Did I Leave Beachbody and The Fitness Industry?

insulin resistance, diabetes, blood sugar, weight loss

Finally, putting the rumors — as to why I left Beachbody / the fitness industry — to rest.

For much more candid, from the heart, content — plus tips on how to get your overall life right, make sure you’re subscribed to The Chalene Show (on your preferred podcast app):

Let’s Connect…

Cameron Long

  • Chalene Johnson says:

    The support here in the comments means the world to me. Please keep in mind I made my decision a few years ago. I like to think the fitness industry has made some process since that time but I’m still seeing so many women with dangerously low body fat – being held up as the pinnacle of health. A Super lean ripped physique does not necessarily mean someone is healthy. It certainly wasn’t the case for me. Lastly – my consumer fitness experience was while I was working with Beachbody. But please know that the comments I refer to in this video were often made by fitness producers who simply were contracted to create the workouts. I don’t blame anyone. It was simply what creators knew would sell. Lean, ripped physiques sell workouts. Average body fat and a healthy normal weight does not. That’s just the facts. Is that wrong? I don’t know. But I do know it wasn’t healthy for me and I had more I was meant for.

    Please do not direct your commentary at a particular company when this is truly an industry problem.

    Thank you for watching!

    • Joanna Rippon says:

      Sadly this country has had a distorted view of what is healthy for decades. Thinness evokes health therefore sells products. I’d like to think today, tides are changing and in 30 years we won’t be dealing with this. So many young girls/boys still have a distorted view of what is healthy. I’m so glad you made this video to explain everything. I had no idea what you were going through. To me you always were the example of health and you looked perfect. Perfect figure. Perfect weight. A normal person. That and your personality drew me to you. You are real. Not manufactured. I’m sorry for what you went through but am so glad you are now doing what you need to do for your physical and mental health. What a great role model, wife and mom. Your family should be proud.

    • Ruth Shrauner says:

      As someone who is a long time fan of yours, this video is very disappointing. If this was truly about bringing light to the fitness industry, it could have been done without bringing up Beachbody at all & would feel so much more genuine in it’s purpose. You mentioned it’s not about Beachbody, and on YouTube even say it was an outside production company making these comments. However, it feels like you’re using Beachbody’s name as clickbait for engagement from the antimlm community, as I know you’re aware of what these people say and do from your past stories (Clearly it worked since most your videos have 500 views and this one has 15k. Success without integrity isn’t success) Knowing this, I’m not sure why you would think they WOULDN’T comment to bash a company that has done SO MUCH GOOD for so many people, including you and your entire family. While no company is perfect, Beachbody does continue to change so many lives in health, fitness, and business, and has so much good to offer. With that, it seems very calculated that you’d “finally” share this story during Summit week, and feels like another engagement tactic and also feels very bitter and vengeful in my personal opinion. As you said, this isn’t about Beachbody & BB wasn’t responsible for any of this horrible comments, so why it includes the company name or drops during Summit week is very misaligned with what you say the purpose of this video is. Do I agree with what you say the INTENDED message of this video is? Absolutely. I also think the industry has come along way in the past 5 years. If you look at current BB production Autumn IS shown as a normal woman, with a normal body. In multiple workouts her shorts ARE cutting into her stomach, and they show her real, human body in the video. They allow her body to be seen with folds, and movement, and wrinkles, ALL THE THINGS. I hate that you had these experiences, but it appears that Beachbody HAS hired different production people since then and no longer complies the standards that were set by THE INDUSTRY in 2015.

    • Melissa Blount says:

      I wish we could connect!!!! I NEEDED THIS YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ME

    • Ginger Sorensen says:

      This is a well written response. I just wanted to share that the reason this particular video has so many more views isn’t so much because of the name drop of beachbody but instead because a gal named Sandi Krakowski, who has well over a million followers on her FB paged shared it on her page. It just started blowing up on top of her more average views.

      I think overall it would be near impossible for her to not share her story without talking about beachbody… it has been a huge piece of her journey.

    • Leslie C says:

      I met you at Summit once. Got the chance to briefly tell you my story of how you are the one who really jump started my love for fitness and me losing 120 pounds. I don’t know if you remember that or not. At the time, while I felt like Beachbody was my entire life and man was I so thankful, I also looked around at those around me and the messages given to me and still feeling like it wasn’t enough to lose the weight I did. I was running half marathons and because I didn’t have abs to show off (heck over 100 pound weight loss and 2 kids…no wonder)…it made me feel like I would never get to the top or be at the next level. I considered plastic surgery, no kidding. I was at the fittest I had ever been in my entire life, even more fit than I was as a kid/teen, and still felt like it wasn’t enough.

