Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Review: Flex The Social Home Workout

Do you struggle to find the time to workout? Is it hard to get childcare so you can go out and exercise? Are you intimidated by the idea of all those fit and coordinated class attendees? Would you like to get fitter, tone up or lose weight? If so you should check out Flex, exercise classes you can do at home (even in your garden).

Me attempting to do a plank in the garden while my 1 year old sits on me. Covered with text saying "Flex Review: Fitness Classes at Home"

I was asked to try the offering from Flex which provides online home workouts, but with a structured and social element. Flex has a huge number of classes available (over 300 a day to choose from) and just like at the gym the classes are at set times. Studies show you are more likely to do something if you commit to a particular time instead of just having it on a mental to do list. Flex use this theory and ask you to pledge to do a class of your choice. If you need a bit of extra pressure Flex can provide a “personal trainer” who will check in with you after the class. Knowing I’m going to get a call if I don’t do a class gives me with that extra oomph to get up and workout. 

I love going to the gym and have paid £1000s in my lifetime for gym memberships at posh gyms, but the only time I have managed to go regularly was when I worked at one. Exercising from home has often been easier to fit into my life: from the Elle McPherson video of my youth (yes I am showing my age) to a Davina DVD and Couch to 5k Plans of my Twenties. Time has moved on, I access TV, films and music online so it makes sense that’s where my workouts should come from as well. 

As a mum I don’t have a lot of time and the “free” time I do have is generally when my children are asleep. My partner works long hours so working out at home is the best option for me. It’s over a year since my youngest was born and I haven’t regained my pre-pregnancy fitness so I really need to make more of an effort. Even if I did get the chance to go to a class I am slightly intimidated by the idea of collapsing in a heap in front of strangers. And I would have to pay between £5 and £15 a class for the privilege! Yes there are postnatal classes, but aren’t they are meant for when you have recently had a baby? Flex is the perfect solution for me. 

Doing a plank in the garden in a purple work out top and black leggings while my daughter pokes my face

Trying Out Flex


I started with some postnatal classes which offered exercises to strengthen my core. Then when I was feeling a little more confident I explored a few of the cardio and pilates classes. It’s great that if I find moves too much I can take a break without being scared by those perfectly coordinated gorgeous women in fabulous workout gear who always seem to be in front of me when I take a class. At home I exercise in any old clothes which are comfortable. 

Knowing I need a bit of help with motivation I opted to try the 1 to 1 personal coaching. After an initial call to discuss my goals and the sort of classes I was interested in I was asked to pledge to a particular class/ time to workout. Availability of this coaching is limited, but I recommend giving it a try if there is space. The threat of having that call or message to ask why you missed the class from an actual person has been enough to get me moving when I’m feeling lazy. Having stated I will do a particular class I have stuck to them even when my children are around. It’s considerably harder doing a plank or stomach curl with a 1 year old sitting on you, but at least it’s keeps her entertained

Who Created Flex?


Elliott James Perry came up with the idea for Flex because he found that when working out at home he lacked the motivation and social aspects of in person classes. He believed technology could help people working out at home to feel part of a larger experience and community. Flex went live in March 2016 and has grown to over 5000 members.

Accessing Flex


Flex costs £9.99 per month for unlimited access to their classes. This is much cheaper than going to the gym and I think I have saved a fortune on not buying new gym clothes too. Because the classes are online I can access them via a range of devices wherever I am (I’ll even be able to keep attending classes while I’m on holiday if I want!). It can be quite hard to see the moves on my phone, but if the class is a format I am familiar with it’s doable. I have a smart TV, but haven’t managed to get Flex on it directly yet, instead I have taken the easy option of linking it to my MacBook via HDMI cable to get the class experience in 50 inches.

A screen shot from Flex showing all the class categories as listed in the text below


What Sort of Fitness Classes Are Available From Flex?


There are a huge range of classes which they split into: Barre, Cardio, Dance, HIIT, Pilates, Pre/ Post Natal, Strength/ Toning, Yoga and Other. When you select a category it will show you the classes coming up in the next two hours e.g. if I select dance now I can see there is: Burlexercise - The Ultimate Showgirl Workout starting in 20 minutes, VeraFlow (a dance based stretch class withe mindfulness) starting in an hour and Eximo Workout (a dance workout using your own body weight into fun choreography for all levels) starting in 90 minutes. You can also go to the calendar and select any time during the week to see what classes are on and “join” them so you get a reminder when they are about to start. 

If you have some unexpected time to work out you can log on and see which classes are about to start across all the categories. This can encourage you to try a new type of class you have never considered before. It’s nice and low risk as you don’t have the embarrassment of slinking out the back of the room if you can’t keep up or the class isn’t for you.

Flex aims to personalise your fitness routine based on the feedback you provide so they can provide more of what you enjoy. The aim is for working out to become a habit so you enjoy the regular exercise and it allows you to track your workouts so you can see your progress.

Getting Social 


The social aspect is a big part of the ethos behind Flex. You can join or start your own tribe with friends which allow you to compete against each other or reach a common goal e.g. 100 workouts. In the tribe you can see who has attended a class or earned a trophy, you can even “like” or comment on their update.

Flex can be linked with Facebook so you can see which of your friends are also a member and share the Trophies you earn. My personal favourite is the “Beware of Mum” one which you get for your first pre/ post natal class.

A screenshot of a trophy saying "Forget the Dog, Beware of the Mum" and "I just earned the Beware of mum trophy on Flex!"

Who is Flex Suitable For?


If you want the fun of an exercise class, with the convenience of working out from home Flex is for you. Not being in the room with the instructor you lose out on your position being corrected and adjustments for any injuries so you do need to have an awareness of your body's limitations. Whether you want to do a weekly yoga class or like to mix it up with a variety of workouts Flex will have classes to interest you. You can try it for a month for free so why not sign up now?

The flex logo, which says "flex" in black followed by a red full stop and a greyed out picture of someone working out. Copyright Flex


***Disclosure: I have been kindly provided with membership in return for an honest review. I am still over weight and unfit, but I can’t blame that on the Flex guys. I’m hoping to turn things around and I think Flex will play a key role in me doing this.***
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4 comments

  1. It's a good solution to those who are unable to get to a gym

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  2. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested this week x

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  3. I've never done anything like this from home because we live in a flat and I always worry about what downstairs would think! #TriedTested

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    1. Ha ha, yes a jumping type one could be noisy. The yoga or toning would be fine though. Your neighbour's are lucky you are so considerate

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