MLM Fitness programs like herbalife and beachbody

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vismal
vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
This is a copy and paste from a post I made to my Facebook group that I feel is just as relevant here:

Once again my personal Facebook feed is blowing up friends pushing or buying multi-level marketing fitness products. You do NOT need expensive supplements. If you review the ingredients of what you get from many of the top MLM fitness organizations they are just extremely expensive versions of what you can buy from supplement outlets like bodybuilding.com or even Sam's Club. Most supplements are unnecessary anyways.

You should NEVER pay for a workout. Spend that money on a gym membership. Good old fashion barbell training has and will always be the most optimal way for a beginner to get into training. Some of the best training programs are available free online. Ice cream fitness 5x5 or stronglifts for beginners, Lyle McDonald's generic bulking routine or Johnny Candito's 6 week power lifting routine for intermediate/advanced folks. All are free, just do a google search.

I can't count how many people I know who have either purchased or sell MLM fitness supplements and workouts. I can however count on one hand the number of people I know who have achieved LONG TERM success using these methods. . I would also feel comfortable saying they could have achieved identical if not better results sticking to no nonsense nutrition, minimal supplementation, and traditional barbell workouts. The few people I do know who have achieved success with MLM programs also have their diets completely in check. This is 90% of fitness anyways. If you've got your diet down, the rest will usually just fall into place. Please guys, save your money, utilize free resources (like Feeding Fitness!), prioritize diet over all else, and success will come!

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  • chivalryder
    chivalryder Posts: 4,391 Member
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    So true on so many levels. Thank you for this!
  • vegwrangler
    vegwrangler Posts: 143 Member
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  • golferd
    golferd Posts: 400 Member
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    I disagree with this. Look at a gym parking lot in January, and now compare. Spouses that both work, kids, and commutes working out at home is great.

    Your point on motivation is needed for home or the gym.

    Yes, buying weights for home cn be expensive but so can gym memberships. Craig's list and garage sales can help

    I am enjoying Bodybeast and the price just dropped. I also enjoy that my wife and son, can receive tips from a third party.

    No I am not a coach, and won't drink the expensive shakeology.
  • monolith66
    monolith66 Posts: 168 Member
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    I agree. I think these programs target a specific demographic: the uninformed and desperate. There is no quick fix. I wish more people would realize that. Consistency in diet, a sound workout routine and dedication is the only solution.
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
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    I disagree with this. Look at a gym parking lot in January, and now compare. Spouses that both work, kids, and commutes working out at home is great.

    Your point on motivation is needed for home or the gym.

    Yes, buying weights for home cn be expensive but so can gym memberships. Craig's list and garage sales can help

    I am enjoying Bodybeast and the price just dropped. I also enjoy that my wife and son, can receive tips from a third party.

    No I am not a coach, and won't drink the expensive shakeology.
    Home workouts are fine if that's your only option. I never said they were bad. I sad you shouldn't pay for them and they aren't optimal. I stand by that statement. You can find a million home workouts on YouTube for free that are going to be basically the same as any MLM product. All of those programs, while being better then not working out at all, are less optimal then training with a proper set of weights.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,012 Member
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    Well, I don't think I'm uninformed or desperate. I own several Beachbody DVD workout programs and will no doubt buy more.

    I am not a people person. I am more self-conscious than I know I should be and I'm lazy as hell. If working out required me to go to the gym it wouldn't happen. And when I'm not regularly working out I get moody and bored and I eat too much. So having a shelf full of workouts to choose from is the reason I am only a few pounds over weight, and will lose the rest soon.

    I think the workouts are fun. What's so bad about that? I know they don't have some magical secret that other workouts don't have. I plan on doing them for the rest of my life, so I certainly don't see them as a quick fix. But I look forward to them and they make it easy for me to plan my schedule, and that doesn't make me stupid or gullible. I've spent less money over the last 5 years on DVDs and weights than I would have spent on a gym membership.

