Beachbody is a Scheme that You Should Not Waste Your Money or Time On

Fixed beachbodyYou’ve probably stumbled across at least one transformation picture that gave credit to Beachbody and Shakeology on your social media. Beachbody is one of the biggest fitness companies in the USA & Canada and is estimated to be worth over $1.2 billion.[1] Unsurprisingly, the company was eager to expand, and after a year of buildup, Beachbody UK launched in October 2017. I’m a fitness lover, so I was naturally curious about the latest and greatest trend.

Beachbody has an ingenious business plan. In the late 2000’s it switched to a model that utilized regular people and their social media contacts. The new ‘sellers’ of the Beachbody product were called ‘coaches’. These were customers who used the product and were then recruited into the company. Currently, Beachbody has around 360,000 coaches[3] (I am estimating the number of coaches that have joined in the UK).

The coaches earn income by getting commission from ‘challenge packs’, Shakeology, gear and by recruiting new coaches. The coach recruitment is the best way for coaches to up their income. Beachbody gives coaches regular monetary bonuses for the number of coaches they have recruited below them (if this seems like a pyramid scheme, it is a very similar setup). Some of the more famous Beachbody coaches make over six figures per year. Becoming a coach is billed as a great, easy, fast way to make money at home.

The posts I saw on Instagram by these coaches made it seem so good. They got to work out, get paid, and “help others live a happier life”. I was skeptical, but if this was legitimate then it was perfect for me. Unbeknownst to my friends and family, I joined Beachbody as a coach to investigate the inner workings of the business and to understand what was going on behind closed computer screens.

Below is a list of all the things you will never be told by Beachbody coaches or in the training, in addition to my personal warning about why you should not fall for the Beachbody mystique. Let’s start with the limited benefits Beachbody offers you.

  1. The ‘meal plan’ given to you is very similar to what most doctors recommend for losing weight. The emphasis is on portion control and getting your daily amounts of fruit, vegetables and protein. All this information is readily accessible online. Beachbody contributes by giving you Tupperware containers to divvy out your allotted portions for each food. The containers are color coded but the same thing you can buy from Walmart.
  2. The workouts are decent. Some are a bit dated in clothing and music, but otherwise you get a good sweat. Each move is explained and demonstrated. You also get a day by day workout, so you don’t have to plan anything. Overall, I think Beachbody has a good thing going with their workouts. However, the price is a high compared to similar things on the market like Fit Body Guides or Fitness Blender.
  3. They have a helpful customer service. I had to call customer service twice, once for a postal inquiry and once for a refund question. Both times I got the answer I wanted and the staff was very friendly.

Now, for the many problems I found with Beachbody.

