A Hard Way To Make Easy Money

A lot of poker players use this line, "a hard way to make an easy living" and I think it also applies here. This is literally going to be very hard if you want to get started.

This isn't a program where you sit and click your way to make money. Having the best technical skills or being able to program the best interactive Web 2.0 website may help but it's meaningless unless you put in a lot of physical work. I mean a lot. This might be the hardest you've ever pushed yourself.

Not everyone can do it, but I think a lot of people should try, even if you don't plan on making money from it. The rewards can be great. The affiliate program pays out 25% which is very high, and there are 10's of thousands of new customers buying every week. The top tier affiliates average over $100,000 a year.

This is not a scam but I'm going to tell you up front this isn't going to be easy. It may turn out to be the best thing you've decided to do, even if you never make a dime. If you want to learn more, continue reading below.

What is the high commission affiliate program

I'm a bit embarrassed about this, because it's an infomercial product. Things I generally stay away from. Other than this program, I think the only other infomercial product I've bought and loved (before they had infomercials) was the Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System.

This one is even worse, it's one of those exercise programs. At least it's not some silly exercise gadget that promises more than it can deliver. Over the past year, I had seen the infomercials but I never gave them much thought. I haven't joined the affiliate program, and to be honest, I may never. That's not why I started using it, but I was surprised by how well the program paid and wanted to share it here.

Then recently, I decided get back into working out and was looking for an affordable set of adjustable dumbbells that I could keep under my desk. That's where I spend a lot of time each day and I wanted easy access to dumbbells to throw in something to do when I needed a quick break from programming. I got the Bayou Fitness adjustable dumbbells shown on the right. It's a pair of dumbbells that adjust from 5-25lbs in 5lb increments. They're well built and easy to use. One of the pair was a bit difficult to use. The bar wouldn't slide back into the set, but after moving some of the plates around and using it for a while, it's gotten much better.

I contacted Bayou Fitness before purchasing and they were very quick to answer my questions. It's a fairly light set, but it's been a long time since I've been doing arm exercises, so it should do me fine for a while. The biggest reason I chose this set was the price. Adjustable dumbells can go for twice this. They also have a 100lb set (2 50lb adjustable dumbbells), which are also affordable, but the drawback is it still only has 4 sets of plates, so the adjustments are increments of 10lbs. That may not be a big deal to some, but finer adjustments would be nice.

When I outgrow this set, I am looking into getting the Lifecore Corebell adjustable dumbbell set pictured to the left. It has more than double the weight but is adjustable in 5lb increments from 5-55lbs. From the looks of it, it's a similar design. It is more than double the cost, and I wasn't ready to commit that much money to it just yet.
OK, I'm dancing around the issue. This is supposed to be about making money, not picking dumbbells. I told you, promoting an infomercial product is a bit embarrassing. The reason I brought that up the adjustable dumbbells is that's how I ran across the program. I was searching around for dumbbell exercise routines to get me started when I ran across a lot, I mean A LOT of recommendations in blogs and videos for the P90X program. The more I learned, the more I was impressed.

If you want to make money with this system, you have to become the advertisement. You have to transform your body and help people do the same. You become a walking billboard. When your friends, family and coworkers see how much an improvement you made, you get to direct them to buy through you if you join the coach program.

The best part is, if you bring in a new customer, you get commissions for all their purchases as long as you're part of the program. The commissions are very high (25%) and there are plenty of opportunities for recurring sales of additional products and nutritional supplements. The drawback is you have to pay to be part of the program and you have to bust your ass using the program for 90 days to transform your body. You have the benefit that not everyone that starts the program will commit to it, so part of the competition gets trimmed there. Then you will need to show you can help others do the same. Be their coach. Like I said, this is hard, but the potential revenue is very high. At worst, you are in better shape than when you started, and hopefully continue to maintain a good fitness program.

This program seems to be intended for people that are already in somewhat good shape, but it will help them really push themselves to get even more ripped. From what I've seen, a lot of people started out in really bad shape, and made improvements. You may not be able to keep up with the people on the DVDs but keep trying and you will.

The program is affordable and you don't need a lot of equipment to get started. You can do it all in your home and you don't even need a lot of space. The videos are a bit cheesy. That's going to happen when you have someone talking for 13+ hours constantly trying to motivate you, but it's not as bad as other infomercials I've seen. The good part of all that talking is there are a lot of options. If you can't do an exercise well, Tony Horton (the instructor and developer of the program) will show you different ways of doing it that might be easier. This is important when you're just starting out. As the weeks go by, if you're really pushing yourself, you should find it easier to do the exercises, but then you'll just be pushing yourself harder. This is not easy.

