beachbody coach

Why You Should Avoid Beachbody Coaching and Other MLM Schemes

Interested in Beachbody Coaching? 

It seems like everyone these days has a side hustle or is launching a business. At Your Money Geek, we are huge fans of side hustling to reach your financial goals and to become financially independent.  However, some side biz opportunities may not be as great as they seem.

You may have received messages on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, to become a Team Beachbody coach. All claiming you can be your own boss while promoting Beachbody workout programs and shakes. We were curious if these “make a little extra money” social media pitches had any merit so we reach out to a former coach and anti-MLM champion to get the real story.

Mellisa Blevins explains what Beachbody coaching is really about and why she quit. Learn why MLM may not be the right answer for you, and alternative ways you can make money.

Melissa Blevins Explains Beachbody and Why You Should Avoid It!

The following is an interview with Melissa Blevins. She offers practical money tips to the free-spirited nerd. Melissa is also a former Beachbody coach, and her posts and Youtube videos on the subject have blown up on social media.

What Caused You to Become a Beachbody Coach?

I’ve always looked for ways to grow my income, and actually, Beachbody coaching wasn’t my first multi-level marketing attempt. About 15 years ago, I signed on to be a Mary Kay representative. The local “Director” drove a pretty pink Cadillac and talked a good game about the “opportunity” to make money while helping women feel beautiful.

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial hustle about me, and I believe this makes me a good target for multi-level marketers looking to recruit rock stars. Before I knew it, I had taken out an unsecured loan at my local bank to the tune of $1,800.00 to purchase inventory.

I was 20 years old, and this has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve done in my adult life. Here’s where you’d think I would have learned my lesson:

After returning my inventory to the company for a 50% return of my money and paying off the loan, I vowed never to join another multi-level marketing pyramid scheme again.

In 2014, after having just moved to a new area and starting over with no friends, I started looking for ways to get into shape. I thought exercise might be the way to curb some of the depression I was experiencing as a result of feeling so isolated and living in a place I really didn’t want to be.

My ex-sister-in-law, Jocelyn, had been a Beachbody coach and had grown to “Diamond” status in just a few short months. Her posts filled my newsfeed every day with motivational posts that seemed like novels, and she was all about Beachbody.

I reached out to her because I was recently a stay-at-home mom (new territory for me as I’d always been a working Mom), and I was trying to save money and just wanted information on Turbo Fire, a workout program I knew Jocelyn had some success with herself.

Truthfully, I was going to get the information that I sought and purchase Turbo Fire on Craigslist. I’d already found it listed for sale. I was just super careful about my spending and didn’t want to blow $40 on something without researching it first.

Then came the sales pitch from Jocelyn about the “opportunity.” It didn’t take long before I was pulling out my credit card to pay for a challenge pack. (insert face slap here)

Why Do People Turn to Beachbody and MLM?

As a stay at home mom with three kids, and in a new area with no friends, the community was something that excited me. Having the opportunity to “join” others in their “journey” to health and fitness was appealing because I felt so lonely and depressed. I longed for friendship and belonging.

The opportunity to make money was also a significant factor for me.

As I said before, I have always looked at ways of supplementing our income, and if I was already going to be doing the workouts and drinking the shakes (which are a massive waste of money, by the way), I might as well share my story with others and get paid for referring them and helping them as well.

I think multi-level marketing companies prey on women (and men, but especially women) because there’s a massive amount of women who crave the opportunity to able to stay at home with their kids. If making money from home is as easy as signing people up under your name (hence the term pyramid scheme), lots of women are willing to try it.

What Finally Turned You Off to Beachbody?

Where do I begin? First off, Beachbody’s #1 money-maker is Shakeology, a “superfoods” rich protein shake marketed as a meal replacement. Now that I know better, I realize that nothing replaces the healthiness of clean eating and moderation.

Supplements are meant to complement your nutrition and workouts..not to replace full meals. You don’t need Shakeology to be healthy and lose weight/get into shape. You need a clean diet along with a fitness plan. That’s it. But without Shakeology, coaches can’t be successful. The entire business model revolves around Shakeology.

I quit Beachbody coaching because there are better ways to make to be your own boss

Side note: Every time I mention that you must sell Shakeology to be successful, coaches chime in and say, “We don’t HAVE to sell Shakeology. We WANT to!” Of course, you do….it’s the only way to make decent money with Beachbody.

Beachbody offers 3 Tiers of Coaches:

1. Discount Coaches: Those customers who want a discount on their products and have no intention of coaching others.

2. Hobby Coaches: Those that sign up for coaching for a few extra bucks and to have fun while promoting products.

3. Full-time or Business-Builders: People who are serious about earning a full-time income from home, achieving financial freedom and encouraging others to do the same by walking the walk (aka drinking the kool-aid…or Shakeology)

I don’t quite understand the value of being a discount coach or hobby coach with the cost it takes to maintain active coaching status and achieve your discount. And most full-time coaches that are successful are already sporting six-pack abs and a walking advertisement for Beachbody.

