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Beachbody vs. BODi Blocks: an Honest Review

Listen — I’m a positive gal… but I’m also honest, and the review you’re about to read for the new BODi Blocks online workout programs on the rebranded Beachbody fitness platform is going to be… scathing. I’m sorry, but all I could type in my notes after completing today’s was: “What the heck did I just watch?!”

How is BODi Different from Beachbody?

Let’s start with some background on the concept of BODi. In early 2023, the Beachbody on Demand workout streaming program (famed for “LIIFT4” with Joel Freeman, “Insanity” with Shaun T, “P90X,” and so on) announced that it was rebranding as BODi: a more interactive, inclusive “Health esteem” platform. Awesome!

Well, it is awesome except for one thing: the hallmark of Beachbody has been extremely polished, edited programs like “Muscle Burns Fat” with Megan Davies, and “645″ with Amoila Cesar. Unfortunately, this new interactive, live workout pivot tosses that fabulous element of highly professional programs to the side, in favor of a mess of mostly live weirdness.

What's the difference between Beachbody vs. BODi?
What’s the difference between Beachbody vs. BODi?

Will BODi Release New Workout Programs, Post-Beachbody?

Yes, BODi will still release full programs in the future, but under this plan, only two polished programs will come out a year. Eek! Previously, there was enough frequency that a gal could just move from one new program to the next. You could see this in the fact that I continuously reviewed 18 Beachbody workout programs over the course of three years, from 2020 to 2023.

With this new timeline, users will be encouraged to do the new live-recorded BODi Blocks between programs, if they don’t want to just repeat the program they recently completed. Read on to learn why this could be a problem… But before that, we need to talk about money.

How Much Does BODi Cost vs. Beachbody?

Financially, as Beachbody transitions to BODi, the price of membership is also going up by almost double: from $99 a year to $179 a year. Users are up in arms about this, but honestly, I think it’s still a worthwhile deal because of the quality of the entire Beachbody workout program library that it provides access to.

Think about it this way: The new price works out to merely $15 a month — far less expensive than any gym I know around Boston, which helps my workout motivation for continuing to press play on this platform. And yet! My issue with BODi is not the pricing: it’s with quality and safety. Allow me to lay out the problems, starting with the overview.

BODi Block Background

The new BODi Blocks format works as follows: In each month-long “Block,” there are 3 weeks of 5 live-recorded workouts per week. Week 4 is an “UP Week” — Unlimited Progress — with a few extra workouts. Though each video is filmed live, the recordings remain on the platform to view at any time within the Block format.

The idea is that these month-long blocks release at the start of each month with new live-recorded workouts, so you join for fresh content each round. Most BODi Blocks are run by a mix of Super-Trainers from Beachbody glory (like Joel Freeman from “LIIFT More”), alternating with Openfit instructors, and others.

There are three basic BODi Block types each month: an “All-BODi Block” (30 minutes a day, total body mix of weights and cardio), an “Iron Block” (40-ish minutes, with a focus on weightlifting), and a Bike Block, (which I didn’t try, since I’m bike-less). Then, there are “Super Blocks…”

What are BODi “Super Blocks?”

In addition to the monthly-repeating, live BODi Blocks, there are periodically-released “Super Blocks” that are slightly more polished, but still live-ish, run by a single trainer. They riff off of established programs like “21 Day Fix” with Autumn Calabrese.

These “Super Blocks” cost additional money ($29), with the exception of the Lacee Green option, “For Beginners Only,” which at the time of this writing is included with BODi membership. The bulk of my concerns with BODi are around the standard BODi Blocks, but “Super Blocks” share some of the problems. What are these issues I’m referring to? Buckle up.

Problems with BODi Blocks

Now that you have the context, I’m going to just dive into the concerns I have with the new logistics of Beachbody turning into BODi. My strong hunch is that others will echo these worries, and that the platform will pivot again in the near future — but we’ll see what happens.

1. The live BODi Block workouts are MESSY.

I have no words for how unprofessional some of the BODi Block workout videos are. Because they are recorded live, the trainers flub lines, awkwardly pause, miss cues, and go on (sometimes inappropriate) tangents. These videos blow the strange moments in “4 Weeks of the Prep” out of the water.

