This post is a review of some individual Beachbody programs. If you want access to all of them, check out my review of Beachbody on Demand.
My History with Beachbody Programs
I've done a lot of Beachbody programs in my time. Starting back in 2011, when I first bought P90X off of eBay, I've been a longtime convert of their home workout programs. Even as a personal trainer and certified yoga instructor, I still prefer to follow someone else's instruction than make programs up for myself. It's just easier to do and I find it helpful to have someone else pushing me through my workout.
What about the Supplements?
I'm not a supplement pusher, so I don't think you need them. Shakeology can help for sure, especially if you struggle with poor eating habits, but if you're willing and able to eat healthy foods, you will see results regardless of what supplements you use. I will say, the pre-workout is exceptional. It's not cheap, but I do use that product before every workout (so, every day almost) because it doesn't have funky dyes or chemicals. If you're using a pre-workout, take a look at the nutrition label. Most of those ingredients are chemicals. I don't go near them. Beachbody's pre-workout is all natural and to me, that's worth the extra money.
Do you need to use a pre-workout?
No, but I find it gives me the energy I need to work harder. The harder and more intense I work, the better my results are, so that's why I use it. I think you should do what works for you.
Can You Do the Workouts and Ditch the Supplements?
Absolutely, you can buy the workouts without buying the supplements. In fact, you can just stream the whole library of workouts to your smart TV, phone, computer or iPad now, rather than buying one single program on DVD. Who even uses DVDs anymore? You can even get a free trial for 15 days, which I highly recommend doing before you buy a full year subscription.
That said, today I'm sharing a full list of the workouts I've done in the past, in case you're curious to try any of them. I'm also providing some pros and cons in terms of the programs, and what you should consider before jumping in.
See if it's right for you, first.
So here it is, my full list of workout reviews to date. I've done other programs that I haven't reviewed yet, but I'll get there. I go through phases where sometimes I follow a program religiously, and other times I like to jump around and just do what feels good (and what I have time for) in a given day. The beauty of having access to Beachbody On Demand is that it gives me full access to all Beachbody's workouts - not just a single program. So it's great if you're a fan of mixing things up.
My take on Beachbody Programs as a Personal Trainer
So, what's my perspective of Beachbody workouts as an NSAM certified personal trainer? I can only speak broadly to this as there are so many workouts on the platform, from weightlifting to yoga and cardio to dance. So, it's really hard to be specific. That said, I've included some individual reviews of my favorite programs below.
Accessibility to all fitness levels - 5/5
I love that Beachbody creates programs for every level of fitness. If you're new to the platform, try out Cize, PiYo or 21 Day Fix. They're great for getting you motivated and moving, without overwhelming you. However, if you're an extremely fit person, don't think that you're "above" these workouts. Transform 20, Insanity and 21 Day Fix Extreme will humble you. Mark my words, they're a challenge.
Program quality 4/5
Generally, I really do love the quality of programming. Each workout program takes the user through a progressively more challenging experience, so you're building strength, rather than jumping into the deep end of something that might be too much for you. However, there's always a risk that someone will do something they're not ready for and hurt themselves. There's no one standing over you, monitoring your form, so that's the downside.
Creativity and Fun Factor 4/5
To be honest, there are some trainers on the platform that I cannot stand to listen to. Their voice, the way they train and their general demeanor is not my jam. But the good news is that there are a TON of trainers on the platform. Well over 20, so I can avoid the 2 people that I'm not into. Otherwise, I love the workouts, the energy, the motivation and most of the trainers. They're seriously world-class.
Beachbody Programs Effectiveness 5/5*
*There's a big caveat on this rating. Do I think you can lose weight from doing Beachbody programs? Oh hell yes. That said, I also think you can lose weight not doing any workout programs at all. More than exercise, it's what you eat that determines fat loss. If you want to lose weight, try becoming fat adapted. It will help you to burn fat while not feeling hungry and as though you're suffering your way through it. Now, that said, many people have lost a LOT of weight using these programs. That's why they're so popular. Not only are they effective and easy to follow, but because you can do them at home, you're more likely to follow through, and at the end of the day, that's the critical factor. It's also why I love them so much.
So from a personal training perspective, while having someone there beside you watching your form and making a custom program just for you is always the best bet, that generally costs about $75 to $150 per session. Compare that to the .27 cents a day that Beachbody on Demand costs, and you can see that it's far more accessible.
Beachbody Program Reviews & Results
21 Day Fix (regular and extreme versions)
P90X - this was the first program I ever did. It was years ago now, but I loved it!
Transform 20 - this is the new step program that’s coming out in April of 2019
So Many Workouts, So Many Reviews
I'll continue to update this list as new programs come out, but I'll also make an effort to go back into the library of workouts and review those as well. When new programs launch, everyone seems to focus on them and forget that there are already 700 workouts on the platform. I'm guilty of that, too.
Another goal for 2019, I guess!
BTW - if there's a particular workout you'd like me to do a review for, drop a comment below and let me know. Also, if you've ever tried any of Beachbody's workouts, let me know what your experience was.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.