- Insanity Workout Review
- My Insanity Workout Review
- What is Insanity?
- About The Insanity Workouts
- Insanity Workout Calendar
- Is Insanity Right For You?
- What To Expect From Insanity
- How Quickly Will You See Results?
- A Note About Body Measurements
- Fitting Insanity Into Your Lifestyle
- Should You Follow The Insanity Diet Plan
- What Is Included With Insanity
- Where To Buy Insanity
- Insanity Workout Reviews From Around The Web
- My Insanity Workout Results
- It’s Your Move
- Further Reading
- This Horror Story Will Make You Think Twice About the Insanity Workout
- But first, the bare bones of the program
- Why it isn’t for everyone
- Plus, it’s a time suck
- Then there’s the instructor issue …
- … and the injury issue
- A real horror story
- Still want to try it?
- Shaun T Gave Up Alcohol and Is More Focused Than Ever
- Inside Beachbody’s Billion-Dollar Fat Burning Empire
- What is Transform 20?
- Shaun T’s Transform 20 Overview
- Check Out The Transform 20 Ordering Options
- Who is Shaun T’s Transform 20 for?
- Can Beginners Do Transform 20?
- What Equipment You Need for Transform 20
- Modifier Details
- Transform 20 Results
- How long is the Transform 20 program?
- Transform 20 Workouts
- How many calories do you burn with transform 20?
- There are 3 Transform 20 Phases
- Bonus Weight Workouts
- View the Transform 20 Workout Descriptions & Calendar
- Transform 20 Meal Plan
- The Coolest Part::: Mindset Tools!
- How do I get Transform 20?
- How to Buy Transform 20
- Will it be on DVD?
- View the Transform 20 Ordering Options
- What You Need to Know About Beachbody on Demand
- You can do a FREE 14-Day Trial right now!
- We started Beachbody Coaching in 2011, and it’s been life-changing for us! We both taught high school math before “retiring” to be full-time entrepreneurs.
- Get the Scoop on Beachbody Coaching
- Need help choosing which Transform 20 option is right for you?
- Still have questions? Let us know using the form below!
- Other Workouts You Might Like
- 20 Weight-Loss Secrets from Celeb Trainer Shaun T
- Refuel with Sweet Potatoes
- Scramble Away Flab
- Blast Bloat with Melon
- Trick Your Taste Buds
- Have Some Grass
- Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
- Stock Up On Fast Proteins
- Eat Seasonally
- Spring for Sprouts
- Stay Hydrated
- Eat Mor Chikin’
- Keep Energizing Snacks at Hand
- Eat Healthy Fats
- Go Green
- Cheat Clean
- Pig Out
- Order Smart
- Insanity Founder Shaun T Opens Up about Twin Life After 12 Pregnancy Attempts With 5 Surrogates
Insanity Workout Review
Hello and welcome to my Insanity workout review blog! This site originally began as a home for my journal while I was completing the Insanity workout. However, it quickly became a place to dump any-and-all information I had on the workout itself. And now I have finally completed something that I have been wanting to do for a long time: a full Insanity review. Continue reading below for my unbiased opinion of this workout or use the navigation above and to the side to find answers to any specific questions you may have.
My Insanity Workout Review
Where should I begin? When the Insanity workout landed on my radar I had been overweight for some time, and had grown to be a little afraid of the world of fitness. I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t want to hurt (or embarrass) myself trying to get in shape.
Like many, I saw Shaun T’s infomercial for Insanity. I immediately loved the idea of an in-home, 60 day, total body transformation system. Suddenly I started to notice that Insanity was everywhere! Shaun T had succeeded in catching my attention. I immediately got on my computer and started looking for Insanity workout reviews and results. I wasn’t able to find many reviews that were thorough or seemed unbiased, but I did find a lot of results pictures. Most of these were so dramatic that they just piqued my interest even more. So I decided it was time to get a copy of Insanity and get started. And to top it off, I promised myself that I would write up the end-all, be-all, most thorough, unbiased review out there in order to help out future curious searchers.
And so after two months of grueling work with Shaun T, I had enough information to put together the following review. In addition, I kept a sort of “journal” along the way which can be found here for further insight into my mindset, diet and daily progress.
What is Insanity?
For those of you that have only recently heard about Insanity for the first time, I wanted to start with the simple question, “what is the Insanity workout?” After all, how can we have an Insanity workout review if we don’t even have a solid baseline of what Insanity is?
At it’s most basic level, Insanity is a DVD based home workout that spans two months (or more accurately, 63 days). It is the product of choreographer and fitness trainer, Shaun T as well as fitness giant, Beachbody, LLC. According to Shaun it is designed to get you in the best shape of your life, and according to Beachbody it is the hardest workout ever put on DVD!
If we look a little closer, Insanity is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine put on DVD. HIIT is an improved form of interval training which alternates between short, intense exercises and slightly less intense recovery periods. Shaun T. takes this concept to the next level with what he calls Max Interval Training. With Insanity’s Max Interval Training you will find yourself performing, on average, 3 minutes of high intensity activity followed by about 30 seconds of downtime for recovery. This cycle is repeated over and over again over the course of about 45 minutes.
Basically, Insanity is designed to get your heart pounding and keep it going for an extended period of time. In the process you will be burning fat like never before while strengthening up your major muscle groups to get that cut, athletic look.
About The Insanity Workouts
As I mentioned earlier, Insanity is a home workout program that requires nothing but the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet. What this means is that you don’t need any equipment because all exercises are performed with your body supplying the weight for resistance.
You will be performing a lot of squats, push-ups, and most notably, jumps. There are exercises that are obviously designed with cardio in mind, and also some designed for strength. The thing is, even the strength exercises are designed in a way that will get your heart pounding. They are all compound exercises meaning that you will be working multiple major muscles at the same time.
For the most part, you will perform all of these exercises from an upright position, although there is quite a bit of plank work which will have you down on your hands and feet (which is why I would highly recommend purchasing a yoga mat). This is one of Shaun T’s big selling points because you don’t have to do any crunches or sit-ups. But don’t let that fool you – the ab work you do in place of these more common exercises will have your abs burning just as much if not more than standard crunches.
And lastly, Insanity is loaded with stretches and yoga poses, with a lot of focus on opening up your hips and groin. This is not only a great addition to the program, but also a necessity. By constantly stretching and becoming more flexible, you are preventing potential future injuries. So remember: it is important that you always complete your stretches!
There are just too many individual workouts for me to cram a thorough description of each onto this Insanity workout review page, so if you would like further info about a specific workout, check out my Insanity Workouts page.
Insanity Workout Calendar
If you are curious about how exactly this workout is scheduled, you don’t need to look any further. Long before I even began writing my Insanity workout review I created an in-depth page covering the Insanity workout calendar (including a printable copy). However, I understand that not everyone needs that much detail, so I have listed the key points below:
- The Insanity workout is divided into three sections: month one, recovery week and month two.
- The whole program takes a total of nine weeks or 63 days.
- During this time, you will follow a general schedule of six workout days and one rest day each week.
- One of six days will be devoted to a recovery workout (mostly stretching and balance work).
- You will take a fitness test roughly every second week (total of five tests).
- The average workout length in month one is around 45 minutes.
- In recovery week, you are repeating the same workout each day and it is 37 minutes long.
- The average workout length in month two jumps up to around an hour but can go as long as 80 minutes on some days.
Is Insanity Right For You?
If you are looking to get in shape, you might be wondering why you would choose Insanity over any other option. For me, it was a simple choice: I was (and to an extent I still am) inexperienced when it comes to personal fitness. My first inclination was to join a gym and hire a personal trainer. But when I went to check out local gyms, I found out I was going to be paying upwards of $500 on just the membership! I didn’t even want to find out about a trainer after that.
Insanity was the simple and inexpensive solution I was looking for. You can complete this entire workout without a gym or any equipment. On top of that, you get the next best thing to a personal trainer: Shaun T in your face telling you what to do, why you are doing it and how to do it with proper form.
That said, this workout definitely is not for everyone which is why I wanted to write this Insanity workout review. The following list describes what I feel are the minimum requirements for someone who wants to complete the Insanity workout:
- You must have 45 minutes to 1.5 hours daily to do your workout.
- You cannot have any heart or other serious health condition (unless approved by your physician).
- You likewise cannot have joint problems, particularly in your knees, as you will be jumping around A LOT with this workout.
- You should be comfortable performing about 30 minutes of non-stop cardiovascular exercise before you start Insanity.
And here are a couple of additional points to consider:
- If you are looking to bulk up considerably, Insanity is not the way to do it. This program is more about endurance and weight loss.
