First, this is not an article to bash Beachbody Coaching. You’ll see that I list many positive reasons to join. Second, this is not a sneaky way to get people to be coaches because well – I’m done, I don’t have a team anymore! (That seems like, duh, right? But sadly I’ve seen posts like this actually be a way to reel in more coaches.)
If you are asking, “Is COACHING right for ME?” You definitely want to read this. Because as much as we hear that it’s a DREAM JOB and anyone can do it, the truth is that Beachbody Coaching is still a JOB that requires WORK, and it may very well not be the right job for you. I hope that this article will help you come to the decision that is right for you.
The last week of July 2014 I became a Beachbody coach after being a fitness instructor at the YMCA for over a year. I met Adam** there who suggested I get a certification to teach PiYO. I later found out that he was one of the most successful Beachbody coaches in the area! How cool!
After watching the PiYO LIVE video I thought, “Well, this looks kinda dumb and I would probably never take a class like that.” I’m just being honest here…I like yoga that is not choreographed… just like I like my life – a little raw, a little messy, a little more intuitive. But, I decided, what the hey – I’ll give it a go!
After the certification, which was truly a blast and I met some amazing people I decided to jump head first into Beachbody coaching as a supplement to everything else I was already doing. Plus, my husband was active duty Navy, so it was free for me to join. Adam did try to get me to buy a challenge pack right off the bat, but I said no because I needed to do my research first. I also made a long term plan to try the business out for 1 year and if I wasn’t making enough money by then I would drop it like its pluto.
My Rise to Emerald in 30 Days:
After doing the Team Rhino Training and starting to understand the business a little more, I decided to give Shakeology a try, as this was obviously the cornerstone of the business. I decided that if Shakeology did not do the things it claimed, I would quit Beachbody within the first month. I created my first group called, “Mythbusters: Shakeology” where I got other friends together that were interested in trying Shakeo for the first time. We took a more scientific approach and collected data based on our results. For more info on that group go HERE. I easily gained 1 coach on each leg, advanced to Emerald and was already paying for my Shakeology within the first month. I was also getting great leadership training for free. Worth it? YES.
Immediately, Adam shared a post of my success in the group, giving me public recognition for my advancement. I didn’t think this was necessary, but this is a BIG part of Beachbody (think Summit…etc) and one thing I actually don’t like, and here’s why: While it is nice to be recognized every now and then, public recognition is VERY different than your boss saying good job. The REAL intention here, is to get other workers to desire the same recognition and work to get it. (I KNOW that coaches are not intentionally being manipulative. I’m definitely not saying that.)
What I AM trying to say: I don’t do things to the best of my ability for a pat on the back and neither should you. Do things to the best of your ability for the sake of intrinsic integrity. A business that promotes too much recognition (cars, trips, celebrity-like recognition …etc) rather than a set income is a major red flag! This is applicable to ANY MLM business you may be researching!
So, when I got the Emerald Certificate – it was nice but that’s all I had. I didn’t want high fives and high hopes – I wanted money… Naturally, because this is a business after all and I was already putting in hours each day of, you guessed it – WORK.
You’ll hear a lot of contradictions in the Beachbody world. You’ll hear the diamond coaches say “you have put in the WORK. You work THEN you get paid. You can’t expect to take a month off and still make money.” But then you see photos of them at the beach saying, “I love it when my office is HERE!”… but the truth is, whether you consider social media to be work or not, it takes TIME and Time=Money: TRUTH.
So here is my list of things that made me reconsider being a Beachboy Coach.
Do things to the best of your ability for the sake of intrinsic integrity.
I may have had too much fun with this…
#1 – A TON of TIME on the Computer/Phone
If you are already a computer/social media person – Beachbody IS PERFECT for you! For me, it was not. From August to November I found myself increasingly on my phone/computer. I set aside time for work, but was still distracted because I was working at home. My husband could hardly talk to me in the car because I was messaging/sharing links/ posting all the time. Even worse and another contradiction, I noticed I was having a harder time staying lean because I was sitting on my ASS all day! Yes, I still taught fitness classes but mathematically 1 hour of exercise + 15 hrs of ass in chair = less caloric burn than running around for 10 hrs chasing kids, cleaning and doing lawn work. For someone who’s passion is being active outside and working out OUTSIDE I found this to be a contradiction of personal interest.
