Body Moment

Fitness reviews and resources. Get the facts, not the hype.

Beachbody PiYo Review

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.

Here it is! My PiYo review

Here it is! My PiYo review

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.

PiYo Equipment

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.

PiYo Workouts

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.

PiYo Schedule

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.

PiYo Nutrition

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.
  • 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 chris@bodymoment.org. I love to hear from you guys!

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97 Comments

  1. Thank you! I was looking for a review that was NOT from a Beachbody coach and did NOT include a link to buy PiYo. Your answer to the weight loss question was great. I would expect to lose some but not a lot as the other “reviews” say. I have T25, Insanity and RushFit which I’ll put together with PiYo.

    Thanks.

    • Chris

      2014-07-17 at 4:40 pm

      Hey Tricia – thanks for stopping by!
      I saw one video where someone lost 22 pounds on PiYo and I was like “What the hell? How??”
      However, the secret to weightloss with low-intensity Beachbody programs is to follow the calorie-reduction diet to a “T”.
      I’m pairing up PiYo in the morning with Body Beast in the evening for now – when I have more time in my schedule I’l hit the treadmill in the afternoons just to get a good 80%HR calorie burn going on.
      PiYo really fills a gap in promoting flexibility and balance which you don’t get with the pounding workouts of T25 or Insanity.
      Thanks!

      • I have MS and was paralyzed 18 years ago. I am obese, so I need to lose weight, but maintaining muscle strength tone and flexibility are key to me. I used to do Taebo in the mornings and switch up workouts at night between Tony Little and Denise Austin’s Pilates/Yoga DVD.
        Long story short (too late), what do you think about T25 for me as far as a weight loss tool?

  2. Thank you thank you! I have looked forever to find a non-beach body review of PiYo! I take barre classes which I adore but they are getting pretty expensive so I saw this and thought it might be similar. Do you think if you added walking (on off days or in the evenings for example) into this that you would lose weight that way? Really want to tone up, but also lose about 20 pounds. I have T-25 but it didn’t hold my interest.

    • Chris

      2014-07-22 at 2:49 pm

      Hey Lyndsay – thanks for stopping by!
      There are definitely similarities between barre and PiYo. Chalene will stretch your body to the limit with some of the positions in PiYo, so if you’re into barre to gain flexibility and balance I’d recommend it.
      As to the weight loss – there’s only one off day in this program so walking on that day alone isn’t going to cut it LOL! :)
      What I would suggest is adding 20 minutes of hard cardio per day that gets your heart rate up, and a clean diet that promotes weight loss. The nutrition plan in PiYo is a good start – although feel free to eat as many veggies as you want, regardless of what the plan says. If you’re looking for a Beachbody program that’s entertaining and a great workout, check out Chalean Extreme, also hosted by Chalene Johnson. But if you’d rather spend your time speedwalking, running, or even swimming, then add in 20 minutes of that a day as a good start to your weight-loss journey.
      Thanks!

  3. I looking at this going back and forth about purchasing- so here is my questions- what else is similar? Just straight forward Pilates or Yoga? Or one of those fat blasting yoga classes. I am so close to purchasing but don’t want to jump without testing the water a little first! :)

    • Chris

      2014-07-27 at 10:07 am

      Hey Hannah – thanks for stopping by!

      PiYo is a pretty straight-up mix of Pilates and Yoga. I’d say it’s very similar to the high-intensity power yoga / fat-burning yoga classes you see offered. I really enjoy the length of the PiYo workouts and the fact that I can do them whenever I like – like just after getting up in the morning! I’d be interested to see what you choose!

      • I disagree; I don’t think PiYo is a combo of PIlates and yoga. Chalene does include “chair pose” and does some Pilates rolls ups. I think the bulk of this program is bodyweight exercises. That said, it is a great workout and definitely worth giving a try. I love the fact that most of the workouts are low impact, and there is always a modifier showing variations on the moves. Hard Core on the Floor is the most difficult floor workout I’ve ever done. It will kick your butt!

