Ryan Gosling as Ken in 'Barbie' to show how TruFlex is meant to give reallyyy toned abs.

I Tried TruFlex, The Celeb-Loved Hack For Getting Ken-Like Abs

Each session mimics 54,000 (!) crunches.

In my ideal world, I’d have abs all year round. Sure, I love how they look in a crop top, but they’re also a visual reminder that I’m putting time and effort into getting physically stronger.

IRL, though, it’s all too easy to supplement weeks of consistent core workouts with weeks of bed rotting. Enter truFlex, a celeb-loved hack for getting a six pack like Ryan Gosling has in Barbie in roughly the time it takes to heat up a frozen pizza.

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to get a jumpstart on my fitness goals. After seeing Olivia Culpo post her snatched truFlex ab results on her Instagram story, that feeling amped up even more. So, I finally took the plunge with the ultimate lazy girl procedure.

TruFlex Is Made With Lazy Girls (& Guys) In Mind

While you lay down, the 15-minute non-invasive body treatment basically works out your core muscles the equivalent of 54,000 crunches. According to truFlex, you can see up to a 30% increase in muscle mass after going four times.

There are three modes that simulate five different core workouts, all with minimal soreness and no known side effects. Since doing even 100 crunches in a row leaves me in fetal position, it’s a major plus for me that this lunchtime procedure isn’t just aesthetic, it actually makes your abs that much stronger as well.

Ahead of spring break SZN, I booked four treatments ($550/session where I went) over the course of a week, as well as a post-truFlex workout class to put my newfound core strength to the test.

The truFlex Treatment Felt Like Someone Was Tickling My Abs

The day of the first treatment at VITAHL Medical Aesthetics in Chicago, my practitioner, Stephanie Wolf, began talking me through the steps of the personalized procedure while placing multi-colored sticky pads on my stomach and the areas I wanted to target, which were my love handles and lower abs.

According to Dr. Tahl Humes, the founder of VITAHL, she recommends this treatment because “it works” and she “can customize it” to her patients’ needs. “Some patients walk in, they’ve got a small pocket of fat they want to get rid of, they want six-pack abs — great, I can do that,” says Humes. “Or it’s a patient who’s rehabbing from surgery [...] and they’re not seeing their body look the way it was before.”

Dr. Arash Moradzadeh, M.D., a dual-board plastic surgeon who did the treatment on Culpo, tells Elite Daily that the stimulating technology in these wired pads “contract, confuse, and ultimately fatigue” your muscles, building strength while toning and defining your body.

Essentially, this muscle confusion eliminates the workout plateau effect you’d normally experience, giving you almost instant results after 15 minutes and also increasing your metabolism over a 12-week period.

Lara Walsh

The first interval of the 15-minute treatment felt like my abs were involuntarily clenching and contracting, and like there was a bubbling or pulsing sensation in the middle of my core. I also felt like there was a slight burn as if I was doing an ab hold exercise like a plank, but I was surprised it was nowhere near the intensity of my typical Pilates or barre core workout.

The second toning portion felt almost like my stomach was getting a deep tissue massage, and it was actually kind of relaxing. However, my aesthetician warned me that the last interval might feel a little more uncomfortable, comparing it to “pinching crab claws.” When the sensation started, I had to stop myself from laughing — it felt just like I was getting tickled, although in a much more aggressive manner.

My Stomach Actually Looked Kind Of Bloated Right After The Treatments

Checking out my stomach in the mirror after peeling off the sticky pads, my midriff looked a little more red and puffy than I’d expected, although there was zero soreness when I tried a few sit-ups.

My stomach looked slightly more toned in the morning, but I’m a skeptic.

Dr. Moradzadeh explains that this immediate bulking effect is similar to the “pump” you might get post-weight lifting, due to increased blood flow and shifts in fluid in the muscles. My stomach looked slightly more toned in the morning, but I’m a skeptic and it was hard to tell if it was *really* an increase in ab strength and definition or more of a debloating effect, similar to what you’d get from a lymphatic drainage massage.

Over the next week of treatments, I avoided working out and, because a few of my friends were visiting from out of town, probably ate out and drank more espresso martinis than usual. Paired with the post-workout “pump” I experienced immediately after treatments every other day, I began to worry that truFlex wasn’t really working for me — until a few days passed.

A Week Later, I Was Blown Away By How My Abs Looked

A few days after my fourth truFlex treatment, I woke up with super sculpted abs. Maybe it took some time for my core muscles to heal and get stronger “post-workout,” but I was honestly floored by the difference from a week prior, especially looking at my before and after pics.

Lara Walsh

Because aesthetics aren’t everything, I decided to test them out in the real world, aka at a gym. To see how much stronger my core really was, I booked a CorePower class — the first workout class I’d done in two weeks — for later that same day.

Sweating through the HIIT yoga session, I paid extra attention to my core while doing weighted one-leg twists, bicycles, and leg raises — all of which seemed slightly easier than usual.

I felt so good, I quickly signed up for another class a few days later.

The biggest change I noticed was when I did bear crawls (usually one of my most challenging exercises), weighted side planks, and regular planks. Not only was I able to hold all three movements significantly longer than usual, but my back also didn’t hurt after doing any of the exercises. I felt so good, I quickly signed up for another class a few days later.

Dr. Moradzadeh says that, like with any muscle building exercise, the results last as long as you maintain them with consistent exercise and a proper diet, so I have a little extra motivation to keep my gym routine going.

Is Getting truFlex Worth It?

TruFlex isn’t cheap (it costs $2,200 for four sessions at VITAHL), but the results aren’t temporary, if you’re willing to supplement your treatment with exercise.

This could be a really good option for someone who’s given up doing core exercises due to an injury/back issue or any kind of exercise restriction, and wants a leg up to kickstart their fitness journey. I personally was able to keep a lot of the strength and definition for about a month until I started slacking on my workouts again.

Unless you have a Culpo budget, however, this is probably a treatment you can’t justify doing frequently, even with girl math. Still, I’m definitely considering saving up to do it again for a special occasion in the future, like a tropical vacation with my partner or a bachelorette party.

Experts cited:

Dr. Arash Moradzadeh, MD, a dual-board plastic surgeon at AM Facial Plastics, in Beverly Hills, California

Dr. Tahl Humes, founder of VITAHL and board-certified physician

Studies cited:

Spring, Leah K., et al. “Use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Abdominal and Quadriceps Muscle Strengthening.” Dermatologic Surgery, vol. Publish Ahead of Print, 27 Dec. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1097/dss.0000000000003368. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Gelman, Ram, et al. “A Subject-Tailored Variability-Based Platform for Overcoming the Plateau Effect in Sports Training: A Narrative Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 3, 2 Feb. 2022, p. 1722, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834821/, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031722.