I love watching the Beachbody Program infomercials while I’m on the treadmill. Is that really weird?
Yes? No…admit it. It’s weird, but we do weird things to survive long treadmill runs.
Well after the great article from Katie on maintaining muscle mass while marathon training, I decided it was time to get focused again on building some muscle. And since I have seen so many of these infomercials, I began to wonder:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?!! How does one pick a Beachbody workout program…besides just looking at Shaun T’s abs, that is kind of a selling point, right?
Luckily I know some very fit ladies who have tested out each of these programs and were willing to break it down for us. This is not a sponsored post, just something I wanted to share.Bonus: Don’t feel like investing in tons of programs, maybe all you really need is to check out Beachbody on Demand.
You can stream all 700 workouts for the next 12 months for just $99. That’s way cheaper than buying individual programs.
Checkout this post for free at home workouts, it’s filled with the folks that I follow for inspiration and a lot of the moves that I do which I believe best for runners.
BEACHBODY PROGRAM COMPARISON
First up a quick chart to give you an easy comparison of the products and then a more detailed description. Be sure to click on the links to their blogs where you will find more details on results and workouts that they have done with the program.
Instructors or long time Beachbody coaches were asked to provide an overview of each program and a rating of intensity 1-10 with 10 being the hardest. Most agreed that you can vary the intensity by how hard you work.
Having done classes from Insanity, PiYo, T25 and P90X I would say that is generally true, but Insanity is still no frigging joke. That’s how I displaced my rib!! Perfect for those of you who like a killer workout.
80 Day Obsession
This is the newest program to come out, so I’ve just added it to this comparison, but haven’t updated the charts yet.
Based on the name you might have guessed this is an 80 intense program of 6 workouts per week and maybe most importantly, a specific nutrition plan to follow. It involves eating every 2-3 hours that is going to ensure you get focused on meal planning.
There are six workouts in each phase: Leg Day, Butt Day, Total Body Core, Cardio Core, Cardio Flow and TRIPLE A (arms, abs and ass), with continually changing weights, reps and compound movements.
Sorey Fitness provides a ton of information on meals and all the other FAQs you might have about this program.
Favorite move: Autumn Calabrese the creator of the program actually shares one of her favorite moves on Instagram, which is the hip hinge! It’s the correct way to do what we often call a deadlift to really engage the glutes.
Results: It seems on of the biggest result is not just from the workouts, but from people learning how to clean up their nutrition.From Sorey Fitness
P90X3 is a complete all over workout mixing cardio, strength, yoga and pilates with a strong core focus. For me as a runner it complimented my marathon training perfectly and was just what I needed as I came back from a long term injury.
The entire program plan can be completed in 3 months and is included with the set. Each workout includes modifications and strength workouts include methods for bands and dumbbells.
6 Resistance/Strength Workouts
4 Core, Flexibility & Balance
Favorite move: I loved the majority of the workouts but I think my favorite was Eccentric Lower and Ab Ripper. These spoke to me so much as an injured runner with a weak core and lazy glutes.
Results: Overall P90X3 transformed me by strengthening my core, engaging my glutes and increasing my strength. I am no longer in a constant cycle of repeat injury due to bad running form.
From Marathon Mom
This fitness program is unique that it is an all inclusive workout that you do for only 25 minutes a day, 5 times a week! Shaun T experimented to design a program that delivers the same kind of results you’d expect from an hour-long program, in under 30 minutes. He’s pulled out the rest to give you everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Favorite move: My favorite workout DVD is Speed 2.0! Holy moly what a great workout! I get a better speed session in during these 25 minutes than I do doing running the track! No joke!
Results: Although I didn’t document my results with photos, I did find that my speed for RUNNING increased and my core strength increased. I was stronger, fitter, and healthier.
From Rachel Steffen (Running Rachel)
Body Beast is a workout for anyone who wants to build lean muscle mass via weightlifting at home. There’s a mix of classic resistance training along with dynamic set training, including single sets, drop sets, force sets, progressive sets, etc. Body Beast works for anyone from a relative newcomer to lifting like myself to gym rats.
At a minimum you will need: a stability ball, adjustable weights, chin-up bar.