        • Chris

          2014-08-05 at 5:57 am

          Hey Jackie – thanks for stopping by!

          That’s my favorite aspect of this program, too; the workouts are definitely low-impact and there are days that even I appreciate the modifiers!

  4. I will echo the other comments…THANK YOU for being a reviewer that is NOT a Beachbody coach! It’s so hard to find honest reviews. I’m looking for something to add to HIIT running 2 days a week and a 3 mile run on Saturday. I’ve done two rounds of Insanity. (Tried T25 but couldn’t get that interested in it.) I need to lose about 10-20 pounds. Do you have any articles on your blog to give me some tips? (Getting ready to review your 21-Day fix post.)

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 6:02 am

      Hey Michelle – thanks for stopping by!

      If you’re already running hard 3 days a week, I think PiYo would be a good choice on your “off” days to maintain joint flexibility, especially in the hips and knees which take a pounding when running. As to your weightloss question, keeping a clean calorie-controlled diet along with your regular workouts would be enough to take the weight off slowly, which is what I always recommend.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I just want your opinion. I’m 50 yrs old and don’t really have weight to lose but definitely could get in firmer shape and need more strength and flexibility. I have some lower back pain off and on and I’m thinking something like Piyo might be good for me because of the low impact and hopefully the increased flexibility will help my back.
    Thanks!!
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 6:08 am

      Hi Kim – thanks for stopping by!

      Both my wife and I have lower back issues as well – and we both love PiYo. If your doctor okays a Yoga/Pilates/bodyweight type workout, then I think it’s a great choice. Don’t be afraid to do the modified positions – even I use them on those days when my toes seem further away than I remember! :)

  6. Finally, a real review! THANK YOU!

  7. Thank You!! I too have been looking for a non-beachbody coach review! They say this program is low impact; I had ACL reconstruction in march and have been released to exercise but not ‘hard core’ exercise. Do you think the program is easy on the knees?

    • There is a modifier in every workout. There are higher impact moves but alternatives are always shown.

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 6:11 am

      Hi Colbie!

      The program can be easy on the knees, especially if you use the modified moves. I have cranky knees and I find using a chair for balance and being cautious about the depth of my knee bends really helps me out. Good luck!

  8. Very interested. Looking to lose 10 to15 pounds. I have a bad back. I practice yoga 4 days a week but realized I’m only burning 200 calories in a 75 minute vinyasa class.
    How long are her videos and how many calories can I expect to burn?

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 6:17 am

      Hey Lisa!

      The length of the videos varies – I’m going from memory but I don’t think any of them are longer than 45 minutes. The calories you’ll burn really depend on how intense you make the workout. I find it tough to get my heart rate up in the 80% max range for effective fat metabolism with PiYo but I do think this workout is about twice as intense as a “regular” yoga class. Take care of that back! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thank you for the honest review! I’ve been wanting to get PiYo as a supplement to my running. I’m deliberating being able to follow it closely while doing half marathon training, though. Only because as a working mom of two toddlers, even working out once a day is a miracle, so I can’t imagine fitting in 2 a day!

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 7:02 am

      Hey Amy!

      I love running as well. But don’t worry – if you don’t follow PiYo to the letter you’ll still reap the benefits of increased flexibility for the back, hips and legs which take a pounding – especially in a half marathon! Good luck with your training!

  10. Quick question for you; what are your thoughts on the Strength upgrade with the sliders, http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/abs_core/piyo-deluxe.do?code=SOCIAL_PIYO_TW

    • Chris

      2014-08-05 at 1:29 pm

      If you have the extra $60 to shell out, go for it. But here’s my thought on sliders – the human body does not move this way naturally and I think there’s some increased risk of overextending yourself to the point of injury due to the momentum gained by using the sliders. If you’re willing to chance it, I think you’ll find that using sliders works your core really, really well!