If I wanted the low level of production quality that live-filmed BODi Blocks provide, I would just do one of the zillion free workouts on YouTube. If BODi has provided me with anything, it’s a newfound awe for the editing staff that makes the polished programs look so much better than this jumble.

2. BODi Block workouts are confusing to follow.

Most of the BODi Block workouts have only one trainer on screen, and so when the trainer stops doing a move to explain something (even though you the viewer are supposed to continue doing it), there’s no further visual guidance for what to do, except for the choppy Zoom participants. Confusion ensues.

Here’s actual footage of my experience in today’s workout: “Wait — did the 30 second rest break start yet? No, some Zoom people are still moving. But wait, did the trainer say stop yet now, or is he just rambling? WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?! I just want a clear workout!”

3. The “BODcast” wall of amateur exercisers on Zoom is not good.

This brings us to the two giant walls of tiny people working out at home via Zoom, replete with choppy Wifi, hazy visibility, and poor form. Um, ugh. So I think the idea here is to be really exciting and interactive? Is this like Peloton? Are we thrilled about random people we don’t know getting shout-outs that stop the trainer from teaching the workout? Booooo. Not I. Sorry.

4. There is increased risk of injury with BODi Block workouts.

Remember how the problem with “Job 1” was that Jennifer Jacobs is the only trainer on screen, and thus she was not able to safely explain modifications before and during each exercise? BODi Blocks have this problem, too — but it’s multiplied, because the trainer is also frequently stopping all movement altogether in order to shout out BODcast folks. This is a major risk for injury, especially when paired with the next problem…

5. What level and background are BODi Blocks even for?!

I think BODi Blocks (besides “For Beginners Only”) are supposed to be “All Levels?” Listen — the polished Beachbody program “Fire and Flow” IS truly all levels because it has clear modifications and a thoughtful, supported progression of moves. However, the hodgepodge of moves I witnessed in the first All-BODi Block is most certainly NOT All Levels.

Further, many of the trainers in the All-BODi Block make references to their past programs, catchphrases, or exploits, assuming viewers are hip to them all. Nope! It’s all just a little awkward.

6. The user interface to upgrade from Beachbody to BODi is problematic.

With multiple jobs and two young kids at home, my time is a precious commodity. Thus, when I finished “Sure Thing” and went to start my next workout option, the fact that it took over an hour to figure out how to upgrade from Beachbody to BODi was not fabulous. (Tip: Depending how you registered for BOD in the first place, you may need to do the upgrade through Apple Subscriptions on your phone.) I hope this interface is streamlined in the future.

7. BODi Blocks feel all over the place.

When I do a polished Beachbody program like “4 Weeks for Every Body,” I feel safe and taken care of. Why? Because there is a clear and meticulous flow to the exercise progression. In contrast, BODi Blocks make me feel sort of flailing wildly at sea, because they’re disjoined. Though I understand that the overarching concept is supposed to provide a predictable pattern, the combination of varying instructor quality, plus live-filmed messiness, does not instill confidence.

Positives of BODi Blocks

Now that I’ve unleashed my rant about my poor experience with BODi Blocks so far, I do need to acknowledge some positives.

A. The workout music is cool.

In contrast to the polished Beachbody programs that have original music (which is often somewhat odd, with the exception of “Let’s Get Up“), BODi Blocks feature real songs by artists like Beyoncé. There’s also a neat tech feature where you can adjust the volume of the music independently from the audio of the instructor. I wish real workout classes had that!

B. Yay for inclusive community.

It’s great that BODi is embracing the power of an inclusive community — epitomized by everyone cheering for each other on the BODcast Zoom videos. The idea of lots of people launching each new BODi Block at the start of each month is also sweet. Positive peer pressure! Further, it’s nice that BODi is opening its doors to new trainers — especially Lacee from #mbfa.

C. The short 5er workouts are solid.

When you finish a BODi Block workout, a pop-up poofs onto the screen and asks you if you’d like to try a “5er” five minute workout in a targeted area like abs or arms. I like the concept and solidly enjoyed the ones I tried. Oh, and Monique Bell’s arm muscles are such an inspiration!

