I’m sure your eyes rolled to the back of your head, or you are feeling skeptical, or you feel the urge to keep on scrolling. In this post I share what this Mom, turned Beachbody coach, turned Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition coach thinks of Beachbody’s more popular products and company practices (only relevant if you are interesting in becoming a coach).
I’m also writing this because I more than likely not bring up Beachbody unless we know someone in common, you bring up Beachbody, or you directly ask me about their products. This probably makes me a terrible coach, but I hate it when people tell me what I need before they learn more about me!
I have been a fan of Beachbody’s home workouts since 2004(?) and I started as a Beachbody coach in 2013 or 2014. Soon after becoming a coach, I became pregnant with or delivered my third child. This pregnancy also triggered allergic-like reactions to food, medicine, and products I’ve been using for years. Towards the middle of my pregnancy, I began struggling with pain. This birth ended up c-section (my second).
I quickly realized many coaches were either unable to support my fitness through pregnancy — to be fair, my doctors and OB-Gyn did not have much information on fitness during pregnancy either. Many other coaches gave bad or dangerous advice regarding recovery after birth, or pushed supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I found myself pregnant again when my third was 8 months old. Surprise! I felt lost because I needed to be active to keep my sanity — especially in the winter months, but there wasn’t much support or guidelines.
The bad advice wasn’t just geared towards pregnant women and new mothers. I saw a lot of coaches suggest very low calorie diets, doubling up on drinking shakes, and doubling up on workouts, pushing through pain and soreness, getting up earlier to make time for exercise, etc. I decided in order to help others well, I needed to become a certified personal trainer — that process did not start until after my fourth child was born. After obtaining my personal training certification and realizing I needed to know more, I completed several other specializations — Women’s Fitness, Behavior Change, Fitness Nutrition, Precision Nutrition, Pre & Postnatal Fitness, Youth Fitness, and Corrective Exercise.
You came here for information about Beachbody — back to the purpose of this post.
Let’s start with the thing every coach talks about — Shakeology. Shakeology is a nutrition shake. The original marketing claimed it tastes like dessert, but acts like a salad. Shakeology was designed to fill in the gaps of an average diet — Shakeology provides protein, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, adaptogens, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. You can read more about why those are important here. FYI – Affiliate link.
Do I use it every day? Nope.
Do I buy it every month? Nope.
Is it effective? It can be*. * = I’ll explain, later
My experience: As I mentioned above, during my third pregnancy and after, I began having allergic-like reactions to food, medicine, and products I’ve been using for years. Through research, inconclusive tests, and an allergist telling me my symptoms happening after eating couldn’t happen that fast — I decided to take matters into my own hands. I began a gluten-free and dairy free diet (I was also breastfeeding and my daughter frequently threw up after feeding and I thought dairy was an issue).
At that time, Aldi did not have the selection of gluten-free items that they do now and gluten-free items are really expensive. I quickly found out that making gluten-free from scratch recipes was time-consuming, disappointing, and expensive since each recipe called for different combinations of gluten-free flours (also, there were not as many cookbooks or blogs dedicated to cooking gluten-free). I was still learning how to cook and eat dairy and gluten-free so many of our go-to meals needed to change. Vegan Shakeology was something that interested me because it was an easy, quick, gluten-free, dairy-free choice.
Shakeology can be an easy way to start getting more nutrient-dense foods into your diet. The CEO of Beachbody says he wanted Shakeology created because he is an adult that eats like a picky 4 year-old. Shakeology is better than nothing, but it can become a bandaid for some people — it will not fix a poor diet. But it can help on days where eating nutrient-dense food is difficult.
I look at Shakeology as a ‘treat’ for when I’m craving a dessert. I use it as an option for breakfast — days where I’m not really hungry but know I need to have something before heading out the door. I also use it as a snack between meals — I bring it with me if I know it will be awhile until my next meal or because gas-stations are our only option for food/snacks and I’m going to go for the potato chips (hey, they’re inexpensive & gluten-free). I drink Shakeology in spurts since I now have several gluten-free options to keep on hand for meals or snacks, and I’m not as overwhelmed by caregiving.
Next up, Those color coded containers. They were called Portion Fix, 21 Day Fix containers, Portion control system. They are now called Ultimate Portion Fix. More info here. Again, that’s an affiliate link.
Do I use them everyday? Nope*.
Do they work? Yes*.