    I'm sorry you know a lot of people who sell these products. I wish they weren't as pushy and misleading and cult-like as they are.

    The gym and internet workouts work for you. My DVDs work for me. I'm glad you have been so successful on your fitness journey and see no reason to judge whether the choices you made saved you more money or were more effective than mine. Best of luck to everyone, regardless of which workout routine they choose to get healthy.
  • jkal1979
    jkal1979 Posts: 1,896 Member
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    The workouts seem pretty popular, and I really don't see anything wrong with people getting them, but the pushiness of the coaches is what bothers me so much. It's really hard to find support outside of MFP without being bombarded with messages, friend requests and a group that hasn't been overran by them (or admined by them).
  • eryquem
    eryquem Posts: 66 Member
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    Home workouts are fine if that's your only option. I never said they were bad. I sad you shouldn't pay for them and they aren't optimal. I stand by that statement. You can find a million home workouts on YouTube for free that are going to be basically the same as any MLM product. All of those programs, while being better then not working out at all, are less optimal then training with a proper set of weights.

    I'm not sure it's really wise to make such a blanket statement, when the quality and intensity of for-sale workouts can vary so much. And in the long run, buying a few DVDs that can be used for years is significantly cheaper than paying monthly dues to a gym.

    While I get where you're coming from regarding weight training (and I fully agree that progressive lifting is a vital part of any fitness regime), I think it's only one part of a well-rounded fitness program. High intensity interval, as well as steady state cardio are both very good ways to improve overall fitness that weight lifting alone doesn't cover.
  • kgeyser
    kgeyser Posts: 22,505 Member
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    Home workouts are fine if that's your only option. I never said they were bad. I sad you shouldn't pay for them and they aren't optimal. I stand by that statement. You can find a million home workouts on YouTube for free that are going to be basically the same as any MLM product. All of those programs, while being better then not working out at all, are less optimal then training with a proper set of weights.

    I think whether or not they are "less optimal" depends on your individual goals and schedule.

    I didn't have any other option when I came to MFP other than home workouts. Which meant DVDs, some dumbbells that only went up to 25 lbs, some resistance bands, a stability ball, and one of those doorway pull-up bars (eventually got a pull-up assist band so I could actually use it). I also didn't have more than 30 min to exercise per day. I managed to lose 35 lbs doing those workouts and keeping my diet in check - I think they were all Beachbody workouts.

    As of last week, I have a gym membership. Am I happier lifting heavier? Absolutely. Do I wish I had been in a position to join a gym sooner? Yes. But the only reasons the answers to those questions are in the affirmative is because I have certain body type and fitness goals in mind, and I can't get there with the equipment I have at home anymore because the weights are no longer challenging. But if I had different goals, I could easily achieve them and be happy with my body doing what I was doing. I still use the DVDs for my cardio and piyo/yoga workouts, because I like them and I get a good workout.

    tl;dr - Not everyone has the same body type or fitness goals in mind, so I disagree with the statement that the most optimal way is to train with proper weights that you can only find in a gym.
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
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    People are really missing the point here. Once again, there is nothing wrong with working out at home if that's your only option. It is however almost always going to be less optimal then training in a gym or with proper equipment regardless of your goal. Also there are countless free home workouts available for free with just a quick Google/YouTube search. Also the promises made by MLM programs are inflated at best and downright deceitful at worst.
  • MKEgal
    MKEgal Posts: 3,250 Member
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    the promises made by MLM programs are inflated at best and downright deceitful at worst.
    Amen!
    Here's a page of info about herbalife, one of the biggest MLM scams going.
    http://www.mlmwatch.org/04C/Herbalife/herbalife00.html
    It includes links to court cases and news articles and research about people who died from liver failure after using their crap.