#2 – You are a reflection of the PRODUCT
To be a successful Beachbody coach you have to drink Shakeology daily and be OK with working out at home using one of Beachbody’s programs. If you are in a time crunch, a stay at home mom/dad – joining an online challenge group to motivate you to stick with a program can truly change your life. For me, though, this did not work because I never did a home workout program and it didn’t make sense for me to. As a fitness instructor I was already working out 4 days a week, plus climb days. I train at home only if I have to and I don’t like it. Period.
On a positive note, I did try the 3- Day Refresh with amazing results! Check that out HERE.
To wrap up, I still strongly support Beachbody programs and YES they work! But if you’re constantly training outside, or prefer to workout outside your home (and can actually be consistent about it…) then Beachbody may not be for you.
#3 – Tough Money
I say this is tough money because getting one measly SC point is like playing the lottery. Sometimes you will get someone that says, “I’ve been looking into this Challenge Pack and couldn’t find a coach, I’m so glad I found you. I’m ready to buy NOW!” But what you’re more likely to get is people that do not want to commit or spend the money and most of all, do not want to be convinced to. This is where I personally drew the line. I would tell people the facts – but I also never tried to convince someone to buy a Challenge Pack so I could get extra SC points. This is where many Beachbody coaches get a bad reputation as being salesy, pushy and downright annoying (can I punch you through Facebook messenger?) There is probably a good way to get SC through link clicks and such, but I never learned how to do this successfully. Each SC point that I earned was a result of a lot of nurturing.
Lastly, you WILL work for hours and make very little at first. (Expect to work 6 hours a day 5-7 days a week to be successful.) If you have the extra time and gumption to put this investment in, you may very well find yourself with a sufficient cash flow in due time. What I found, though, is that with each month I felt like I had to start over. New SC quote, new products, new deals that I needed to promote to make SC. I did have a bit of residual income from Shakeology HD sales, but once again – the issue with this is that most people will NOT order Shakeology every month…unless they are coach and have to to keep 90PV… and so the ball rolls.
This is a major fault in the business in my opinion. Beachbody claims that the goal is to sell the product, which makes it a non- pyramid scheme. Yet, what you really have to do, is recruit coaches, because that is the only way to ensure that the people under you will spend the 90PV a month. Normal customers will NOT buy Shakeology every month for more than a few months at a time.
#4 Finding and Retaining a Strong Team
After reaching Emerald the next big step is to go for Diamond. When you reach Diamond, Beachbody is much more than a side-thing. It is a full-out, full-time job. I remember Adam* congratulating me on making Emerald in my first month and I replied, “I’ll feel like I deserve more recognition if I make it to Diamond by the end of this year.” I imagine he was seeing stars and was thrilled to have someone with a self-starting, go getter attitude. Unfortunately, what I found was that becoming Diamond was not that easy. It meant more than just selling a challenge pack or bag of Shakeology (which is hard enough); it meant getting two other people to take the same risk of investing their time and money into the Beachbody Business. If it was easy for me, I should be able to get others to do it – correct?
I tried everything. I formed a team. I held a team meeting for new-comers, talking about the business side of things and how to advance… what was the problem? Well, there are so many reasons, but one issue I had was selling success when I was not even successful myself yet. Also, someone who is going to make it in this business has to have somewhat of a perfect storm. The person has to enjoy posting on social media, has to be capable of completing online trainings and learning the system, has to inspire others, and also has to be able to reach out to people that would be willing to spend money on fitness programs and Shakeology.
As an emerald coach I had to find others that could do the same, yet I was still not getting much to show for it. I also refused to convince family members to “support me” by signing up as coaches under me, because in my opinion, if that is what is took to be successful, I didn’t want it anyway. Of course I told them about it and asked them to try Shakeology – and many did, but they did not want to be bothered with the business.
Effective or Annoying?
Beachbody has some annoying fees. There is a monthly business charge of 15$ if you are a coach and a 40$ joining fee. These can be waived if you are active duty military.