  1. You must invest way more than people tell you. To begin as a coach, you pay £39.95 to join, then you are forcefully encouraged to purchase a challenge pack that includes your first months Shakeology, access to workouts, and the online coaches training. This costs you £160.00 + VAT, but you get a 25% discount as a coach and you get the £39.95 coach fee waived with purchase. This works out to an even £160.00 just for your first month! After that you pay £15.95 per month for access to your coach website and the training library, and £95.00 for your monthly order of Shakeology. So, the monthly running cost is roughly £120.00 including VAT + shipping. To break even, in commission you would need to sell a minimum of 3 challenge packs a month. Coaches try to play this amount down to potential new coaches by saying it is a small price to pay to be your own boss. But…is it?
  1. It is not a quick or easy way to hustle some side cash. The social media posts I saw from Beachbody coaches made it seem simple! Post work out pics, show you are drinking Shakeology, and people will want to join your challenge group. What Beachbody neglects to tell is that you must constantly talk people into joining your challenge or coaching group.The work doesn’t stop there, after you have walked people through the joining/payment process, you now must put in effort to guide them through workouts, provide emotional support, and basically be a life coach for half the money you would normally get. I would estimate that you need to network for at least 3 hours per day and assist in your challenge groups at least 1-2 hours to earn a slight profit.
  1. You become the creepy stalker character from ‘Friend Request’. To get new coaches below you (so you earn bonuses) and customers you must stalk, harass, and annoy people into working with you. Beachbody even have a suggested formula that coaxes people into agreeing. First, you study their profiles, and find something you have in common. Then, you randomly message them with something like ‘I see you are an avid hiker like me! That is so cool, where are some of the places you have climbed?’ Now, you have a conversation going and you can eventually slip in that they should join your Beachbody challenge group. In case they have some objection like money or time, Beachbody has pre-prepared responses designed to refute their concerns. It is straight up stalker material.
  2. You are persuasively encouraged to drink Shakeology. Shakeology is one of the biggest sellers for Beachbody. It is a drink with a ton of added vitamins and herbs that is supposed to curb cravings, make you eat less, and basically help you lose weight along with the workouts. I was most cynical of this aspect of Beachbody. It tastes good, like cake batter, but immediately after my heart was unnaturally racing and I got the runs. Concerned, I went to a pharmacist to ask about Shakeology and interactions with my medication, and was told that there was no way to know because so many of the ingredients weren’t tested for interactions and were likely not fully researched. I told my Beachbody mentor that I wasn’t comfortable selling a product I couldn’t drink for health reasons. She reacted aggressively, saying my concerns were unfounded, and I should try to drink it for at least 8 days for my body to adjust. Her suggestion that I should drink it for at least a week made me think there was something else going on. I took my bag of Shakeology and went through the ingredients list. It shared ingredients with soda, and energy drinks, as well as using artificial sweeteners that haven’t been thoroughly studied. I can’t say positively (I am not a medical professional), but I’m suspicious that Shakeology might be mildly addictive.
  1. It is almost cult like. Once you are in Beachbody it is really, hard to get out. Your coach will put in a lot of effort to keep you in the program. If you want to cancel your coach membership you have to file online paperwork and then wait weeks before they officially cancel your membership. You must also call to separately cancel your monthly Shakeology. You cannot cancel this online anywhere. And, if you want to return any products for any reason, it is a trial! In the UK, the official return address does not show up in the Royal Mail Postal system. I tried calling Beachbody for a different address, was given the same one, then told to pay to use their special Beachbody courier who sent it to an address in a different region than the one advertised on the Beachbody UK site.
  2. It is concerning that Beachbody puts all legal responsibility on its coaches. If you do not follow their scripts word for word, and someone attempts to sue for injury, breach of contract, whatever, the coach, not Beachbody is liable. A dangerous place to be if you are a small business owner with no insurance.

It’s difficult to find any negative reviews about Beachbody and their coaching schemeBeachbody 2 online. It took deep internet research to find a few blogs that had somewhat un-positive things to say, but they all still had pro-Beachbody quotes worked in. I attribute this to a very strongly worded coach contract all new coaches must agree to prior to accessing Beachbody. One section forbids an active coach from posting ANY negative reviews/comments/opinions online while still working as/with Beachbody.

I began this project because I wanted to see if Beachbody’s overwhelmingly positive reputation was as honest as it appeared. It wasn’t. Personally, it was an extremely hostile experience. I had internet trolls comment on my photos, my mentor attempt to brow beat me, and I got ill off Shakeology. I suggest that you do not join Beachbody as a coach to earn money. If you are purely interested in the workouts, they seem safe and effective, but drink Shakeology after seeking a doctor’s advice.

In a bid to quiet the people who might suggest I wrote this because I am upset I didn’t make any profit, let me give a breakdown. Several weeks into coaching, I did have several people who were ready and willing to pay to be a part of my challenge group and several people ready to join me as coaches. I would have gotten a profit from both aspects of the Beachbody business if I continued. I worked the program exactly as outlined by Beachbody. I want to also clarify I returned all profits and cancelled my Beachbody membership before I wrote this, I made zero profit from the business, and I have not violated any confidentiality. All of this information is accessible on their website and via research. 

[1] Beachbody Executive Team – Fitness, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss Official Web site Beachbody UK Fitness – http://www.Beachbody.co.uk. Beachbody LLC. (2017). Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://www.beachbody.co.uk/product/about/executive-team.do
[2] Beachbody History – Founding Date – Beaching Coaching Started in 2007. (2014, March 13). Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://fitdadchris.com/beachbody-history/
[3] Company Overview. Beachbody LLC. (2017). Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://www.beachbody.com/product/about_us/company_overview.do

Be Sweet and You Can Get Free Stuff

 
I have another post about getting free things! If I get something for free, I find that down the line I love the thing more than I would if I paid for it. I think that is a result of being poor and knowing the value of items. 
 