The program is scheduled to work a different muscle group each day. You want to strength train your ENTIRE body, therefore, follow the scheduled workouts.
Favorite move: seen on Dumbells and Diapers it’s a knee twist with a push up
Results: In progress. I only have 3 & 8 lb dumbbells and a resistance band but you can see the definition developing in my chest, back, and arm muscles.
PiYo delivers the muscle-sculpting, core-focused benefits of Pilates along with the flexibility and power of yoga. PiYo’s low-impact compound exercises engage multiple muscle groups at the same time – while keeping your body in constant motion.
It involves a lot of core training, strength moves and yoga/pilates, different sections of the workout are more/less intense for different people.
Favorite move: I love them all! But on the whole, I really love the Flow sections of PiYo — they’re the most traditional yoga parts of class, and I’m a yoga addict. The right angle/extended side angle with a bind is my personal favorite BUT it’s also something only advanced and experienced students should try.
Results: AMAZING. When I started teaching PiYo Strength, everything improved: my mood, my strength, my running (I PR’d at all my distances after starting PiYo).
From Instructor – Katy Widrick
Insanity is a workout there you are using Max Interval Training and your own body weight to perform Agility, Plyometric, Endurance, Cardio,and Strength movements.
Compared to the traditional HIIT training workouts of the past, you flip the method and work within your Max realm of fitness for most of the workout with shorter bursts of recovery. Therefore, you’re being more efficient with your workouts, using your own body, and increasing fat metabolism as a result.
Workouts range from Tabata drills to longer intervals, strength to cardio exercises, but all using body weight
Favorite move: Iron Legs! (Lunge, Lunge, Squat, Jump up into a scissor jump and back down)
Results? I lost 15 lbs with the original Insanity and so far almost down 5 lbs and 4-5 inches with Max:30
From Instructor Katrina Elle
21 DAY FIX
21 Day Fix is an all-inclusive wellness program that incorporates at home workouts (all 30 minutes each) with portion control containers, meal and recipe ideas to foster a healthy diet over the long term.
Each 21 Day Fix workout is different – upper body, lower body, cardio, yoga, Pilates, abs. Modifications are shown throughout each workout, and I recommend this program to participants of all fitness levels because of this.
The eating plan
The 21 Day Fix uses portion control containers that participants use each day to ensure they are eating enough nutrients. The plan is roughly 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. A simple equation helps participants determine the exact number of containers they need – how many vegetables, fruits, lean meats, essential fats, etc. – to ensure their success. There is no calorie counting – in other words, we can enjoy our food!
Intensity of workout 1-10: 7-8, depending on your fitness level. Many of the workouts use weights or resistance bands, so beginners can feel comfortable choosing lighter weights and increase the amount as they become stronger and more acclimated to the program. Intensity level really can be determined by the participant.
Favorite move: I love the entire Plyo Fix workout. 30 minutes of intense plyo moves such as jump squats, burpees, tuck jumps, high knees. All done in 30-second increments with a 30-second break between each move.
Results: I lost 7 pounds and 6 inches the first time I did it. My husband lost 12 pounds and 7 inches.
From Tracey English
Belatedly I realized that all the Chalene programs were missing from this overview! So if you have experience with any of those I’d love to hear about it. And yes I have actually picked one of them to test out, so look for that!
Which Beachbody Program is best for runners?
For those who are wondering can you possibly do one of these programs and run? The answer is yes…but with a lot of nuances to that answer.
- How much cross training are you currently used to doing?
- How much time do you have?
- How ON POINT is your recovery program?
- Are you focused on muscle building or endurance?
- Are you already stressed and an intense workout program is only going to escalate that?
You need to know yourself first. After that, I actually like a bit of a rotation with the programs to get what you really need for good marathon cross training. Which is probably why the On Demand program is more ideal.
Sunday – Long Run
Monday – Beachbody On Demand Yoga Studio Workout (EASY flow)
Tuesday – Speed Workout
Wednesday – Beast Mode Upper Body
Thursday – Easy Run
Friday – PiYo
Saturday – Easy run
Have you ever tried following one of these?
What were your results? Or biggest questions??
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