The breadth of creativity and imagination of fitness product manufacturers appears limitless. If the Shake Weight wasn’t proof enough of this ingenuity, The Free Flexor, a new fitness product which has recently been released, does.
The Free Flexor, hailed (by the official site) as the World’s 1st Flexing Dumbbell, is a fitness device marketed to men who wish to build ripped biceps, shoulders, chest, triceps, and forearms… basically every male on the planet.
The official video has already been called suggestive and received a multitude of ridiculing comments. Some people say it reminds them of the video of the Shake Weight. Check out the video before continuing to read the complete review below:
The Free Flexor is made up of two round weights which are attached at either end of a flexing tube. The tube has a solid grip in the middle and either end can bend and twist in practically any direction. I tried to find out how much it weighs but the video didn’t mention anything nor did the official site.
There are a number of claims that the video makes which I want to address here:
1. Circular Strength Technology – This is the term which has been attributed to the way the Free Flexor works. This reminds me of Dynamic Inertia, the term used to describe the way the Shake Weight For Men works. In both cases, this is more marketing than science. Circular Strength Technology is a term for which I could find no reference. It was simply made up to fit in with the promotion of the Free Flexor.
There is simply no basis to the claim that this is more effective than regular weight lifting. I could find no research and none was mentioned on the official site.
2. This product can make your muscles contract up to 300 times per minute – So what? I’d rather do a few reps of a solid exercise with a good load than do a lot of reps with little or no resistance.
This claim brings to mind the various electric ab belts that pulse against your skin and make your muscles contract over and over again. The number of contractions is not important. The overall resistance and energy expenditure is.
3. You can tone and sculpt your arms, shoulder and chest – I just don’t see how this can be. None of the exercises I saw in the video target the shoulders or chest in any but the most indirect of ways. I don’t see how working with the Free Flexor can be more effective than any dumbbell shoulder exercise or chest exercises such as flies or presses.
I asked my wife Karen for her opinion on this product. I wanted to get her views as a physical therapist. She told me that the Free Flexor may be useful to strengthen the small stabilizing muscles around the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints. However, she also said that this kind of training is incapable of producing the sort of muscle growth that the models in the video exhibit. For that you need to engage in full range, heavy load lifting exercises. There is simply no other way.
The Free Flexor video is another example of the kind of subtle manipulation done in many fitness infomercials: the use of models who were already fit before they ever laid eyes on the promoted product.
Now, I don’t know any of these models and I can’t say with 100% certainty that they were already ripped before they were contracted to appear in the ad. I can say it with 99% certainty. I am positive that these guys all got their impressively toned body by training in the “old fashioned” and boring ways of weight lifting, interval training, and total body workouts with plenty of multi-jointed exercises, not the short range exercises you see in the video of the Free Flexor.
Is The Free Flexor Worth The Price?
The Free Flexor will cost you $39.95 plus $9.95 for shipping and handling. For this kind of money you can buy a variety of cheap and effective fitness equipment that will give you much better results. In addition, it’s unclear whether this product has any kind of return policy. Even with the DVD that comes with the product, I believe that a jump rope and a pair of dumbbells are a much better way to spend your money.
I don’t think that this gimmicky product can produce any real and lasting results. It’s just another gadget that tries to create controversy through suggestive marketing. The idea is to create buzz, not to provide solutions. I don’t think it will be too long before you can see parody videos about this product – which may be exactly what the manufacturers of the Free Flexor want.
You can check out the official site here: http://www.freeflexor.com/
For other creative fitness equipment go here: Crazy fitness products in history.
Update: the first parody of this device has arrived and it’s a good one. Here is Jimmy Kimmel making fun of the Free Flexor: