Ms Fitness Article

Deborah Crowley Age 56

Deborah Crowley Age 56



Deborah  E. Crowley
IFA Certified Personal Trainer / Former Competitive Bodybuilder
Originator of Facialbuilding® 1979 Eureka, CA
FlexEffect® Facial Resistance Training


How did you get started in FlexEffect?

I began teaching Facial Exercise in 1976.  At that time, Isometrics were the only form of facial training known to the public.  A year later, still teaching Facial Isometrics, I became interested in weightlifting and soon after stepped into competitive bodybuilding. This move called for a marked reduction in body fat. Consequently, this loss of fat had an aging effect on my face. As a Facial Trainer this was not an acceptable trade-off!

I had no intention of giving up bodybuilding, but determined to remedy my dilemma. On a hunch that resistance training could add fullness to my face in the same way it did to my body, I decided to convert each Isometric exercise into an exercise using resistance. This was the beginning of ‘Facial Resistance Training’ Est.1979

Knowing what it took to increase muscle density (fullness), I knew resistance training would be far more aggressive than the facial training I had been doing. This took a lot of nerve on my part since I, too, had been duped into thinking any handling of the face could prove detrimental.  When I described my new training technique, which I later dubbed ‘FlexEffect’ as ‘an extension of bodybuilding’ or ‘facialbuilding’, fellow trainers thought I was out of my mind. Frankly, I wasn’t so sure they weren’t on to something.

Much to my relief, my hunch paid off. A very short time proved facial muscles to be every bit as responsive to resistance training as the rest of the body. My face was still thin, but with the extra lift and firmness, I went from gaunt to a healthier more athletic look.

Who would benefit?

Everyone. A better question would be: who would get the most out of it?  The answer to this question is the person who starts early, before the signs of aging set in.  For them, time stands still.  However, the majority of testimonials reporting excellent results are not from the early birds; they are from the late starters — men and women ages 45, 50 and up.

Would you say FlexEffect is better than a surgical face-lift?

FlexEffect is not a magic bullet.  There are those with such sun damage and advanced facial aging that they may never be able to achieve all they hope for in training. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get all the benefits that only training can offer.

Cosmetic surgery can alleviate lines and sag but it cannot replace the fullness of the face. In most cases surgery flattens the face, which is why so many women have cheek implants inserted at the time of their surgery.  The exact opposite is true of facialbuilding.  FlexEffect does a beautiful job replacing fullness, considered to be the most youthful feature of the face.

Those who start facialbuilding while their face is still firm could expect to erase the need for surgery indefinitely. Many late starters with an excessive amount of sun damage and sag may still find they get enough return from their training to forego a major facelift.

Before anyone ops for surgery they should first invest time in training to get as much out of it as they can. Then, if the results of their training stops short of their goal, by that time, electing to have surgery, they’ll find they won’t have the need for as much surgery and their skin will be in far better shape for healing.  Once all is healed, they should jump back into their training and not let it happen again!

What are your thoughts on Botox?

The most popular cosmetic procedure today is Botox.  This procedure has done much to build my business. I have many clients who decided to give FlexEffect a try after trying a few injections of Botox.

Paralyzing the muscles (corrugators) to prevent frowning also causes those muscles to atrophy: within six weeks as much as half of the muscle is lost to atrophy.  Over a period of time, repeated injections will result in hooded lids (drooping upper eyelids). The area of the injection also becomes extremely flat.  This is not what I would call a fair trade off.

For every person trying to eliminate a line or furrow through Botox, there is a trainee eliminating the same line and furrow through FlexEffect – without the side effects.

What type of changes should one expect to see?

Initially, the change most Flexers comment on about three weeks into their training is how their face feels different to the touch.  They notice increased tautness and thickness in the cheek and mouth area. Lips become more defined, and there is an increase in facial oil production. This is a real bonus since it is natural oil that holds moisture in the skin — bye bye dry skin! Three months will bring a visual lift in the cheeks, even more firmness, and smooth skin where there used to be fine lines.  In six months, friends will be asking you to teach them the exercises.

How does FlexEffect affect the skin?   

The following answer was all that was known at the time the article was written.  Please see:  Skin Remodeling and Bone Remodeling 

Without doubt, Flexeffect is a tremendous benefit to the skin.  The supply of blood to a contracting muscle is ten times greater than normal.   Resistance Training brings a vigorous supply of blood to the surface. This blood carries vital oxygen and nutrients to the skin and growing tissue, while carrying away old and damaged cells.  With this constant flushing of oxygen and nutrients, the skin cells become healthier. Before a cell dies, it clones itself. This newly cloned cell will become healthier before cloning itself — and so on, and so on. This means better skin tone and better texture.  The bottom line: you cannot beef-up muscle without beefing-up its surrounding tissue.

Like any form of fitness training, FlexEffect takes time and discipline.  Muscle builds fast but it’s going to take your skin considerably longer (re-cycling of cells) to show the benefit of your training.  Give yourself a year. I know a year sounds like a long time, but it’s worth it. Besides, you’ll be watching your face improve from month to month.  Can’t get more exciting than that!


Simply An Extension of Bodybuilding™