  11. Thanks for the brief but honest review. I have wrist issues (carpal tunnel & tenosynovitis) and a lot of the movements I’ve noticed on PiYo put a lot of stress on the wrist joints. I do Pilates on the reformer once to twice a week but I use a wrist support glove so as not to aggravate my wrist. Approximately how many percent of the workout require bearing weight on your wrists?

    • Chris

      2014-08-12 at 11:06 am

      Hi Yen!

      There is a fair bit of weight placed on the wrists during PiYo. There are many plank-style positions so if you have wrist issues you’ll want to be careful with the workouts. Years ago I injured my left wrist while working out. The only way that I could resume working out without aggravating my wrist was to do my planks and push-ups with my hand in a fist position with my wrist straight – i.e “knuckle pushups”, as they call them. What type of wrist support glove do you use? I’d be interested to know.

  12. I got the DVDs and have done 3 and have to say, they are a but boring. Is it just me?

    • Chris

      2014-08-15 at 11:07 pm

      Lyndsay: which three workouts have you done so far?

      • Align, define upper and define lower.

        • I have also done Sweat, and sweat you do! I viewed Hard Core on the Floor and that looks like a very difficult, intense workout.

        • Chris

          2014-08-16 at 3:09 pm

          Lyndsay, KEEP GOING. It gets tougher! These three are a walk in the park.

          • Ok good to know. I’m still going to barre class and do these on my off days. I’ll start this full force next week. Thanks :) Hoping for some noticable arm toning

  13. Love your honest review. My main concern when I bought this was: will I lose weight? I didn’t think I would lose a ton, but bought it anyway for toning. I am also running 3 miles 3 days a week and doing 2 days of T25. I am following PiYo’s meal plan/calorie recommendation. Do you think this sounds okay or am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks!

    • Chris

      2014-08-23 at 10:46 am

      Hey Ashley! I think you’re on the right track. What sort of weight loss results are you seeing – or not seeing, as the case may be?

  14. Again repeating all the sentiments here – but THANKS for the honest review and insight. It is so hard to find these days! I am 51, still have a considerable amount of weight to lose and have done Chalene Extreme, Jillian Michaels Body Revolution (love it) and other strength based workouts. I’m thinking about incorporating (not replacing) my current 3/days per week strength training with this workout. Based on your review, it seems you do this workout in the mornings which might work well for me since I do my ST in the evening after work. Any recommendations? Should I follow the PiYo program and do it everyday in the mornings for flexibility/balance (which definitely needs a lot of work) and then do my ST 3/days and my HIIT 2/days? Thanks again!

    • Chris

      2014-08-19 at 8:37 pm

      Hey Laura!

      I think that would be a solid approach; when I work out with weights in the evening and sleep all night I REALLY benefit from PiYo in the mornings; it shakes the soreness from my muscles and I feel much better all day. Feel free to do it whenever you like; mornings are my favorite time but it would be a great workout any time of the day!

      • Thank you!!!

        • Hey Chris:
          Finally received my PiYo, did the preview and am looking into maybe doing a hybrid with Chalene Extreme. I loved that program when I purchased it a couple years ago. Do you think this would be a balanced program? Based on your recommendation above, I’m still thinking I would like to do the PiYo in the morning for a good stretch and mild workout and do my CLX in the evenings after work when I’m more ready to get after it harder. I read in one of your other responses that this is how you do your workouts and your reasons made so much sense to me. If I do PiYo in the mornings though everyday as the program recommends w/one rest day, would that provide my muscles enough time to recover (so evening say Push II, then morning Lower Body …..)? I saw a hybrid online but the person had made them more back to back (evening Push II with a PiYo workout immediately after). I don’t have that kind of time in one chunk. Any further recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks again!!
          Laura

          • Your insights are appreciated!

          • Chris

            2014-09-24 at 11:17 am

            Hey Laura! I think that sounds like a great hybrid.
            Listen to your body; it will tell you if it’s enough time for your muscles to recover. (My scientific answer is YES, a full 8-10 hours overnight is definitely enough for your muscles to recover, but listen to what your muscles and joints are telling you.) The tricky thing is that the PiYo schedule rotates so it will never line up properly with the CLX workout; you may have to “look ahead” and move some days around if you find you have a hard CLX workout the night before a hard PiYo Workout.

