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FITNESS ZONE

Beachbody – Where Do We Go From Here?

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It’s been a bit of an odd stretch here at Parrot Central.  For quite some time I was always being the snarky voice telling you about the latest Beachbody offerings.  Sure, I throw other fitness program reviews in here, but the numbers don’t lie…the vast majority really tune in for whatever workout rolls off the Big B assembly line.

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Especially the train wrecks.

In many ways, Beachbody’s success has been a form of trickle-down economics to yours truly.  When they fail to come out with a blockbuster, fewer people read reviews despite my Lamborghini payment being due.  This made me pause to think, just what the heck is going on over there lately?  You probably want to know too, so lets snuggle up like mating waterfowl to see what’s the deal.

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ssssssshhh. It will be over soon...

Post Tony Era

I’m not convinced Tony Horton is permanently finished with Beachbody, but his absence is absolutely stinging.  There’s been a lot, and do I ever mean a LOT, of speculation as to why the split.  No question, the main reason was health.  In 2017, Tony got hit with a wicked case of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which if I read correctly, is an Andromeda-Strain level of shingles.  You just don’t have a bowl of chicken soup and walk something like that off, so naturally he had to take time off to recover.

And of course, creative differences.  Only Tony knows what happened in the boardroom.  Suffice to say, if one looks at the recent offerings at BB, I can see why Tony would have differing opinions on the company’s direction.  This felt exasperated with the release of “The Next Level”, which really should have been done so under BB’s banner.  It was a hit waiting to happen.  Instead it was released by some two-bit, cosmic consciousnesses, coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs company.  Getting access to the Ark of the Covenant is easier than whatever hurdles one must jump to obtain this.

Again, I don’t want to make stuff up and accuse anybody of something they have neither done nor said.  But stepping back and looking at things as a whole, it does paint a consistent picture.

Same Old Same Old

The truly last decent workout to come out of BB was LIIFT 4.  But even then, it wasn’t revolutionary or anything.  Mostly we’ve been getting little more than cardio/body weight exercises.  Transform 20 was whatever ideas for T25 were left over plus a dorky stepper.  Morning Meltdown and Obsession are cardio panic-attacks with just enough weight to make one sore.  I’d be remiss if I did not admit that a lot of times I shut the screen off and jump on the treadmill.  Jacking the incline up and listening to some good music for 20 minutes can be a more pleasant experience.  In the end, the same results minus the canned music and monthly bill.

New-“ish” Ideas

It’s not like everyone in the BB boardroom is wearing togas and having Roman orgies while the company burns to the ground ( hmmmm…or are they? ).  There are indeed new ideas forming, but I’m a little hesitant as to their long-term success.  The upcoming 6 Weeks of The Work has what appears to be a good fitness approach, but the workout also has the same explicit language tag that an old 2-Live-Crew CD has.  Whether it will turn out to be a good idea to mix a fitness trainer with similar vocabulary to an Eddie Murphy stand-up remains to be seen.  All I know is that Sister Marcela and her bar of soap probably won’t approve.

irishspring
Once you taste Irish Spring, it never leaves you.

The company has also moved almost exclusively to streaming content.  Sure, you can still buy DVD’s of older material if you still have a functioning player.  But if want anything new-ish, you better break out the KY Jelly and fork over that monthly subscription fee.  The downside is that once you cancel, you can kiss all your videos goodbye.  It’s freaking brilliant from an income perspective.  Even software companies are following the same path of pay-as-you-go.  I guess drug pushers had the right idea all along.

Of course, this is also going to drop-kick the income potential for the apocalyptic army of Beachbody coaches.  With no DVD’s to sell, they’re going to be pushing that Shakeology hard.  Speaking of which…

MLM Supplements Company

It wasn’t the prospectors who made money during the gold-rush, but rather the people selling the pans and equipment.  Every workout is another opportunity to sell ridiculously overpriced supplements.  I don’t know how much it takes to make a bucket of Shakeology, but the markup must be greater than a friggin’ iPhone.  And really, that’s true for ANY multi-level marketing product.  Nothing you can buy through that kind of outlet is going to be better or even cheaper than what you could easily purchase elsewhere.  This holds especially true for vitamins.

The MLM recruitment pitch is always the same, roll out success stories and appeal to emotion.  Then these bastards flood the darn internet with 5-star reviews for the products they push, while proving the Mother Ship with MILLIONS of dollars in coach-fees.  I’m not sure if I’m more pissed that I didn’t think of it.

Where from Here?

That’s the big question isn’t it?  Does Beachbody keep cranking out uninspired workouts to keep their MLM vitamin business afloat?  Is there enough good content in their library to justify an ongoing credit-card bill?  It’s bringing in cash, but these are short-term solutions.  What needs to happen is that somehow, workouts need to get back to the basics with trainers who carry a broad-appeal charisma.  And it’s possible this will need to be done without Tony, the guy on whose back the company gained recognition.  No question, the next five years are going to be interesting, and may well determine the destiny of the company.

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Christine V

    February 21, 2020 at

    Beachbody threw all of their Beachbody Live certified instructors out the door two days ago by announcing they would no longer support live classes. I guess their online platform is taking off.

  2. Schwinn992

    February 21, 2020 at

    Ever heard of Catherine Friedrich? Shock training system….review it….