If you can't do a push up, pull up or do an intense exercise program for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half every day. This is probably not where you want to start. The fitness guide that comes with the program has a fitness test with some minimum requirements. Basically, if you're a guy, you should be able to do 3 pull ups, 15 pushups, 10 curls with 20lbs, 25 sit-ups plus some other requirements. If you're a woman, 1 pull up, 3 push-ups, 10 curls with 8lb weights and 25 sit-ups. That's just my rough guide based on the fitness test.

You can download a PDF version of the P90X Fit Test before you get started and see how you do.

If you don't meet them, you can maybe take it easy and extend the first phase from 4 weeks to 6 weeks, and hope to catch up, or you might want to start with something less intense, like the Power 90 program, which is also from Tony Horton.

One of the reasons people stop an exercise program is because they get discouraged. Sometimes it's too hard, and if you can't do the exercises, it just makes you feel bad and can kill your motivation to keep going, then all you did is waste money and bum yourself out.

Maybe you're not ready for these programs at all, and that's OK. You can work up to it. You have to start somewhere.

Aren't infomercial products scams?

Eh... A lot of them are junk but not all I guess. This program is good and it seems to work. But, and there's usually a but, I did find reports that if you order through the 800 number, they push you to add more products and even automatically enroll you in different things that have recurring payments. Some people claim to do this and not tell you.

That seems to be par for the course with infomercials, so my advice, buy it from Amazon using the links I provided above. You don't have to worry about any of that.

What else do you need

You need some equipment, but it's not a lot and it's not very expensive. All you need is a set of dumbbells or resistance bands, a chin-up bar and an exercise mat.

Weights/Resistance Bands

You'll need a set of dumbbells or resistance bands. I mentioned a couple above. The adjustable dumbbells can be expensive but you can go with a set of plates and bars. Individual dumbbell sets would be much more expensive.

While $150 might seem a bit expensive for a set of dumbbells, it's not really. They are easily adjustable, so you can change weights quickly between exercises. The traditional way to do that would be to get a rack full of dumbbells (pictured left). That costs $290, plus almost $200 in shipping if you're ordering online. The Bayou dumbbells have free shipping.

Comparing the two, with the Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells, you get 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 lb dumbbell pairs for around $150 delivered. With the dumbbell rack, you get 9 pairs of dumbbells (3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, & 30 lb) for $500. With the adjustable dumbbells, you lose a little bit of intermediate weights and they only go up to 25lbs, but you save a lot of space and even more money.

If you want more weight, the Lifecore Corebells (pictured left) seem to be a good choice. The design is similar to the Bayou fitness adjustable dumbbells, but they go from 5-50lbs in 5lb increments. They're cheaper than other adjustable dumbbells and I like them better because they are smaller. The Bowflex dumbbells in particular are very wide.

A set of resistance bands is a lot cheaper, and great if you travel a lot. The videos always have someone demonstrating the exercises with the bands. I think when the bands first came out, they were seen more as something for women. In the P90X videos I've seen, it's always a guy that's using them, which I think was smart.

Chin up bar

These are pretty affordable. They mount in a doorway and they can be as simple as a straight bar, or little more advanced.

The one pictured to the right, is the closest I could find to the P90X Chin-Up Bar, but a bit cheaper.

If you want even cheaper, the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar doesn't have as many hold options, but can save you a couple more bucks.

If you need some help with the chin-up exercises, the DVDs demonstrate how to use a chair for assistance. I assume you have a chair you can use for that :)

Exercise Mat

OK, it's really a yoga mat, but you can call it an exercise mat if you want. One of the DVD's you'll be doing every week is Yoga and a mat will make things easier. For other exercises, especially the Ab Ripper X workout, a mat will help provide cushion to make the exercises more comfortable.

The mat pictured on the left I feel is the best mat you can get for a home gym. It's a little pricey, but it's currently on sale. I recommend you spend the little bit extra on it to help make your experience a little less brutal. It's one thing to feel the pain in your muscles as you work out, feeling pain in your knees or spine as your working out on a hard floor is just pointless pain.

If spending $80 on an exercise mat seems a bit too much, the one pictured on the right is only around $20 and about as close to the quality you'll get of the more expensive one in this price range.

Whichever mat you get, you'll want to thoroughly clean it when you first get it, and you may want to do that a few times until the smell wears out or the coating is fully removed to make it less slick.


You want some sort of analgesic creme, to help with muscle soreness. Since you'll be working out almost every day, you don't want anything to slow you down. This is very important, especially in the beginning. I've always used Sportscream or something else that's odor free. When you're finished with your exercises and rested, a warm shower followed by the analgesic creme will make waking up the next morning a little more pleasant.