It’s easy to sell a weight loss supplement and programs targeted at people who want to look like you….fit and gorgeous. Just take a look at the top elite coaches of last year.

Beachbody coach

One of the other things that irritate me about MLMs, in general, is the expectation to befriend complete strangers with the ulterior motive to sell to them. For example, Beachbody operates on three vital behaviors.

One of those is “Invite, Invite, Invite.” Coaches are expected to compliment strangers (either in person or through Facebook), and then offer them a “life-changing opportunity” to “join us in our journey to a healthier life.” They have scripts for this very purpose, and they’ve got it down to a science.

  1. Friend request five new people per day.
  2. Send a new friend a “Hi, hun! Thanks for the add! You have a beautiful family!”……5 back and forth sentences and then BAM!
  3. Invite to the opportunity.

It’s so sleazy, and I just can’t stand it. Anytime I get a friend request from someone. They are fully vetted before I click the “add friend” button.

“It’s funny you mention this tactic. My wife and I were at my daughter’s sporting event, and a lady we didn’t know started talking to us and making friendly small talk. We get home and see a friend request on Facebook and comments on all of our pictures. Sure enough, she sells oils or some nonsense.” – Michael 

 Women have Really Resonated with Your Experience, What are You Doing to Help Them?

Yes, I have had hundreds of women comment on a post that I wrote about Why I Quit Beachbody Coaching. So many women were experiencing the same feelings, questioning whether Beachbody coaching was truly right for them. I compiled several of the comments together in this post where women can feel validated in their questioning of the coaching “opportunity.”

I think women relate to my experience. Many are stay-at-home parents and wanted to earn an income to help out their spouses. Others are working outside the home but desperately want to quit their 9-5 and start a side hustle or work at home jobs to help make that dream a reality.

{Editors Note] Some Beachbody Alternatives 
  1. Become an online tutor
  2. Create passive income
  3. Side hustles that don’t require the internet
  4. Make money with your washing machine
  5. Consider data entry jobs

Interesting…Tell me more.

I started my blog as an outlet and a way to fulfill my calling of helping other women achieve their financial and professional goals without having to sign up for a multi-level marketing gig. I have always had a passion for helping others with their finances, and I’ve found that a blog is a perfect place to do that!

I only wish I would have started blogging years ago (when I first had the entrepreneurial itch). When I read success stories of other bloggers who have made six- and even seven-figure incomes, I am blown away, but it helps me realize that it is possible for anyone.

Sounds Like People Want to Own a Business. What Can They Do Instead?

Everybody has a hobby or a passion, and I think everyone should build a business and monetize their efforts. Whether they enjoy writing, creating videos for YouTube, or doing some affiliate marketing, there are so many ways to start an online business, and you don’t even have to sign up under someone.

The one good thing Beachbody coaching taught me is that personal development is key and investing in yourself will always pay off. These days, I choose to invest in courses to help me grow my blog and income instead of meal replacement shakes.

Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your experience as a Beachbody coach.
Remember, the most important thing about taking control of your finances is finding the plan that works for you and sticking with it

About the Author

Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

9 thoughts on “Why You Should Avoid Beachbody Coaching and Other MLM Schemes”

  1. Interesting point of view. I think it’s interesting that you feel that Beachbody strictly focuses on Shakeology over clean eating. And that they try to get you to replace your meals with the shakes…LOL, That could not be further from the truth.

    I have not signed as a coach, so no bias opinion here, but Beachbody, in fact, most certainly stresses clean and healthy eating hence all the Fixate recipes that you failed to mention. There are many videos on how to raid your pantry to replace everyday items that we see as healthy, with actual healthy replacements, meal prepping, healthy cooking, etc., and over 300 pages of healthy recipes that you buy your groceries for, all included in your $99 annual membership.

    I have worked for MLM companies, and it is not for me but mostly because I don’t have the time to invest in it.
    It is also interesting to me that you feel women are “preyed” on by these companies. Clearly, you didn’t have a good experience, but I think that’s a really harsh opinion, but just another topic for a “Blog post,” I guess.

    They are all businesses like any other business, and each woman or man has the choice to do their research to join on with these companies or not.

    You/We are being manipulated and sold to every single day with every commercial, billboard, the idea of the “American Dream” etc… and I’m sure you were sold on the idea as well that you can be successful as a full-time blogger, just as you are discretely doing here to others with your affiliate links, etc….

    I have personally made some fantastic friendships all over North America by joining Beach Body. I have had nothing but an amazing experience and results…and yes…it is life-changing…so if you think that is some “hook, line and sinker,” then you clearly didn’t invest in yourself when it comes to your fitness and nutrition as far as BeachBody goes.

    So ya, if you’re not doing it for the lifestyle change first and foremost and you’re just trying to sell a product, then it’s not going to work. These coaches are doing what they’re doing because the program actually DID change their lives.