There is a quarterly club membership fee of 38.87$ that drives me insane. They tried to make the club membership more valuable last year by adding web streamed workouts – but alas – the majority of people never use it. People might actually use their site for food/workout tracking if it was actually modernized but I don’t think the website interface has been changed since the company started. Basically, it sucks.
#6 Working at Home
This might sound like a luxury but the grass is not always greener on the other side. It’s worth giving it a try, but personally, I found it difficult to focus. I also felt like I was ALWAYS working. I was basically on-call. Sometimes it’s nice to know what hours you will work and what hours you will be home so that you can give your family your 100% attention and love.
#7 Informercials with Better Deals
First, informercials on TV are annoying. Can we agree on this? I actually did not have TV when I signed up with Beachbody, so I didn’t realize how damn annoying their commercials were. After coaching for a year and a half I got cable and saw how many channels Beachbody products are sold on. I was shocked! Not only that, a customer can order through this and have 2 benefits that you as a coach can NOT provide for a challenge pack. 1)Free Shipping and 2)Payment in installments.
Maybe I should bump this up to #1? Being authentic as mentioned previously, and on my FB page… and everywhere else, is probably one of the most important things to me as a blogger and fitness proffessional. Why? Because of all the people who AREN’T authentic. Fitness is a personal thing. It’s also multi-tiered. It’s not just about how big your muscles are or how you look in photos (or the team you have that does your hair and edits the photos). It’s about mental and emotional strength and balance. It’s about being the best YOU and not selling into the lie that in order to be inspiring you have to get extra lean and get fake breasts. (For men, maybe that’s get extra buff and lean and have the hairline of a 15 year old…) IDK! Damn! – Honestly, if you want to keep your sanity while pursuing fitness I would advise getting away from the TV screen and mainstream fitness all together and go outside and accomplish a physical goal that isn’t having a six pack. Go hike the PCT or John Muir Trail; the trees, sky, air and water hold no judgement. You won’t compare yourself to a fat or skinny squirrel or other person in woods that may be way fitter than you but you can’t tell because they haven’t showered in days and look like they just crawled out of The Walking Dead.
What I’m trying to say is the day you start posting on FB that you are a Beachbody coach and start telling your friends, family and acquaintances about it, people will question the intentions or authenticity of your friendship. They might even distance themselves from you. This is something to consider and ask yourself “is it’s worth it?”
Go hike the PCT or John Muir Trail; the trees, sky, air and water hold no judgement…
As I approached 9 months of coaching and did not see the growth I wanted, even after a push to form a successful team, I took a trip to Smith Rock, Oregon to recollect my thoughts. I took my oil paints and my climbing gear and spent 5 days having the time of my life! By the time I had come home I had had a moment of clarity: I did not mention Shakeology or Beachbody ONCE on my entire trip. Why? It didn’t matter. Climbers typically don’t even have an address. Plus, they are the most ripped and leanest sexy beasts out there and they don’t get a single dime for it; and probably never will. From that day on I committed my heart and life back to the things I love most, painting, climbing, family… and food – not that that one ever went away – I will always be obsessed with food.
Plus, they are the most ripped and leanest sexist beasts out there and they don’t get a single dime for it… and probably never will.
Today, I am a happier person. I feel that during the months that I worked the hardest as a Beachbody coach, I fought the most with my husband and spent less quality time with my kids. (Pretty ironic right?). Now, I make 5x more money, work less, and can put more energy toward pursuing other career goals. (In my most successful month of coaching I made roughly 400$. Subtract the 97$ on Shakeo and that’s only 300$)
The moral of the story IS: If you can get the military discount, giving Beachbody a chance costs next to nothing. (You do still have to factor in your time and reputation.) IF you can’t get the military waiver but are the type of person I described above (at home a lot, extra time, a little extra money and wants to get in shape) Beachbody is STILL worth it. You will gain leadership and social media experience and it could open MANY doors for you! If you would like a coach you can still contact me and I will give your contact to one of the amazing coaches I personally know!
As for me, I’m onto my next adventure!
**Name changed to respect privacy of the coach.