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The Flex Belt: Effective or another money burning product?

It seems like a day doesn't go by without an infomercial boasting of its latest fat burning discovery.  These late night paid programming predators throw buzz phrases like "get ripped" or "six pack abs" to lure wishful thinkers into whipping themselves into shape - some - for the first time ever.   One product that has gotten much late-late night air time is the Flex Belt.  The Flex Belt looks like your standard black cloth weightlifting belt with a flexible band; however, it also includes gel pads, the rechargeable power supply unit, a belt extension for those with a waist over 44 inches, a carrying case, and instruction manual all for the price of $199.00.  Is it worth it?  Let us take a closer look:

Claims

The Flex Belt, according to its website, is clinically proven to deliver firmer stronger and more toned abdominal muscles while you are at home doing leisure activities.  And a few choice doctors and athletes, including NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice endorse it.  Then there are the proverbial testimonials with the before and after shots.  If that's not enough, the website stated that in a six week study, 100% of the people using the Flex Belt reported firmer and more toned abdominal muscles.  And it is FDA cleared medical technology that works on everyone.

Getting to the "Core" of the Flex Belt

It is important to know that The Flex Belt or any other tangible product will NOT spot reduce or burn fat from your abdominals.  The only way to burn fat is through diet and exercise.  The fat burning process occurs only when calories are burnt in a significant amount; consequently, the body must be involved in some sort of physical exercise that engages your major muscles, the heart and respiratory system.  The only other alternative is liposuction surgery.  The Flex Belt is simply a weightlifting belt with an electronic muscle stimulator in it.  Electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) has been around for over a century.  In the '60s Soviet sport scientists used EMS in training elite athletes.  There have been no detailed long term clinical studies that have documented proof that EMS effectively builds muscle tissue; however, in medicine, EMS is used for rehabilitation purposes usually following musculoskeletal injuries.  And EMS has not been proven to burn calories in a significant amount.

But NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice endorses it 

Jerry Rice did add The Flex Belt to his long list of endorsements, including Breathe Right Nasal Strips, Catchvest, F4CP, and the thirst quenching Cytomax Sport Drink; however, The Flex Belt people should have pursued Rice in the early stages of his career back in the '80s to give them thorough credibility; after all, Rice has been years in retirement long after The Flex Belt was manufactured; moreover, The Flex Belt may even have trouble laying claim to his success on Dancing With The Stars, for the Copyright is 2009; Rice won the contest in January of 2007.  

But It is FDA approved

It makes perfect logical sense that The Flex Belt is FDA approved; after all, the FDA has approved most EMS devices.  FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which is a government agency that includes regulating medical devices, approval simply states that you, the consumer, will have a low degree of a health risk wearing the device and it offers a means of effectiveness, in this instance - stimulation to the muscle region. 

How about those Before and After shots?

Finding subjects with snapshots of people that have gained excessive of amount of weight and lost excessive amount of weight is the oldest trick in the book for weight loss ads.  Those pictures are a dime a dozen.  One of the best times to catch the "before" shot in a woman is immediately following giving birth.  And there are always numerous men and women prospects who have some history of athletics, weightlifting, or bodybuilding who are willing to sacrifice the gym for the couch and buffet table in that "before" shot; then, resurrect their former body for that well paid "after" shot.  

Opportunity Cost

There you have it.  Is it worth $199.00 plus an additional $14.99 for extra gel pads after 20 to 30 sessions?  As an alternative, you may want to just purchase an EMS on Amazon.com for roughly $60.00 for a similar effect.  Or you can put in some time and effort to work your abdomen  and actually achieve results.

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