Get Ready to be Fit-ertained! Meet Openfit Trainer Justin FlexenDec 22, 2021
Spend just a few minutes in one of our Facebook Groups, and you’ll see that people love Openfit Cycling Trainer Justin Flexen. His energy and positivity help carry users through challenging workouts and inspire them to keep coming back.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get stronger, or establish a consistent fitness routine, Justin wants to help you HIIT Your Goals. The new program features bike and floor workouts that welcome and support newcomers, engage and challenge more advanced users, and entertain everyone.
We went beyond the workout screen to find out what got Justin interested in fitness, his unhealthiest habit, and why he feels just 15 minutes per day can help kickstart your healthy lifestyle.
Join Justin, Jesse, and teammates to revamp your fitness with HIIT Your Goals on Openfit! Get the MYXfitness bike here.
Openfit: How did you become a trainer?
Justin: I used to be a dancer. I did the national tour of Moving Out; I was on shows like Good Morning America, the Rosie show, and Good Day New York. And while I was on tour, I started to work out when I wasn’t actually on stage. And I got really into it. I got certified as a personal trainer while I was still performing. I decided to apply to be a trainer at a New York City gym, and then six months or a year later, I jumped in last minute to teach a group fitness class. And then, from there, it was kind of meant to be.
You’re a hit in the social media groups. People love your energy. How do you make fitness fun?
I try to come at it by being 100% supportive and knowing that not everyone loves to work out. I try to make the workout more enjoyable. I also try to — even though it’s digital — create a sense of community.
I try to make myself approachable and not intimidating. I don’t overcomplicate my workouts. I try to make them very clear and easy to follow. And I think it helps because I love what I do so much. People pick up on that, and then over time, they start to fall in love with having a fitness routine as well.
That sounds friendly for beginners.
I always make sure that they’re set up for success. I explain as much as I possibly can about whatever movement I’m doing. I take my time, and I encourage them to take their time. I encourage them to listen to their body. We were all beginners at some point in our lives.
I just feel like fitness is so important, especially today where people want to live longer and be healthier. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day for five days a week, if that’s what you can commit to, then that’s great. That’s a win. I always encourage people to never compare themselves to anybody, listen to their bodies, and go at their own pace.
What do people focus on too much about fitness, and what should they pay attention to instead?
I think some people want a quick fix, or they want to target specific areas. They want a flatter stomach or toned arms instead of training holistically. I think that’s just kind of how society has taught us to think about our bodies.
I encourage people to think about fitness as something holistic, where it’s like you want to work your total body, recover, and have proper nutrition. Reaching your fitness goals takes a lot of time, patience, dedication, and commitment.
Some of your workouts take place on a bike. Why should someone consider a MYX bike over some of the other options on the market?
The big differentiator is that MYX is based on heart-rate-zone training. To me, that’s a game-changer. No other platforms out there use heart rate to measure how hard you’re working and how you recover. So, we really focus on a holistic way of training: mind-body connection, positive reinforcement, and supportive coaching. And while we do have a large community, I would say that there is still an element of one-on-one training, so it feels a little more personalized.
What exercises do you enjoy the least?
I’m not a huge fan of chest exercises. I’m not a fan of any kind of bench press, dumbbell chest press, or any type of push-up. I just always thought I didn’t have a strong chest, or I just didn’t have upper body strength. So, I think goes back to that. But I always do chest day. I make sure that I hit every muscle in my body. But those are my least favorite exercises.
What’s your favorite exercise?
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Anything total-body HIIT is my favorite. Training with kettlebells is my absolute favorite way to train. I get my strength in, I get my cardio in, and I just feel great afterward. Kettlebells and high-intensity interval base are my jam.
What’s so great about HIIT?
You can do a lot of work in a short amount of time. You will be breathless, and you will probably be a little sore the next day. But you’re probably making a larger impact on your body than you would by doing a two-hour workout where you don’t get your heart rate up. It’s all about efficiency and effectiveness. If you can squeeze in a 20-minute workout where you work hard and get your heart rate up, a brief, intense workout can be as beneficial — if not more so — as a lengthy, moderate-intensity effort.
What can people expect from your workouts?
You’re going to get a great workout; you’re going to be what I like to call “fit-ertained.” which is like fitness and entertainment. I want to show them a good time and keep them entertained while they work out. Whether that’s me telling stories or cracking jokes, I’m known for just saying whatever comes to my mind at the moment. But, most importantly, you’re going to learn how to train efficiently, you’re going to sweat, and you’re going to laugh along the way.
What’s your diet look like? Do you have a favorite dish?
I’m plant-based, so probably 90% of my diet is from vegetables, fruits, and non-meat products. I started making tempe bolognese pasta, and I’ve been eating that regularly. It’s super easy to make. It takes maybe 15 to 20 minutes. I just put it over some chickpea or lentil pasta, and it’s delicious. Sometimes I’ll throw in some mushrooms. It fills me up, and I feel great eating it.
Do you have any guilty pleasures? Any unhealthy habits?
I love any baked good. I’m a huge donut fan; my favorite is probably a traditional glazed, just simple and sweet. I also love French fries.
My unhealthiest habit would probably be that I don’t get enough sleep. I love waking up early, but I also really love staying up late.
So, then you must enjoy coffee?
Oh yeah. I love coffee and pre-workout. But I wake up, and I’m just excited about what’s going to happen that day. So, I kind of instantly have a little pep in my step when I wake up, even if I’m a little tired.
What kinds of healthy activities do you like to do with family and friends?
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I love hiking. I love walking around New York City and just exploring other neighborhoods. I love going to movie theaters and getting together with friends, so I usually walk whenever I’m going anywhere.