I know most of y’all have heard me talk about why I love PiYo. I mean, let’s face it: I’m not shy about telling people why I love something. Now, it’s not surprising that once most people try Beachbody, they’re usually hooked on it. As such, it’s kind of hard to get an impartial review, particularly when talking to any of my Beachbody friends and coaches, who are flat out enthusiasts. However, I got creative, and I’m happy to report that one of my girlfriends — who has never tried a Beachbody workout program before — just recently bought PiYo, and when I asked her if she’d write a review so I could share it with y’all, she said yes! (I also asked her to send me a pic to include with the post, and she didn’t disappoint with her post-workout pose. Haha!) So, without further ado, here’s Faith’s review of PiYo:
Hey Michelle! As you know (and for your lovely readers’ reference) I’m a huge Jillian Michaels fan and I love all things circuit-training related. I work out at home (gym prices are RIDICULOUS here in NYC!) and like to think I’m pretty darn good shape, but being the perfectionist that I am, I know I’m capable of being in even better shape, and you totally piqued my interest when you first mentioned PiYo.
A bunch of my friends are P90X junkies, but I had never tried it because 1) I was happy with Jillian (What can I say? I’m loyal!) and 2) I didn’t think my poor knees were up to the high-impact nature of that particular workout regimen. And while I’ve been looking for a low-impact workout that still packs a cardio and strength punch, I honestly haven’t really found anything that really clicked for me.
As such, I thought I’d finally give this whole Beachbody thing a whirl by trying PiYo because my knees are getting more and more crackly over time due to a few old sports injuries, and I just can’t handle all the high-impact plyo-based routines anymore without gimping around for a few days afterward.
I’m roughly three weeks into PiYo now, and I can vouch that it’s definitely a comprehensive, full-body workout. Since I’m a Pilates vet and have done a good amount of yoga, I was tempted to skip the initial intro lesson that’s designed to help you master some of the PiYo-specific moves (like the PiYo pike, the the kick-sit move which feels like Capoeira, and a few other ones that are slight variations on classic Pilates and yoga moves). However, I’m glad I didn’t because Chalene does indeed mix it up a bit, and it’s all about form, particularly when it comes to Pilates.
Overall, the things I like the most about PiYo are the lengths of the workouts (25-40 min.), the fact that they’re extremely low-impact, and the fact that Chalene does a great job of showing easy, medium and hard versions of pretty much every move.
Basically, if you can modify it, she’ll show you how, which is great if you have any sort of injuries. She also does a good job of keeping things moving so you don’t check out or get bored, and like some of my favorite instructors, she’s a Chatty Kathy, which also helps distract you when you’re pushing through some of the more intense moves.
I also like the countdown clock in the lower left-hand side of the screen. I usually can dig deep and self-motivate to get through a challenging workout even when my energy’s flagging, but being able to see the length of each set and the remaining time is terrific, particularly on the days when I’m zonked. I find myself constantly thinking, “Ugh. I’m SO tired…” But then I look at the countdown clock, and I go, “Really, Faith? There’s only a minute thirty left! Suck it up!!” and so I do.
Also, I really like that I can feel the difference in my posture. Chalene consistently drives the point home that alignment and proper form are key (hello, Pilates!), and it truly pays off even if it feels a little awkward at first. All the lengthening of one’s spine, strengthening of one’s core and arms and legs makes your body feel like a strong, limber and well-oiled machine. Love it!
My only complaint (if you can call it that) is the somewhat lacking approach to a cool down. I usually take about 3-5 extra minutes at the end of the workouts (particularly the ones that are more strength-training-heavy) to really stretch things out. Again, this doesn’t feel like it can be counted as a truly negative thing because any self-respecting fitness junkie knows they need to stretch after a workout — whether they’re talked through a cool down or not.
At this point, I’m just working out with PiYo 6 days a week and (in the interest of full disclosure) I’ve kept my weekly spinning class so I can keep an intense cardio workout in the mix. I haven’t upgraded to the Strength Deluxe version of PiYo, but I think I likely will once I complete the first two months of PiYo. I’ve had great experiences with workout slides before and have always been a fan of the fluidity they provide to a workout, so I can’t wait to see what they can bring to PiYo as well!
I know this has gotten a bit long, but if I were to sum it up for anyone who’s new to Beachbody and/or who’s considering trying PiYo, whether you’re a workout buff or someone who wants to try working out at home for the first time, PiYo’s a great way to go. If you’re eating right and sticking to the workout plan, you <i>will</i> get those beautifully chiseled yoga arms in no time, and I’m pretty sure you’ll see some other things get chiseled along the way too! Thanks again for the great recommendation! (My knees say “THANK YOU!” too!)