    Unfortunately, I have a friend who got sucked in, and knowing him there's nothing I can say that will open his eyes to the facts, so I just hope that he wises up before losing all his savings. :frown:
    Look at a gym parking lot in January, and now compare.
    ... Yes, buying weights for home cn be expensive but so can gym memberships.
    I use Planet Fitness, which is normally $10 per month. I got in on a deal last Dec. & got a year for $100. I've probably gotten that much value just in the water to take showers, because I'm there nearly every day.
    And if motivation is a problem (people gung-ho in Jan., gone by March) it's unlikely they'd continue with a home program either.
  • michikade
    michikade Posts: 313 Member
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    I tend to agree about the supplements comment -- no need to spend who knows how much on these powders, pills, meal replacements and the like from herbalife or whatever (Advocare is the huge one around here - this one chick on Facebook sells it and is really obnoxious about it). Some supplements and things are fine but in my experience many of those meal replacements are practically candy -- my mother and I compared one once and it was actually slightly worse for you than a Snickers. Just saying. (yes, some are great and have a realistic balance of nutrients but those are mostly just the protein shakes and not the meal replacements).

    However, I disagree about the home workouts. Some of the better ones are only available for sale. Yes, you can find many for free (youtube is your friend, heh) but if whoever posted them wants to capitalize on it there may be a poorly placed ad in there. Imagine getting 18 minutes into a great workout, sweat pouring down, and one of those 30 second, you can't skip it ads plays? Heh. That said, it's really more personal preference if you'd prefer a gym or prefer to do it at home.

    I personally am not a fan of the gym, but do have a dumbbell set and a couple kettle bells in the garage. To each their own.
  • crystalblair2355
    crystalblair2355 Posts: 63 Member
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    The workouts seem pretty popular, and I really don't see anything wrong with people getting them, but the pushiness of the coaches is what bothers me so much. It's really hard to find support outside of MFP without being bombarded with messages, friend requests and a group that hasn't been overran by them (or admined by them).

    YESSS ^^^ i totally agree!!
    I did hebalife for the last four months and the only thing i can say it DID help me do is it helped me ALOT in learning about the nutrition aspect and for that i am VERY grateful!! HOWever i have now started to veer away from the herbalife and just focus on the main thing thats most important in losing weight-- good nutrition and exercise!! it didnt take me too long to realize JUST HOW MUCH i was overspending and i REFUSED to pay the $$ to become a "member" so that i could get products at a discount (im not a pushy person and sales has never been a good job for me lol)
    I must say I have been VERY happy with the results that i have got from just doing that alone.... ive wondered if the herbalife was even good for me to try to begin with but then it DID teach me alot about the nutrition with the weekly info calls etc that we did! ive had alot of "coaches" TRY to pursuade me to try thier products but I am going to do it the RIGHT way this time instead of trying to find or buy into a "Quick fix" just so i can have quick results and it just come right back...as far as the home workouts I have a mixed opinion about it....if thats the ONLY way you can do a workout then by all means atleast it is SOME kind of workout but its probably best to find something to do where you can get the proper advice on your stance and make sure you are doing things properly to avoid injury....i LOVE doing 3x week HIIT cardio thats intertwined with MMA/kickboxing and i do it at a local karate place in my town...IF you dont want to go to a gym there are always alternate ways of getting in some exercise atleast 3 days a week Wether its at home or in a gym
  • marricurt
    marricurt Posts: 47 Member
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    Hmmmnnnn... I think (and please correct me if I am wrong Vismal) maybe Vismal was just saying that we don't NEED to ( rather than we Should not) spend our money on commercial style fitness plans.. Yes, it looks all shiny and pretty and possibly less intimidating than a big gym (especially the male dominated weights room) to some of us 'newbie' fitness goers but it gives us the same result (and a lot of the time quite possibly a lesser result.) than just plain old food logging and some weights and cardio exercises that you can download for free.