Are they accurate? They can be* * = I’ll explain, later
My experience: The containers helped me adjust how I cooked. It also helped me learn to portion out each food group and create meals that were satisfying. I found it easier/less time consuming than using My Fitness Pal — that is if, you are not a regular user.
The USDA Pyramid or My Plate guidelines are a great general guide for those wanting to improve what they eat. Those guidelines are not geared for those who are more active or are following more intense exercise programs most days of the week. I did not care for Beachbody’s original eating guidelines — it was a restrictive food plan, many items were not available in my area, and it was not sustainable long-term. When Beachbody came out with the 21 Day Fix and the container system, I was pumped! Sidenote: The Fix system has replaced Beachbody’s eating guidelines for those who are exercising.
The Fix system encourages eating a whole foods diet — fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, etc. The Fix system is a great first step to changing the way you eat IF you do not eat whole foods for most of your meals. There are people that disagree with using the containers because you can overeat (there is more to this conversation, too long for this post). While it is true you can overeat healthy foods, weighing and logging food may be too big of a first step for some people. Using the containers helps you become more aware of what you are eating, help you get more nutrient-dense foods into your diet, and build meals that satisfy your hunger and keep you energized throughout the day. This approach is similar to how I coach clients that want to over-haul their eating habits.
Do I use it every day? At least 3-4 days per week.
How do I feel about the programs? I like some more than others. Any program can be adapted to fit your current fitness level. Some programs are only available through Beachbody on Demand — which is disappointing.
Are they effective? Yes! However, I see many people that go from program to program without really thinking about what they are trying to achieve and end up disappointed with their results. Some programs are better suited for different goals and in order to reach those goals, you may need to invest in some fitness equipment — that is not available through Beachbody.
I have found Beachbody fitness programs and trainer advice to echo the exercise principles, safety guidelines, and evidence-based information presented through the certifications I completed. The trainers also work with those in different fields — corrective exercise, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, body building, etc to create their programs. The programs really make exercise safe and effective and fun — the workouts I create for clients are hugely inspired by Beachbody. In a separate post, I share my favorite programs and why I recommend them.
Challenge Packs are probably another thing you hear a lot from coaches. A challenge pack consists of Shakeology or Nutrition Program or Supplement plus a workout program. With the purchase of a Challenge Pack, coaches offer support and guidance through a challenge group. you hear a lot of buzz from coaches about challenge packs/groups when new programs are released. You won’t hear it from me — unless you bring it up.
I don’t believe in trying a program just because it’s a new release. Becoming a change specialist has taught me that in order for you to make change, you need to do something you enjoy. How quickly you are able to change depends on many variables. Becoming a pre & postnatal fitness coach taught me that women’s bodies need more time to recover after pregnancy and birth than what we’re commonly told. Mothers tend to face many more obstacles and pressure when it comes to achieving wellness goals. Becoming a corrective exercise specialist has taught me that pain is not to be ignored or pushed through — you may need to back-track and focus on correcting the way you move, how often you move, etc. before jumping into daily exercise.
I did like the idea of offering support in a group setting (virtually). I have taken Beachbody’s challenge group idea, added what I’ve learned from those certifications, and added in my experience to create and run several challenges groups. Challenge groups are not for everyone. Challenge groups work well if you are competitive, need that social support or interaction, and members of the challenge group are actively participating in the group.
The Business (Becoming a Coach to help Others)
Achieving rank, hosting/attending team calls, attending leadership events, going to summit, participating in test groups, etc. have not been on my radar since I started coaching.
I’m a Mom to four, we live in a small 3 bedroom house with a small yard. We’ve been remodeling our house mostly ourselves for the past 11 years — you can read about that our progression here, here, and here (link coming soon). My husband is a field-service mechanic on forestry and construction equipment. Until recently, he worked 12+ hour days — his schedule could/would change in an instant.
Once our older two started school, I had a taste of freedom and discovered that I enjoyed
coaching and thought coaching was something I could do around my husband’s schedule. My ‘freedom’ was short-lived. Child #3 arrived March 2014, and our surprise child #4 arrived June 2015. You can read about my transformation through these years in this post as well as read about the many setbacks.
I told myself having four children would be no different than two — so I decided to become a personal trainer a month after the birth of my fourth. During this time my husband was still working long-ish hours, we were still working on house stuff, child #4 was our worst sleeper and such a demanding baby. Child #3 is/was a funny pain in the ass and had to be by my side for everything. We were all adjusting to the dynamic shifts with the addition of our third and fourth children. Getting kids up and ready for school, errands/keeping up on house/life stuff, picking them up, homework help, making supper, bathing children, bedtimes, etc. fell on my shoulders many nights. We also live 90 minutes away from our families so getting free help last-minute was out of the question and we couldn’t afford paid help. His work demands made planning anything time-consuming, exhausting, and frustrating.