    1. Whoa whoa whoa, Elena. You said, “I have not signed as a coach…so no bias there”.

      Then later you said, “I have personally made some fantastic friendships all over North America by joining Beach Body. I have had nothing but an amazing experience and results…and yes…it is life-changing…”

      So are you a coach or are you just a customer who really loves the products? I never said there was anything wrong with their products.

      But what I said about women being preyed on is 100% FACT. Just go to Instagram and post something with a hashtag #postpartum #ppd #newme #newyearnewme #transformation #workingonme #gettingit etc and see how many DM’s you get.

      Best of luck to you. It sounds like you’ve done a great job at losing weight and getting healthy through clean eating and exercise, which is obviously important. But the business model of Beachbody is a joke.

      1. Yajayra Gonzalez

        I’m sure Elena made fantastic relationships by just being part of Beachbody. You don’t need to be a coach to build relationships on a common interest. Being on a fitness journey myself I have came across a lot of women on the same boat as me. I have developed great relationships on that same common ground, Beachbody or not.

    2. Dear Elena,
      If Shakeology and Beach Body has worked for you, great. However, to ignore the glaringly obvious issues and valid concerns with this company is negligent and self-serving for anyone making money from this company. First and biggest concern is the $3.6 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT against Beach Body/Shakeology for Consumer Protections issues related to automatically charging customers without their consent as well as making unsubstantiated claims about the “Health Benefits” of the Shakeology shakes.

      Prosecutors alleged Beachbody made health-related and other claims about its products that were false, misleading, and not backed by scientific evidence. These included claims in the areas of:

      Detoxifying
      Anti-aging
      Reducing inflammation
      Balancing hormones
      Preventing mental decline
      The injunction requires that before Beachbody makes any claims about its products, it must have “competent and reliable” scientific studies to support the claims. These studies must be based on similar amounts and formulations as the advertised products.

      I have a very personal issue with this complete fabrication of health-related benefits in order to sell product.
      Firstly the price is ridiculous ($130/30 day supply), no shake is a good substitute for healthy food/meals- period. Secondly I’m deeply disturbed by these false claims used to sell product to those whose health it can adversely affect. Lastly while there are SOME good ingredients in shakeology, the use of whey protein (in non-vegan shakes), sugar, and pre- and probiotics are concerning as they can be incredibly detrimental to anyone with GI issues or Dairy sensitivities as the delicate balance of flora in your gut is crucial to well-being and should be overseen by a knowledgeable nutritionist or physician, not someone trying to sell products.

      Also, they list “natural flavors” on the ingredients list. Natural flavors can contain hundreds of different substances–many of them chemicals–and still be called “natural.” Here’s what the EWG has to say about them:
      “Consumers may be surprised to learn that so-called “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals such as the solvent propylene glycol or the preservative BHA. Flavor extracts derived from genetically engineered crops may also be labeled “natural,” because the FDA has not fully defined what that term means.”

      Nutritionist Reviews-
      https://www.purefoodcompany.com/shakeology-reviews-unbiased/
      https://ancestral-nutrition.com/unbiased-review-shakeology/

  2. It’s funny how she goes into how these coaches are required to friend random people and send them those “hi hun” type of messages. I have countless messages like that in my Instagram DMs since that seems to be a big breeding ground for Beachbody coaches and other MLM recruiters. It’s crazy before I really knew about MLMs I was tempted to engage and did a few times. But they are just all fake, trying to push something that is basically a scam and the saddest part is most of them think it’s a legit business.

    These companies target women and their circumstances they may find themselves in where they are desperate and these opportunities feel like the sign they needed.

    MLMs need to be illegal like pyramid schemes are for how many people they’ve screwed over but the loopholes they utilize in laws are fascinating. I recently came across the podcast The Dream that really deep dives into the history and laws of these companies and I definitely recommend it!

  3. I signed up as a coach, just for the discounts, I wanted to feel my way and see how I felt about it. well 2 years later, I barely drink the Shakology, maybe 1-2 a week. I have learned to eat better, I like the fact that I don’t have to go to a gym to work out, some of these workouts are really fun.

    I do also follow a handful of coaches. They are a lot of narcissistic coaches, they are so fake, so needy, they post everything on the website (that’s what really turned me off) some of these coaches like @livingfitwithleticia poor thing.

    she drinks like a horse, starves herself, she won’t even have a bite of a donut, she is not original, if you call her out on something she gets defensive. Like she started talking about mental health and said something out of turn, I called her out on it and she went for me.

    Like #1 you are not a DR., #2 not everything you do is right for everyone, and some people need more help than just exercise to combat depression. If you are online posting all of your business, don’t expect people to always agree with you. @daniellenatoni, you can tell she is obsessed about not getting fat, and not in a healthy way, it’s scary.

    Then you do have a handful of coaches that are healthy, do research and make you think and do your own research on foods, and nutrition, they eat clean, but enjoy food as well, they don’t obsess about the donuts when they are eating 80-90% clean. Those are the coaches I enjoy and don’t mind. I still will not be an active coach.

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