|Flex Wheeler - Hardbody DVD Review
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|Flex Wheeler - Hardbody (DVD) In Flex Wheeler's debut rookie season as a professional bodybuilder, he has taken the industry by storm. Not only has he made history by winning four consecutive pro shows in 1993, but he won three of them with perfect scores! But that wasn't enough for FLEX. He went on to place second in his first appearance at Joe Weider's Mr. Olympia competition. BUY IT NOW
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REVIEW OF THE DVD
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Flex Wheeler Hardbody DVD
The DVD started off with some info about Flex Wheeler and called him one of America's best bodybuilders. The video was recorded over three days, leading up to Flex Wheeler's debut at the 1993 Mr. Olympia. The footage shown of Flex in the gym was fantastic.
Some footage of 1989 California Championships in San Diego. While his arms were smaller at the time, and same with the rest of him, he had perfect shape and symmetry. Flex definitely had the proportions of a cartoon character. Flex turned pro at the 1992 USA Championships. Flex performed in his first professional contest at the 1993 Pro Ironman. After winning, he flew to Columbus, Ohio to win the 1993 Arnold Classic. Footage was shown of these contests as well as the 1993 Olympia.
The DVD then started, with Flex Wheeler entering the gym with Charles Glass (his trainer) and Rico McClinton (his training partner). The video footage then went to black and white to give the DVD a unique look. Charles Glass is known as the best trainer in the country, and he is one who any bodybuilder would want to have on his side when it comes to training. Just ask Gunter Schlierkamp if this is the case. Charles trained him in 2002 when he defeated Ronnie Coleman at the GNC Show of Strength.
Flex was doing a back workout. He started out with wide bar cable rows and followed it up with wide bar lat pulldowns. I am a firm believer in hard and heavy exercises, and don't incorporate too many machine exercises when it comes to back. I would prefer to use t-bar rows, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, and deadlifts. Chin-ups are also good to use. Building a back is about using these exercises to lay the foundation as far as I'm concerned. In any case, Flex built an incredible back so either he knew what he was doing in the gym (with the help of Charles), or he is just a genetic mutant - or both.
Flex did incorporate tbar rows next, but he did the stationary rows rather than the old school ones that Ronnie Coleman does. He did the lying t-bar rows, while Ronnie does them with the bar in the corner of the gym. The other method is just your standard t-bar rows on the t-bar machine.
After Charles Glass finished off a set, Flex spotted the current (1993) USA champion at the gym, Chris "The Real Deal" Cormier who was 26 years old at the time. Both had outstanding physiques, especially in regards to their natural genetic structure, but I would say Flex is slightly more gifted in this regard. Flex was not lifting very heavy on the t-bar rows, but Flex was always known for his shape and structure, and not necessarily for his strength. He was strong, but no Ronnie Coleman. After a quick dropset was complete, Flex joked that he was getting too big.
For Flex's next exercise, he performed lat pulls, pulling the bars towards your body. This was more of the same old for Flex. Light weight, easy exercises, with intensity that is not what you would expect for a genetic freak of muscle on steroids. Of course, he was only three days out from a contest at the time the DVD was shot, so he was no doubt in a depleted state where his energy and strength levels would not have been what they previously were.
The DVD went from black and white (most of the time) to colour footage (some of the time). Flex looked great in both conditions. He was big and in condition and looked great at 5'10 and 1/4.
Flex and Rico went on to perform hyperextensions for the lower back and Flex made fun of Rico for having a hairy back and stretch marks caused by his love handles.
After Flex performed another set, he joked (I think?) about having calf implants, saying that the insertion was still bleeding on them. I wasn't sure if he was joking or not.
Flex pointed to a good looking girl and her boyfriend and said that guys like him were not smart to bring their girlfriend with them when guys like Rico and him were there (and looking that much better than the boyfriend). Flex was definitely full of confidence, bordering on arrogance, which is probably something that happens a lot when people transform their physique in such a big way.
For quads, Flex started off with leg extensions, which is what I had come to expect from Flex at this point since he seemed to be someone who was very reliant on machines. His quads were separated and already striated, even though he was still a few days away from the contest. Flex next did leg presses, which are a harder exercise to perform than leg extensions, but still not quite at the level of squats. He was performing the leg extensions one leg at a time and the detail in his legs were quite evident during each rep. Flex was obviously going to be ready for the upcoming Mr. Olympia contest. Coming in the contest in the same shape as the Spring shows would be a separate challenge, but at least he would be ready.
Charles Glass did a set of leg extensions after Flex was stronger than Flex and Rico despite them both outweighing him.
For the next exercise, Flex did weighted steps on to the flat bench.
