Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beachbody: Yay or nay?

I'm not becoming a coach. This is just my honest review of the Beachbody program from my two attempts at sticking it out. I'm thinking about adding some personal experiences with other multi-level marketing companies (or direct marketing, or whatever they're calling them nowadays). If you're interested, let me know!

Anyways, this is about Beachbody. So let's get to it!

A friend of mine became a coach and posted about her progress on social media quite a bit. I thought she was really inspiring and I definitely needed to get my butt off the couch and start losing some of the baby weight from my second, so I signed up for a month of the chocolate shakes and I bought Piyo (an 8 week program that combines pilates and yoga).

The shakes were not what I was hoping for but they were definitely filling if I beefed them up a little with some frozen fruit. I wasn't a big fan of the flavor by itself, but it did grow on me a little as time went on. I didn't reorder the shakes when the time came just because of the price. It averages out to just over $4 a serving (for 30 days), but that doesn't count the milk, fruit, veggies, or anything you add into it. It's supposed to be a meal replacement option, but that was still a little too steep for me.

I wasn't a huge fan of the trainer in the DVD's, so I put it aside and borrowed a copy of 21 Day FIx (The 21 day program with Autumn Calebrese, the tiniest, most muscular little Italian I've ever seen, and her portion control container based meal plan). I loved that program (as in loved the challenge and the post-workout high, but not cardio day). It was great accountability to have the printable calendar and a different workout for each day of the week. I knew I was keeping my body guessing and with the workouts being only about half an hour each, they were pretty doable. After the 21 days were up, I took a break to decide what I wanted to do next. And after a couple weeks on the break (ha ha ha), I found out I was pregnant again.

So I quit.

Fast forward a little over a year. I was a couple months post partum with my third and feeling pretty icky. And large. And curvy (in the wrong places). A different friend posted online about her fitness journey (after a pregnancy with twins!) and she looked amazing, so I figured it was time to get back into gear and stop feeling sorry for myself. I texted my coach friend (the same one as before), asked for a link, and signed up for another program and another month of shakes.

This time around I went with the vanilla shakes and I actually really liked them. I started saving tons of recipes on Pinterest for them and I ended up having plenty of variety, which helped me not to get sick of any one flavor. I also could cater to whatever groceries I had in my house that needed to be used up, which was a nice bonus. I didn't renew my order, again, because of the price.

While I was waiting for my new DVD's to arrive in the mail, I did another round of 21 Day Fix. I bought Shaun T's program Focus T25. And I didn't like that one either. However, I had spent enough money on the programs and I really wanted to have a badass before and after transformation, so I sucked it up and found a hybrid schedule so I could alternate between Piyo and T25. I suppose it's the same with any new teacher or coach: once you give them the chance and figure out their styles, they're not so bad. I just finished week 7 of that 8 week hybrid program.

And here are my thoughts.

Isn't it just like any other workout DVD program?
Yes and no. It is a workout DVD. You get what you put into it effort-wise. The coaches can't actually check your form or specifically cater the workout to your personal needs. However, most of the moves can be modified and you should use common sense, but that goes with all workouts. What I found really sets apart this company is the accountability. You're set up with a coach (granted not all of them have fitness or sports medicine degrees or anything), but someone to offer daily challenges, check up on you, offer moral support and motivation, and a handy app to check in your workouts and shakes every day. I think if I didn't know my coach, it would have been much easier to just stop responding and wait for her to forget about me, but  I can honestly say that this is the longest I've stuck with any kind of workout regimen. 

It's also really nice that there are lots of different workout programs to chose from, so the workouts themselves don't get too repetitive. There is a schedule to follow that ranges anywhere from 3 to 90 days, and each program offers plenty of options to work different muscle groups and switch things up as you go along. For example, 21 Day Fix has a different workout for each day of the week plus another bonus one, so it's unlikely you'd get sick of them as fast as a program with 3 workouts to do for 30 days.

Did I notice a difference with Shakeology?
Yes. When I stopped the shakes, I definitely noticed feeling a little more tired, like my body was used to getting more energy and nutrients that I ended up cutting out. A small part of me also wondered whether or not it was because they added some addictive substance to the shakes, but I'm sure they didn't. I was definitely shedding weight faster than I am now, but I was also very postpartum and breastfeeding, so I was losing about half the total weight I'd gained just from that. Basically, there were a few different variables in play, so it was hard to tell for sure, but I will say that I seemed to have less cravings and especially when I mixed the shakes with a little fruit or veggies, I felt full from them. There are alternatives (ironically from other MLM's), but I haven't found another that's meant to be a meal replacement that has as much as these do. It might just be one of those you-get-what-you-pay-for situations.

Is it worth it? 
It's definitely an expensive program to get involved in (Coaches probably get more perks and discounts, but that's how it works with all MLM style companies, which is fine. I'm betting coaches and trainers who work at gyms get a heavy discount, if not a free membership for themselves). You're not 100% required to use the shakes, but they're HIGHLY encouraged (some coaches might not allow you in the challenge group without the shakes). The programs by themselves aren't too expensive given the amount of workouts you get for each one. A $10-15 DVD at Walmart might get you 3-4 on one disc, but with these (depending on the program) you're getting quite a bit more.

What I think really sets this program over the edge is the challenge groups. You're not leaving your house to go to the gym, but you're automatically connected with people all over the country who are working out with you, working on staying positive and striving to reach their own goals. I'm a big believer that surrounding yourself with positive people who want to be successful is key in becoming successful yourself. It's so much easier to quit anything when you feel like you're in it alone. I've loved being able to click the little checkmark button on my app whenever I finish a workout and when I'm in a rut, I know I've got a group of challenges and an awesome coach backing me up.

So, to answer more simply, yes, I do think it's worth it. If you're in a season of your life where long solo runs (if that's your thing) or visits to the gym aren't a possibility, this might be a great way to go. I've been pushing forward for over three months now, and I'll tell you the same thing I told my coach: I don't want this to be one of my fitness phases. I want this to be the time that I started taking care of myself.

If you're interested in checking it out yourself or if you have any questions, please hit up my sweet friend Rachel! She's been so great and she's honest about what you're going to get, which is always a perk. She's a work-from-home mama herself with the cutest little littles. :) She's on FB as The Athletic SAHM!

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