      So, while I credit Beachbody for leading me to you and the fun workouts and finding my love for fitness, they were also the cause of my downfall and not eating as healthy as I should have been and really did not help support the confidence in just being healthy I needed. When I encountered some health issues and it caused weight gain and other things to happen and the “methodology” of BB didn’t work, I lost all support from my leadership team (not on the company itself but I definitely feel like it’s on the culture put in place). Here I was doing everything “right”, and gaining weight and having other health issues happen, and I couldn’t understand why. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this experience, but it’s just not talked about.

      Anyways, I wound up backing away from the company, going on my own outside health journey to figure things out, and am a part of a local gym now that wants to focus on just straight up getting you healthy, and focuses on being happy as well as physically and nutritionally healthy. Thank you for sharing your experience and story. I’m sure it will come with criticism and while yes, the fitness industry has made some progress, the overall message is, the leanest body equals best health.

      I’m just glad you are happy and healthy by your standards.

  • Kat Tonks says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the pressures you felt in your industry. I’ve been a fan of yours since Turbo Jam and I’ve always seen you as a coach—a LEADER! That’s what you are in everything you do and you’re so inspiring. Keep teaching us!!! Great advice with pursuing what has an opportunity and being patient with what you’re passionate about and feel you are “meant for.” That resonated so strongly with what I’m going through right now.❤️

  • J. Mendez says:

    I love this woman for her authenticity and her genuineness!

  • Your New Fix says:

    Turbo Jam changed everything about how I looked at cardio. You were in my living room for years!!!! Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire were the videos that changed me. It was all because of you!! Don’t underestimate what you did. I loved your videos. The music. Your teaching. It changed my body and it was all because of you!!!

    • Tracey Ní Breitheamh 🇮🇪 says:


    • Cassidy Davis says:

      Yes! Loved the positive energy and fun music!

    • gung_ripper_3000 says:

      Me too!!!!

    • Your New Fix says:

      I am telling you I got up every morning to watch you! I couldn’t wait for Turbo Fire!!!! I was so waiting for another one after Turbo Fire!! I remember your sister being in the videos. You talking about eating cake on your birthday. I remember the music like it was yesterday. I would not have cared if you were overweight in those videos. I just loved you!!! That was it. I’m now 54. I was 39 -40 Things have changed but one thing remains was your instruction. Your presence. I was sold on you!!! You helped so many people. That was never about Beachbody. It was always about You!!!

    • Dessy says:

      Same.. I remember doing Turbo Jam in 2005, my second year in the USA, all the way through 2015, I combined Chalene and Shaun T workout, I was in the best shape of my life 👍👍 I stopped working out due to covid infection that I had ( twice) your body is not the same, now I am back to exercise, one day at a time, my energy is not the same to when I was 10 years ago, .. I need to learn to take it easy, exercise should rejuvenate and not a torture 😊

  • thepitt80 says:

    I have NEVER EVER in the history of YouTube I have watched a video that is as authentic and powerful as this one. You made me realize soooo many things and I relate so so so much to you. Thank you!

  • Dani My Luv says:

    Let me say this. Out of all the Beachbody Fitness experts YOU were/are the most relatable to me. I was drawn to your personality instantly. I have used all Turbo Jam products including Turbo Fire and Chalene Xtreme (my fave!) and I go back to them every time. You have been a blessing in my life personally. And I totally support your journey to peace mentally and physically <3

  • JG Kicks says:

    If even Chalene Johnson feels “not fit enough,” there is something seriously wrong with the industry…so sad ☹️

    Edit: Actually it’s not sad. It’s INFURIATING!! Not a stitch of fat on this woman and they want her “leaner.” 🤯

    • Giuliano Grimaudo says:

      Yeah wow

    • Brooke G says:

      The sad thing is, the person who told her to be leaner said, specifically, that her product would sell better if she were leaner. Which means that the public has the same misperception, and that’s where the real problem is that needs exploring.

    • Heather Frampton says:

      I agree! Outrageous! 🤬

    • Heather Frampton says:

      Oh, my … That photo of you after that additional weight loss…how could anyone say that looked good?!? Aww, you looked so sickly. ☹️

    • Liz says:

      Don’t blame the industry. It’s women’s insecurities…always obsessed over their bodies and comparing themselves to others. That’s why we now have the big butt obsession.

  • Dena Newburg says:

    Oh my gosh, I have followed your career since the 90’s. I was one of the many who became Certified in Turbo Kick because I absolutely adored you & loved ALL of your workouts. When you say there are many other great fitness teachers, maybe, BUT man there was just something about you. I love what you are doing for Bob and sharing awareness, I am following your journey on FB and Instagram. I work with Alzheimer’s patients and am grateful when you share your stories, Bob is an amazing man! Thanks for all you do! 💕

  • Sherrell Boonstra says:

    Shocking to think Chalene thought she didnt fit into the fitness industry when she has contributed SO much. And not lean enough…please, shame on those who made you feel like you were not enough. You have been my inspiration for so many years. Thank you for sharing with us.💜

  • Brianna Ferris says:

    “Back then we were making $9!” Girl it’s still like that🤦‍♀️ (veteran fitness instructor) definitely not a money maker but definitely a passion.
    Keep inspiring! Love you and your heart ❤️

  • Jeannie Kirby says:

    I tried being a Beachbody Coach 6 years ago. I remember going to Summit in Nashville and I was so excited to do a live workout with you! The energy was so high! Your music was pumping! I’m so sorry that they made you feel insecure because you were my idol! Still are! I love you ❤️

  • Jamie Dimmitt says:

    Watching this brought me to tears. I’ve been doing your workouts for 6 years now. I think you are amazing. Your upbeat personality kept me going, but now knowing how truly honest you are, I am even happier to call you a mentor. Thank you for all you do.

