After first receiving my Flex Belt it took me a couple of weeks to unpack the box and sit down with it for a few minutes to figure out how it all went together.NOTE: This is a more a depiction of my laziness then that The Flex Belt is complicated, as it is not.
So what was in the box once I opened it (see image as to what was in the box).
- The Belt
- Set of 3 Gel Pads
- Remote and Battery
- Plug to charge batter
- Manual and quick start instructions
From looking at everything that was in the box I had a pretty good idea of what had to be done to get started, of course I have had bad experiences with not following instructions before (think IKEA furniture) so I figured it best to take my time and ensure I put the gel pads on correctly.At first glance, and without reading the manual, it can seem like the plastic covering the sticky side of the gel pads doesn’t want to come off, or at least not without damaging the pad underneath it. On closer inspection, there are two pieces of plastic on the back that come off one at a time (see image at left). Once I figured that out they came off without trouble.
Installing the Gel Pads
Applying the gel pads to the back of The Flex Belt was simple. The larger square pad goes in the center, and then the two elliptical pads go on either side of it and are positioned from left to right not vertically (See image below). Pay close attention when you’re applying those gel pads because they’re quite sticky and applying them in correctly and having to remove them would be a pain in the butt.
Once all the gel pads were applied there was another piece of plastic to be removed from the back side of each gel pad (side that touches the skin). This was a bit cumbersome as I was worried I was going to damage the pads, but with care and starting in one corner and taking my time it came off without a problem. See the image below of the belt with all three gel pads installed and the plastic removed.
Putting it on
After all the gel pads were in place it was time to put The Flex Belt on. Something I was surprised at was just how sticky the inside surface of the gel pads was. I wasn’t sure if they’d stick to me when I took it off or not. I did a dry run test before turning on the belt, and they did come off quite easily even though they felt very sticky.
I’m only about a 30″-31′” waist so I had the belt on the smallest size. There are three sizes plus an extension piece for the belt, so depending on your waist size you can adjust it for your comfort.
The manual said to apply the belt comfortably tight. I tightened it up pretty good and figured it was time to test it out.
The First TestSomething I didn’t mention above is that I had charged the battery the night before I did all this. The battery had a bit of juice in the box but likely not enough to work. The first part of the manual says to charge the battery, so remember to plug your battery in as soon as you get your Flex Belt so you can use it right away.
Note: Something that isn’t mentioned in most ab belt reviews is the benefit of having a re-chargeable battery. After using this belt now for a week I can say that being able to just recharge the battery after every couple of uses is far easier then having to replace AA’s.
The remote and battery are one in the same. To turn the belt on your must plug in the remote to the belt and then turn the remote on.
Once on you select the program you want to use which will basically determine the duration you wear the belt for at first, and then modify the intensity.
I chose the first program which was a 20 minute session for my first run with The Flex Belt. After choosing that I had to adjust the intensity of the Electronic Muscle Stimulation. There are two buttons with up and down arrows on the remote, while the manual doesn’t say this I think they’re for adjusting the intensity on the left and right side of the belt, or at least that’s what I was feeling as I adjusted one side and not the other.I’m sure every person is going to be different, but I didn’t start to notice any sensation until I got over 20 for intensity level.
The manual suggests to continue increasing the intensity throughout the session, which I did. I found I was able to get into the mid to high 30′s for intensity, and could likely have gone higher but was unsure exactly how it would feel so kept it at a comfortable level for this first run.
How Did it Feel
If you’ve ever gone to a physiotherapist and had them put the muscle stim machine on you then you know exactly how this feels. I’d describe it as a fuzzy buzzing sensation. It doesn’t hurt and isn’t constant. Instead it turns on and then off and then on etc. for the entire session. I didn’t count how long it stayed on and then off but guessing I’d say it was on for a count of 5 maybe and then off for a count of 5.. I’ll take note of this during my next session and post it.
As I increased the intensity of course the sensation also increased. When I was up in the 30′s for intensity level I could look at my stomach and notice my abs flexing automatically each time the muscle stimulation came on. It’s a pretty neat experience.
Over all it wasn’t too hard to put The Flex Belt together. I was able to get it setup and do my first session all inside of 30 minutes or so.
It’s been about a half hour since I did my first session as I write this and my abs aren’t tired as per se, but they do feel as if I worked them. Not as hard as if I hammered out 50 crunches or sit-ups but none the less they have a bit of a burn going. I think this is going to be an interesting experiment.