If you’ve had any presence on social media in the past 5 months you have likely seen posts about 80 DO (80 Day Obsession.) If the name isn’t familiar, you might recognize the name of the company that created it: Beachbody. Most likely, the posts you have seen were women with large colorful rubber bands around their thighs, or plastic circles under their hands, donning their workout best while smiling and sweating in their social media selfies. These images can be intriguing for the person wanting to improve their workout regimen. So what exactly is 80DO and does it really work? Here, I’ll do my best to explain the program while providing a completely honest review.
This is a fairly comprehensive review. If you’re not into the details, you can find a summary toward the bottom.
*Disclaimer: I am not a Beachbody “coach” and the company has no idea I am writing this review. This is my genuine review based on my own personal experience.
First of all, what is it?
80 DO is a fitness and nutrition program available through Beachbody, the company known for popular programs like P90X, 21 Day Fix, and Insanity. It was developed by Autumn Calabrese, a popular Beachbody star and fitness expert. The company describes it as “a different workout every day for 80 days and an eating plan that feeds the body perfect portions at the right times. Results so fast, YOU GET OBSESSED!”
The general idea behind the program is to develop a healthy lifestyle based on consistent fitness and good nutrition. It’s an 80 day program consisting of 3 phases. Autumn instructs participants to take a rest day on Sundays; these are built in during phase one but not in succeeding phases, so the program actually lasts longer than 80 days. Since it’s called “80 Day Obsession” I’ll just keep referencing the 80 day time-frame throughout this article.
During those 80 days you will complete 80 different workout videos while following a timed-nutrition meal plan. I’ll break down each of these components into more detail, provide my list of pros and cons, and share my overall impression of 80 DO. Before I get to that, I should share a bit about myself and my participation in the program.
I am a 30 year old female with very “average” dimensions at 5’5″ and 120 pounds. I have been fairly active on and off throughout my life with periods of intense exercise (half marathons in college? oh yes!) and periods of a mostly sedentary lifestyle. I generally try to eat a healthy, plant-based diet.
When I started 80 DO I would not have described myself as “fit” but I was in good health. 80 DO is marketed toward people who are already in decent shape. I was probably in the worst shape of my life, but I had enough experience with working out to understand my limits. If it was too difficult I would simply switch to a different program and work my way up to 80 DO.
When you sign up you’ll purchase one of three starter packages, ranging from $170 -$430. I did the “good” package for $170. I can’t speak for the other options, but I thought this was a good deal considering it includes a year of Beachbody on Demand (that’s all of the Beachbody workouts, not just 80 DO.)
Let’s Start with the Meal Plan
Coaches like to tout the meal plan as “easy” and “fun.” I am sad for those people.
The meal plan is a simplified version of calorie counting and tracking macro nutrients.
When you sign up for 80 DO they will send you a box of goodies (pictured above) which includes a half dozen tiny colorful tupperware containers. Each color represents a different category of food. For example, the green container is for vegetables, purple is for fruits, etc. Also included in the program is a sheet for calculating your dietary needs both for weight maintenance and loss. Your calculation will put you into one of 5 groups; the group you’re assigned will dictate your diet. For example, I was in plan B so I had to follow that plan’s recommended number of daily containers. It also gives you a schedule for when to eat each container.
Sound complicated? It’s really not too difficult once you get the hang of it. The hardest part for me was getting used to eating every 2-3 hours as the program specifies. It’s especially challenging on days I work, when I sometimes don’t get a break for a 4-5 hours. Overall I found it to be a manageable system for maintaining such a structured diet.
And structured it is.
Herein lies my biggest criticism of 80 DO. The meal plan is healthy but my concern is that it borders on obsessive (hence the name?) which is precariously close to the realm of eating disorders. I don’t believe any obsessive focus on food is healthy.
Another concern is that it’s highly restrictive. The plan includes a list of foods you’re allowed to eat and let me tell ya, it’s not for the faint of heart. It seems like a lot of choices at first but after a short time it can become frustratingly limited. I followed it about 80% for the first few weeks, and my adherence gradually waned as time went on. I have better things to do than measure out my teaspoon of butter for the day, ok?
I can provide a few examples of how the meal plan starts to get ridiculous. One person doing the program commented on how she gave her son some pretzel sticks for an afternoon snack, and she sat next to him drooling over the pretzels, wishing she could have just one. I’m not talking a giant, soft, glaze-covered pretzel from the mall; these were the tiny little pretzel sticks you snack on like crackers. After she fantasized about eating one of her son’s mini pretzels, she went on social media and chastised herself for being weak (AND SHE DIDN’T EVEN EAT THE PRETZEL!!!) If your obsession leads you to beat yourself up just for wanting to eat a tiny pretzel… it’s not healthy.