Method 1: Say yes to everything! Store employees are always approaching me to do surveys, fill out a quick form etc. Usually people brush them off because they are in a rush, but I’ve been one of the people who asks customers for surveys and if they do fill them out, I’m happy to make it worth their time! Just the other day, I filled out a survey and I got a free ice slushie at the movie theatre and 2 for 1 popcorn. Many fast food restaurants have surveys at the bottom of receipts to get discounts or free burgers! If you don’t believe me that saying yes to surveys, forms, etc. gets you free stuff, then listen to this. If you are shopping and you buy ten shirts that cost $10 each, your total will be $100. If an employee offers you 10% off for answering a few questions, that will save you $10 off your total bill. That means that by filling out one survey, you would basically get one of your shirts free! I hope you believe me now when I say you need to say yes!

 

Method 2: You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. It’s an old wife saying that is completely true! If you go out of your way to be nice to employees at a store, they will be more willing to do you favors. Be extra polite in the ice cream line, and you can get more free samples, or a bigger scoop of ice cream. Chat up the barista and they will put whip cream on your hot chocolate at Starbucks for no extra charge. Free samples and extra’s might not seem like much, but when you are broke, the little stuff counts. I promise, if you are nice to people than you will get extra discounts and free stuff thrown your way.
image made at recite.com
Method 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for things. (People often feel uncomfortable asking for free things, but they shouldn’t!) Ask for samples at makeup stores. Sephora gives you free samples to try out products before making the commitment of buying them. I don’t recommend you use this for all your makeup needs, but if you want to try something new, or just need a certain shade for one occasion, then it’s a great bet! You can also order a way to try samples of shampoo’s and cleaning products. If you have a baby, signing up for parenting blogs can get you offers on diapers, and some diaper companies will give you one or two free new products to try them out and garner interest. On top of all that, in magazine inserts you can get sample face masks, perfumes, etc. These are luxury items I can’t afford. I don’t buy face masks, but I save the ones from Cosmo and Glamour and use them when I need a little spa day.
Method 4: Lend a helping hand. Doing favors for other people doesn’t only give you good karma (which I am a strong believer in) but usually leads to getting you free items. If you lend someone your soap, they might return it in full, by buying you a whole new bottle. Does someone need help moving? Help, and you can get a free meal, plus you get your exercise! I’ve exchanged car rides from the airport for a box of chocolates. You will find that people give you stuff if they feel like you have put in effort for them (otherwise they will feel guilty for taking advantage of you).

 

My biggest advice, be extra nice to employees at food places and retail shops. It will always pay off with discounts and free things. Kindness to others is free for you to give. Offer to do favors for people, and they will return it by giving you stuff. But, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want as well.

A New #doitcheap Method for Getting Free Stuff

 

As much as I strive to buy stuff on the cheap to maintain my fabulous lifestyle, sometimes certain things are just out of the question. Like new furniture, as cheap as IKEA is, can’t nobody pay for that shit! Especially me.

Pre-internet, if you wanted free stuff, you had to be on the ball searching the ads in newspapers. People usually posted them with free stuff and it was first come, first serve. But thank goodness, we live in the 21st century and don’t have to sift through pages upon pages of black and white print. Instead all the stuff people want to get rid of is posted in one convenient place, the internet!

There are a few rules to follow when retrieving free stuff off websites. 

1. Be safe when you go to retrieve furniture or items from a stranger’s home. Take a buddy, keep your phone on you, make sure someone knows where you are, etc. Basically, don’t be an idiot and you will be fine.
2. Be prepared for the free stuff to be in less than perfect condition. After all, most of the stuff will be pre-owned. But with a little TLC you can probably fix any issues your free item may have. Paint is a magic substance that can cover scratch marks, and throw pillows can hide furniture stains. Just get creative with it.
3. Don’t assume you will instantly find the free thing you are looking for. It may take you a few day’s to find the ideal free couch. So, don’t jump on the first free couch you see, in the free game, patience is a virtue.
4. It never hurts to keep your eye on the free sites at all times, in case something cool comes up! Sometime people give away building supplies like wood pallets that you can turn into lawn furniture! Or maybe you will discover a book shelf you didn’t know you needed, but you really do!The internet is like digging for buried treasure, you never know what you might unearth.

