How Beach Body became one of the biggest fitness MLMs (review)

Beach Body came on the scene and exploded out of nowhere.

We all know someone who’s done (or sold) P90X. Whether or not that person is rocking 6-pack abs and a thigh gap, the product was a household name for a while.

Does this mean I’ve been involved?

This video explains everything:


Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Beach Body.

Overview

Beach Body was founded in 2007 in none other than Santa Monica, California, home of the infamous “Muscle Beach” with the lofty goal of ending obesity.

Founders Karl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, infomercial veterans (Beach Body products are also sold through infomercials), have actually been running Beach Body for decades (since 1998), but it didn’t become the direct selling company that it is today until 2007. Not coincidentally, that’s when the company’s sales skyrocketed.

By 2012 they were on the DSN’s Global 100 with net sales of $218 million, and in 2013, they increased sales by 50.5% in one year for a total annual revenue of $328 million. Astounding. [1]

Last year they were up to $570 million in sales, so even though some of the initial hype has worn off, they’re still going strong.

While opening a network marketing arm has killed brand reputation for others, it was honestly a genius move for Beach Body, and I give them props. The problem with most network marketing companies, especially in the health and wellness industry, is that you’ve got people desperately peddling miracle pills and fat burning shakes left and right with no solid proof or science to back up ridiculous claims.

Beach Body is an anomaly when it comes to MLM fitness. Most MLMs try to sell you on the idea that losing weight and being healthy is fast and easy, as easy as taking a pill or drinking a magical diet tea. Beach Body does quite the opposite – they sell you on the idea that getting fit will be very, very hard work but also very, very rewarding. And it’s the truth.

Beach Body coaches are living proof – walking, talking billboards for the program. Because it’s an intense work-out program, and coaches have to complete the program in order to sell it, they tend to be pretty fit. At the very least, most experience pretty visible transformations in their body after completing the program. Friends and family take note, and they end up wanting to buy into the program without even having to be asked.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Beach Body coaches are spam-free. In that regard, they’re just like every other MLM. In fact, they’re one of the worst. Almost every single person has gotten a private message from a Beach Body coach subtly suggesting that they should lose some weight or seen countless before & after photos pop up in their newsfeed.

How much does Beach Body cost?
In order to become a Beach Body coach, you’ll need to pay a $39.95 activation fee, as well as a $15.95 monthly fee to keep your account active.

However, you’ll also need to complete certain fitness programs and challenges if you want to sell them. Instead of paying the $39.95 activation fee, you’ll instead buy a “Challenge Pack” that ranges from $140-$305, depending on what challenge you’d like to partake in.

Products

Beach Body sells a number of different fitness and nutrition programs and products.

Fitness Products

Team Beach Body’s fitness products are mostly made up of in-home exercise videos that have become wildly popular.

P90X, their flagship program, is said to be valued at around $700 million on its own. [2]

After P90X, they released two more workouts in the same series that are more difficult – Insanity and Asylum.

They’ve since come out with tons of other programs, including a popular 21-day fitness program, a Hard Corps boot camp program, a 3 Week Yoga Retreat, Brazilian Butt Lift, Core the Force, an MMA-inspired workout program, and even Country Heat, a country dance inspired workout, among others.

Most are month-long programs and cost around $60-80. Full-blown programs can cost upwards of $100-$200, with some nearing $300.

Nutritional Products

The company has also created nutritional apps and meal plans, as well as the nutritional shake branch that’s also gained a lot of buzz – Shakeology.

Shakeology is a weight loss program that uses meal replacement shakes of various flavors that come in at about 140 calories a piece. The program is not cheap – it retails for about $120 per month. The program offers one shake per day, with each shake costing about $4.

Now, that’s not cheap. But if it’s a legitimate meal replacement, $4 a meal isn’t outrageous, especially if it actually helps you lose weight. But with only 140 calories in the shake, it’s hard to call Shakeology shakes “meal replacements”, and $4 for 140 calories is pretty steep.

Benefits

The Shakeology products, although expensive, do seem to be filled with mostly health, nutritional ingredients. They are made up mostly of protein, fiber, and low-fat ingredients.

Side Effects

There is no evidence to prove that Shakeology meal replacement products provide anything more than a placebo when it comes to weight loss. Furthermore, there hasn’t been enough research to show whether or not some of the “superfood” ingredients, such as spirulina, cacao, and flax, are actually healthy to consume on a daily basis. [3]

Opportunity

Coaches earn 25% commission on personal retail sales, which is around average for these kinds of products. Considering the high price tag, you could make some okay side money off this alone if you’re able to make a lot of sales. For each P90X or Shakeology program you sell, which go for $120 a pop, you make $30.

You also get compensation on team cycle bonuses, which is where you can earn a little more on a regular basis.

Beach Body has a binary compensation program. You get a cycle bonus every time your team completes a cycle, which is 300 TV (team volume) with at least 100 TV on your weak leg. The bonuses are $14 for Emerald Coaches, $16 for Ruby Coaches, and $18 for Diamond Coaches. This amount gets paid to you every time your team hits 300 TV.

Recap

While their products are popular and effective, there are still some concerns with Beach Body “coaches” giving fitness and nutritional advice when they are in no way trained professionals. Not to mention, all their “advice” comes, primarily, from the motivation to make more money.

In the end, Beach Body is just as spammy and cult-like as every other MLM. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good way to make some money on the side, but you just have to consider how many friends you’re willing to alienate and piss off along the way.

But if you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page teaches network marketers (company cheerleaders) how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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