  • Claire Hong says:

    Dear Chalene, I understand that fitness is not your passion. But to me, you are never an imposter. You inspired so many women and bring your positive and likeable energy through your workouts. To be honest, I workout with your programs because of you not because I love to workout. Somehow, you just keep me going. Although you mentioned that there are better instructors out there, there is only one you. Even though you won’t be coming out with new fitness programs anymore, I am sincerely happy that you are at a place where you know your purpose and what you do makes you happy. 💖 you so much! 😊

  • ALOVE says:

    Turbo jam started me on my weight loss journey years ago. I lost 40 lbs with Charlene!! and is one of the reasons I am so interested in health now! Love u Charlene!! ❤️

  • Charlotte Smith says:

    Turbo Kick round 18 is the single greatest piece of fitness choreography and music ever…ever! I took this class after having my first child (19 years ago) and it started me on a journey for the next 10 years…into my own fitness career. I have lost my way in the last several years and have been trying to find my way back. How I wish I could still find Turbo Kick classes. Thanks for everything you poured into this industry. You created a monster of a program and I would drive all over town looking for new classes!! Miss it so much. Love and respect to you Chalene.

  • Mireya briseno says:

    Chalene, you have been my inspiration since a young age. I got certified with Turbo Kick and Hip Hop Hustle at 18. Thank you for all the inspiration you sprinkle out into the universe

  • Natural Beauty says:

    Nooo wayyy I had no idea you felt that way. In the dvd you were my trainer, my friend, an inspiration and I have the deepest respect for what you created. I have turbofire btw and LOVE IT ❤️

  • Michelle D'Ambra Castiglia says:

    I was a Beachbody coach in my mid 40’s for about 5 years. Although I got really lean I didn’t realize all the working out was depleting my sex hormones. I ended up having a big adrenal crash going through menopause at 50. After menopause and still, in burnout, I’m not able to work out. Mostly because my work takes all my energy. I’m 54 now and even though I don’t look like I did doing Beachbody I’m much healthier mentally, emotionally, and in other physical ways like my digestion and sleep. Any ladies reading this the 5-10 years leading up to menopause your adrenals start to deplete and convert sex hormones to energy. It can feel like you are full of energy but it’s really a dysregulation happening as the body is transitioning to menopause. Walking, yoga and weight training are definitely better than cardio which will cause more adrenal problems. It’s hard to come back from extreme burnout! The fitness and weight loss industry is really unhealthy for women’s self-esteem.

    • Kay L says:

      I am in menopause at present and expertise was my life. Now I am all over the place. My body feels tired. I have a trapped nerve so can’t lift heavy. I love walking and starting to do Pilates but don’t enjoy weights as much. Maybe because I look at it as how much I need to lift. How can I do lighter weights to help,build muscle and strength and how much do I need to do,a week alongside the walking and Pilates. Thanks

    • Dessy says:

      👍🙏 yup, it’s easier to work out as many times as you want when you are younger .. After 40 – it’s a whole new game especially for women, .. I used to be able to work physically demanding job for 10 hours a day and workout for 1- 2 hours after that, 😂 now? No way, .. I need to modify my workout nowadays.

    • Jasmine Longshore says:

      If it helps, a book recommendation is “Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life” by Claudi Welch. I’m not quite American/a Western Woman, so I feel badly for American women of a certain age/generation who are not taught the beauty of graceful aging. The writer is a Western MD but also has specializations in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Perhaps her wisdom could benefit you. Best.

  • D L says:

    We looooved your workouts because of YOU! You made them so fun! We loved your engagement with the audience and the great music and how fun it was to move with you and your team! You got us through a lot of overly hot and cold days in the Midwest! I hate to think how the industry made you feel! I’m so glad you got out and are taking care of yourself now!

  • Jennifer Lewis says:

    My goodness this is insane. The fitness industry frustrates me because it tries to portray an image that doing this workout for 30 minutes a day will give a woman a “Barbie doll figure”, but that’s not true. That instructor starved, exercised excessively AND had cosmetic surgery to tweak that body. I’m glad that you smartened up and followed your own path. You actually look better NOW than when you did at your peak. You look healthier, fitter and younger.

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