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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