Multibillion-dollar fitness company faces allegations of exploiting exercise coaches

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Join Beachbody to shed those pounds, help others lose weight, and get rich in the process.

That was the Santa Monica, California, fitness company’s sell to attract its fitness coaches, but plaintiffs allege in a class-action lawsuit Monday that they were used as low-cost labor to help Beachbody get rich instead.

Beachbody, which recently rebranded its diet and exercise programs as BODi, was co-founded in 1998 by Carl Daikeler as a distributor of home exercise DVDs. It’s since expanded into a $3 billion publicly traded health and fitness empire peddling products including diet shakes and apparel.

Its secret sauce? A vast network of more than 300,000 coaches who encourage their “Challenge Groups” to follow Beachbody exercise regimens, buy Beachbody products, and then recruit more weight-loss hopefuls and coaches.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Jessica Lyons of Lake Arrowhead, California, a schoolteacher who joined Beachbody as a coach in 2016. Lyons and others are being represented by Tycho & Zavareei, a leading consumer protection class-action law firm, as well as Los Angeles-based Clarkson Law.

“I thought becoming a coach for Beachbody was my opportunity to add a second stream of income with an added bonus of helping others reach their fitness goals,” Lyons said. “I didn’t realize how much Beachbody would demand of me and how little income I would see in return.”

Coaches begin by earning commissions off product sales to new customers, but as they climb the ranks and recruit more coaches underneath them, they begin earning additional income from the sales of the entire downline organization. Beachbody’s highest earner, who is at the “15-star diamond” level, makes over $2 million a year, Forbes reported. But in 2021, 25.8% of coaches did not receive a single commission check, according to the lawsuit filing.

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