I’m a huge bodyweight and yoga fan – that’s why I’m excited to provide you with my own Beachbody PiYo review!
I’m NOT a Beachbody coach – but I do admit I love their programs. So when my wife told me about Chalene Johnson’s newest offering, PiYo, I was all over it like Oprah on chocolate cake.
The program is billed as a combination of yoga and Pilates, although I find that it shares a lot of common ground with bodyweight workouts. I’ve been practising yoga for about 20 years now, so many of the moves are quite familiar and comfortable to me.
Day 1 of Week 1 starts off with a low-impact introduction to the program. Chalene uses the first day to get you familiar with the alignment and motion of your body, which is incredibly helpful for people who aren’t as familiar with yoga and the balance that it requires. Like all good programs, Chalene shows you how to modify all of the poses and movements in the workout for those of us (ahem) who aren’t quite as flexible as they were 20 years ago.
Ha! I tricked you there. There’s not a lot of equipment required here:
- a yoga mat – if you don’t have one, check out the selections here.
- a yoga block – Although they don’t list this in the PiYo guides, if you lack flexibility (like me) this little tool will let you hold your PiYo positions even if you can’t quite touch the floor. I didn’t have one so I invested in one myself – here’s a few yoga blocks for your perusal.
- a chair – I have a small wooden kiddie chair that is just the right height. I sometimes rest my fingertips on it to maintain my balance.
- water – no joke. You’ll sweat like a pig.
Here’s a quick rundown of the workouts contained in the set:
- Align: The Fundamentals – a primer on the basic PiYo positions and terminology.
- Define: Lower Body – works your legs and glutes.
- Define: Upper Body – works your chest, tris, and shoulders.
- Sweat – picks up the pace and melds cardio with classic PiYo moves.
- Core – killer 30 minutes of core and abs. You’re going to hurt.
- Buns – Chalene is all about the booty.
- Strength Intervals – lots of bodyweight here to build overall body strength.
I won’t repeat the entire schedule here, but Chalene follows the same type of schedule I recommend: six days a week with only one rest day that doesn’t include the weekend. That’s significant, because it’s so easy to let the “weekend psychology” take over and make it twice as hard to start again on Monday.
As well, Chalene uses another important technique to stay engaged: mixing up the workouts over multiple days. I really hate any workout that demands that Wednesday be “leg day” or other nonsense like that. Having a mix of workouts on different days keeps everything feeling fresh – and it keeps you from burning out.
The PiYo nutrition guide is pretty straightforward BeachBody stuff. I’ve already covered it my 21-Day Fix Review - head there if you’re looking for the details of the nutrition plan and the few concerns I have with it.
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The Bottom Line on PiYo
The bottom line? I love PiYo. But there’s a few caveats I have to tell you about (or I wouldn’t be doing my job as a Wellness Rebel):
- You’re not going to lose a ton of weight on this program alone. I’ll be honest, the workouts are ass-kicking. But you’re not going to regularly get your heart rate up to that 80% max level that you need to be in the fat burning zone. It will tone your entire body, it does increase flexibility, and damn, does it feel good at seven in the morning!
- You don’t need the Shakeology to go with this program. From what I understand, a bag of Shakeology is included with your initial purchase, and Beachbody will auto-renew your Shakeology subscription without warning on your credit card. Sell the Shakeology back to your Beachbody Coach, or sell it to your friends, but honestly, you don’t need it. If you really want to use some form of flavoured instantinized protein powder as a meal replacement and source of cheap protein, check out what I use as a Shakeology alternative, or take a look at the whey protein and casein protein powders that I use every day and recommend without any hesitation. I’ve also written up a review on my favorite whey protein powder if you wanted to read about it more detail.
- If you’re keen on purchasing the program but don’t want to go through a Beachbody coach – surprise! – you can get the PiYo Base Pack on Amazon right here.
Are you thinking of starting PiYo? Do you have any questions for a guy who drags his ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to do this program? Leave a comment below – or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear from you guys!