Recovery Drink

The workouts are tough, it's nice to have something to help replenish you after a workout. You're going to be sweating a lot too. At the very least, make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Otherwise, you may wake up feeling hungover due to dehydration.

The producers of P90X have their own recovery drink, but there are others available that are less expensive recovery drinks. If you live near a GNC, they are a good local source.

Total Cost

Getting started is fairly affordable. The DVDs, exercise mat, chin up bar, and adjustable dumbbells come out to just under $300 ($200 if you go with bands instead of adjustable dumbbells). That's significantly less than a year's gym membership and even half the cost of the cheapest Bowflex home gym (Bowflex PR1000 Home Gym)

So how do you make money?

There are a couple of ways. The easiest is to do the program, submit your success story to the website and hope you win one of the prizes. There's a monthly $1,000 drawing and a $25,000 grand prize.

If you don't feel lucky, you pay a few bucks a month to join the affiliate program and become a coach. You'll make 25% commission as well as save 25% on anything you buy for yourself. The key to success here is to be able to communicate well, motivate others, help them when they need it and probably most importantly, prove that you know what you're talking about by doing a great job transforming your own body.

My Fitness History

I've never been in really great shape ever. I was never really into sports but I would exercise from time to time. After college, I started a stressful job and gained a bit of weight. I had an injury which required physical therapy. My doctor recommended a physical therapist center that was inside one of the best gyms in the area which I could use after my physical therapy sessions. I never used it. I felt out of place there. Everyone was in very good shape. But it did inspire me to do something.

I started biking to work as much as I could. Then I joined another gym that was a lot cheaper and I felt more comfortable working out there. If you have a local YMCA with a good gym, I recommend you look into it. The one I was using was great. It had a ton of cardio equipment as well as free weights and machines. A few times a week, I would hit an exercise bike, then do my program on the strength training machines. I didn't get ripped or huge but I saw a lot of improvement and lost a lot of weight.

Things started getting better, then I changed jobs and didn't have any time to work out. I had a new gym membership in my new location, but I hardly had the time or energy to go.

After that, life threw one of it's curveballs and I had a very rough couple of years. Most of my meals were from drive-thrus and grease trucks. When it was all over, I was in the worst physical and emotional state of my life. At 6' tall, I weighed 220lbs. What's worse, my blood pressure and cholesterol were very high. My BP was over 150/95 and my at rest heart rate was almost 100bpm. I just witnessed first hand what those risk factors can result in, and I had to do something about it.

I didn't have a lot of money. Hell, I hardly had any money. Joining a gym was out of the question, so I decided to start jogging. That didn't work out too well. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, so I started out one day after it got dark. After 1 block, I was beat. I thought I was going to pass out. It wasn't that my legs were tired. My heart was racing and I couldn't breath. The back of my throat was burning.

I kept at it a while and did a little better, but I never liked running. Instead I started walking. I felt it was better to do something less intense, for a longer period of time. So I started walking every day for at least 30 minutes, eventually an hour.

After I started feeling a little better, and the weather improved, I got my bike out of storage and added a couple of days of riding each week. It started with only 3-4 miles and then I would do 7-8.

I needed something I could use when the weather wasn't great. For that I turned to craigslist. Exercise equipment is something that's easy to get cheap used. So many people buy stuff, never use it, and eventually want to get rid of it. Check the free sections too. That's where I got mine.

After about 4 months, my blood pressure and heart rate were normal and I had lost 40 lbs. I now weighed what I did back in high school. No six pack abs, no buldging muscles, but I felt great and it really helped me get passed what I had been through.

Recently, I was busy with some things, and I slipped a little. I gained back about half the weight but my heart rate and BP were fine. For the past few weeks, I started my cardio up again and added some weight training. I didn't want to jump right into the P90X program without warming up my heart and lungs.

Yesterday, I did my first P90X workout. Chest and back, then an ab workout. It really kicked my ass. It was the hardest workout I think I ever had. The DVD has a good flow. It includes the warm-up and stretching, as well as the cool down but man is that part in between tough! The ab workout? I don't even want to think about it. The adjustable workouts were great. Easy to move between weights and they don't take up a lot of space.

If the affiliate program is so great, why aren't I doing it?

Right now, I only care about doing the program myself. I'm not sure how hard I plan on pushing myself. I started out looking for some dumbbell exercises and got this whole program instead.

There's also a nutritional aspect to the program. If I was after optimal results to show how great the program is, I'd probably want to change my diet a little bit. Right now my diet is far from horrible, but that's just not something I want to worry about at this point.

Maybe in 3 months I'll have a different opinion, but for now, I'm just doing this for myself.
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