- If you are already extremely overweight, know that there is a lot of jumping involved which will put a lot of stress on your bones and joints. I am confident it can still be done, but you should be aware of this beforehand.
- And lastly, if you aren’t willing to commit to a healthy diet and sufficient sleep, I wouldn’t waste my time with this workout as you will just end up wearing yourself down and dreading every workout.
What To Expect From Insanity
The stated goal of Insanity is to get you in the best shape of your life. Shaun T frequently says he wants you to look good and feel great, and for me that has definitely proven to be true. From my experience I would say that you can expect five significant results from Insanity, each listed below:
Expect to burn a lot of fat:
Shaun T’s Max Interval Training is designed to get your heart really pumping and because of this, the fat practically melting from your body. Beachbody claim that you can burn as many as 1,000 calories in one Insanity workout. In following a variety of people’s fitness journals on My Fitness Pal I have seen measured calorie burn anywhere from 400 calories up to about 1,000. In short, you will be working hard and sweating like a dog. Learn to embrace it.
Expect to define your muscles:
If you are looking to bulk up, Insanity is not the answer. Instead, you should be coming to Insanity more for muscle definition. This is more of an extreme cardio workout interspersed with some body-weight strength training. While this will definitely lead to some muscle growth, the primary focus is strength and endurance.
Expect to get a ‘cut’ athletic build:
You will be defining all of the muscles in your body while simultaneously cutting your body fat % to virtually nothing. Because of this your body will tend toward a very athletic look (think basketball player). But don’t expect it to be easy. As the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy, and this is no exception: expect to work hard if you truly want to feel great.
Expect to build significant strength in your abs, chest, triceps, quads and glutes:
The majority of the strength training in Insanity is based around push-ups and squats, along with a lot of core work. This will lead to your chest, triceps, legs and abs becoming stronger than ever before.
Expect to build up some serious cardio strength and endurance:
When I did the fit test for the first time, my heart was pounding and I could hardly breathe. But as time passed, I began to get stronger and stronger. Don’t get me wrong – every Insanity workout will be a challenge, shooting your heart rate through the roof, but as your cardio strength improves, you will begin to welcome it.
How Quickly Will You See Results?
While I understand that this is the question you are probably most curious about, it is incredibly difficult for me to answer. Everyone is different and is likely to see different results at different times. That said, I had already noticed a huge increase in strength and endurance after only one week. It is almost unbelievable how quickly this happens. However, the more aesthetic results didn’t start showing until the end of my second week.
Having spoken with a handful of other individuals that have completed Insanity and read a handful of Insanity workout review journals online, the general consensus is that you will already be seeing results after only a week. This is the start of your muscles toning up. If you were already lean, you will be able to see this right away. If you have some weight to lose, that will come shortly after. And finally, after you complete month one and witness the awesome results for yourself, it’s really time to get excited. Month two is about to start and that is when the real magic happens!
The thing is, everyone seems to want to find a shortcut to weight loss and getting that six pack. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as shortcuts in the world of health and fitness – only compromises. You might find some ‘magic’ pill that melts the fat away, but you have to ask what it is doing to your overall health in the meantime. On top of that, if you are eating poorly and not exercising, you risk ending up skinny-fat, and nobody wants that!
The good news is that Insanity is probably about as close to a shortcut as you can get. I hate to put it that way because the reality is you will be working your ass off, but it is a relatively short period of time. You will be amazed at all of the changes you can achieve in only two months. Still, you are going to need patience and persistence.
A Note About Body Measurements
At this point I wanted to make a brief side-note: this wouldn’t be much of an Insanity workout review if I didn’t touch on the importance of taking a variety of body measurements. Once again, you use a tool like My Fitness Pal to keep track of your measurements. Muscle is more dense than fat, so it is entirely possible to lose an inch around your waist at the beginning and not see any change on the scale. And if you are anything like me, this can quickly lead to a loss of motivation and drive. So measure, measure, measure! As your muscles become more toned and you continue to shred fat, you will see and feel your results everywhere. But keep on measuring.
Fitting Insanity Into Your Lifestyle
An important thing to remember when trying to complete the Insanity program is that you will probably have to adapt your lifestyle to fit it. That is to say a couple of things:
You need to eat right!
This doesn’t necessarily mean following the included nutrition guide to the tee, but I would suggest using it as a guideline for the way you eat. You are going to need a lot of energy to complete this program, and that means both getting a significant number of calories as well as the proper makeup of those calories.
You also need to get sufficient sleep.
If your lifestyle keeps you up at all hours of the day (for example you have a young child, or maybe you just graduated and are constantly out partying) chances are you will not make it through Insanity. I would recommend waiting a little bit until your schedule has normalized before getting started. That is not to say you need to quit having fun to get in shape, but your body needs sleep for your muscles to recover. And if you aren’t recovering properly, you will have a hellish time trying to keep up.
The great news is that after two months you will have built up an immense amount of strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. And if that weren’t enough, I saw some serious improvements to my posture as well. Trust me when I say, it is worth it.
Should You Follow The Insanity Diet Plan
The Insanity workout includes its own, very thorough nutrition guide. But the question that seems to come up often is “Do I need to follow the Insanity nutrition guide?” The best answer I can give you to this question is “not necessarily…”
The thing is, in addition to completing the actual workout, you need to eat well in order to see the best results. For a huge majority of people I would suggest that the nutrition guide provides the best way to do so. The reason: its simplicity. The guide is more-or-less laid out as a recipe book, where each meal is built to a certain nutritional specification. That is, each meal already has the ideal balance of calories from protein, carbs and fat. In addition, each meal represents a set total number of calories. So all you need to do is calculate your nutritional requirements and how many meals to eat based on that calculation. In this way, you avoid having to directly count calories while still having a simple method to keep track. It is easy, and to top it off, there are some really delicious recipes in the guide!
But, it is understandable that some people might prefer to create their own meal plan. And that is just fine. My recommendation for these people would be to use a tool like the previously mentioned My Fitness Pal to set your different macro nutrient goals (Insanity recommends 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat) and keep careful track of all the food you eat.
The bottom line is this: if you are eating well along with your daily workouts, you will see great all-around results. If you are not paying close attention to diet, you will still very likely notice some serious fitness gains but it may not translate to as significant of weight-loss.
One last note on diet: I personally noticed that on lazy days where I ate more junk food, my workouts were more of a struggle. On the other end of that, on days where I ate too few calories I would wind up feeling wiped out and low on energy. Diet is important!
What Is Included With Insanity
The following items are included with the basic Insanity workout package:
10 workout DVDs
The Elite Nutrition Plan
Insanity Workout Calendar
Free Online Support Tools
If you decide to go with the deluxe package, it also includes:
3 Additional Workouts
Body Fat Calipers
A Professional Grade Jump Mat
Where To Buy Insanity
After searching across the internet I have determined that there are really only two reputable sources that I would buy the Insanity workout from: The official Beachbody store and Amazon.com. Each has their own merits, but my opinion is as follows:
My immediate recommendation is to go straight to the official Beachbody store. The total price once you include shipping is exactly the same from Beachbody as it is from Amazon. But Beachbody provides two main benefits that I can see: The first is that they allow you to pay for it in three payments rather than all up front, and the second is that they offer you a 60-day money-back guarantee! I have the same recommendation if you are interested in buying the deluxe upgrade.
However, if you don’t mind buying a used copy it is worth checking Amazon first. I have noticed that every so often a seller will pop up on Amazon offering it used for a pretty decent rate (at the time of this writing there are no used copies available, but I have seen it go as low as $70). The main downside of this is that since it is coming from a third party seller, you lose out on some of the little benefits like the 60-day-money-back guarantee being able to send in for an Insanity t-shirt after you complete the workout. Only you can decide if this is an acceptable option for you.
As far as price is concerned, unless you are buying used it is the same price everywhere! At the time of this writing, Beachbody is selling the basic package for $119.85 plus 24.95 shipping for a total price of $144.80 (or three payments of $39.95 + shipping).
At the same time, it is listed on Amazon for $144.80 with free shipping.
The same goes for the deluxe upgrade. If you purchase from Beachbody directly, you first have to buy the basic package at a total price of $144.80 and then buy the upgrade at $134.80. This bring the cost of your entire order to $279.60.
Guess what it is currently listed on Amazon for? $279.60.
Also note that this price could change at any time, so you should check to make sure the current price is still the same (Beachbody, Amazon).
Insanity Workout Reviews From Around The Web
I thought it might be beneficial to include some Insanity workout reviews from around the web here so that mine isn’t the only voice that you hear. In particular, here are the Amazon.com ‘most helpful favorable review’ and ‘most helpful critical review’ as of the time of publishing:
Rrrrrripppp….yes, that was the sound of my abs flexing – 5 star review
Summary: 40 year old looking to get his younger body back. Lost 22 pounds with the Insanity workout and more than doubled his fit test results. It is a long read, but a good one.
