I Coach a lot of people. I’m constantly giving tips to make sure they are on the right track with the workouts, supplements, and nutrition. Something that I tend to forget to do, though, is give them all the proper tips before starting a Beachbody program. My intentions are there and I usually give them good advice, but then a few weeks later I remember that there was something else I wanted to tell them before they got started. By that point it’s just a little too late. So there are two reasons why I’m doing this post. One, so that everything is in one place and I don’t have to try to keep remembering it all, and two, so that everyone getting started has everything in place to start properly and get the best results possible.
7 Tips Before Starting a Beachbody Program
(1) Get yourself a Beachbody Coach. Hopefully by now you have one, but if you don’t, find yourself one quickly. Having a Coach is important because he or she can help you stay motivated, add you to a support group, and answer any questions that you may have along your journey, whether it’s about motivation, workouts, supplements, or nutrition. Obviously if you don’t have a Coach I will nominate myself to be your coach because, well, I do know what I’m doing! I have literally helped thousands of people since 2008 get results using Beachbody programs. If you don’t already have a Team Beachbody account and want me to be your Coach, click here. If you already have a Team Beachbody account, but don’t talk to your Coach, email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com and I will tell you what to do next.
(2) Make sure you are doing the right program. If you’re starting a Beachbody program, there’s a good chance that you have the new All Access pass, giving you access to every single Beachbody workout available to stream on your phone, tablet, computer, or even smart TV. If you’re still paying for Beachbody programs separately, you’re pretty much just throwing money out the window. Anyways, you want to make sure you’re doing the program that’s right for you. It’s crazy to me how many Beachbody Coaches “recommend” the wrong program! Your current health condition, the amount you want to lose or gain, and the type of workouts you enjoy all play a part in which program you should choose. Below I’m going to give you some program recommendations.
- If you’re trying to gain mass – Body Beast
- If you’re very overweight and want to lose weight and enjoy a combination of resistance and cardio – Power 90
- If you’re a former athlete that has 10-15 lbs to lose and enjoy both cardio and resistance – P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Hammer & Chisel
- If you’re an athlete already in great shape and want to take your conditioning and physique to the next level – Insanity Asylum, Insanity Asylum Volume 2, Insanity Max 30, or Insanity
- If you have a decent amount of weight to lose and want a shorter program with shorter workouts that contains a balance of resistance and cardio – 21 Day Fix
- If you are in good shape already and have a small amount of weight to lose, want to really lean out, and enjoy shorter workouts – 21 Day Fix Extreme
- If you enjoy dancing workouts – Country Heat, Turbofire, Hip Hop Abs, Cize
- If you enjoy karate or kickboxing – Core De Force, Combat
- If you enjoy shorter, military type workouts – 22 Minute Hard Corps
Before doing any program, though, make sure you talk to me or your Coach so that we can make sure you are choosing the right one.
(3) Understand the nutrition plan. As cliche as it is, abs really are made in the kitchen. If you want great results, you have to focus on the nutrition aspect just as much as you do the workouts. If not, you will have very little to no results. Every single program, whether you stream it via the All Access pass or purchase it separately, comes with a nutrition guide. Before starting any Beachbody program, you want to take the time to thoroughly read through the nutrition guide. Understand the recommended amount of calories and the macro breakdown for your current weight, height, and health condition. For example, the amount of calories recommended for someone who is 5’7″ is going to be much different than someone who is 6’7″. Macros will include the percentages of fat, carbs, and protein that you should be consuming on a daily basis. For example, in the P90X nutrition guide, during the first phase a fat/carb/protein % of 20/30/50 is recommended. You can keep track of calories and all macros by downloading the MyFitnessPal app. Get in the habit of logging everything that you eat every day. Also, a lot of the programs that have recently been released use portion control containers that make it very easy to keep track of your macros. 21 Day Fix is one of these programs.
(4) Clean out your cupboards. This is something that I did right before I started P90X for the first time back in 2008. I went through all of my cupboards and threw out any junk food. The reason is because I knew I couldn’t eat it if it wasn’t there. When you start craving something sweet, for example, if those Oreos aren’t hanging around, you’re forced to choose a healthy alternative, such as fruit or Shakeology.
(5) Have all the supplements ordered. I’m a big believer in supplements, always have been. I’ve done programs with and without supplements and I’ve gotten the best results when I use them. However, not all supplements are created equal. It’s crazy to me just how many people will head to Walmart and grab some random whey protein because they feel that all protein brands are the same. That’s not the case. There are good quality supplements and there are bad quality ones. You want to make sure that (1) You’re using the right supplements, and (2) That you get yourself high quality ones. The poor quality ones contain dyes, toxins, and chemicals. If you’re trying to make a positive change in your health, it’s not worth consuming anything with that shit in it. And you want to make sure all of your supplements are ordered and arrive before starting a Beachbody program. Here are some good quality supplements that I use and when I use them.
- Meal Replacement or Snack – Shakeology – Vegan Chocolate or Tropical blended with almond butter, organic banana, and coconut almond milk. (Check out my full Shakeology Review!)
- Pre-workout – Energize – 2 scoops 10-15 minutes before my workout.
- Pre-workout – Creatine Monohydrate – 5g mixed with 8 oz organic grape juice 15-20 minutes before the workout. I only take this if I’m trying to put on mass, though.
- Intra-workout – Hydrate & MRM BCAA+G – 1 scoop hydrate and 3 scoops BCAAs shaken with 10-12 ounces of water. I sip on this throughout my workout.
- Post-workout – Recover and Glutamine – 1 scoop of the Recover formula and 5g glutamine powder immediately following an intense workout.
- Recharge – casein protein taken right before bed to help with recovery while you sleep.
Recover, Hydrate, Energize, Recharge, and Creatine are all part of the Beachbody Performance line of supplements. Shakeology is a Beachbody product as well. The rest of the supplements I get at Vitamin Shoppe or BodyBuilding.com. You can purchase any of the Beachbody products in my —> online shop <—.
(6) Take “before” pictures. I always recommend this to the people I coach before starting a Beachbody program. I recommend taking Day 1, 30, 60, and 90 pictures for a 90 day program. It’s important for a few reasons. First, you want something to compare to once you starting getting results. When you take progress pictures after 30 days, for example, putting it side by side with your Day 1 picture can be a huge motivation to continue pushing once you see the changes you’ve made. Sometimes people don’t realize that they’ve made any changes because the scale doesn’t move. That sometimes happens because they are losing body fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Second, taking progress pictures is important if you decide that you want to become a Beachbody Coach after you complete your journey and help others get results like you did. Having that before and after comparison to show others gives you credibility and inspires a lot of people. BTW, here is my most recent Day 1 and Day 90 comparison from Body Beast.
(7) Make goals for yourself. I’m a big believer in goal setting. If you don’t know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, how are you going to know what path to take? And I recommend creating shorter, attainable goals rather than focusing on one massive goal. For example, maybe you have a goal of losing 150 lbs. That’s great, but that can be extremely overwhelming for anyone. Instead, maybe create a goal to lose 15-20 lbs within the first month. Then maybe lose another 20 lbs the following month. Those small, attainable goals over time added up will lead you to your ultimate goal of losing 150 lbs. It’s important, too, that you make your goals very specific and write them down and place them somewhere you will see them every day. For example, you can do what I used to do and purchase a dry erase board, write your goals on it, and hang it in your living room. Every morning that I woke up I looked at those goals and it kept me focused on what I needed to do that day to reach those goals.
Now you know 7 things that you need to do before starting a Beachbody program! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to help.