    I guess if it gets you off the couch and gets you started and helps you take the first step, it's worth the initial investment.. But if you don't have the cash for the 'newest, bestest, shiniest and most blogged/insta/face booked' fitness craze of the moment..it's ok. You really don't need it. Anyhoo... That was my interpretation..make of it what you will....and please Vismal, if I have got this wrong, feel free to smack me down and put me in my place. ....Gently. :flowerforyou:
  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
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    Hmmmnnnn... I think (and please correct me if I am wrong Vismal) maybe Vismal was just saying that we don't NEED to ( rather than we Should not) spend our money on commercial style fitness plans.. Yes, it looks all shiny and pretty and possibly less intimidating than a big gym (especially the male dominated weights room) to some of us 'newbie' fitness goers but it gives us the same result (and a lot of the time quite possibly a lesser result.) than just plain old food logging and some weights and cardio exercises that you can download for free.

    I guess if it gets you off the couch and gets you started and helps you take the first step, it's worth the initial investment.. But if you don't have the cash for the 'newest, bestest, shiniest and most blogged/insta/face booked' fitness craze of the moment..it's ok. You really don't need it. Anyhoo... That was my interpretation..make of it what you will....and please Vismal, if I have got this wrong, feel free to smack me down and put me in my place. ....Gently. :flowerforyou:
    No, that's pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. Those programs can and do work for some people. In my opinion they don't work nearly as well as what you can do yourself for free. They are not worth the money, not even close. Also they tend to get people dependent on their products, or at least make them think that without their products you will fail and all progress made will be lost.
  • Matiara
    Matiara Posts: 377 Member
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    Well, I don't think I'm uninformed or desperate. I own several Beachbody DVD workout programs and will no doubt buy more.

    I am not a people person. I am more self-conscious than I know I should be and I'm lazy as hell. If working out required me to go to the gym it wouldn't happen. And when I'm not regularly working out I get moody and bored and I eat too much. So having a shelf full of workouts to choose from is the reason I am only a few pounds over weight, and will lose the rest soon.

    I think the workouts are fun. What's so bad about that? I know they don't have some magical secret that other workouts don't have. I plan on doing them for the rest of my life, so I certainly don't see them as a quick fix. But I look forward to them and they make it easy for me to plan my schedule, and that doesn't make me stupid or gullible. I've spent less money over the last 5 years on DVDs and weights than I would have spent on a gym membership.

    I'm sorry you know a lot of people who sell these products. I wish they weren't as pushy and misleading and cult-like as they are.

    The gym and internet workouts work for you. My DVDs work for me. I'm glad you have been so successful on your fitness journey and see no reason to judge whether the choices you made saved you more money or were more effective than mine. Best of luck to everyone, regardless of which workout routine they choose to get healthy.

    ITA. I don't work out at home because it's my only option, it's because I choose to. There are several gyms within a few miles of my home and my apartment complex has a very nice mini gym as well. I just have no desire to leave my home to work out. And my goals are being met just fine.

    I buy DVDs because it's my preference. I know there are free workouts available online and On Demand for that matter, but I don't care to go that route. I only make one or two additions to my library every few years (for variety), so I'm definitely not buying everything that comes down the pike. I also do research to ensure a workout is right for me and I will get long term use from it. Heck, I still use my VHS workout tapes that I purchased in the 90s. I don't expect miracles, nor do I attribute my success to the "magical" properties of any workout program. It's due to the "miracle" of calories in/calories out.

    I never have and never will buy supplements, Shakeology, etc., though I find the Shakeology ads that run if I let my Beachbody DVDs keep playing after my workout is done endlessly entertaining. My favorite is the one where Carl Daikler travels around the world procuring the Super Special Ingredients that go into the miracle formula.

    I get that the point was that no one *needs* to purchase these things because there are low and no cost alternatives available. And I agree that far too many people throw money down the rabbit hole expecting a cure all from these things due to exaggerated infomercials, but not everyone who chooses to make such purchases does it for those reasons. I know that I don't.