            As to the Hybrid back-to-back workouts that you see all over the place; I think they’re a bad idea. Why? The longer you work out, the more prone you are to joint and muscle injury. In the case of the CLX+PiYo back-to-back hybrid, PiYo requires a lot of core strength and balance. If you can’t put 110% into the PiYo workout because you’re exhausted from the CLX, then what’s the point? And if you CAN complete both workouts back-to-back then either you’re not challenging yourself enough or you’re a fitness goddess and you don’t need CLX. :)

            Hope those insights help! Let me know how you make out!

          • I totally agree with the recent popularity in doing “hybrid” workouts. I think one program is enough to focus on. Any more and you are putting yourself at risk of injury.

            I read Oxygen magazine and am amazed at how little time body builders spend in the gym. The real workout is the kitchen….results is all about what you do and don’t put in your mouth.

          • Chris

            2014-09-24 at 1:12 pm

            Jackie – how true! I do a condensed Body Beast workout that cuts out the all meandering around my weight bench and I decreased my workout time to about 25-30 minutes on average. You don’t need to workout long – you need to workout STRONG.

  15. I am possibly interested in piyo because I am 45, female, 250 lbs, and very out-of-shape. I have no specific health issues, but my knees hurt a lot if I kneel on them, and I need a low-impact workout. I walk and I ride a stationary bike, but haven’t done any video workouts since the 1990’s. I went to a yoga class once, but it was embarrassing — I couldn’t hold my body up in downward-facing dog — my arms wouldn’t support me. Even when I was much thinner, I couldn’t do push-ups or pull ups. I’ve never been very flexible, either. When they say there are modifications, what does that mean? Do you think piyo will be too difficult for me? Thx.

    • Chris

      2014-08-19 at 8:47 pm

      Hey J!

      The PiYo modifications are a lower-impact version of the exercise. Even though I’ve been doing yoga for years I still fall back on the modifications when I need to due to my knees. Usually the modification involves not extending your limbs as far, using a chair for balance, not bending deeply in the knees, or similar movements that don’t stress your joints as much.

      I think PiYo would be a nice way to re-introduce yourself to exercise. If you need a break during the workout, take a break; I use the mantra “some is better than none” to remind myself and others that everyone is different, and there’s no point in hurting yourself by trying to keep up with the instructor.

      A few tips for you: get a good yoga block to support you in some of the floor moves; it reduces the need to extend your body as far. Roll up your yoga mat to provide a cushion under your knees; I still do this to avoid having my knees on a hard surface. And most importantly, don’t stress yourself out with either the eating plan or the workouts; do your best, it’s progress, not perfection, that counts.

      Good luck!

  16. Hi Chris. I recently lost 68 lbs over the last year doing cardio and changing my eating habits. I now do 30 minutes of cardio with some basic strength exercises (crunches & wall push ups) and stretching. I tried to incorporate running in my daily exercise routine but every time I’ve tried to start I’ve had to stop due to something flaring up. I did have my knee scoped to clean up some scar tissue around a partially torn ACL and IT band worked on just over 5 years ago (when I was overweight). Now I’m dealing with having to keep that IT band stretched out, combating Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, Morton’s Neuroma, mild scoliosis with a short left leg & uneven hips, and what could be plantar facitis (yes I’m all jacked up). Fortunately I’m still able to do workouts on the elliptical and spin bike but my doc says no running. Do you think the PiYo would help alleviate some of these issues I’m having ? Maybe help get me to where I might be able to try running again?

    • Chris

      2014-08-22 at 2:26 pm

      Gracie – what an inspiration you are!