What’s smart about these bite-sized workouts is that they trick you (in a positive way) into doing longer workouts because once you do one 5er, you’re often tempted to do another. There is also a big on-screen timer, and no distracting BODcast, so the workouts are nice and focused. Unfortunately, the quality is still not to the level of the polished programs, but is higher than the All-BODi Blocks.

D. Kudos for trying something new.

Hey, it’s important to innovate and evolve, right? One has to commend Beachbody on trying new things — and certainly on its long-overdue name change to BODi. It’s also nice that Beachbody bought the Openfit workout platform, adding in programs like “XB Pilates” and “Xtend Barre” by Andrea Rogers.

Beachbody vs. BODi Blocks, in Sum

So, after this scathing review, what’s a gal to do? I’ve already paid my membership, so I’m going to stick with BODi for a time, at least, and see how this all develops over the coming months.

However I’d like to close with this message to Beachbody BODi: Your strength as an online fitness platform is in your polished, full-length programs. Put more energy back into those… not in flubbed lines and blurry people on Zoom. I’ll be waiting with bated breath for “Chop Wood Carry Water” to come out this summer!


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Thursday 1st of June 2023

Ahhh, I just did a deep dive on your site and I think I have my answer! Thank you!

Lillie Marshall

Friday 2nd of June 2023

Glad you were able to find your answer, Ali! Sending you good exercise energy.


Thursday 1st of June 2023

I'm confused, I hope you can help. I used Beachbody for years, but stopped during the pandemic. With the new program (digital Bodi) would I have access to programs such as 21 Day Fix or are you only allowed to do that months blocks? Are those old programs additional charges too? Thank you!


Friday 19th of May 2023

Thank you so much for this honest review. I was conflicted about doing the BODI thing. I wasn't even excited about it. I don't enjoy a mess, and to me the polished versions are better. I am so glad I didn't waste my money.

Lillie Marshall

Friday 19th of May 2023

Glad to help! Here's the tricky thing: To get the polished full programs, you now need to purchase the full BODi subscription. Though the price of it is higher than it used to be, I actually think it's still a good deal, since you have access to all the older polished programs, plus the two new ones released each year in the future. To summarize the thrust of my article, I actually DO think the subscription is worth it -- I would just steer clear of the BODi blocks and focus on the full programs. Hope this helps!


Thursday 4th of May 2023

Thank you for your BODi review! I am very satisfied with many of the Beachbody programs and have been starting to think it's time to upgrade to BODi. I'm glad to say I no longer have BODi FOMO!

As an aside, your reviews on the Beachbody programs I've completed totally sync with my thoughts -- on the actual exercises/moves/modifications as well as the overall program experience. As such, your Honest Reviews now help guide the order in which I push play on my future Beachbody programs. You haven't steered me wrong and that is much appreciated!

Lillie Marshall

Saturday 6th of May 2023

So glad to help! More program reviews coming soon. I'm currently doing the whole Andrea Rogers XB series, and there's much to say about it. Stay tuned!


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

Thank you for all of your honest reviews, I think I just read through them all! I started Beachbody in 2019 with 21 Day Fix Real Time and upgraded to BODi this year (was offered a pro-rated discount) but I don't think I'll renew when it comes time. I've done a number of different programs since then I don't like the new style of "live" workouts or BODi Blocks and Super Blocks (seems like a money grab). I've tried a couple of the classes and found the player to be extremely unreliable (either laggy or skippy) and although I do like having music playing, I could just as easily make my own Spotify playlist. I do love Lacee and will do her For Beginner's Only block next month!

I would have loved BB to have more polished classes filmed with different styles of working out, like pilates. I absolutely loved 4 Weeks for Every Body, was exited to see workouts that matched what my body needed. A fifth day of movement is a great idea. Not everyone can/should do HIIT all the time.

It will be interesting to see what BODi does in the future, if they'll listen to customer feedback or not, because I can see a lot of pushback happening already.

I'll be back to read more reviews, thanks!!

Lillie Marshall

Friday 21st of April 2023

Thanks for this honest take, and I so appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment! Speaking of Pilates, my next review will be for "XB Pilates," so stay tuned...

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