  3. Mona

    February 21, 2020 at

    I was getting a little bored with BB workouts but I’m currently in the middle of 6 Weeks of the Work and I have to say that it is by far the hardest program I’ve done to date on BB. Absolutely love it and the trainer. You do have the option to choose explicit or non-explicit version. Also I used a couple of the supplements like Recovery and Energize only because they came at a decent price with a challenge pack. But I would never pay full price for them or Shakeology. Such a ripoff! I can find much cheaper supps at GNC that are just as good. By the way, love your reviews!

  4. Der D

    February 21, 2020 at

    I noticed on the Beachbody On Demand Facebook page that 98% of the participants were women. Many of them were out of shape fatties with muffin tops trying to get approval and then the other women would post, “you go girl” or some other stupid thing. And god help you if you post anything negative about Shakeology or Shakeo as these morons call it. I posted that it was insanely overpriced bag of powder ($145 with shipping) and it tasted like mud. And I mentioned that it was stupid to pay to work as in paying to be a “coach” (Another stupid joke). I got kicked out of the group. The whole Beachbody ecosystem is for idiots now with the exception of some of the P90 and Beast programs. Chalene and Autumn make me sick with their annoying voices. Much of their stuff and especially their consumables are absolute garbage. You can buy the stuff elsewhere for 1/4 of the price and I’m not sure anyone needs it. Drink water and eat real food, not this processed crap.

  5. Der D

    February 21, 2020 at

    Their supplements are insanely overpriced crap IMO

  6. Der D

    February 21, 2020 at

    This is all very true. BB’s programs seem to be more geared towards women and cardio. Personally I thought LIIFT4 was lame even though women seem to love it. First, you must use a bench because you are not getting full extension on the floor with presses and flies. Secondly, trying to incorporate everything into one workout is ridiculous. You end up not getting enough of anything in each workout. The Best workouts were the P90X series and Body Beast which were great for a man. Morning Meltdown is not appealing to me as a man and the direction of BB makes me sick. The best deal is to buy used BB DVD sets off of eBAY and focus on other non-video BB workouts

  7. Raccoon Mama

    February 21, 2020 at

    I really love your posts! Entertaining and full of fun facts and info! I’ve pretty much given up on BB and new workouts. I, like some others here, found that they are too pricey. I invested in the Shakeology product when Greenberry initially came out and once more, when the vegan options were created. I didn’t really agree that they tasted so wonderful, BUT, that is subjective. Again, thanks for the entertaining post!

  8. Jennifer Matthews

    February 21, 2020 at

    Honestly, I left BB OnDemand because it became so monotonous, and I realized that there are decent quality workouts being released FOR FREE on YouTube every single day.

  9. Patrick Egan

    February 21, 2020 at

    I think Tony should have jumped to daily burn. They’re probably number 2 in the streaming markets They have a couple of great programs live to fail, inferno and black fire. They need more high quality programs to compete with BB. I still don’t get why BB hasn’t made body beast 2.

  10. SaintMike

    February 21, 2020 at

    What about Charlene Johnson? She seems to have been out of the picture for a long time too and she was also one of their original Super Stars. Personally, I’ve never used their supplements. Too much money, and have never believed the hype around Shakeology. I do enjoy BB on-demand . I don’t mind paying an annual fee for BB on-demand. I like having access to everything and it still costs me significantly less than a gym membership.

  11. Sean McCloskey

    February 21, 2020 at

    Beachbody have been struggling for a while. The last workout series I was genuinely excited for was actually Hammer & Chisel, I bought 22MHC because of Tony. His current program with Gaia appears to be good but I think there’s about a dozen people doing it. I can find very little about it on social media platforms being done. LIIFT4 seemed a bit of a rip off of Ript90.

    I know there were coaches who thought their throats had been slit when BOD came along as they didn’t have the income stream of selling DVDs any more. I think there was big drop off in coaches at that stage. Then they started with this VIP access charge which I think brings back some income for coaches. But their big earner is Shakeology which tastes like dirt and there’s the performance line which is hugely over priced for what it is.

    There are people crying out for a BodyBeast 2/sequel and I am sure Tony will be back.

    I also think BB have missed out in stopping DVDs, there are plenty of people with poor Internet streaming capabilities out there or if not that then should allowing people to buy electronic downloads to keep for life.

    I’m excited to try the Work and I may subscribe next year to try it out. But I have about 10 BB programs on DVD that I’m happy to use with plenty of variety until I can’t.

  12. holyguy7

    February 21, 2020 at

    There are a lot of streaming workout sites now. I don’t subscribe to any because I was hoping most would combine into just a few and just have a huge library. I don’t like to “stream” my workouts so I always download them and watch them offline. Youtube has a bunch of streaming workouts as well that are free. I like beachbody workouts but that is all. I hate everything else with the company. I hate MLM in every way. I like to get good deals so I look for old workout videos at second hand stores. I now have a collection of thousands of workout videos that I have converted to digital so that I can come up with my own workout schedule.

  13. Jimmy

    February 21, 2020 at

    Yup, they are toast. The language warning (what does that have to do with fitness?) is the final straw, this is no longer a fitness company, it’s a pandering company. It’s a shame, too: they were once very, very much on the cutting edge. No more. I saw the writing on the wall after Steve Edwards passed. I’m done with ’em after 10 years of loyalty. The company is now a joke, I’m amazed Tony lasted any time at all after X3.

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