      As to whether the PiYo would alleviate any of these issues, I’d leave that decision up to your doctor. However, I will say that the modified PiYo workouts would probably be beneficial in keeping your frame flexible. PiYo won’t jolt you like running will. If you can tackle the elliptical and the spin bike (and I find the spin bike puts a lot of pressure on my hips and spine!) then I’d suggest that PiYo could be excellent program to discuss with your doctor. As a case in point, my wife had to quit PiYo due to suspected arthritis in her hips and she found it irritated her lower back (which has two previous slipped discs), but I’ve had limited issues with my knees and my back feels better than ever. PiYo can be as low-impact or as high impact as you want. Good luck!

  17. Is this workout more for flexibility or do you gain strength as well? I have a 12 year old daughter who is a competitive swimmer and wants to begin strength training. I will not allow her to do anything with weights while she is still growing for fear of injury. I need something that is a strength builder (especially core) forher to use. It does not necessarily need to be cardio as she gets enough of that in the pool. Do you think PiYo would be good for her or do you have any other recommendations? Thanks for your hones review as well!

    • Chris

      2014-08-25 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Holly!

      PiYo is an excellent low-impact core workout. You’ll get the added benefit of cardio, for sure, but there are a lot of positions derived from basic bodyweight positions that work the core; plank, side planks and squats among them. You’ll find that the upper body, especially the chest and tris, get a good workout, as do the glutes and quads. Let me know if she tries PiYo and what she thinks of the program!

  18. I noticed there was more than one option when buying Piyo. Did you get the base pkg or the one with more DVDs (I think there were 7 more in the upgraded pkg? I can’t remember off the top of my head). Thanks for your review! My birthday is next month and I plan on asking for this-just not sure which one to get. Thanks!

  19. Hi Chris!
    My wife and I are looking into Piyo and appreciate your review and tips! My story is, I’m a bit overweight and was considering doing P90X. I still would like to tackle that at some point, but my question to you is, would you consider the Piyo program to be a good springboard toward getting my body ready for P90X? I’m a bit intimidated by the intensity of the P90X program and I think the Piyo training might get me to a point where I might be more successful if I tried P90X later? Thanks for any advice and I’m glad we found this site!

    • Chris

      2014-08-27 at 8:50 am

      Hi Phil!
      The P90X series are pretty intense – so I wouldn’t choose PiYo as a springboard program to P90X. A lot of guys I know just jumped right in to P90X and although they struggled the first few weeks, they saw some great progress once they were able to keep up with the pace. If you can get your hands on the original P90 program you might want to start there; it’s a little less intense but still a good workout. I’d also suggest that Chalean Extreme is a good starting point if you’ve not worked out for a while – it’s a good calorie burner. Good luck!

  20. Thanks for your review! I do want to make a comment – 80% max is higher than your fat burning range. It’s actually usually around 45-60% of your max heart rate – the lower intensity is the fat burning zone. Above 60% is where you start to build your cardio fitness. You do burn a lot of calories when you’re at 80%, and fewer at 60%, but more of them come from your fat stores when your heart rate is lower.

  21. Hi Chris!
    You mentioned your wife having slipped discs in her lower back so she couldn’t do Piyo. I, too, have a herniated disc in my lower back and I’m desperate for a low impact workout regimen because I need to lose about 40-50lbs. I can’t run or do any kind of jumping or jolting of my back. I also have to be careful of bending the wrong way. I was hoping Piyo would be the answer, but maybe not? Any suggestions?

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:10 am

      Hi Santana!
      PiYo is a much lower impact exercise than most, but it still involves flexion of the back. Not extreme flexion, but if you have back issues then it’s still wise to be careful. If you are still able to move around all day without much pain I’d suggest that you might want to give PiYo a try – ask your doctor!

  22. I was recently diagnosed with AC arthritis, a small labral tear and impingement in my right shoulder. No surgery needed. Is this workout something that will possibly aggravate the situation?

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:10 am

      Hi Virginia!
      It depends how recent the injury was. Is it a recent thing, or have you had time to heal?

  23. Quick question – i’m following the workout schedule everyday and i would like to know what should i expect my results to be (i’m almost finished week 3). i’m within my bmi range and i would prob like to lose 5-10 pounds max. My goal is more to become more firm and tone. Should i incorporate other exercises after my piyo workouts? or is this workout enough?