I want to love this… BUT – 3 star review
Summary: This person has a history of knee problems and discovered that it was impossible to complete the workout with bad knees. Praises the workout otherwise but warns that you will be wasting your money if you have knee/joint problems.
In addition, you can find nearly 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon here.
My Insanity Workout Results
This wouldn’t be much of an Insanity workout review if I didn’t include my own personal Insanity workout results, now would it?!
My intention coming into this was to lose a few pounds. I weighed 189 pounds and had a goal in mind of about 180 pounds. Nine pounds is a pretty modest weight loss goal for a period of two months, but I think in the back of my mind I was hoping to see the type of extreme results you see plastered all over the Insanity advertisements.
However, I didn’t stick to my workouts 100% and often found myself straying from my diet. So how did it all turn out?
After my 60 days was up, I weighed in at 179 pounds for a total loss of 10 pounds! I met my goal plus a little extra. And to top it off, I managed to cut an inch from around my chest, 3.25 inches from around my waist and 1.75 inches from around my hips. Incredible!
Here are some before and after pictures for your viewing pleasure:
If you would like some more in-depth coverage of all my fit test results and body measurements, check my results page.
It’s Your Move
Well this turned out to be significantly longer Insanity workout review than I had originally planned… Hopefully the information I have provided above is enough to help you decide whether or not to buy the Insanity workout, where to buy it from and what to expect from it. But just in case, I will leave you with some links to further reading below. And as always, feel free to contact me with any questions that you have.
Tips And Tricks
Join Team Beachbody online for advice and inspiration
Send in before and after pics for a t-shirt
Perfect your moves video
Get a heart rate monitor (This is the one I have)
Never skip the warmups and stretches! You run the risk of injuring yourself.
Don’t drink too much water while working out, just little bits.
Don’t eat too close to working out – a full stomach means too much energy going to digestion.
Don’t forget to eat right.
And lastly, make sure you are sleeping well.
This Horror Story Will Make You Think Twice About the Insanity Workout
You can scour the internet for hours reading glowing testimonials about the Insanity workout. However, like so many other fitness regimens, Insanity isn’t for everyone. In fact, many people have tried the high-intensity workout and walked away with terrible horror stories.
Considering whether or not to take on this extreme workout plan? You should probably read up before investing in the Insanity workout.
But first, the bare bones of the program
The Insanity workout has been extremely popular and successful. | iStock.com
Shaun T’s Insanity, which is part of the Beachbody empire, consists of 10 different programs centering around high-intensity interval workouts. The workouts are widely appealing because they come in DVD form, taking the need for a gym membership or exercise equipment out of the picture.
It also doesn’t hurt that Insanity promises to get you into ridiculously good shape in a short amount of time. (And who isn’t interested in getting in shape as quickly as possible?)
Why it isn’t for everyone
Transforming your living room into a gym isn’t always ideal. | iStock.com
Like many at-home workouts, Insanity isn’t for most people. The intense nature makes it a bad workout choice for beginners and seniors. Anyone that doesn’t already have stamina built up will likely tire of the plan quickly — if they can make it through an hour-long session at all. In fact, WebMD points out that even individuals in good shape may have difficulty keeping up when they first start the program.
Plus, it’s a time suck
This workout requires a lot of dedication. | Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images
Sure, Insanity claims to get you into crazy good shape in 60 days, but that comes at a price. Their grueling workout schedule requires you to do a workout session six days a week with little rest. Then, it requires you to take a week off in between the first and second month of training to “recover” and follow a lower-intensity regimen. So even if you do follow the Insanity program to a T, it will take you more than two months to complete it.
Then there’s the instructor issue …
When it comes to Insanity, you’re on your own. | G-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images
Insanity has the same problem that almost all other at-home workouts have — there isn’t an instructor present. When it comes to doing any new exercise plan, especially an intense one, it pays to have an expert nearby to make sure you perform everything properly. If you are pushing yourself as hard as the Insanity plan instructs, and don’t have anyone to help you with your form, you are more likely to get hurt.
… and the injury issue
The intense workout can cause injuries. | Ostill/iStock/Getty Images
As Livestrong.com points out, shoulder injuries are common when it comes to the Insanity workout. Improper form, mixed with pushing oneself for six days straight, can result in rotator cuff tears and muscle soreness. Other injuries, shared by Insanity participants on an online message board, included hip problems, ankle injuries, and knee pain.
A real horror story
Hard abs, lean muscles, and …. knee injuries? | iStock.com
There are plenty of injury stories out there regarding the Insanity workout. One individual chronicled his experience on Reddit, detailing that the pressure the workout put on his beginner-level joints wrecked his knees and resulted in nine months of physical therapy. That’s right — a couple of weeks of working out turned into nearly a year of recovery because the regimen is so intense.
Still want to try it?
Some brave souls are still up for the challenge. | iStock.com
So let’s say that the fear of injury and the time commitment aren’t enough to scare you away. If that is our choice, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you are a beginner, you should consider starting with a lower-intensity workout first, to help get yourself prepared for the grueling Insanity regimen. You might even want to consider consulting a personal trainer, or have someone at your local gym give you some pointers.
Making sure that you are performing all of your exercises with the proper form and to the best of your ability is the best way to prevent a workout horror story from happening to you.
Shaun T Gave Up Alcohol and Is More Focused Than Ever
People who base their entire career on fitness-like Shaun T, creator of Insanity, Hip Hop Abs, and Focus T25-seem like they’ve got it all together all the time. After all, when your job is to stay healthy and in shape, it’s easy, right?
The thing is, even fit pros are riding the roller coaster of life, which means their health and fitness habits go through peaks and valleys just like us regular humans. (Just look at Jen Widerstrom, who went on the keto diet because she felt like she went off the rails a bit.)
For Shaun T, twin babies (!!!) and a global tour for his new book T Is for Transformation was just the valley to make him to want to get back on track: “Over the past year, I’ve had some major dynamic shifts in my life,” he says. “I feel like I’ve reached another milestone and that as we get older (but regardless of your age), it’s always great to reset your foundation.” Another big milestone coming up: His 40th birthday in May, which inspired a 40-day challenge where you can reset your foundation right along with him.
But Shaun’s journey has been longer than 40 days: About a year and a half ago, he decided to stop drinking alcohol until his 40th birthday. “I never had a serious drinking problem,” he says, but in both his most recent touring experience and his past days on tour as a dancer or in musicals, he realized that there was a lot of unnecessary drinking going on. “Even though we’re all really health-conscious people, every time you sit down at a restaurant, they ‘Say do you want a drink?’ and you automatically say ‘Yes,'” he says. (Interestingly enough, people who work out are also more likely to drink alcohol.)
“I don’t think it’s that you feel peer pressure, but it’s just become part of the culture,” he says. “And for people who eat out every day, the glass of wine that you have once a week turns into four. Then you might have a drink with lunch too… I’m working really hard to motivate people to stay as healthy as possible, and I’m still enjoying my life, but eventually, I realized: I don’t want to have a glass of wine! I don’t want to have a drink that someone buys me just because I’m in town for one day.”
It took one particularly bad hangover to seal the deal: “There was one night we went to Budapest, and let me tell you, Budapest is lit,” he says. “So that was one night where I thought, ‘You know what, Shaun? Get turnt!’ (Which for me was like three and a half drinks). We woke up the next morning and had to go to Greece, and I remember my first night in Greece was ruined because I had drunk too much the night before. That’s when I started to realize how much drinking was really affecting me.” (FYI, here’s when alcohol consumption starts affecting your fitness.)
Shaun said he started by testing the waters, doing experiments to see whether just one, two, or more drinks would affect him the next day-and he realized he didn’t want to drink at all. When he told his social followers, the reaction was crazy supportive: “There was an amazing response of people who really connected with me who had alcoholism issues, were doing 12-step programs, and who were extremely happy I was going down that road even though it wasn’t the same type of situation. People have been following this journey with me and they’ve been really responsive to any updates I’ve given them.”
The perks of ditching alcohol are so significant, he may not even start drinking again on his birthday: “One of the things I like to tell people is that every day when you wake up, you should try to recalibrate your life,” he says. “While I was never a big drinker, the problem is that whenever you put alcohol in your system, you have to recalibrate yourself afterwards, and I felt like I had to spend so much less energy doing that. Now, I no longer have that 45 minutes of, okay, I had a drink last night, I have to get that out of my system. I wake up clear-minded, level-headed, and just gave myself more time back. I wake up already floating instead of trying to make my way back to the top.” (See Shaun T’s other tips for crushing your health and fitness goals.)