Gumtree



Craigslist








Facebook Marketplace



Here is a list of website where you can definitely find all sorts of free things

UK: Gumtree Freebies
-you can find all sorts of stuff on here, and you can personalize it to your location. Currently on offer, office chairs, desk chairs, wooden pallets, and a dog.

USA & some international locations: Craigslist
-click on your country, then your local(ish) area. Under the ‘For Sale’ section, click on ‘Free’. In Las Vegas there is currently free paint, televisions, and dirt.

Worldwide: Facebook Marketplace and Buy and Sell Groups
-On Facebook Marketplace you can set criteria to cost $0-$0 and all free items will be listed (you can input your town name to make it more specific). But beware! You will need to weed through the fake free ads! I never said free was easy.
-On the Buy and Sell Groups you can join a group that is more personalized to what you want, ie. Horse Tack, Cars, etc. Again, you will have to go through and find the free stuff!

It takes effort to maintain the #doitcheap lifestyle, but you can all do it, and your bank account will thank you for it.

My Friday Freebie:
No. 7 self tanner. No. 7 is a popular UK beauty brand. This was given to me by a collegue who doesn’t tan. I’ve never tried something like it, so this should be interesting! I’ll make sure to share my #doitcheap tan experience!

 

Try This Free Barre/Ballet Workout To Burn Out Those Muscles

Host: Shauna Kathleen
 
Video Title: Free Full Length 50 min. Barre Workout You Can Do At Home
Exercise Type: Full body burning barre workout! You start off by working legs, then arms, then abs. You do about 15 mins for each body section.
It was so hard to hold this for the photo!
 

Review: I loved this routine! I thought I might die in the first 30 minutes, but it was worth it! I was so sore the next day, I felt it in my abs and my legs the most. I did this routine after a 4 day hiatus because of some bowel biopsy’s, so I wasn’t at my best. Which is why I elected to do a barre routine. The previous barre video’s I have done haven’t been super intensive, so I thought it was the perfect exercise to ease myself back in. I was so wrong! This trainer is different. She worked every muscle of my leg, calf to quad. I couldn’t keep up with her in the arm segment, and somehow she made my abs turn to fire with a few simple moves. I actually collapsed to the mat at the end. Ballerina’s are insane athletes for doing this stuff for hours every day! Do this routine if you want something that is intense, but not too fast paced or cardio intense. The trainer makes each move count, so you don’t need to rush through! I recommend this as a routine to break up the monotony of your usual workouts.

Killer lunge series

Hardest Move:
The back lunge series! In this routine, you work one leg at a time so it really burns out and you do it twice through! Lunge’s are my enemy, so I struggled to keep pace with the trainer on these moves.
Favorite Move: I love me a plie squat! Squats are my superpower and I like plie squats because they challenge a different muscle group. The trainer does a great inner thigh move by making you pull your knees back in a plie squat, so you really feel the muscles work.
My favorite plie squat
 
Number of Time’s I Cussed: I don’t recall an exact number. I don’t think I swore at her until the very end, when I was just too exhausted to carry on. But I did say “Seriously?! More?!” frequently, and several “Oh My God, I’m dying”.

 

Rating: 7/10. I loved this routine, it was a challenge and I never got bored. But the trainer made it seem too easy, she didn’t break much of a sweat and she moved so quickly! I like Youtube trainers who sweat with me, who are panting on the floor by my side. She was like a ballerina drill sergeant, good but hard to relate to. On the fitness side, I like this video, but I’m not sure if I would make it a part of my regular weekly routine. It’s more of a once a month type thing to keep tediousness at bay. Definitely give this workout a try, especially on day when cardio or strength training feels like too much, but you still want a good workout.