Let’s Talk about Flex Ba-by

“Hot to trot, make any man’s eyes pop
She use what she got to get whatever she don’t got
Fellas drool like fools, but then again they’re only human
The chick was a hit because her body was boomin’

[……]

Let’s talk about flex, baby (sing it)
Let’s talk about you and me (sing it, sing it)
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about flex (come on)
Let’s talk about flex (do it)
Let’s talk about flex (uh-huh)
Let’s talk about flex”

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We all do it. Catch a mirror out of the corner our eye. Pause. Smile. Flex. … Maybe even not so subtly. Stop for 5, maybe even 10 minutes, posing and flexing – admiring all of the new and impressive gains we’ve made. But is there any scientific evidence that this additional muscle contraction actually does something beneficial for us (other than helping to boost our self esteem, of course)?

To the average gym-goer, all of this staring, posing, and flexing may look ridiculous – it may even look a little vain. But the next time you catch an odd stare or a dirty look in the gym locker room you now have a scientific excuse as to why what you’re doing is actually good for you. (SCIENCE!!!!)

A recent study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology measured the effect of flexing on muscle growth. In the study, 16 young men were split into two groups: the training group and the control. The training group was provided a program for 3 days a week, which consisted of a 4 second maximal voluntary contraction of the biceps and triceps by simultaneously flexing both muscle groups at 90 degrees of the elbow joint. This was then followed by 4 seconds of muscle relaxation. The group had to repeat this for 10 repetitions and perform 5 sets on their workout day for 12 weeks.

By the end of the 12 weeks, the results were out of this world. The group that had flexed had increased the thickness of their biceps and triceps by a whopping 4%! (I know – you laugh – but it’s something! and something is definitely better than nothing!) And what’s even more impressive is that they increased their maximal muscle contraction ability by 15% in their biceps and a sleeve-busting 46% in their triceps!!!!

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So next time you come face to face with a mirror – strike a pose baby! What have you got to lose!

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