Shaun’s husband, Scott, would still drink, and Shaun said he’d still head out with friends who were drinking-and that being the sober one in the group opened his eyes to what it’s like for people who don’t have the option to drink alcohol, due to addiction issues or otherwise.
“If you want to go out and get turnt, have at it! I’m not judging you,” he says. “What I realized is that I didn’t want society to take control of my life. I wanted to take control of it, and I wanted to help people understand that it’s okay to have a drink if you want to, but you don’t need to. You can order water.”
- By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo
Inside Beachbody’s Billion-Dollar Fat Burning Empire
Carl Daikeler struck gold by transforming his Beachbody exercise-DVD business into a… social-media-fueled pyramid seller of health shakes. But just as his juggernaut was about to make him a billionaire, he changed his formula, angered his network and wound up being investigated by the government. (Photo credit: Ethan Pines for Forbes)
As the air-conditioning hums in a squat, windowless warehouse on a desolate side street in Van Nuys, California, Carl Daikeler strolls onto the set of a workout-video shoot and informs the spandex-clad cast that it’s time for his social media ritual. Everyone quiets down. He holds his iPhone up high, forces a smile and begins to rave about 80 Day Obsession, a new workout program about to be filmed in real time. He stops and grimaces at a reporter after a few failed takes: “I’d be cursing right now if you weren’t here.”
A couple more tries and he fires off several minutes of footage to his 130,000 Instagram followers. We head into a dimly lit room with couches and a big-screen TV monitor to watch the lithe celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese taping a choreographed workout. At 10 a.m. sharp, an assistant hands Daikeler a plastic tumbler of Beachbody’s flagship product, a weight-loss shake called Shakeology. He has gulped down this vegan chocolate-flavored concoction–cocoa powder, chia, quinoa, rose hip and some 60 other ingredients–at the same time, every day, for the past decade. He posts another quick video of himself drinking the brown sludge, his voice rising an octave as he tells viewers he’s logging Day 289 of the 365-day challenge urging other Shakeology drinkers to stick to the regimen.
Daikeler, at a trim 5-foot-8, is leading by example. As cofounder and CEO of Beachbody, he’s at the top of a modern-day multilevel marketing machine with more than 340,000 independent “coaches,” who sell workout videos, shakes and supplements to weight-loss hopefuls via social media. The playbook goes something like this: Lose weight with Beachbody by doing the at-home workouts and drinking the shakes. Share it on social media. Use your story to sell products and recruit new customers and coaches. Repeat.
“Credible success stories are the backbone of the company,” says Daikeler, 54, who owes his six-pack abs to Beachbody workouts. He considers himself customer No. 1 and tells anyone who will listen that he hates working out and can’t stand vegetables. The story makes sense when you consider his mission is to sell to a nation of coach potatoes.
The way Daikeler sees it, he’s hit on a scalable solution to the fat epidemic afflicting approximately 175 million overweight and obese adults in the United States. Forget the gym–you’ll never go. Instead, shed those pounds in the comfort of your own living room, then become a cheerleader for others–all while making a percentage of sales to regular customers, plus a slice of any new coach’s sales that you bring on. In other words, join Beachbody to lose weight and get rich in the process. Daikeler himself is now worth an estimated $660 million, based on his majority ownership of the privately held company, which has attracted 28 million dieters since its 1998 inception and had revenue of $1 billion in 2017.
“The fact that there still hasn’t been a solution to obesity is a stunning opportunity,” says Daikeler, dismissing competitors like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. “It’s an opportunity that is just shockingly available to me.”
Back at the company’s sunlit Santa Monica headquarters, Daikeler parks his Tesla Model S and heads into his office, passing a wall of handwritten inspirational sayings (“You can’t predict the future. But you can CREATE it!”). Daikeler loves this stuff. He is, after all, in the motivation business. “Probably the coolest part about Carl is he does lead with his heart. He’s about empowering other people,” says Amber Kuiper, a top-tier “nine-star diamond” coach from Woodbury, Minnesota.
Daikeler needed motivation as much as anyone else. Growing up outside Philadelphia, he wasn’t much for healthy eating (his afterschool routine involved devouring a stack of Oreos while he watched The Flintstones) or athletics (he got cut from his high-school basketball team on the first day). Not much has changed. He’s still far more interested in the lights-camera-action excitement of entertainment than in pumping iron at the gym. As a kid, he helped with the sounds and lights at a theater his family co-owned, the Bucks County Playhouse. Later, in high school, he sometimes slept in the school’s TV studio after working late into the night, to the detriment of his grades and SAT scores.
When Daikeler was roundly rejected by every college he applied to, he drove up to Ithaca College in upstate New York with a buddy and talked a dean of admissions into meeting with him later that day. After enjoying a three-beer lunch with his friend, he managed to persuade the dean to change his rejection into an acceptance. He went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in corporate organizational media in 1986 and landed a job producing the halftime shows for nationally televised football games. But entertainment for entertainment’s sake wasn’t rewarding enough for him, so in 1987 he decided to get into infomercials, where success is measured solely in dollars.
Daikeler’s first fitness infomercial was for Lifeline Gym, essentially a gym in a bag. In 1994 he cofounded TelAmerica Media with Lance Funston and came up with the idea for the “:08 Min Abs” workout video. He thought it had the same ring to it as Greg Smithey’s hit workout video, “Buns of Steel,” from the 80s. Daikeler ended up selling 2 million copies. “What I learned was that solving my own problem–that I don’t like to work out and I eat like a second-grader–was a scalable opportunity,” he says.
However, he was hardly the first to create a workout video. Jane Fonda had been stepping and stretching for years, and Daikeler’s business partner didn’t want to double down on health and fitness. So Daikeler decided to sell his position in the company and plot his next move while testing new product ideas at Guthy-Renker, an infomercial powerhouse in El Segundo, California. For the next two years he worked on a telephone-based dating service and a Lasik referral service, and then in 1998 he left to start Beachbody with Guthy-Renker coworker Jon Congdon, armed with $500,000 from angel investors. The idea was to test five products and see which stuck.
The natural place to start was in health and fitness. Daikeler tapped celebrity trainer Tony Horton (clients: Bruce Springsteen, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Idol) for a series of eight-minute workouts dubbed “Great Body Guaranteed.” The experiment worked, and they decided to run with it. Unfortunately, the website GreatBody.com was already taken. On the way home one day Daikeler spotted a billboard for Sandals beach resort, and the name Beachbody came into his head. “I liked the name, and we were able to get Beachbody.com,” he says.
Beachbody’s first blockbuster program was P90X, a three-month intensive boot camp that has attracted fans like Paul Ryan, Michelle Obama and Sheryl Crow. At first Daikeler and Congdon couldn’t afford to hire celebrities, so they marketed their workout regimens by showcasing their own results. Eventually, they turned to customers for success stories and packed their infomercials with as many before-and-after pictures as they could. Then they added America’s Funniest Home Videos -style footage of customers working out at home. The more wilting plants or cats in the background, the less likely someone thinks it’s a fake, says Daikeler.
“The customer has always sort of been our celebrity,” Daikeler says. While most infomercials peddled gimmicky exercise equipment like the ThighMaster, Daikeler was selling something stickier than a one-off purchase. He was selling self-esteem. But the ultimate task was getting people to stick with their health-and-fitness goals. So, in 2007, he turned to Avon and Amway for inspiration and put customers in charge of selling workout DVDs, which had the added benefit of keeping them exercising, since no one buys a workout video from a fat person.
If the workout videos got people in the door and the coaches acted as the glue that held it all together, the real moneymaker was Beachbody’s shakes. In 2007, Daikeler tapped his third wife, Isabelle, a kinesiologist certified in “medicine ball training,” to codevelop Shakeology. The low-calorie liquid is marketed as “a daily dose of dense nutrition” that is packed with “superfoods” from around the world. The price tag: $130 for a month’s supply of powder, with much of that cash flowing straight to Beachbody’s bottom line.
Of course, for this vision to work, coaches need to expand their networks rapidly. Everyone who signs up with Beachbody is invited to join an accountability group, where participants follow a workout plan and log their exercise and Shakeology intake into an app. Coaches post words of encouragement–then urge others to become coaches themselves. “Basically from day one, you’re being pushed toward the network marketing opportunity,” says Heather Hanson, one of Beachbody’s first employees, who worked with Daikeler at Guthy-Renker. “It’s brilliant. Beachbody gets its hooks into you immediately.”
When Melanie Mitro joined Beachbody in 2011, she had just given birth to two boys in two years and was trying to lose some baby weight. After she posted on Facebook about subsisting largely on celery, a friend reached out to her and invited her to join Beachbody. She borrowed an “Insanity” workout DVD from a neighbor, lost 30 pounds in six months and was hooked. She signed up as a coach right away to help other new moms.
