Looking for the best Beachbody programs for weight loss? You're not alone! I get this question so often I thought it was worth covering in detail.
Beginner Beachbody Workouts for Weight Loss
Best for those looking to lose weight and gain muscle tone.
If you're new to weightlifting (which is the best way to lose weight and change your body shape), there are a lot of programs out there that can help you develop proper form and a structured plan that will provide balanced results.
- 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme- Both of these Beachbody programs offers cardio, strength, yoga and flexibility workouts. It's well designed provides modifiers for newbies and the workouts are only 30 minutes long. This is my personal favorite and I highly recommend it. Equipment Needed: 2 sets of dumbells (I recommend a 5lb and a 10lb set), a workout band and a yoga mat. Note that the extreme version is just a harder version of the regular program, but both are great.
- Piyo - This is a yoga/pilates fusion workout that uses only bodyweight and it's very low impact. That said, you'll still work up a sweat as you're constantly moving and doing strength moves. You don't need to be overly flexible to start this workout program, but you will gain flexibility from it. Chalene is a very motivational instructor and the workouts go by really quickly. Equipment needed - yoga mat and sliders (if you want to do the advanced workouts).
- Pure Barre on Demand also has a lot of beginner classes if you'd rather use your own body weight than invest in free weights. I love their classes, but the membership is a lot more expensive than Beachbody on Demand and you don't get near the same quality or variety.
Best Beachbody program for General Fitness (but perhaps not as effective for weight loss)
Cize or Let's Get Up! These are cardio dance workouts, so if you hate the idea of exercise, but you love to dance, start here! You'll be so focused on the moves that you won't even notice that you broke a sweat. Personally, these are not my favorites as I prefer something more hardcore and less dance-oriented (since I have two left feet). Equipment Needed: None for Cize, but Let's Get Up! requires some hand weights.
3 Week Yoga Retreat: This is a beginner yoga program that takes you through three weeks of progressive classes that will teach you the basic moves and terminology. No, you don't need to be flexible for this workout and no, you won't be called to put your foot behind your head, but you may find you're more chill afterward. Equipment Needed: Yoga mat and blocks (optional)
Head's up, you can get all of these workouts on-demand by signing up for Beachbody On Demand. You get all the workouts for a whole year with access from your phone, ipad or computer. It's a much better deal than buying them separately.
The best program for weight loss and toning
The following are all cardio + strength programs - the ideal mix for long-term weight loss results.
Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 is a program - This is NOT a Beachbody program, but it's good! I've done personally and have seen some results from it. The program is made up of 4 workouts so it gets progressively harder from week to week. This is helpful because it helps you build confidence in your abilities as you stay consistent over the 30 days. I also love that the workouts aren't long (because who has time for that) and require very little in the way of equipment. The programming is based on compound movements that give you the greatest bang for your sweat buck.
P90x3 -The instructor Tony Horton has created three versions of this workout program and each one takes less time to do! P90X3 is my favorite because the workouts are all 30 minutes and they're so varied. It's a great mix of strength, cardio, functional workouts, and yoga. You won't get bored and you WILL see results. Equipment Needed: Weights (get a lighter and heavier set to start), pull up bar, yoga mat, workout band.
- Morning Meltdown 100 - this is one of Beachbody's newer programs and it has amazing choreography, live DJ music and a variety of workouts spanning 100 days. Don't worry - there are rest and recovery days during that time, but there's also a ton of HIIT workouts, cardio and core and lots of full body moves that shape and tone. I think Morning Meltdown 100 is one of the best intermediate workout programs that Beachbody has produced and the results are amazing!
- Chalene Extreme - I haven't done this yet, but my clients swear by it. It's a good mix of strength and cardio intervals with some yoga in there as well. Again, Chalene is a pleasure to workout with, but these workouts are a little longer than 30 minutes. Equipment Needed: Weights (get a lighter and heavier set to start) and a yoga mat.
- 21 Day Fix Extreme - This workout is tough, but hands down you will get the best results of any of the programs listed above. It includes weight training, cardio, yoga, and pilates, and the workouts are all 30 minutes, but they're intense. If you're a beginner, start with the regular 21 Day Fix workout and then graduate to this one. Equipment needed: Weights (get a lighter and heavier set to start) a yoga mat and a workout band.
- Core de Force - this is an MMA style kickboxing program that also focuses on strength, although not as much as the two programs listed above. The instructors are great, the moves are doable (well, most of them) and you can modify how much jumping you do (if at all). If you like kickboxing, you'll love this. No equipment needed.
- Hammer & Chisel - this is a full body strength focused workout that also includes cardio and plyometrics. It's great for building muscle definition while also doing some fat-burning cardio conditioning It's taught by two instructors, a man and a woman who are very different in personality, so it keeps it interesting. I also really like the meal plan that comes with this program. Equipment needed: Weights (get a lighter and heavier set to start), pull up bar, stability ball (or weight bench).
- 6 Week of the Work - this is another new program to Beachbody based on functional training. This is an advanced program and not for the faint of heart. The workouts are also longer than the typical 30 minute workout that I love so much, but the moves are fun and engaging, so you tend to forget that you're working out (if that's possible).
Best Beachbody programs for weight loss: Cardio Only?
While I don't advocate just doing cardio, these programs all provide some element of strength training, so they are not only effective for burning fat, but also for toning muscles.
- Transform 20 - OMG, I love this program! It's actually a step-aerobic program, only totally amped up and not 80's style. I think you'll love this if you enjoy a motivational trainer and an intense workout that's done and over with FAST. Each workout is only 20 minutes which is BE-UTIFUL in my books.
- Insanity Max 30 - I actually don't love this program, but some of my clients love it. There's a lot of jumping (a LOT) so it feels like a constant battle just to maintain bladder control (TMI, but true). If you love jumping, you'll love this workout because they're only 30 minutes and Shaun T is very motivational. No equipment needed.
- 30 Day Breakaway - Okay, this isn't only cardio, but it's a running program, so it's mostly focused on fat burning and learning how to run with proper form. You can do this program on a treadmill or outside. There's an audio recording to listen to as you run that makes the time go by so fast. It's like having a running coach in your ear. This program also requires some hand weights if you want to do the strength training portion which is optional, but highly recommended!
Again, all these workouts are available on Beachbody On Demand which is basically a virtual gym with your own private trainers. I use it every day.
Have you ever tried any of the programs I mentioned? I'm obsessed with 21-day fix extreme and Piyo. I do them daily and they have helped me gain lean muscle, lose fat and increase my overall endurance. Hands down, they're the best home workout out there.
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.