And another thing…
Beachbody will do their absolute best to get you to buy their shakes.
You will automatically receive Shakeology with your start-up package. Shakeology is the company’s protein shake and their primary money-maker. They send a brochure about how it’s unlike any other protein shake on the market *uh huh* and that’s why it’s worth so much! Well, the Shakeology alone is $130 for a one-month supply. Yep, $130 a month for this stuff. I looked and looked in the ingredients but could not find “flecks of gold” or “tears of bald eagles.” Why is this stuff so expensive?? What really floored me was when I compared it to our protein shake powder from Costco (Orgain Organic Protein), which is about $30. Orgain has a lot more protein and a lot less sugar, and is otherwise nutritionally comparable. What’s the deal, Beachbody?
You’ll be automatically enrolled in a subscription for Shakeology. You’ll need to cancel your subscription lest you be billed unexpectedly for this gimmic- I mean, powder.
I’ll be up front: I love the workouts. There are a number of criticisms, which I’ll mention in a moment, but I wasn’t bothered by any of them. I enjoyed everything about making these videos part of my routine. Here are some common complaints:
- They’re an hour long. I’m not sure why this is a complaint, because they warn you about this right up front, but some people find it difficult to fit an hour into their daily routine. I can understand that.
I just replaced an hour of my morning news+coffee routine with working out. It was pretty simple; then again I’m not a mom yet. I do appreciate the hour-long workout for how challenging it is. I felt it pushed me more than a 30 minute workout would.
- There’s no music. I wasn’t bothered by this in the least. I would have found music distracting, and I don’t achieve any motivational benefit from working out to music. I can understand why others were bothered by this, though. My husband heavily relies on his fitness playlist to get him through his workouts, so I realize it’s a big deal to some people. Autumn created a playlist to go with the program if you feel the need to pump up the jam.
- There aren’t actually 80 different workouts. Ok, this I can agree with. I think it’s a fair criticism since Beachbody promotes this program as 80 different workouts. They should be more clear- It’s 80 different videos, some of which are the same workout repeated. One in particular called “cardio flow” remains essentially unchanged throughout the program. So, go into it with the right expectations and you won’t be disappointed. You will repeat exercises and some routines will stay the same.
- Autumn. Actually, I haven’t heard complaints about her from other people, I just found her annoying. I’ll stop there before I get catty.
To do the workouts you will need the equipment they provide: 3 colored loops (giant rubber bands of torture), 2 sliders (plastic circles you use under your hands or feet), a mat, and a wide range of dumbbell weights. The mat is not included but can be purchased separately from Beachbody. Hubby and I covered our fitness area with interlocking foam fitness squares purchased from Costco (a similar product shown here on Amazon). I prefer the squares because it provides a soft surface to workout on, which helps reduce impact on joints (there’s a lot of jumping in 80 DO) and provides traction. Also, instead of getting a giant rack of weights, we purchased these adjustable dumbbells from Amazon. They’re not a perfect solution, but they’re handy considering Hubby and I need vastly different weights. This way we don’t need 100 different dumbbells.
Overall I enjoyed the workouts. They were easy to follow and effective. I wanted a program that would help me understand how to work each muscle group and how often. 80 DO does just that.
I’m not going to show before and after photos because I just don’t see the point in showing my body to the world. I will say I gained 5 pounds (so now I’m 125) gained an inch around my thighs, butt, and biceps, and lost an inch around my waist. So, I definitely built some muscle!
My husband really noticed my results by about day 40. All of sudden he was commenting all the time on my firm, toned body, and I would hear remarks like “I can really tell you’re working hard!” **Yes, he has always told me I’m beautiful. These remarks were just to be encouraging.
Pros & Cons
In short, here are my pros and cons for the 80 DO program:
- Easy to follow workout routines
- Hour-long fitness means more strength and endurance
- A structured workout regimen means you focus on the right muscle groups at the right time
- Guided nutrition helps you be more holistically healthy
- It really works
- The nutrition is extremely rigid
- The shakes are expensive
Overall I like the 80 DO program and would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid fitness routine. Try the shakes and nutrition plan and see what works for you. I saw significant results in strength and muscle tone just by doing the workouts and only following some aspects of the nutrition plan. If you Google images for 80 DO you’ll see a lot of before and after photos that can speak to the effectiveness of the program.
I say, do you what you’re comfortable with and know you’ll get out what you put in.
So, what do you think? Send me your questions or comments below.