Now at the “15-star diamond” level, she’s Beachbody’s top coach, making over $2 million a year. Thanks to Beachbody she’s paid off the mortgage on her suburban Pittsburgh McMansion and takes dream vacations each year to places like Turks and Caicos and Bora-Bora. Her husband, Matt, quit his corporate gig at Heinz to work full-time for his wife. From her spacious home office, filled with flowers, photos and scented candles, Mitro, blonde and blue-eyed with Stepford-wife good looks, spends her days tending to her blog, her podcast (“Women Inspiring Women”) and other social media platforms in an effort to motivate her team. “Ninety-nine percent of my business is social media,” says Mitro, 35.
The rise in popularity of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube–especially among soccer moms–has been a boon to Beachbody and coaches like Mitro. Beachbody’s first rule of thumb is to be a product of the product: Do the daily workouts, drink the shakes and brag about your results. Search for Beachbody online and you will find endless pages full of daily triumphs (workout selfies, new Shakeology recipes) and struggles (what to eat while traveling, a weak-moment cookie binge). There are also tearful accounts of suicide attempts, eating disorders and drug addictions, often concluding with “before and after” images and chronicles of how Beachbody changed their lives. This is all in service of the second rule of thumb: Gain a following and invite people to join Beachbody.
Mitro, of course, is the exception. In 2016 the average Beachbody coach paycheck was for $3,233, with half of coaches making no money at all, according to an income disclosure statement. Also, coach pay doesn’t include expenses. To get started, coaches pay $40 to sign up and then a $16 monthly fee, which provides, among other things, a personalized e-commerce page. This gives them the right to make a 25% commission on sales of workout videos, Shakeology drinks and supplements to retail customers. The real riches, however, come from bringing on new coaches, because coaches earn a piece of every product their network sells. Mitro, for example, has 20,000 coaches contributing to her income, though she has personally sponsored only about 700 of them.
Since each coach’s earnings depend on those below them on the pyramid, the pressure to expand your network’s sales is intense, and struggling coaches speak of being dropped by their higher-ups if they fail to perform. If coaches are confronted with a medical or family emergency, and need to put Beachbody aside, they run the risk of losing their status and having to restart their entire business from scratch. “The blame game is inherent in the program: If you do what we tell you, you’ll be rich. If you don’t, you won’t. That is the deception, of course,” says Jon Taylor, a Ph.D. who has studied dozens of pyramid organizations and is the author of Multi-Level Marketing Unmasked.
In 2015, Daikeler ignored his board’s concerns and began offering the entire library of Beachbody workout DVDs, a $7,000 value, for just $99 a year via a Netflix-like streaming service called Beachbody on Demand. While turnover in any multilevel-marketing organization is not unusual, this decision prompted a mass exodus because it undermined a critical driver in Beachbody’s successful formula: Keep the new commission-generating products coming. Last year sales declined by nearly 25%. His army of coach evangelists is shrinking. Today Daikeler has some 340,000 coaches, but that’s down from 450,000 in 2016.
Listen to former elite coach Lindsey Westbrook. After seeing her $300,000 annual income drop by half, she quit in 2017 to sell “premium” wine in another pyramid organization, Direct Cellars, and has since moved on to Vasayo, a multilevel marketing company hawking wellness products. “When Beachbody on Demand came around,” she says, “people were able to get a free trial and an all-access annual pass. You’re no longer making any additional income from people ordering DVDs. And without people ordering DVDs throughout the year, they weren’t purchasing Shakeology, either.”
According to Daikeler, abandoning DVDs in favor of streaming subscriptions was a business necessity. It also gave Beachbody headquarters a direct communication channel to its millions of customers. In light of the recent sales slump, Daikeler’s message is to be even more relentless. He continues to instruct coaches not to take no for an answer and to push back on potential customers who say they’re not interested. Daikeler told one woman who complained about the price of Shakeology to take a look at her spending and assess her priorities. After all, Beachbody coaches aren’t just selling exercise and frosty drinks; they’re selling a healthier lifestyle and self-confidence. Coaches are advised to reach out to as many people as they can each day, which often leads them to cold-message strangers on social media. “You’ve got to take care of your wealth…. This is why we say invite, invite, invite,” said Daikeler at 2016’s coach summit in Nashville. “Because if you only invite, you are screwed.”
Yet coach compensation has suffered as the company’s product focus shifted from selling DVDs to selling shakes. Shakeology subscriptions, at $130 a month, now bring in two thirds of the company’s revenue. But that too is under pressure: In 2017, following an investigation by the city attorney in Santa Monica, the company reached a $3.6 million settlement in which it agreed to stop making bold health claims about Shakeology, its core product.
The city of Santa Monica’s crackdown has dealt a body blow to Daikeler’s six-pack business model for growth. After years of boasting that Shakeology prevented mental decline, slowed the aging process, removed toxins and even helped prevent heart disease and cancer, Beachbody has been barred by the state of California from making claims that are not backed by scientific evidence.
Beachbody is now essentially limited to saying its shakes curb appetite and improve energy. Since that’s not a terribly remarkable claim for any food, Daikeler and his coaches have amped up their focus on the so-called “superfoods” found in every shake–ingredients like flaxseed, matcha and reishi mushroom–present in undisclosed amounts.
“There’s no legal definition of superfoods,” says Liz Applegate, a licensed nutritionist at UC Davis. “They have an exotic sound, and no one can say they’re right or wrong.”
Daikeler’s other work-around is encouraging his coaches to preach about their personal experiences drinking the shakes, which happens to be largely exempt from regulatory oversight.
Kuiper, the coach from Minnesota, boasts: “At one point all I wanted to do was take naps when my kids napped. But within four or five days I felt my energy levels impacted. I could actually get the dishes done.”
But Santa Monica’s city attorney didn’t just focus on Beachbody’s aggressive nutritional claims. The government also forced the company to revamp its auto-renewal program, which it says wasn’t properly alerting customers when their credit card accounts were being charged and which made it exceedingly difficult to cancel subscriptions. Starting in 2018, Beachbody must gain separate consent for auto-renewals and give ample notice before charges are incurred.
Daikeler, who seems physically unable to stop selling, dismisses Beachbody’s new challenges. He has his sights set on recruiting 2 million coaches and nearly jumps out of his seat when he’s telling me about the latest workout programs and shakes that he’s rolling out for new audiences, including kids! Fitness-phobes! And Spanish speakers!
Daikeler understands that it’s going to take more than a regulatory wrist slap to stop Beachbody’s momentum. Twenty years hawking products on late-night TV has taught him that the market for thinner thighs and transformational elixirs is lucrative and potentially limitless–especially when social media can help you attract legions of new coaches committed to the Sisyphean task.
Over 350,000 Team Beachbody Coaches to help people achieve their health & fitness goals.
Over 25 million bags of Shakeology sold.
Over 800 workouts available on Beachbody On Demand.
Over 53 million hours of fitness & nutrition content streamed on Beachbody On Demand in 2018.
OUR MISSION: Help people achieve their goals and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life.
Who We Are
We are Team Beachbody, a worldwide leader in health and fitness. Founded in 1998 by Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, Beachbody is the creator of the nation’s most popular fitness and weight-loss solutions, including the P90X® Series, INSANITY®, 21 Day Fix®, Body Beast®, PiYo®, 80 Day Obsession™, Transform :20™ and LIIFT4™, offering easy-to-follow diet guidelines, nutritional supplements—including our breakthrough, superfood nutrition shake, Shakeology®—and an unparalleled peer-support system supported by our network of over 350,000 Team Beachbody Coaches. Since its introduction in 2007, this network of independent “Coach” distributors deliver motivation and accountability to help customers achieve and maintain real results.
All of our fitness and nutritional programs are conveniently streamed on Beachbody® On Demand, giving you access anytime, anywhere, from your home to the gym, and even on vacation. You can choose a variety of workouts by fitness level or type of exercise, complete with nutrition guides and calendars. Then, stream them right on your desktop, TV, tablet, or mobile device—including the Beachbody On Demand app, now available for both iOS and Android! With Beachbody on Demand, you’ll never run out of options; we continually update our Member Library so you get unlimited access to brand-new workouts and exclusive content like Fixate®, our healthy and delicious cooking show featuring Autumn and Bobby Calabrese. Beachbody’s Super Trainers have become some of the world’s most recognized names in health and wellness, including Shaun T, Autumn Calabrese, Joel Freeman, Jericho McMatthews, Sagi Kalev, and Chris Downing.
