Hi, friends! Today’s post is all about why I decided not to get certified to teach a Beachbody Live group fitness class format. I’m also telling you what my workout routine was last week. If you’re interested in hearing about this, keep reading.
What is Beachbody Live?
If you’ve been into fitness for a while, chances are you’ve heard of a Beachbody Live format or at least know who Shaun T is. He’s a fitness world legend who’s developed several of the Beachbody Live formats, including P90X and Insanity.
Beachbody Live class formats allow instructors to be certified by completing a 1-day training, much like many pre-choreographed formats that exist today. Beachbody offers home workout programs, but also provides Beachbody Live certifications so that instructors can teach the programs as a live group fitness class.
The Beachbody Live formats currently available for certification are as follows:
Core de Force Live - A high energy, non-contact group fitness class that mixes MMA-inspired cardio drills with explosive power moves for a full-body conditioning workout. No equipment needed.
Insanity Live - A cardio-based, athletic style workout that combines HIIT and strength moves. Each high energy workout is packed with cardio drills, plyometrics, and bodyweight strength moves. No weights required.
P90X Live - A total-body strength and conditioning group fitness class. Designed to burn calories and build muscle using light to moderate weights.
PiYo Live - Designed to build strength, improve flexibility, and tone muscles. You’ll perform a series of high-intensity moves using only your bodyweight, all without putting unnecessary stress on your body.
Turbo Kick Live - A high-energy, fat-burning workout that combines cardio kickboxing with body-sculpting HIIT moves.
Transform Live - A high-intensity cardio conditioning class that uses a step to ramp up your calorie burn.
Why was I considering getting certified in a Beachbody Live format?
I currently teach barre and the occasional HIIT class. While challenging, my barre classes are always low impact. When I teach HIIT classes, I typically have my participants at different stations at a given time. I demo movements at the beginning of class, but I spend the majority of class correcting form and encouraging my clients.
I’ve been on the hunt for a format I can teach that’s high impact but will also allow me to get a good sweat on as I teach. Some of the first ones that came to mind were Insanity, P90X, and Transform.
Transform was at the top of my list since it seems like a fun re-invention of the step classes that were popular a couple of decades ago. It would also give me a great cardio session as I teach my class. Shaun T--a fantastic choreographer-- also created Transform. Since it’s a brand new format, there are lots of local trainings happening in the coming months.
Why did I decide against it?
The main reason that I decided not to get certified to teach a Beachbody Live format was that all of the Beachbody Live class formats are pre-choreographed, meaning that the instructor doesn’t develop the moves or playlists.
The choreography and playlists are given to the instructor by Beachbody in the form of “releases”. Zumba and Les Mills follow a similar structure. If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on some of the Les Mills programs, see the following links:
Ultimately, I don’t think pre-choreographed formats are for me and here’s why...
Lack of creative freedom.
One of my favorite parts of teaching is coming up with music and choreography. While it can be time-consuming, this is one of my creative outlets. It also allows me to tailor my class to the wants and needs of my clients. If a client tells me s/he wants a longer calves section during barre, I can easily fit that into my next class. If I were teaching P90X, I wouldn’t have any control over which body parts we focus on - I’d have to teach the choreography I was given.
In general, I also tend to dislike the music that comes with pre-choreographed formats. Zumba has really awesome music sometimes, but formats like Les Mills and Beachbody Live use awful fitness remixes of popular songs. Everyone’s taste is different, but I rarely like the music in those classes. I also find that my clients love the music I put into my playlists and it’s always fun to take song requests for future classes.
Teaching group fitness isn’t my full-time job; it’s a passion project of mine. I don’t think I’ll be as passionate about teaching choreography that isn’t mine to a playlist I didn’t create. Once I give creative control to someone else, I no longer feel like the class is mine. Yes, instructors of pre-choreographed formats can add their own personal touch to the way they deliver the choreography. But they really have no freedom to change things up if they want to. Teaching a class I’m not 100% passionate about would be a disservice to my clients and myself.
Issues with the Beachbody brand.
There’s no doubt that Beachbody has some of the best trainers in the business on their team. They also have some uniquely awesome workouts. Clients at one of the gyms I work at love their P90X and PiYo classes. However, I have some conflicts with aspects of the Beachbody brand.
I don’t support MLMs.
If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve either seen or been contacted by a Beachbody “coach”. As a fitness professional who went through the process of getting certified, it’s pretty infuriating to see people with zero credentials calling themselves “coaches” and attempting to make money off of people who don’t know any better.
Aside from offering the live programs, Beachbody is an MLM company. MLM stands for multi-level marketing. Also known as network marketing, MLM consultants earn commission from any product they sell as well as product sold by other consultants they recruit, known as their “downline”. MLMs require their consultants to pay a fee, typically for a start-up kit of some kind, in order to start selling. One of the most common themes in an MLM is that consultants focus more on trying to recruit people to join their “team” and start selling rather than actually selling the product themselves. According to recent studies, more than 99% of MLM consultants end up losing money. Some other examples of popular MLMs you've probably heard of include Herbalife, ItWorks, Mary Kay, and Monat. Now, back to Beachbody.
Their “coaches” attempt to recruit more “coaches” to be part of their “team”. Some of the tactics I’ve seen Beachbody “coaches” using are downright disgusting. Targeting women who recently gave birth and are insecure about their weight gain, single moms, immigrants, and people from low-income areas are just a few examples. MLMs have ruined a lot of people’s lives, and I find that a lot of their tactics are really dishonest. This isn’t meant to be an anti-MLM post, so here are some good resources if you’re interested in learning more about what I mentioned above.
If you’re in search of a fitness/nutrition plan or looking for motivation to get fit, please don’t seek the advice of a Beachbody “coach”. The vast majority of these people aren’t certified in anything fitness-related and are trying to sell you something. And whatever you do, please don’t give them any of your money! If you’re looking for someone to push you, find a good certified personal trainer or registered dietician.
As far as I know, the Beachbody Live programs aren’t part of the MLM side of Beachbody. However, it all falls under the Beachbody umbrella. If I were going to teach a pre-choreographed format, it wouldn’t be one associated with practices I don’t agree with.
Who should be a Beachbody Live instructor?
I think a lot of people would have a good experience teaching a Beachbody Live or other pre-choreographed format. There are a ton out there. Beachbody Live, Les Mills and Zumba are some of the most popular companies offering pre-choreographed classes. Each of those has multiple programs you can choose from to be certified to teach in. I would encourage you to do your research on the companies as well as the programs they offer if you’re interested in teaching a pre-choreographed format.
New instructors or people who don’t want to spend time creating choreography and playlists.
Did you just get your group fitness certification but don’t know where to start? A pre-choreographed format like one of the programs Beachbody Live offers may be an option to consider. You’re guaranteed to get an effective class that was designed by professionals who know what they’re doing. This can help relieve pressure for people who are new to teaching. Or, maybe you’re not new, but you’d rather not focus on creating choreography and playlists. If this is you, Beachbody Live programs may be a good fit. They’ve already done the legwork for you - all you have to do is learn the choreography and deliver it to your class!
People interested in becoming a Master Trainer.
If you’ve ever attended a training to become certified to teach a particular class format/modality, you were probably taught by a Master Trainer. All certifying group fitness companies have them. If you’re interested in hearing about my experience with Barre Above training, click here.
If you want to “train the trainers”, you can become a Master Trainer and lead the trainings that develop new instructors in your format. Most companies require you to have taught that particular class a certain number of times before you can become a Master Trainer. This is generally more financially lucrative than just teaching.
Becoming a Master Trainer for one of the big companies like Beachbody Live, Les Mills, or Zumba can open the door to lots of opportunities. This is a great place to start if you want to make fitness a full-time career. Beachbody Live programs are wildly popular and the brand has been around for years. If you want to become a Master Trainer, getting certified to teach is the first step!
If you really enjoy Beachbody Live programs and don’t have an issue with their MLM alignment, I’d say go for it. I don’t think teaching a Beachbody Live format is for me, but I know people who do it and love it.
What’s next for me?
I’m still thinking about getting certified to teach a more high-intensity, sweat-filled class. I’m actually considering indoor cycling! There are a few different companies I can get certified through, but I’ve been looking at good old Spinning. It’s one of the most popular and it’s been around a long time. I think indoor cycling would be a great format for me to teach because instructors always get a great workout and I’d have the freedom to use whatever music I like. While there are only so many moves you can do on a bike, there are ways to keep it exciting.
If anyone has any recommendations or tips for getting certified to teach indoor cycling, I’m all ears! Check out last week’s workouts below.
Thanks so much for reading!
What are your thoughts on Beachbody Live? Do you take any of their live classes or teach them? What’s your favorite class? Let me know in the comments!
Dominique Cheylise, 25 year-old engineer and group fitness instructor.