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:12 am

      Hi Kris!
      Generally if you’re getting into the 60%-80% max heart rate, AND following the Beachbody diet provided with the program, you should see a loss of about 5 lbs in 6 weeks, possibly a little less if you’re already close to your target weight. On days with the lower-impact workouts (like upper and lower) you can add an extra cardio session to boost your weight loss efforts. Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Thank you for the review. I am looking to purchase this to go along with Body Beast. I did a round of insanity and T25, but it took me twice as long as the program suggest due to knee pain from all the jumping. I started strength training because I could see progress as I increased the weights. I do treadmill walks 3 days a week but it’s very boring. I was hoping that piyo would stretch out the muscles from Body Beast. I see that you do Piyo in the am and Body Beast in the pm, I was planning to do the opposite because I thought it would be best to stretch the muscles before bed. Why are you splitting them your way? Btw, I am an overweight female with bad knees even before becoming overweight. Thanks

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:16 am

      Hi Carlise!
      I’m splitting the workouts due to time constraints, to be honest. I find Body Beast too intense in the early morning; my body just isn’t ready for heavy lifting that early and I also haven’t had a chance to fuel my body by that point. You’re also more likely to injure yourself in the morning due to the fact you haven’t been moving all night. That’s why I find PiYo is a good start to the day, then I beast up either in the afternoon or early after supper. It took me 70 days to get through Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred so you’re not alone!

  25. Leslie Creutzinger

    2014-08-29 at 1:00 am

    Thanks so much for an honest review! So, I’ve done all 15 weeks of T25 and have gone back and redone the last ten again. I’m looking for something new. I’m a mom looking to tone her belly and shed some “muffin top.” Would this program be a good fit perhaps?

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:18 am

      Hi Leslie!
      You’ll definitely develop core strength which should lead to some muscle definition in the abdominal area with PiYo. If you’re struggling with those last ten pounds, then stick with PiYo, stick to the eating plan, and add in more free cardio (running, swimming, the odd T25 workout) just to help with those weight loss goals. Good luck!

  26. Hi Chris,

    I am debating ordering the piyo workout. I try to exercise a few times a week but am not consistent. I am not over weight or wanting to loose weight I just have no definition and would like to tone up. I don’t want a six pack or big muscles just want to have some shape and feel better for myself. I have never done yoga but have done a Pilates workout from time to time. Is this a good program for toning? Or should I look into something else? Thanks!

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:20 am

      Hi Cassandra!
      I think it’s a good program to build core strength and muscle definition. I’ve always struggled with the term “toning” – toning is really just increasing muscle definition and shedding subcutaneous fat so that the muscle definition is more evident. So will this fit the bill? I’d suggest it’s a great starting point. If you find that you’re not getting the efforts you want then you might want to up your game a little with programs like Chalean Extreme or similar. Good luck!

  27. I have scoliosis and arthritis. I walked 3 miles 6 days a week then I stretch. I still have back pain and lots of tension in my shoulders and neck. Would u recommend Piyo for me? I need to lose about 40 pounds.

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:23 am

      Hi Christie!
      Check with your doctor – there is quite a bit of flexion in PiYo. Given your current conditions you might want to present this option to your doctor (it’s a combination of Pilates and Yoga with bodyweight moves, for the most part) and see what he or she thinks. If your condition is well-managed, and you can do the three miles a day without too much issue, then I’d give it a shot. It’s a great workout to maintain flexibility. Good luck!

    • Chris

      2014-09-02 at 10:25 am

      Hi Christie!
      I’d suggest that you bring the basics of the PiYo plan to your doctor and see what he or she thinks. PiYo is great to maintain and extend flexibility, so if you can manage the 3 miles a day without too much issue then PiYo would probably be a great starting point! Thanks and good luck!

  28. Hi Chris – I’m currently recovering from a back injury so high impact work outs like T25 (which I love!) are out of the question for the next few months. Reading your review has convinced me to give Pi-Yo a try so I can work on my strength and flexibility.