As part of our holistic approach, we’ve also developed comprehensive nutrition-first programs, Ultimate Portion Fix® from Autumn Calabrese and 2B Mindset™ from Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN, which teach healthy eating habits and promote healthy, sustainable weight loss.
Beachbody offers clinically-proven nutritionals that are developed by top scientists and fitness and nutrition experts. Shakeology is carefully crafted with protein, antioxidants, probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins and more. It’s a healthy nutritional foundation that helps give your body more of what it needs to feel and perform at its best.
Beachbody Performance™ is our performance nutrition system designed to give your body what it needs to break through obstacles and take your fitness to the next level. Our five supplements, including Energize and Recover, use targeted ingredients at clinically-tested levels scientifically shown to improve fitness results. BEACHBAR® is our delicious snack bar made with real chocolate chips, nut butters, and protein crisps. With 10g of protein and only 150 calories, BEACHBAR tastes great and helps satisfy your cravings.
Team Beachbody also offers the unique opportunity to become a Coach and turn an interest in health and fitness into a part-time or even full-time career. Team Beachbody operates in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and will continue to focus on expanding internationally. Click here to learn more about the Coaching opportunity.
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If this had just been me in my living room, doing one of Shaun T’s Insanity or Focus T25 workouts on my own, it would be easy to skip some reps of single-leg squats or hit the pause button after all the plyo jumps, pushups, and cardio I’ve already cranked out. But today he’s just 50 feet away from me, on a stage in New Jersey, demanding 10 more reps from the 200 people there.
“This is when you’re going to hate me,” he warns, “but now let’s hold this squat!” His devotees let out boastful yelps of enthusiasm as their back knees hover just inches from the floor with nary a quiver. Myself a Shaun T workout virgin, I’m biting my lip hoping to make it to the next water break without falling.
At least I’m not John Barnett, 25, from New Jersey. In the middle of a round of floor triceps dips, Shaun T parades the entire gymnasium—as he’s wont to do—until he spots this physical education teacher and former collegiate wrestler. His form is spot on, but Shaun T pushes down on Barnett’s shoulders each time he lifts up off the floor, making his face turn to a new shade of red for the final 15 seconds of the move. “Even though it was more pressure, it was crazy to have him right there, so I tried to give every ounce of effort I had,” says Barnett.
And that’s the goal of Shaun T—make you go one step beyond what you think you can—whether it’s during one of his popular at-home workouts or at these live events that continue to grow in popularity wherever he stops around the globe. Whether you call him a motivator, coach, or fierce drill instructor, Shaun T wants you to change your body for the better. Here are five pearls of wisdom I was able to cull from this workout maniac after he wiped me out with an hour-long Insanity workout from Hell. (You can get Shaun T’s latest, Insanity Max: 30, available now.)
Push Past Your Limit: “I’ve done the workouts. I’ve created them. I know how it feels when it gets to that breaking point,” says Shaun T. This day he isn’t motivating people through a television screen, making it easier to spot when others need help finding a reason to do one or two more good reps. “I want to push people and have them dig deep, to go a little bit harder,” he says after the workout. “The message is, ‘Okay, I know you accomplished this. But can you do more?’ ”
The first thing you usually hear from his mouth is “You can do it” because he knows that positive motivation is much more useful than that voice in your head saying “This is too hard!” It’s all a part of his “dig deeper” message. If you tap into what you’re feeling or what your goals are for each workout, he preaches that nothing is left in the tank at the end.
Not Your Girlfriend’s Workout: Go to any Shaun T live event, and you’ll probably be surrounded by many women in form-fitting workout capris and tank-tops. It didn’t seem super macho until I had sweat dripping from my chin onto the floor during a set of walkout-plank pushups 20 minutes into my workout. “Women do all these things like lift, toning workouts, boot camps, and pilates. In essence they are more fit than guys,” he says. No, he doesn’t expect guys to do T25 every day—though you certainly can—but it help put you in peak physical condition by incorporating it into everything else you do. T25 workouts will boost your cardio, provide you better range of motion, and tone your muscles in ways normal workouts can’t.
But he doesn’t sweat it if guys opt for his Insanity workouts, P90x, or prefer power lifting in the gym. “I always tell people to do what you want to do, and do it how you like to do it,” he says. “I don’t need you to do my workout, but what it does offer is something different.”
Your Trainer Is for YOU: Antony Stubbs, 31, from Manhattan, is a typical Shaun T success story. He says he lost 30 pounds after he started doing T25 workouts this past January. After spending six mornings a week with T in his living room, it almost was like having his own personal trainer in his home.
But that’s after trying other workouts and spending over $1,000 on personal trainers that didn’t do as much for him. “A good personal trainer makes the workout that’s about to happen about the client,” says Shaun T. Whether you’re choosing a home fitness DVD, a personal trainer, or a style of workout, find the tool or person that will truly help you stick to reaching your goals. If you’re stuck doing the same things over and over, or your trainer has you perform a carbon copy of everybody else’s routine, abandon ship and find something better.
Weight Loss Isn’t What You Think: “The biggest misconception about weight loss is you have to eat less,” says Shaun T. Sometimes it’s actually about eating more really good things—like lean protein and vegetables—instead of junk you put into your system—like powdered donuts, a vice even Shaun T cops to.
The worst thing you can do is jump headfirst into any new regimen instead of slowly progressing. “You’re going to relapse. You have to wean yourself off of whatever,” he says. If somebody has donuts for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch, and pizza for dinner, just start one day with a healthier breakfast. Then down the road you can switch up your snacks to something healthier when you start to notice positive changes from that first alteration.
Plateaus Are New Beginnings: For many people, a plateau is a frustrating moment. You can’t lift more weight, aren’t losing those last 10 pounds, or just can’t reach your goals. “Look at plateaus in your workouts as working really, really hard to get this far, and now you have a new starting point,” says Shaun T. The next step might be a changing your nutrition, adding an extra five-minutes at the end of your gym session, or shooting for better form on all your movements.
For example, some people have been through Insanity and T25 workouts five times. While it takes me a few beats to find the rhythm of some of his more choreographed workout maneuvers, his fans know every exercise inside and out. That’s why he loves doing in-person workouts where he can push his diehard fans beyond what they thought was their limit. “I always say if I was in your house as you do Insanity, you’d feel like you’ve never done it this way before,” he says. At every level of fitness, there exists a breakthrough moment that you can achieve—even if it’s one more pushup tomorrow—and once you’ve reached it you can strive for the next thing.
To experience a Shaun T workout live, check out his events schedule at ShaunTFitness.com.
Brian Dalek Director of Content Operations, Runner’s World & Bicycling Brian has spent the last 10 years focused on creating compelling news, health, and fitness content—with a particular interest on enthusiast activities like running and cycling.
We couldn’t wait to share our Transform 20 review! Shaun T’s new workout challenges your mind and body to push past its limits and see maximum results in just 6 weeks.
Using an exercise step, you’ll burn massive amounts of calories and get a total body workout in just 20 minutes a day! *Updated August 29, 2019*
Get ready to blast fat, flatten your tummy and get leaner in just 6 weeks!
Shaun T has compared this workout to being like Insanity – but on a step. It also promises to burn about the same amount of calories as Insanity Max 30 in just 20 minutes! While it’s challenging, you don’t have to be super coordinated in order to do it.
What is Transform 20?
A Beachbody on Demand Exclusive, Transform 20 combines HIIT training, resistance and flexibility workouts.
Every workout includes the step for an extra challenge, but you can also do it without it. You’ll not only transform your body but your mindset as well! You’ll be working out to a unique workout 6 days a week, 20 minutes a day!
Shaun T’s Transform 20 Overview
- People lose 3 to 7lbs in the first week
- Uses a step (can be bought with it or on its own)
- Modifier Included
- 20 Minutes a day
- 6 workouts per week
- Transform 20 is a 6 week program
- It contains no repeating workouts (so like LIIFT4 or 80 Day Obsession)
- We don’t expect it to be on DVD
- Transform 20 includes 60 second drills 3x a workout to track your progress (similar to Insanity Max 30)
Check Out The Transform 20 Ordering Options
If you’d like us to be your coach, make sure it says Kalee Dillard Coach ID 1001548 when you checkout.
Who is Shaun T’s Transform 20 for?
Transform 20 is perfect for someone:
- looking for an intense workout that’s quick
- that loves Shaun T’s workouts
- wants to tone up and get shredded
- anyone looking for a no-excuses workout
- that loves full-body workouts using no weights (just body weight!)
Can Beginners Do Transform 20?
Yes, beginners can do Transform 20. There is a modifier in every workout. Keep in mind the workout is intense though. Beginners should always go at their own pace and not worry about keeping up with the advanced exercisers in the workout.
