and hunger.  Your exercise program and plan is working if you are now not tiring easily, you feel good with your fitness level, and your workouts are not confusing or dangerous and you are able to maintain them and not suffering burnout.  You also should be noticing you have a balance in life and love your body composition and weight.  Good for you, and I am proud of you, because in this area in which we live most people are not doing anything and they are not experiencing the joy that you have right now.  But, and here is where I will challenge you...maybe even tick you off a little...if you fit the above description and are NOT IN THE ARENA, but are studying, reading, talking about it, thinking about it...but are left confused on where to start, how to start, how to fit exercise, nutrition, etc into your life, safety, etc...just know we at Livewell featuring Flex 151 exist to help remove that confusion for those that are actually WILLING to improve.  Sadly, many are not.  

Guy Kawasaki said in his book Enchantment:  "The greater the mousetrap, the more difficult it is getting people to embrace it because it is so different to what people are used to."
 

Live Well Flex Training 2013-42

So, if you have heard about Flex 151's Intelligent Training System, then you have also heard that we are a total body workout in 15 minutes once or twice per week that doesn't require sweating, specialized gym clothes or starvation diets, and that we do this on some sort of fancy robotic equipment that the person could not explain to you.  They just said "you have to try it and feel it in their free consult because I cannot explain it".  On some level the thought sounded great, but because you fit some version of the above personality, your skepticism immediately dismissed us as a scam and said B.S.  No way, impossible....my bathroom breaks are longer than 15 minutes...I cannot believe someone could have the audacity to actually charge $99 per month for that...$23 per session???  Really--this does happen.  People try to lump us in as a high priced walk-in gym, when we are actually certified personal trainers.  From a business model perspective, we are very affordable personal trainers for a reason:  we see solid strength and exercise as a good 20% of your health equation, so we want to leave time and money on the table for you to focus on the 80%, which is stress relief, sleep and good nutrition.  But in this area, there is not a lot of personal training going on anymore, so the identity crises is well founded and I totally understand it.  Then, it gets better: if it is a spouse or well meaning family or friend, they proceed to tell you how you are getting ripped off, regardless if they know anything at all beyond conventional wisdom about exercise and health.  You stand your ground and tell them you are committed to our 4 month requirement to start Flex 151  And even as you are feeling results from us in the first few weeks, these same people are laughing about how it is you got 'sold'.  Now, don't lose me here.  This has a point.  The fitness industry data is not good in America:

  • only 8-12% actually have gym memberships or access to a workout facility
  • 67% of those who do (mostly locked into 4 month memberships) don't use it anyway.
  • The average person who does go to the gym only goes 2x per week
  • Average membership is $58 per month (pricing for walk-in gyms is dropping due to more and more $10-$25 monthly places)
  • which means, if you have a gym membership, $39 of that $58 is going unused and wasted.

But, going back to that 8-12% number above.  Most people telling you that a 15 minute Flex 151 Intelligent Training Workout cannot work are not in the arena at all.  But they have opinions. So, coming back around to Flex 151:  if the data is this bad on the fitness industry, and we all know the health of our nation is getting worse, why would I want to offer the same solution that A.) most people are not even using, and B.) targeting only 8-12% of America, and C.) have a solution that takes a lot of time, supplements, and time consuming eating when people are busier, more stressed and more confused than ever?  

The answer is I wouldn't and I don't. We are the "Ungym" and are a solution for people who don't resonate with normal exercise solutions.  This is for a reason and to fit a need for most of us in society, and we are not here to meet the needs of bodybuilders, gym rats or people who don’t actually want to improve.  We are for those that are injured, time strapped, stressed, confused, intimidated by normal gyms, cannot afford an old fashioned personal trainer or have never worked out a day in their life but want to get healthier.  Our BIGGEST DRAW IS ALSO OUR BIGGEST DETERRENT:  TIME.  People don't have any {time} yet they are skeptical to start a time efficient program that is built to multiply your time.  

We know what we offer is different from what you have heard, goes against conventional wisdom and the 'bro science' of gyms; we know we market ourselves as a health and strength center-not a weight loss center (which goes counter to our microwave culture of immediate gratification). We also know you desperately want to lose weight.  But to us, we value credibility and science over quick claims, even if it means we are bad at marketing.  (yes, by the way, people can lose weight with us if they do our complete system, but weight loss is a side effect, just like profit for a business, of doing the work..consistently...and allowing ourselves the time to get better and starts with engaging skeletal muscle and accelerated by real, whole food nutrition from nature, not a box).


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So, if you are the someone that is not in the arena, afraid to start, but know you need to do something: keep reading, follow the science links and get started now on something. We really do well with healthy skeptics who like understanding things, but many times we don’t share this stuff because out of the gate, people just don’t care and I don’t want to nerd them out with propeller hat stuff that doesn’t really matter. They are hiring me to know this stuff, so I like to keep it simple for them. But, I hate it when I miss the mark and they really wanted the ‘geeky’ details and I failed to provide it.