    Great review!

    • Chris

      2014-09-09 at 11:37 am

      Karen – thanks for visiting!

      PiYo is definitely lower-impact than most other Beachbody programs. Give it a try, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Never be ashamed to use the modified version of a particular exercise – even I do from time to time!

  29. Hi Chris

    I’m well within a healthy weight range, but I’ve gained about 10 lbs in the past couple years. I think the weight gain is mostly from being less active. I’ll do workouts videos like t25 from time to time, but it’s very hard on my knees so I can’t seem to stay consistent.

    I know you said that piyo isn’t great for weight loss but do you think the program could help me lose 5-10 lbs?

    I’m 5’8 and a half and about 140 lbs. I know that’s a healthy weight but I’m just accustomed to being slimmer and I prefer it.

    I eat a pretty clean vegan diet. No processed foods, but I have a sweet tooth. :)

    Thanks!

    • Chris

      2014-09-10 at 10:07 am

      Hi Sue!
      As it’s been said, most of the battle of weight loss is fought in the kitchen. Although I’ve said that people won’t lose a ton of weight on PiYo, you seem to be in that “last 10 pounds” zone which works in your favour. If you’re been active throughout your life and you’re eating cleanly, then you probably have a good foundation on which to shed that last five or ten. I would give PiYo a try – and follow the eating plan religiously based on your vegan choices. It might take a few months, but you’ll get there – and the core/arms/shoulder workouts will make your figure pop once those pounds do come off. Good luck!

  30. I have been doing PIYO for about a month now and really like it. I’ve been doing various Turbo workouts for years now, but got into a rut of running only, because I can burn the amount of calories in 30 minutes running that it takes almost an hour of cardio video to burn. So PIYO appealed to me because I could tone the rest of my body along with my cardio from running. Flexibility and balance have never been an issue for me, spent many years in dance and gymnastics. The PIYO workout, while intense, does not hurt while I am doing it. The problem? My neck and lower back are getting increasingly worse since I started! I expected this at first, I could feel myself looking up from stretches to the TV to see how she was doing things, but now I’m working really hard to keep my neck in the alignment she is asking for. Have you heard of anyone else having back and neck issues from these workouts? I really like them and the way I feel after a workout, but this pain is getting progressively worse.

    • Chris

      2014-09-11 at 8:56 am

      Hi Crystal!

      My wife, who has back issues, had to quit PiYo due to the stress it put on her lower back. Are you trying the modified moves? When you’re leveraging your core to hold a position, you are using all the muscles from your glutes up to your shoulders – so everything works together and nothing gets a break. Do you think you stressed your neck and back in the first few weeks of PiYo, and you’ve just never recovered properly? I advocate listening to your body – if something’s getting worse, stop, regroup, and try to figure out what the problem is before you start again. The PiYo DVDs will *always* be there – don’t be afraid to take a week off to see if your condition improves. I’ll ask my wife to ping her therapist to see if she has any insights on what might be happening.

  31. Hi Chris,
    Just bought PiYo, planning to pair it with my Body Beast workouts. Would love to hear how you are scheduling your workouts. Which PiYo are you doing on the same day as which Body Beast? Sounds like it’s working for you, so I’m excited I made the decision to go for it too.
    Thanks!

    • Chris

      2014-09-11 at 9:05 am

      Hi Cheryl!

      I don’t have a fixed rule as to how I interleave my PiYo workouts. At first I was diligent with the schedule but I’ll swap things around a bit depending on how hard I’ve worked myself the night before. What makes it even more interesting is the way that the PiYo Schedule changes while the Body Beast schedule stays relatively constant through the weeks. I’d recommend taking a look at the PiYo Schedule and comparing it to your Beast workouts and finding something that works for you. Just don’t do Legs in both programs on the same day! :)

  32. I’m on day 3 of Piyo and have been trying to google before and after pics of people on this plan. It’s really hard to see the change when most of the people are already skinny to begin with. Will I see results? In 3 days I’ve lost 2 lbs using shakeology and 1300 calories a day. Is that bad?? Too soon? Also- I’m 35 and 158 sorry- 156lbs. 5’1. Short and stout. Lol Wondering if there are legit before and after pics out there for this workout? Should I do more than this workout to lose lbs? And

    • Chris

      2014-09-11 at 9:08 am

      Amy – I KNOW, RIGHT?