What Equipment You Need for Transform 20
- A Workout Step (included or grab this one)
- Free Weights (Here’s a few we like)
You’ll either want the step seen in the picture above or the equivalent. If the Amazon step is sold out, here are a couple more step options available on Amazon – 1 Step and 2 Step.
All 3 are very similar to the Beachbody one. You can also order the Beachbody step here.
Shaun T has said it doesn’t matter what type of step you use; however, we’ve found that most people liked using the Beachbody step or one with the same dimensions.
The Transform 20 step is 11″L x 27″W x 4″H.
Get our full review of the step
The modifier does each move without the step. He or she does jump during some of the moves – making this a high-impact workout at points.
You can always stick to low impact moves though. You’ll intuitively know how to remove the jumps because the moves are pretty routine to master good form.
Transform 20 Results
The results of this program shocked us! They are so amazing!
Each of these before and after photos are after just 1 round of the program. They also did not use the bonus strength workouts; however, they are still a great choice to incorporate.
Check out all of the Transform 20 before and after photos.
How long is the Transform 20 program?
Transform 20 is a 6-week program broken down into three 2-week phases. You’ll workout 6 days a week for 20 minutes a day.
Transform 20 Workouts
The workouts are exclusive to Beachbody on Demand. Just like 80 Day Obsession and LIIFT4, Transform was filmed in real time and each workout is unique!!
You should expect to work every large muscle group with a focus on the legs — the big calorie burner!! We’ll definitely be taking a pre-workout to power through!
Not ready for the Transform 20 workouts yet? You can view Shaun T’s Prep Hybrid Schedule here.
How many calories do you burn with transform 20?
I burned between 160-200 calories per workout. Your calorie burn will vary based on your heart rate and physical size. The most accurate way to track your calories burned is with a heart rate monitor or fitness watch.
There are 3 Transform 20 Phases
We know the 6-week program will be broken down into three 2-week phases.
The 3 phases are called Commit, Climb & Conquer.
You’ll be doing a similar workout each day of the week; however, each one is shot separately. This means you won’t have to do the exact same moves or memorize any of the workouts.
Each Week You’ll Do 6 Workouts Called:
The program will advance both physically and mentally.
Shaun T put a lot of emphasis on conquering your body and mind in this program.
Bonus Weight Workouts
You can also mix in the bonus workouts that use weights. These are called Built Stronger and Rip ‘N Cut. There is a new bonus weight workout for each phase of the program.
These weight workouts are included with any Transform 20 order.
View the Transform 20 Workout Descriptions & Calendar
The workout isn’t being listed as a low-impact workout. It can be modified to be low-impact though.
Transform 20 Meal Plan
The nutrition plan uses the portion control containers and the Beachbody Performance line.
You’ll be eating approximately 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% healthy fats.
Shaun T doesn’t include a cheat day with this program, but he does talk about how nothing is completely off limits.
You can view our sample Transform 20 meal plan here!
You can also choose to follow the 2B Mindset. We had several friends that were breastfeeding, and they found the 2B Mindset to work better for them.
2B Mindset vs Portion Control Containers: Which Should You Use?
The Coolest Part::: Mindset Tools!
You’ll also get access to Shaun T’s weekly video training on focus, visualization, goals and motivation.
How do I get Transform 20?
Transform 20 is available now! You can stream it using Beachbody on Demand on your laptop, phone or TV using a streaming device.
How to Buy Transform 20
If you don’t already have Beachbody on Demand, you can buy Transform 20 either with or without supplements.
- Deluxe Challenge Pack (Includes Workout Supplements & Shakeology)
- Base Challenge Pack with Shakeology or Workout Supplements
- Streaming Only (must has Beachbody on Demand already)
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Will it be on DVD?
No, this workout is only on Beachbody on Demand. Since the workouts are all unique, it wasn’t really feasible to do them on DVD. It also seems like Beachbody is moving away from DVDs as a whole.
Luckily, streaming is pretty easy to use! You can even stream to your TV through a streaming device.
With your streaming membership, you get access to 700+ of workouts and their nutrition guides.
You can start a free trial now (just keep in mind Transform 20 isn’t available to anyone yet!)
View the Transform 20 Ordering Options
What You Need to Know About Beachbody on Demand
You get access to all of the workouts plus their meal plans and calendars with a membership.
You can do a FREE 14-Day Trial right now!
With the free trial, you won’t have access to Transform 20, but you could try it out other Shaun T workouts like Shaun Week, Insanity and Insanity Max 30.
After the 14 day trial, it’ll renew unless you cancel. It’s $39 a quarter (about $10 a month) until you cancel.
We put together a Beachbody on Demand Guide that can help answer any questions as well!
- Beachbody On Demand Review
- What Devices Support Beachbody on Demand to my TV?
- How Much Does Beachbody on Demand Cost
We started Beachbody Coaching in 2011, and it’s been life-changing for us! We both taught high school math before “retiring” to be full-time entrepreneurs.
Coaching has helped us physically and financially. It offers us support and friendships we never would have made otherwise, and we’ve also met Shaun T a few times!!
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You can also always reach out to us using the form below as well! We’d love to hear from you!
Other Workouts You Might Like
Here are a few things you could try right now!
- Shift Shop
- Shaun T Week Insane Focus
- LIIFT4 Review – Joel Freeman’s Workout
- Insanity MAX 30 Review, Results and Calendar
20 Weight-Loss Secrets from Celeb Trainer Shaun T
Most people know Shaun T, as “the Insanity guy” — and the sobriquet is a perfect fit. Not only is his renowned workout, well, freakin’ insane, but so is his body. Just look at those abs!
But his body wasn’t built on exercise alone. He wouldn’t have the physique he has today—one that’s helped him sell more than 10 million fitness DVDs—without following a smart diet plan. And for the bulk of his career, the details of his diet have remained a mystery to the masses—until now! To find out what fuels Shaun T’s success, we asked him to reveal the weight loss foods that help him maintain his famous six-pack abs. Read on to find out how adding each of his favorites to your diet can give you the results you want.
RELATED: 100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.
Refuel with Sweet Potatoes
“Sweet potatoes are a great post-workout snack,” says Shaun T. “They’re low on the glycemic index and rich in fiber which helps tame that out-of-control appetite many people have after they exercise.”
Eat This! Tip
Peel and bake an orange spud and throw it in the blender along with unsweetened almond milk, vanilla protein powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract to give your daily protein shake a flavor-filled fiber boost.
Scramble Away Flab
Abs really are made in the kitchen—yes, even Shaun T’s! The 37-year-old host of the motivational iTunes podcast, Trust and Believe with Shaun T, blasts away fat by incorporating whole eggs into his weekly diet. Whether you scramble them, eat them sunny side up or hard-boiled, just be sure to eat the yellow center. It contains a fat-fighting nutrient called choline.
Blast Bloat with Melon
Sure, Shaun T’s abs always look perfect when he’s on his new hit show My Diet Is Better Than Yours, but everyone has days when they’re feeling a bit bloated. To keep away the water weight, he snacks on honeydew melon. The fruit contains a compound called Cucumis melo, which has been shown to have significant diuretic properties. In other words, it helps fight the water retention that can make you look puffy even though you have a toned stomach.
Trick Your Taste Buds
“Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta,” says Shaun T. “I love pairing it with homemade spaghetti sauce so I feel like I’m eating noodles but am getting a dose of vegetables instead!”
Have Some Grass
Grass-fed beef, that is! When it comes to steak or burgers, go grass-fed—that’s what Shaun T likes to eat. It’s naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat. Grass-fed meat also contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and metabolism-slowing inflammation.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
“Berries like raspberries, strawberries and blackberries taste amazing, satisfy my sweet tooth, and are good for brain power,” Shaun T tells us. “They also have tons of antioxidants that help slow down the aging process.” What’s more, berries have been shown to burn that stubborn belly fat by turning on your get-lean genes. In one 90-day trial conducted by the University of Michigan, rats fed a blueberry-enriched diet had leaner bellies than the control group.
Stock Up On Fast Proteins
Bad diet decisions are often made when you’re starving and have nothing healthy to eat in your kitchen. Ward off diet-derailing decisions by stocking up on frozen, deveined shrimp—one of Shaun T’s go-to proteins. Once you throw it on the stove, it’s ready to eat in just a minute or two, and it’s a great source of lean, low-cal protein.
To get a muscle-building meal on the table in under 10 minutes, mix some shrimp with a splash of low-sodium soy sauce and a bag of frozen mixed veggies. Looking for more fast and healthy meal ideas? All of these 10-minute meals for six-pack abs are both simple and delicious.