Flex came driving up to the gym in his Mercedes Benz wearing a tanktop and striped black and red shorts. Flex explained that the stuff in his car cost him $20,000. This was probably the beginning of Flex's road down the wrong path to financial planning. He made big, but like so many others, his spending simply increased as he made more money. At one point, I even heard that he had 16 cars. I'm not sure of the validity of this, but in any case, it is always a wise move to save up money when you are making great quantities of it.
For hamstrings, Flex started off with seated leg curls. He then went in to the women's bathroom because the men's room was in use. The next exercise that Flex performed were lying leg curls, which he did using each leg individually. Flex then performed stiff legged deadlifts for his hamstrings. This is a very effective basic movement, but Flex was going really light with the weight as usual. Although depletion may be an excuse for Flex's lack of strength levels, it seems as though he was notorious for being a lazy and light trainer. Flex was obviously a genetic freak. With genetics like his, a person will grow no matter what they do and that is the truth.
Flex drove up to the gym again with another car - this time it was an older one, but looked to be a classic.
Flex started out his shoulders routine with machine shoulder presses (non Smith Machine variety). This was what I had come to expect from him at this point in the DVD. Like Bob Cicherillo, Flex was definitely a fan of the machine training. Bob even wrote an article in FLEX magazine as to why pretty well all of the basic movements are basically wrong. The problem with magazines is that they will post one article like that, then in the same issue will have another article about how the basic movements are the best. Even on BodybuildingPro.com you will see articles by different authors which contradict each other like that. The key thing to understand is that bodybuilding is a highly individualized activity and that what works for one person may not work for somebody else. Keep that in mind and tweak any given routine for yourself personally, and you will be set.
The footage went back to colour, and Flex flexed for the camera. He was full and cut and in fantastic shape with cartoon character proportions.
Flex then did upright rows for his traps. The footage went back to colour again and Flex was looking very sharp. His chest was striated and he had signs of conditioning everywhere. He did flyes on the reverse pec deck machine for his rear delts and then hit a lat spread.
For arms, Flex started out with 80 pounds on the preacher bench. He did 105 next for a set before moving on to the preacher machine curls (an exercise which Dorian Yates swore by). Flex had some amazing and very balanced biceps. He then moved on to triceps exercises, and started off with skull crushers which were followed up with close grip presses. This is a good superset for triceps if you are interested. He used the 125 pound barbell next. Triceps are another of Flex's strong points. Flex hit a front double biceps pose after his second set of the skull crushers. He did rope pulldowns for the triceps next before doing bench dips after that. The footage went back to colour and he hit some more flexes and was looking good in all of them (such as the front double biceps and front lat spread).
Flex then introduced the viewing audience to Mike Christian ("The Iron Warrior"). The trio went to a room where Flex hit some poses in his underwear. He was looking fantastic and his waist was just tiny. He was big and full and had fantastic balance. His abs had an excellent genetic shape. Clearly Flex was on trakc to performing very well at the upcoming Mr. Olympia contest.
After the posing, Flex went back to the gym to hit chest hard. He was bench pressing using 225, which was a decent weight given that I was used to seeing Flex perform using machines with light weight. He went on to perform incline presses, also with 225, and it seemed heavy for him.
Mike Christian was in the gym and said some good words about Flex. He said that with Flex's small joints that his muscles just flare out. Mike was also impressed that Flex had managed to compete at all the Grand Prix shows and the Ironman and Arnold Classic earlier in the year and was still able to be in such excellent shape for the Mr. Olympia in the Fall.
Flex did the 100 pound dumbbells next on the incline bench for a set. Flex used the 135 pound dumbbells next for a good set. I was impressed with his strength at this point, but not so much with his effort. He was repping the 225 on the flat and incline bench for the same number of reps as I would, yet he went on to use the 135s which are heavier than I have ever gone. Clearly he was stronger than me, but you wouldn't know that based on the effort he put forth in his bench press sets. He even wen on to use the 150s next, with decent form for reps.
Flex said a few positive words for the camera and the credits rolled, thus concluding the DVD.
This was certainly an excellent DVD if you are a fan of aesthetic and pleasing looking physiques. Some fans, probably even MOST, are fans of huge monsters like Markus Ruhl, Art Atwood, and the gang. Sheer mass and cuts for the sake of mass and cuts is what appeals to a lot of people, because they want to see the biggest and most shredded freaks walking on stage. That having been said, if you are seeking a DVD featuring a bodybuilder who appears to be carved from stone, and if you are a fan of Flex Wheeler, this is the DVD for you. Flex Wheeler also came out with another excellent DVD called "Mass Construction." Although the training footage is not as heavy or intense as some other bodybuilding videos out there, this is still a DVD for you if you see bodybuilding as a work of art come to life.
PICTURES FROM THE DVD
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For those interested in Flex Wheeler, also be sure to check out Flex's other DVD, "Mass Construction":
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