Anyone who’s been near a gym or basic cable over the past couple years has likely seen the rise of DVD workout programs like P90X or Insanity, promising a hard workout with huge returns. And with earnings of around $250 million for a product like P90X, as CNBC reports, to say that its gained popularity is an understatement. But what about the efficacy of the programs; not so much whether they work or not, but how many of those who’ve purchased the DVD program have completed it and how many have thrown in the towel and quit?
Beachbody, the company behind P90X and Insanity, earned $402.4 million dollars in 2010 according to inc.com, but, as Beachbody sells not only the DVDs but bands, pull-up bars, recovery drinks and other supplemental exercise materials, their high revenue isn’t solely determined by their DVD sales. People are buying it sure, and many are buying their other products as well- including additional coaching. Still, as CNN reports, only about 3 out of 10 adults are regularly exercising, meaning that Beachbody’s large sales aren’t extolling a massive increase in the amount of exercise American’s are getting. It also means that a large percentage of those who purchased those DVDs have quit along the way. But why, is the question?
An apocryphal source estimated only about 7-10 percent of people actually complete P90x, but according to CNBC, the percentage of P90X product returns is only 3.8 percent. So people are buying the product but aren’t returning it which, at $119.95, is not an insignificant amount of money to drop on a product. For reasons of embarrassment, shame, privacy, or procrastination, people aren’t likely to accurately report if and why they quit these DVD workouts but the fact that they haven’t returned the product suggests two things: that they either aren’t ready for these workouts yet and that they intend on getting to it eventually, or that they’ve scrapped the 90-day planned routine for a more moderate program that fits their needs better.
The fitness infomercial and at-home-get-fit-quick videos have been around for ages, but no doubt the recent spike in sales and popularity is due to the challenge of the workout and the success of those who complete it. Make no mistakes, P90X and Insanity are not your “8 Minute Abs;” these are challenging workouts that require a modicum of fitness before even attempting them. This is also a reason why people might be quitting them: the challenges inherent, the unexpected level of difficulty or the fact that the user is too out of shape to begin. There is also the issue of effectiveness: fitness is incumbent upon work and some of the shorter promises like “8 Minute Abs” simply aren’t enough on their own to generate the results users are looking for.
Time is another factor. While the get-fit-quick videos proffer a shorter amount of time necessary, they don’t work well, and the ones that do work well require that you put in the time. P90X for instance is a 6-7 day a week workout (the 7th day being a rest day which they recommend could be spent doing their stretching DVD or extra cardio) and each workout program is anywhere from 45 minutes to 1:45 minutes; and this is done for 90 days. Many people start but don’t have the time to stick with it. Travel, vacations, work, family, there are an innumerable amount of distractions and commitments that can interrupt the rigorous schedule; trying to make up a day can throw off the entirety of the way the program was designed.
The exact number of people who quit DVD workout programs may never be known, but their reasons for quitting are much less enigmatic and at least point to one thing: Americans are at least making an effort towards fitness. Cool E Fitness takes a different approach to fitness and actually encouraging you to come back!
About the Author: Kennith Campbell is a physical trainer who specializes in slide board training videos. He’s committed to living a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise and encourages others to do the same.