With each new season comes a host of amazing weight-loss foods. One of Shaun T’s fall favorites is acorn squash. Besides serving up a third of the day’s fiber, a one-cup serving of this sweet, nutty veggie contains 30 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. The nutrient has been shown to counteract stress hormones that trigger belly-fat storage. Vitamin C can even boost the fat-burning effects of exercise, according to Arizona State University researchers.
Although the seeds aren’t edible, the skin is. Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and stuff it with sautéed onions, celery, carrots and cooked ground turkey. Bake on 400 °F for an hour or until tender.
Spring for Sprouts
“When cooked with a bit of olive oil and spices, Brussels sprouts taste amazing,” says Shaun T. “Plus, they’re filling, heart-healthy and rich in vitamin C.”
10 & 11
When you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, staying hydrated is a must. But sipping H20 all the time can bore your taste buds. Shaun T’s solution: Eating water-rich fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe. “Watermelon is a delicious, hydrating food to eat in the morning, and I’m also a fan of cantaloupe,” he says. “It has an extremely high water content and is low in calories.”
Eat Mor Chikin’
One 3-ounce serving of chicken packs a whopping 26 grams of protein for just 142 calories. No wonder it’s one of Shaun T’s favorite meats. Not to mention eating the stuff has likely helped him maintain those droolworthy abs. According to research, eating protein-packed foods like chicken boosts satiety and post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.
Keep Energizing Snacks at Hand
“When you begin to feel sluggish, reach for an energizing snack like cashews,” he suggests. “They’re filled with healthy fats and carbs, so they really help give you a boost—just make sure to only eat one serving. They are easy to overeat, and the calories add up fast,” he adds.
Eat Healthy Fats
Speaking of healthy fats, Shaun T is also a big fan of avocados. “Avocados are great to eat in the morning. They give your brain the power and fuel it needs to have a successful day.”
In a study published in Nutrition Journal, participants who ate half a fresh avocado reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Smash some avocado on some whole-grain toast and top it with an egg to reap belly-shrinking benefits all day long.
“Kale is off the charts when it comes to nutrients! You get a lot of bang for your buck,” he says. “An easy way to eat it is to use it as the base of your salad—it can increase the health-factor of your meal in an instant!” Other ways to enjoy the leafy green: Add it to egg dishes, tacos, and drinks like juices and smoothies. Or make kale chips by dressing the leaves in a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil. Pop them in a preheated 325 degrees F oven for 12 minutes.
If you crave take-out food after a tough workout, choose sushi, one of Shaun T’s go-to foods for six-pack abs. Fish is high in muscle-building protein and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, and white rice is a fast-digesting source of carbs that will replenish your depleted glycogen stores. However, ordering just any sushi roll won’t ensure you’re eating well or aiding your weight-loss efforts.
17 & 18
…literally! A longtime enemy of doctors and dieters, pork has become a healthier alternative of late. Shaun T is a big fan of the stuff. But beware: Not all cuts are created equal. We suggest sticking with a pork tenderloin or old-school, full-fat pork belly (which makes a mean crispy bacon). Pork tenderloin packs 24 grams of protein per serving, has slightly less fat than a skinless chicken breast and as much waist-whittling choline as an egg. Pork belly offers more protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAS) than turkey bacon, which is often considered the healthier pick. But remember: Serving size matters, so don’t actually pig out. A single serving is all you need.
19 & 20
“Fresh tuna is light, healthy and filled with protein. I always look for it on the menu when I’m eating out,” says Shaun T. “Cauliflower is another easy-yet-healthy choice when eating out—and, did you know it’s an excellent source of Vitamin C? Most restaurants offer it as a side dish,” he adds.
Get the New Book!
Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
❤️🇦🇺 WHY IS AUSTRALIA SO SPECIAL TO ME?? A lot of you know me as #Sh…aunT but I want to introduce you to Shaun Blokker for a second! A little more than 9 years ago, I met Scott’s parents, FOR THE FIRST TIME, while completely surprising them on their family vacation in Sydney, Australia. They had no idea that Scott and I were dating but he insisted I meet them there anyway! OMG 😱 From the very first moment I saw his parents, I KNEW I was either going to be a part of their family forever or (because of my insecurities at the time) I would be broken-hearted because my relationship with Scott wouldn’t last! THE SPECIAL MOMENTS: 1. His mom flirted with me the minute we left the hotel. 😂 2. His mom taught me how to keep score at a tennis match.🤷🏽♂️ 🎾 (I used to think it was the wackest sport😂) 3. His dad always focused on my good side and complimented me whenever he could! 4. Both of them accepted me for who I was and still do even when I’m super emotional! 5. They treat me like they raised me! 6. They are both THE MOST GIVING PEOPLE YOU WILL EVER MEET! 7. Even when we have tough family meetings, they make sure we all leave with a tremendous amount of love! So, while you see Shaun T, just know that over the past 9 years (married 7) one of the many reasons I have thrived is because of the Blokker’s! 🖊 Shoutout to @evantattoo (on IG) for my ink! He also helped me design the tattoo to celebrate my 7 year wedding anniversary with Scott! While the fam won’t be in Australia 🇦🇺 with me physically, trust and believe, they will be with me. Except this time I won’t need mom to keep score! 🎾😅😂 #family #love #beginning #blokker #heart #acceptance #beyou #trustandbelieve See More
Insanity Founder Shaun T Opens Up about Twin Life After 12 Pregnancy Attempts With 5 Surrogates
Six years ago, fitness trainer Shaun T, creator of the Insanity workout and the new Transform :20 program, was ready to start a family with his husband and business partner, Scott Blokker. But the journey wasn’t easy. “We went through all the things that couples struggling with fertility go through: tests, doubt, grief, not knowing, waiting,” Scott says.
Twelve attempts, six egg donors, five surrogates, two doctors, one miscarriage, and thousands of dollars later, their two adorable sons, Silas Rhys and Sander Vaughn, arrived. Though they share the same egg donor, Sander is from Shaun’s sperm and Silas is from Scott’s sperm. Their surrogate delivered them two minutes apart. “Ask all the questions you want,” Shaun says when people wonder how the boys came to be. Adds Scott, “It blows my mind how much I’ve learned.”
The boys turned 1 in November, and their dads could not be more proud, especially after all they’ve been through. The babies were born at 32 weeks and spent the first three weeks in the NICU. “On their last night there, we had no monitors, no nurses, just us,” says Shaun. “I remember thinking, ‘This will be a piece of cake.’ I was so wrong. They cried nonstop!”
Image zoom Amanda Pratt
Well, guys, welcome to parenthood! Scott and Shaun speak of the first four months of parenting twins as an almost comically dark time in their lives. “It was terrible,” says Shaun, laughing. “We got into more fights than we’d ever had in our entire relationship.” Scott adds, “I even questioned whether we’d ruined our marriage by having kids, but it wasn’t the kids. It was the not sleeping!”
Two preemies meant both parents doing every feeding around the clock. “No more than two hours of sleep at a time for weeks in a row is killer,” says Scott. Meanwhile, Sander wouldn’t eat, or if he did, he’d spit up. “We felt bad, but at 3 a.m. it was, ‘Okay, who wants Sander?’ ” Shaun says.
Eventually, the babies started to sleep through the night, and so did Shaun and Scott. Like magic, conflicts abated. They divided and conquered. Scott says he’s the family manager, while Shaun is the cruise director. “I do all the planning—babysitters, shopping, doctors—and Shaun brings the fun.”
Image zoom Amanda Pratt
The couple took only a month of paternity leave but hired a few employees for their business. Scott stayed home while Shaun went on a book tour. “My parents live next door,” Scott says, “so they helped a ton.”
At this point, they’ve got a routine down so well that either Dad (Scott) or Papa (Shaun) can rattle it off: Bedtime, for instance, is bath, lotion, diapers, feeding, a little playtime, then a story and lights-out at 7 p.m. The parents high-five nightly on their way downstairs. “We high-five all the time. It reinforces we’re a team as parents,” Shaun says. Once the babies are down, they speed-clean, with Shaun picking up toys while Scott washes bottles. Then they settle in for couple time, eating and watching TV before heading to bed.
“I’ve received two great pieces of advice,” says Shaun. “Scott’s dad told me, ‘You’re not coming into the babies’ world. They’re coming into yours,’ and that made me eager to show them the life we live. The second was from my grandfather, who was married to my grandmother for 56 years. He said, ‘Never go to bed angry,’ and we don’t. The connectedness you feel at the end of the day is the driving force for how you wake up the next day, so every night we fall asleep holding hands.”
Scott once confessed to Shaun that he wanted to have 11 kids. Shaun didn’t have to think twice about that. “Hell to the no!” he says, laughing. But he has come around to the idea of a larger family. “Man, once you have two, it’s cool. I think we could do this again.”
- By Erin Bried