I am continually asked my opinion about the success of 90 Day programs like Insanity and P90X. Here is my opinion. Unequivocally, the company that owns/markets both DVD’s, Beach Body, has perfected their marketing formula and conquered the neuro-programming marketing battle.
There is a great book you may wish to read, Unconscious Branding: How neuroscience can empower (and inspire) marketing by Douglas Van Praet. I will excerpt some principles from the book to clarify my point of view.
1- Let’s just start with the company name Beach Body. Think of the subliminal implications of the name itself. You have already tapped into people’s psyches without saying anything.
Beach Body knows "The process of decision-making behavior is led by the heart and followed by the head." Their informercials are high-energy. It is filled with before/after testimonials of semi-undressed people telling you how sexy and energetic they now feel.
The programming is (intentionally) emotionally charged to keep you feeling not thinking. Don’t address the problem, focus on the solution.
2- “The human brain is fundamentally attracted to what is different. If it were not, we would never learn.” Both P90X & Insanity switch the workout every day so you can never be bored. They call it “muscle confusion.” This increases the perception that you’re learning something new. Actually, it is just a sophisticated pattern of repetition and plain old confusing.
Longterm success is built upon periodized programming, not mixing and matching variables daily. Try to find ONE successful athlete who doesn’t have a stable practiced routine. In the real world, if you don’t know how you became successful, you won’t be successful for long. And this is how they get you to buy the next DVD.
3- Beach Body, like every health club & boutique studio, knows it is in the business of selling good feelings. These commercials are addictive. The packaging is slick and sexy. You NEED to buy this product and owning it alone will make you feel better. You have bottled lighting at your fingertips. You own 24 hour access to hot training buddies waiting breathlessly to workout with you. Inspiring isn’t it?
Now how you manage your participation afterward is your own business. No one will be calling you to check-in on how you are doing. But if you wanted a personal trainer you wouldn’t have bought the DVD.
People are inherently unsophisticated when it comes to exercise. They will settle for being told what to do rather than taught what to do. Everyone wants the shortcut, I get it.
Marketers are raking in billions anesthetizing their audience by front loading the gratification. The truth is I have yet to meet the person who derived LONGTERM benefit from a DVD.
These questions, to me, mean more than “Are you having fun?”
Do I care if you love P90X or Insanity? Nope. Arguing perception is not my cup of muscle milk. If you like it, I love it for you.
I personally refuse to engage in, or offer, generic workouts to students or clients regardless of lifestyle, age or injury. I have, admittedly, taken the harder road and I do not have a history of injury and weight gain because of it.
My brand promise is physical literacy and awareness of motivation, choices. (There are enough purveyors of aerobic entertainment.) I believe if you honor your body, you make stronger choices then you feel good about yourself. Immediate gratification is not a basis for lasting change.
Take some time to think about what I am writing. You have a long life ahead of you, don’t be prone to knee jerk responses. Exercise consciously. Brand yourself unconsciously.
Be. Move. Do.
It is the Year of the Horse and I saddled up and made a change. I will only teach Spinning/Cycle twice per week. It will be taught as a masterclass for those interested in athletic performance. Bring our goals, share what you are up to, each class is created by the students in the room.
- No bells or whistles
- Emphasis on training
- Minimal entertainment distractions
- Bring HR monitors if you want to supercharge your results.
NYHRC 56th Street
NYHRC 13th Street
That’s all. Hope you New Year is going well.