(Anyone that tells you adding another child is not a big deal — they are lying liars. Or they have more patience, enjoy housework, have easy children, have higher tolerance for chaos, have different ideas about quality time, or have different ideas about parenting than I do. 😉)
In January of 2016, I passed my exam and went on to complete several other specializations. I was excited to begin running more fitness challenges and meeting clients at our local high school gym that was open to the public — once again, my husband’s schedule presented an obstacle. I encountered further obstacles with scheduling sessions, no shows, and affording child care.
I came up with plan B and put training and coaching on hold. I ended up getting a part-time job in retail in order to get out of the house, contribute to finishing remodeling projects (a future training space for clients to come to me), and pay for additional fitness and nutrition certifications while I waited for my youngest to be old enough to attend school full time.
The 2020 school year was the year all of my children would be in school full-time. I had planned to jump back into coaching and training full-time in 2020 — I’m writing this as we are on month 7 of adjusting to COVID — I’m still working retail part-time and I’m slowly getting back into doing more coaching and training. As of now, I’m not sure that I will participate in Beachbody’s events in the near future. I’m not sure that I’m going to build a team of coaches.
Building a team of coaches can help you earn more income than just connecting people to Beachbody on Demand, Beachbody Dvd Programs, Shakeology, etc. You achieve levels of rank by signing up people that want to coach others or signing up people that want a 25% discount on products. Each level of rank achieved means you can earn more income. Coaches make 25% commission off customer purchases. I like to point this out because, now that I have more training, my commission on a single Beachbody on Demand yearly subscription or a month of Shakeology is close to what I charge for ONE 45 minute session.
Team calls – Again, I have not stayed current with team calls, so this may have changed. Team calls are really geared towards increasing sales and starting conversations with people. My coach (Cory Miller) and her coach (Jenelle Summers) hold weekly training calls. I have not started holding my own as I have not been building a team. If I were to start building a team, I am unsure that I would start hosting a call of my own. If I do start, I like the idea of creating documents and videos for you to go through at your leisure. My focus would be to help you understand how to safely coach women and mothers — which means understanding that there will be times when you will need to refer your customer to a professional.
Test groups are rewards for coaches who have earned success club by selling so many challenge packs per month. Coaches are chosen to test out a program that is being developed. Their results are used as promotion for the program. It’s an awesome way to promote the program and support those coach’s coaching business. Test groups show what can be achieved by those that are not fitness models, not fitness trainers, etc. You see real results from people with many different fitness levels and body types. BUT some of the coaches have been at this long enough to build those habits that lead to those awesome transformations. Results may be influenced because test groups are taken more seriously (as opposed to following a program on your own) by those doing them.
Summit – an annual gathering of coaches to announce new products, speakers come in, you get to hang with team members, workout/meet n greet with the trainers, etc. If you cannot make this event, it is live-streamed and those that do attend, post about it. Leadership events are smaller, invite only (again, based on Challenge pack sales) and usually have a work-play vibe and one-on-one time with the CEO of Beachbody.
Until next time, I remain, the Mom-turned-Beachbody-Coach-turned-Fitness & Nutrition-Professional that says, to summarize: Beachbody on Demand is a low-cost option for those that have a great internet connection and speed, need variety, have minimal fitness equipment, and need something that’s convenient. Beachbody dvd programs are also worth the investment and cheaper than a gym membership or training sessions if you do not mind repeating workouts until you can afford purchasing a different program.
Also, those color-coded containers are helpful in establishing sustainable eating habits to support your fitness goals when exercise isn’t enough to get you where you want to be.
Also, if you struggle to get started on your own, hiring me as your coach will be worth the investment. I offer challenges for those that need a group setting and I offer a self-paced guide for those that face many obstacles in their lives.
For the record, this post has taken 6 years to write and have spent 3 days updating and revising. In the last hour of working on this post, I have been interrupted 20 times and had to remind children at least 10 times to not interrupt me. No joke. I see you. I understand you.
This blog is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis and should in no way replace consultation with a medical professional. If you try this advice and it does not work for you, you cannot sue me. This is only my opinion, based on my background, training, and experience as a woman, mother, personal trainer, and coach.