It’s that time of year again when millions of people make resolutions to get fit. Where do you turn to find that miracle workout routine that will transform you quickly?
There are a ton of aggressively marketed programs available. One of the biggest is Beachbody. You might find yourself asking, what is the Beachbody scam?
Beachboy is the juggernaut of online workout companies selling P90X, P90X3, Insanity, and Tai Cheng DVD workout series (among others), plus “Shakeology” protein drinks and all kinds of fitness gear. Beachbody sells online and via infomercial and makes hundreds of millions of dollars.
Team Beachbody is the offshoot. It is a multi-level marketing program using aggressive sales techniques. Their system allows individual “coaches” to sell the Beachbody programs to friends utilizing social media channels like Facebook to reach out. Coaches make a cut off sales, and off the sales of new coaches they recruit.
Scam is too harsh a word to describe how Beachbody does business. Some people have mislabelled it a “pyramid scheme.” And it’s not really.
It is estimated that today there are more than 300,000 coaches, and three-quarters are women below the age of 40. One of the criticisms is that to become a coach, you don’t need specific training in nutrition or exercise. Basically, they sell their own experience with the product, relying heavily on before and after pictures as visual proof of the program.
Many of these coaches become evangelical in their devotion to the products and sell hard. That alone can be a big, annoying turnoff to many people, but it doesn’t necessarily make it a scam or illegal.
The Better Business Bureau distinguishes between a Pyramid Scheme and Multi-Level Marketing this way: Pyramid schemes don’t sell product but primary recruit investors. MLMs sell product and recruit others to sell.
What about the actual workout?
From my standpoint as a Baby Boomer, the biggest problem with Beachbody is the workout itself. It is designed for people under 40. It features a mix of weights, cardio and yoga.
If you’re a Baby Boomer and can still handle that level of ‘insanity,’ more power to you. Give it a shot.
But I think most of us are best suited to a sensible program to build muscle and defy the aging process. We don’t necessarily need to become ‘ripped’ bodybuilders, just stronger and healthier versions of ourselves. And we need a program that fits in our lifestyle and can be maintained for the long term.
We can build muscle, burn fat and get in good shape without insanity or pain. Please see these posts for more on Baby Boomers building muscle: