Beachbody is one of the most popular fitness companies on the planet.
You can’t look ANYWHERE online without seeing their coaches, their workouts, their supplements, or their merch.
So a lot of beginners looking to get started in fitness find themselves drawn to Beachbody. The workouts look fun and you can do them from home! What’s not to like?
I decided to give their streaming workout service, Beachbody on Demand, a try to find out for myself.
So after joining and working my way through a good portion of the platform, here’s my 100% honest Beachbody on Demand review:
Overall, the magnitude of the Beachbody on Demand workout library is incredible. For just a couple of bucks a month on average, you’ll get an absolute ton of value and save a fortune versus joining a gym. The production is slick and high-quality, and you get everything you need rolled into one platform including nutrition plans and even some coaching.
On the other hand, the size can actually be a little overwhelming (does anyone really need 70 different workout programs?), and Beachbody’s marketing can be a bit heavy-handed.
But let’s get into it and explore all the details and ins and outs of this program, including:
- What is Beachbody on Demand & why I tried it
- Setting up your account & getting started
- How to join your first program & walkthrough of a sample program
- Full list of programs (and my favorites)
- Equipment needed for Beachbody on Demand
- Eating plans & nutrition explained
- Pros and Cons of BOD
- Tips to get the most of your subscription
- Final Thoughts
If you find this review helpful at all, I greatly appreciate you using my link to sign-up before you download on the app store!
What is Beachbody on Demand (And why I decided to try it)
Beachbody on Demand is a streaming service that offers workout videos on-demand, along with full fitness programs you can follow and nutritional guides to go with them.
It’s like Netflix for working out!
For one set price (you can pay yearly, semi-annually, or quarterly… but we’ll get to that), you get complete access to the entire library of workout videos and programs — over 700 individual workouts and over 60 full programs.
There’s a workout for everyone:
- Dance cardio
- Muscle building
- Slimming and toning
- And even some kid-friendly workouts
Most of the workouts are packaged inside “programs.” A program is a collection of workouts spanning anywhere from 3 to 100 days.
The programs give you a specific task each day you participate, whether it’s a fresh workout, or just taking a rest day.
Most of the programs also include a nutrition guide, with extremely detailed instructions on how to eat while you follow the program for maximum results.
So why did I decide to try BOD?
Honestly, mostly out of curiosity.
I’m not really looking for a new workout program right now. I have a 3-day weightlifting program I follow, and on off-days I like to do some very light cardio to stay active.
But I’ve been keeping an eye on Beachbody for a while, and I even have a few friends who are coaches.
The marketing has always seemed a little bit dubious to me, and I wasn’t sure if Beachbody was legit or not.
So I thought, what better way to help people decide for themselves than by actually exploring the product?
So that’s what I did.
How BOD works & what happens after you join
Let me walk you through the exact steps you’ll take from not being a Beachbody member, all the way through picking a program and getting started.
First, you’ll create your account — the easiest and best option here is to start with a 14-day free trial to see if you like it!
Even with the free trial, though, you’ll need to create an account using your email and fork over your credit card number.
Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to a login page.
Your first time logging in, you’ll go to the home screen and see a few different options:
You can watch a short welcome video, choose a workout program, or search for content from your favorite BOD trainer.
(Below this there’s some news, recipes, and a bunch of activity from social media from users, coaches, etc.)
I started with the welcome video.
Inside, two beautiful, toned people give you a very brief overview and some clips of the most popular programs like P90X and 21 Day Fix.
Then they give you some instructions on how to sort through their 60-some programs and find the one that’s right for you, what to expect when you get started, and what you’ll need to get the best results.
Regardless of which program you choose, you’ll need:
- At least a 6 foot by 6 foot workout space in your house
- A device to stream the workout videos on
- And the time to do the workouts! (Each program has different requirements here)
I was ready to dive in a little deeper so I downloaded the Beachbody on Demand app on my iPhone, which only took a second to set up, and started exploring the workout programs.
Starting Your First BOD Program
So when you first start looking through the workout programs, you’re bound to be overwhelmed.
You’d think there’d just be one for cardio, one for strength, one for yoga, and maybe a few others.
There are over 60 different comprehensive programs you can choose from.
There are a few sorting options you can use to narrow things down, like:
- Sort by fitness level / difficulty
- Sort by workout length
- Sort by type of workout (Dance, cardio, strength, etc.)
- Sort by trainer
The program page looks like this:
(On mobile, it’s a little harder to access the sorting options. It looks something like this on an iPhone:)
Since I was just exploring, for now, I decided to pick one that looked interesting and do a deep dive on what’s included.
One called “Country Heat” looked pretty fun!
(A country-music-themed workout is definitely something I can get into).
When you open up the program, you’ll see two tabs:
Workouts and Materials.
The Workouts tab is simply a list of all the workout videos associated with the program.
In this case, there were 24 different videos.
In the materials section, I found:
- A quick start guide (how to use the program)
- Tally sheets (these are printable workouts you use to track your nutrition on the program)
- The workout calendar (it lists off all 30 days of the program and tells you which days to do which workout videos)
- The deluxe calender (adds in a few extra workouts)
- The eating plan (goes into excruciating detail on how to meal plan and eat for best results)
- FAQs about the program
That’s a heck of a lot of content, and that’s all just for one program out of 60+!
Before you begin your first workout video, you’ll have to agree that you’ve read and agree to a Medical Disclaimer.
(It’ll also prompt you to connect with your iPhone’s Health tracker, if you’re on iOS.)
Then, it’s time to dive in!
I opened the first workout video in the program.
One thing I thought was cool, right off the bat, was that they tell you what equipment you’ll need for that particular workout before you get started. That could be annoying, having to stop and grab something you didn’t know you needed.
From there, we jumped into the first workout video where the instructor walked us through learning the basic moves.
The video quality was fantastic and the audio was super crisp. I have no complaints about the production quality, which is about a thousand times better than most of what you’ll see in the fitness world.
Another nice touch – The girl on the right was demonstrating the modified version of all of the moves, removing the impact of each one for beginners, people with injuries, etc.
(In other workout programs and videos, the modified workout is an option you can toggle on/off inside the video player.)
So the idea here is, you:
- Choose a program to follow based on your goals and workout style
- Print the workout calendar and keep it somewhere you’ll see it often
- Complete whichever workout the calendar tells you each day (or take a rest day)
- Use the Tally Sheets and Eating Guide found in your program to track your meals and record progress
- When you’re done, choose a new program!
The 60+ workout programs are a little intimidating, but the process is really pretty simple.
The 14-day free trial period is one of the absolute best things about BOD. Take it for a test-drive and see if you like it before you commit.
The complete list of BOD programs (And the best programs on Beachbody on Demand)
There are over 60 full workout programs inside BOD, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you like.
For my money, the best Beachbody on Demand workouts are 21 Day Fix, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and the original P90X.
21 Day Fix is an awesome all-around fitness program that gives you a little bit of everything over the 3 week regimine, including cardio, upper body strength, lower body strength, pilates, yoga, abs, and more.
The 3-week Yoga Retreat is an awesome walkthrough program that’ll take you from yoga newbie to a true yogi in just 3 weeks. You’ll start with the basics and move into more advanced poses, step by step.
The original P90X is really hard to beat. If you want a workout that’s going to really kick your ass up and down your living room, this is it. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
Now here’s the full list of all of the workout programs, complete with sensational names, inside BOD.
10 Minute Trainer
21 Day Fix
21 Day Fix Extreme
21 Day Fix Extreme Real Time
22 Minute Hard Corps
3 Week Yoga Retreat
3-Day Refresh Yoga
80 Day Obsession
A Little More Obsessed
A Little Obsessed
A Week of Hard Labor
Autumn’s BOD Exclusives
Beachbody Yoga STudio
Brazil Butt Lift
Brazil Butt Lift Carnivale
Brazil Butt Lift Master Series
Core de Force
Great Body Guaranteed!
Hip Hop Abs
Ho’Ala ke Kino
Insanity Max :30
Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 1
Insanity: The Asylum Vol. 2
Jericho’s BOD Exclusives
Joel’s BOD Exclusives
Kathy Smith’s Project You!
Kids and Family Collection
Mes de Mas
Morning Meltdown 100
P90X ONE on ONE
Power Half Hour
Pre and Post Natal Fitness
Shaun WeekShift Shop
Slim in 6
The Master’s Hammer and Chisel
Total Body Solution
Yoga Booty Ballet
Equipment Needed for Beachbody on Demand
The equipment needed for Beachbody on Demand really runs the gamut depending on which program you select.
One great touch that I like is, before you start any workout video, the app or website will always remind you of what you’ll need before you get into it.
A few workouts inside Beachbody on Demand use only your bodyweight and no extra equipment. But it will often be necessary to have at least a yoga or exercise mat, some light dumbbells, resistance bands, and sometimes a medicine ball and a stability ball.
To start, you won’t need much of anything except a 6×6 foot space and a comfortable mat or surface to workout on.
If you’re looking for BOD programs to start with that don’t need any equipment, you’ll definitely dig the 3 Week Yoga Retreat and the 3-Day Yoga Refresh — you’ll only need a simple yoga mat here.
You’ll also probably love the dance-based workouts like CIZE (weighted wristbands are optional here) for a no-equipment calorie burn.
For best results with a lot of the other programs, it will REALLY help to start out with at least a light set of dumbbells. As you get stronger, you can upgrade your equipment.
(By the way, you can use whatever equipment you want and you don’t have to buy anything else from Beachbody, including their workout mat. The program is full of upsells, but you can ignore them and buy cheaper options if you want, no harm done!)
If you want to just go ahead and invest in all of the equipment up front, look for:
- A workout mat or yoga mat
- A dumbbell set (light to heavy)
- Medicine balls
- Stability ball
- Resistance bands set
- Weighted wristbands
- Chin-up bar
- Foam roller
That ought to cover about 90% of the programs inside BOD.
BOD Eating Plans Explained
One huge thing that separates Beachbody on Demand apart from free workout videos on YouTube is that each program comes with a custom eating and nutrition plan that pairs with the goal of the workouts.
Some of the programs inside BOD are designed to help you gain lean muscle, some to help you shed fat, and others to simply get you moving and eating healthier in general.
Each nutrition plan is slightly different, but in general, they go something like this:
Decide your goal:
The program may be designed for a specific goal, or they may be modifiers. Body Beast, for example, has a few different phases including bulking (or building muscle) for lean people, bulking for average people, and weight loss.
Determine your calorie target and/or weight class
Beachbody programs don’t encourage rigorous calorie counting, for the most part, but they will usually group you in a certain bucket.
For example, your program might have two different plans for women under and over 150 pounds. Or they may have three different eating strategies for a calorie target from 1200-1500 calories, 1500-1800 calories, and over 1800 calories per day.
Plan your macros and food groups
Because you (typically) won’t be trying to count exact calories here, most of the BOD eating plans are broken down by:
- Healthy fats
- Seeds & dressings
- Oils & nut butters
- Liquid calories
For each meal, they’ll give you a portion goal (1 serving of protein, 2 servings of veggies, 1/2 serving of fruit, 1/2 serving of carbs, for example), plenty of meal ideas and recipes to help you hit your macronutrient goal, and some meal prep tips (often using color-coded containers).
There’s almost always a ton of customization options, as well. Swap out one serving from column A for a half serving of column B, etc, etc.
Most of the programs in here with include Tally Sheets, or small printable nutrition journals, so you can write down and keep track of all of your portions as you go along.
You can keep this next to your printed workout calendar, where you’ll X out each workout as you go.
You’ll also often be encouraged to take before, during, and after photos and measurements of your body to monitor your physique progress.
I’m really used to a basic calories in / calories out, set macros kind of approach.
In my own training, I shoot for a very simple and rough calorie target to either cut fat, maintain weight, or gain muscle, and I try to hit a certain amount of protein intake each day for muscle performance.
Outside of that, I don’t track things too carefully outside of trying (and sometimes failing) to get some healthy carbs, veggies, and fruits into my diet.
So the Beachbody approach was a little overwhelming to me at first. The nutrition guides are LONG and exquisitely detailed.
But they do seem to use a good, sustainable approach that promotes healthy eating and a solid relationship with your food. As much as calorie counting works for me, it’s not for everyone and it can sometimes damage the way you think about your nutrition.
My advice would be to pick one program to really dive in to, here, and give 100% effort. Print out the nutrition guide and study it carefully, and put the effort in to plan your meal portions exactly as suggested.
They can be a little bit complicated (often 3-5 meals per day with different color coding depending your macros!), so you’ll need to really work at this if you want the results.
(When it comes to Shakeology, I consider this to be an unnecessary upsell. You can get all the protein and other compounds your body needs from whole foods, and there are plenty of great pre-workouts on the market you can get for a lot cheaper than Beachbody branded stuff.)
5 Things I Like About BOD
Alright let’s get into some of the pros and cons of Beachbody on Demand. Here’s what I really loved about this platform:
Endless variety & tons of content
You get SO much value for your money here. You’ll absolutely never run out of workout videos and full programs to work through.
You could easily start as a total beginner and work your way through a basic, low-intensity workout program and eating plan to get in slightly better shape and lose a little bit of weight.
From there, you can ramp up the intensity with a heavier cardio program and increase your performance as you shed some more weight and get leaner.
And even from there, you can go into one of the strength and muscle building programs to get that athletic, toned look everyone wants.
You have nearly unlimited options at your fingertips here, which is pretty awesome.
Programs are complete blueprints
Could you go on YouTube right now and find a free workout video to do?
But would that video then be followed up by another that helps you progress and improve in specific ways? Would it include a huge guide on exactly how to eat to lose weight, build muscle, and get the best results?
You definitely don’t have to pay for workout programs. You can piece everything you need to know together on your own.
But if you’re struggling to get started or stay motivated, there’s so much value in having a complete blueprint.
Production quality is off the charts
I’ve checked out some workout programs where they totally phoned in the video and audio quality.
That’s not the case here!
You’ll really enjoy following these workout videos. They’re crisp, clear, and well shot. Plus the audio is 100% on point across the board.
They really look and sound great.
Modifiers, modifiers, modifiers
BOD really accomodates everyone.
I LOVE how they build in low-impact modifiers to almost every workout if you’re not ready to dive in or you have an injury.
You can also tweak their meals plans easily via detailed instruction depending on your goal, size, eating restrictions, etc.
There is literally a plan for everyone inside BOD, which is pretty amazing.
Workouts on the go
It’s a small thing, but I noticed you can download any workout video in the program directly to your device so you can view it offline.
This is a pretty great feature if you’re on the go, traveling abroad, or suffering an Internet outage.
You’ll always be able to get your workout in.
3 Things I Don’t Like About BOD
OK, now onto a few things that I wasn’t feeling about Beachbody on Demand:
You guys, this program is absolutely massive.
When you first login, you’ll probably have no idea what to do and where to start. You’ll have to choose from 60-70 different workout programs, which honestly seems a little exessive.
I like the variety, but I think beginners might have trouble getting started due to analysis paralysis.
The sorting options are helpful, but I just think there’s so much content to consume here, a few beginners are bound to be scared away.
And beyond that, each program is SO detailed and comes with a ton of extra materials you need to study and work through.
It’s just… a lot.
Once you find the right program and get started, you’ll do great, but the first steps here can be difficult.
It’s probably a minor thing, but the names of the programs annoy me.
INSANITY, an INSANITY: THE ASYLUM, and TURBO FIRE.
Like what does that even mean?
I wish, at points, they’d dial back the extreme branding and flashiness and just be a little bit more descriptive.
Like 3-Day Yoga Refresh, that’s perfect! I know exactly what that program is just from the name.
Plus, all the calls-to-action to get in on their Shakeology thing… I don’t know. It’s not for me.
Eating plans are complex
I mentioned this before, but I do worry that the eating plans and nutritional strategies here might be hard for some people to follow.
If you really study and put in the effort, you can and will make it work.
But some of the meal plans made my head hurt reading them.
Here’s a real paragraph from the Body Beast program:
“If you want to drink from the MILKS list, use it to replace a YELLOW portion. If you want to drink from the FRUIT JUICES list, use it to replace a PURPLE portion.”
This is how all the programs are. Everything is color coded and there are so many customization and swapping-out options, it can make you go cross-eyed.
This is why I encourage you to print out the whole eating plan program and related materials and lay it out in a way that makes sense to you.
I think this approach is good once you master it, but for beginners I would kind of prefer a simpler strategy.
Overall, Beachbody on Demand really impressed me with what it delivers.
With the flashy and in-your-face marketing, I kind of expected more fluff and less substance inside this platform.
I was dead wrong.
The workouts and eating plans are incredibly comprehensive (maybe a little too much so!), and the value you get for your money is pretty insane.
Depending on how you want to structure your membership, you can pay as little as $8-9 per month for all access, or aroud $13-14 per month for a shorter-term subscription.
Your average gym membership costs around $30-40 per month, to put things in perspective.
So in terms of value, and for the convenience of being able to completely transform your health and fitness in your own home for less than an hour a day? I’d totally recommend Beachbody on Demand.
If you find this review helpful at all, I greatly appreciate you using my link to sign-up before you download on the app store!
Beachbody on Demand FAQ
Is there a spinning workout in Beachbody on Demand?
There is no spinning workout in Beachbody on Demand.
These workouts are all designed to be done at home, sometimes with the aid of minor equipment, but not enough people have a stationary bike in their house so they’ve left that out of the program.
Is there a yoga workout in Beachbody on Demand?
There are at least 6 yoga workouts inside BOD as of this writing, including 3-Day Yoga Refresh, 3-Week Yoga Retreat, Beachbody Yoga Study, Yoga Booty Ballet, and a few more.
What devices does Beachbody on Demand work on?
You can access any of the programs and workouts on:
- Apple TV
Can multiple users use BOD?
You can be logged into Beachbody on Demand on an unlimited number of devices, but just a warning, Beachbody might shut you down if you’re abusing the service and sharing with all of your friends.
Plus, you won’t be able to properly track which workouts you’ve completed if a bunch of other people are logging in and watching the videos.
What are common complaints about BOD?
Not everyone is happy about Beachbody automatically billing and renewing their account. Just know ahead of time that once you sign up, they’ll continue to bill you until you cancel.
Others, like me, don’t love the heavy-handed marketing and the over-the-top Beachbody hype train. They push you to buy a lot of extra workout packages, branded products, and supplements, which aren’t really necessary.
How do you cancel Beachbody on Demand if you’re not happy?
Just go here – https://faq.beachbody.com/app/contactus
Choose “My Beachbody on Demand,” then scroll down and select “Cancel.”
Are there any good Beachbody on Demand alternatives?
Check out my Aaptiv review — it’s an app that offers audio-guided workouts for your home, the gym, and even outside.
Any other questions about the program? Leave them in the comments!
Hope this helps, everyone!