If you are the spouse/family/friend tearing down my client ('Blue crab effect'..look it up) for their results because you are scared they are getting better and it reminds you on some level that you aren't doing anything and you feel vulnerable, I want to meet you and give you a free workout, if nothing else to get you off their backs so I can continue to help them once you know I care and this system works. I value and love every one of my bosses (clients) and we are here to help transform health and improve lives where ever we can.

…or maybe you have already started Flex 151 and are either;

A.) You are looking for understanding and clarity and interested in digging deeper into understanding this workout.
B.) You want to know why you are experiencing great results in a fraction of the time.
C.) You are experiencing 'buyer's remorse' now that you are a month in and you haven't lost all the weight you expected.
D.) You keep hearing about us from a friend who loves us, and you just cannot wrap your mind around something that is ONLY 15 MINUTES ONCE OR TWICE WEEKLY actually working (even though you respect your friend/spouse/family member telling you and know they have experienced results).

After all, everyone knows more time equals more results, right???? It is simply not true. Intentional time equals results. Quality time equals results. The 10,000 hour rule and a lot of research has differentiated great performance with world class performance.  But, it is really talking to those who had INTENTIONAL practice, not simple Naïve practice. More effort equals more results, yes; but many people put in a lot of time in the gym, at work and at home, but don't get anywhere because they are not deliberate and need some intensity to kindle their dying spark of motivation. We are just that place in your fitness world:  your spark and catalyst to a healthier life.

Maybe you are like me when I learned of this approach to fitness and it actually ticked me off that I had spent so much time in the gym instead of in my sport-specific drilling of takedowns, kicks and joints locks (I was a wrestler and martial artist). Secretly, I wanted to find some hole in the system…some way of debunking it so I could tell myself that I was right all along and that it cannot work, and that my excuses of 'no time', 'getting older' and hormone changes were the reasons I was ageing fast and gaining weight. Haha! Yep! I was totally THAT guy. My ego was large then. I figured I had the answers already (except, well, wait….I was actually pretty de-conditioned at 28 years old and getting worse trying to stay with what always worked that was not working anymore…definition of insanity for sure!) So, to those of you like this: out of shape, telling yourself you have no time, but actually scared to make a step when there is a better mousetrap right in front of you at Flex 151 for $99 per month....I know how you feel because I too used to be scared to get in the arena and take life by the horns and decide that I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

Are you ready yet? Nope...of course--you need more research before you come and try our FREE, NO OBLIGATION Consult & Workout. (people even tell me they are scared to come to the consult for fear of being 'sold'...well, I don't know what else to call it. It is a complete goals assessment, range of motion and strength blueprinting and full workout for free. We are not high pressure. Period.) No worries. Our 40,000 certified personal training sessions to date have us pretty secure on our confidence we can help you if you are actually ready to commit. That is the big question most people don't want to face. I am trying to prick a nerve here on purpose! I really am a nice guy, but I care and am very competitive, especially when I know that starting is the single biggest step someone can take to better their lives. I care. I want you strong and thriving so you have metabolism to eat that body fat, increase your energy, good signaling to tell your brain happy thoughts...so you can actively thrive, not passively regress like everyone else around here...to Livewell. (yep--shameless plug) Yep, I care...so come and meet me and the fantastic team we have a Livewell! If not, get started on something. Just don't do nothing. Hire another personal trainer, go to Planet Fitness, Bob's, start a push-up routine, go for a walk. Just start. Quit reading and thinking and do it!

So, I know that my details can annoy some people, but that is how my mind works and I am way more skeptical of things I don't understand than what I let on. So, if any of that ramble resonates with you, or you know someone you can help that has a scarcity mindset when it comes to fitness, I challenge you to please pass on this blog! I want to transparently lay out some cool behind the scenes stuff that has changed my views on fitness…not to tell you what you are currently doing (or more likely NOT doing since 90% of America are not even in the arena working out and trying to improve their health but want to argue with me about why Flex 151 cannot work) is wrong. I am not that arrogant. Many programs work and work well. Many trainers know their stuff. Stay with them if that is the case for you. This is just a different way that encompasses preventing injury, intensity, efficiency, and not burning out. Many programs cannot hit all these points. Please do not try to understand Flex 151 from the point of view you have if you are a runner, cardio bunny or light weight resistance band person exercising hours per week. To be very clear, nothing you are doing is wrong. Stay at it. But, our system is different. We get to the same point as you, but through much different methods. Comparing us to what you know is like comparing an apple and kale. Both are healthy; both are vastly different. High intensity training is different than volume training.

Here is a blog post with video and spreadsheet I made in an attempt to try and simplify the concept of “time under load” as pertaining to exercise the best I could by comparing us to standard gym workouts. I realized I was arrogant trying to get people to understand our cutting edge ways that are so vastly different from conventional fitness. I admit, most people don’t really care because they are after immediate results…but typically those who are technical, intentional and value quantification usually follow the protocol logic. As a wrestler and martial artist who used to believe ‘more times equals more results’, this was the only way I could wrap my head around HIT training 5 years ago when I first learned of super slow. Then, the video links below are of Dr. Doug McGuff discussing the major principles behind what we do and the ‘why’. I met Dr. McGuff and Mark Sisson (of Mark’s Daily Apple) at a seminar in Indy over 5 years ago and this information altered the course of our lives (Molly and myself).  I went to Indy to find the flaws in what I was reading about and to actually settle in my mind why it couldn’t work. I came home and Flex 151 was started with a business partner, later quitting my job, cashing in my investments, etc. Later, learning of isokinetic, adaptive training equipment, we took Dr. Mcguff’s “Body by Science” to what we feel is the next level by delivering the protocol on computerized robotics and fueling them with an anti-inflammatory and ketogenic eating style to handle the other 80% of the time people weren’t exercising. We were doing this 5 years ago before keto was cool and my clients at the time were a little peeved at me for telling them that low fat and high sugar was the surest way to gain fat. Haha!

Once you know the principles of slow lifting and basic principles of overload, you can do it with rocks and still be safe, highly efficient AND effective. Hope you like it!

Flex 151 ‘Time Under Load’ Comparison to a standard Workout: (Note I did not take into account 40% eccentric strength gains on the negative…we would actually need to multiply the total force pounds by 1.4 to get a true comparison)

The Math Comparison: Normal Workouts vs. Flex 151 (w/ Spreadsheet)

1 Minute of All-Out Exercise May Have Benefits of 45 Minutes of Moderate Exertion:  Sixty seconds of intense exercise provided the benefits of three-quarters of an hour of moderate cycling.

From Dr. Mercola, the #1 most visited natural health site on the web (over 1mm subscribers to his free daily newsletter):

How time Efficient is your Workout?  

Dr. McGuff breaking down some of his chapters in his book, “Body by Science”. If you are still reading this post, you will love this info!

He breaks down some of the science behind slow motion resistance training (superslow) on various levels on the body. This, along with other science, forms a foundation for Flex 151 methods. I don’t normally send this stuff out to people because, quite frankly, they don’t really care about the science and it is kind of technical. For me, going beyond ‘bro science’ and conventional wisdom opened up a whole new world and actually made me very upset that I had not previously been exposed to methods that could have limited my injury potential, allowed more time efficiency to focus on other health pursuits like eating right, drilling, or just not always feeling like I ‘had to do more volume’. It helped me to understand a larger picture of what exercise really is and does to the body and how it can help me with my ultimate ‘why’ of staying in shape and leading a more productive, optimized life. Now, I do this program 1x per week, sprint intervals once per week (if I am lucky)…giving me time to practice martial arts with my kids and be with my family. I do yoga or Pilates for ‘out of the box’ movement intelligence and try to walk as much as I can, but this type of training is my absolute weekly must and gives me the stress resilience to handle my workload. We now have time for real nutrition, and more importantly, having more fun without the oppressive mindset of “I should be in the gym more”.


1 Common Thinking Errors about Fitness and Health

2 What are Health and Fitness? 

3 What is 'Cardio' Really?

4 Dose Response of Exercise

5 Science of Fat Loss 1 

5 Science of Fat Loss 2 

6 Considerations for Athletes and Seniors 

7 The Big 5 Workout

8 Dealing with Special Needs 

9 Benefits of Strength

Further information from various sources:  

Good Video

HIIT: Hack you Muscle and Creativity at Once

About Soreness not being the end all


Machines vs Free Weights  


There you have it: lots of sources for the 'behind the scenes' logic and science of the Flex 151 Intelligent Training System. I know the decision to start, to improve and to make it a lifestyle is not easy. I hope that this information can lead you in a good direction, whether with us or someone else. Just don't do nothing--start now and do something. You are worth it! And, this type of article is not my normal style, but with so many people who are SOOO close to making a lifestyle change...I am choosing to be BOLD and strike a nerve so that you can feel better and perform better. I hope it works. I hope I aggravate some people here with statements. Maybe it will cause a shift. If you need some background on me, Molly or to read reviews (ha-ha), I will leave finding those for you on our website, YouTube, etc. After all, you need some self study research as well, and I get that. If you are not a Flex 151 client and want to try out Flex 151 for FREE for a month, message me at Info@Flex151.com and mention this blog. See what 1 workout can do to SHIFT your Status Quo. I dare you to put me, my team and Livewell featuring Flex 151 to the test, even if only so you can tell your friends that you tried it and it didn't work. But, I still will have won because for a month you will have worked HARD and been IN THE ARENA. I will congratulate you ahead of time for that, and hopefully it spurs you to some action! I will give you the details and a month will be your reward for laboring through this long blog! If you are a current Flex 151 client, I have a gift for you as well. Just message me and let us help with your health process. The outcome will come; I promise.

Here's to your vibrant health,

shaun


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