      You will see results. You’re off to a great start with a 2lb weight loss in the first few days – this is likely water weight but it’s a good indication that you are converting fat to energy. It will plateau, but if you’re only at 1300 calories a day you’ll continue to see loss. Don’t be afraid to move the calories up a bit if you find it’s not enough to sustain you. Good luck!

  33. Hi Chris,

    I am 47 and I need to lose about 25 lbs. I used to be a runner but can’t do it anymore because I got an injury years ago that keeps me from doing it. I have been walking at least 3 to 4 miles 6 days a week. I need more flexibility and strength. I was wondering if I could see some results with PiYo with walking being my cardio exercise. I don’t know much about staying in heart range, but I would like to incorporate a great workout with putting strain on my body. Any advice would help.

    • Chris

      2014-10-01 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Charise – PiYo is a great choice for flexibility and strength – those two things are at the heart of the program. But don’t forget that the diet is a huge part of weight loss as well. You’re already in a great spot with your walking habit – take a hard look at your diet using the framework provided with PiYo, incorporate the exercises into your daily routine and I think you’ll definitely see results. Good luck!

  34. I injured my lower back water tubing (soft muscle strains in entire lower lumbar region) and re-injured/tweaked it at the gym the other day. I’m looking for a yoga/pilates type program to help with flexibility and build core strength without putting much stress on that region of my back. Would this be ok to do without much strain? I’ve been seeing results at the gym and I don’t want that to go either, so I thought this would help me with both of my dilemmas! Any feedback is welcomed!

    • Chris

      2014-10-01 at 12:12 pm

      Hey Joe!
      Are you currently receiving treatment for you LLR strains? If so then I’d hold off on the PiYo until your practitioner gives the all-clear – but after that I would give PiYo a try.
      It’s funny – I get a lot of questions asking “Can I do work my core without stressing my back?” The short answer is “no” – your back *is* part of your core. You can’t work your core without leveraging your large back muscles in some fashion. However, you can start to build a good core foundation by taking it easy to start. How did you tweak it at the gym? What machine/workout were you using at the time?

  35. Hi!
    Thanks for the independent review! I have 10-12 pounds to lose and I’d like to do so in a realistic manner. Currently my exercise is not frequent enough, with an hour of cardio in the gym once a week and long bike rides on Saturday. I have practiced yoga for over ten years and after a recent retreat realized that I need to amp up my yoga practice along with other exercise in general. I primarily eat a vegetarian diet, but my challenge is my love for bread and sweets. Is it realistic to think that I can truly lose weight with the use of these videos if I follow the schedule?

    • Chris

      2014-10-01 at 12:15 pm

      Hey Stacy: Yes, you will see results here. Keep in mind that the DIET is 75% of ANY program. You’ll need to commit to some dietary changes, perhaps (and I hear ya on the love of breads and sweets – my weakness as well). PiYo will help you reach your target weight in a realistic manner – if you’ve been a fan of yoga I think you’ll really like PiYo. And yes – get your cardio workouts up to at least 5 days per week. Depending on how hard you kick ass with PiYo you might not need extra cardio in your week but if you love the gym and the bike rides then keep doing them – they’re a great complement to the rest of your workouts!

  36. Hi,

    Hoping you can answer my question. I’ve done two rounds of Insanity and one round of T25. I loved Insanity but really want to take a break but don’t want to lose what I’ve achieved. I’ve lost five pounds the first time, and to be honest, I didn’t check the scale the second time. T25, I didn’t feel did much for me. I barely sweat during some of the workouts. I’m waiting for Max 30 to come out in December. But in between that time I would like to do something else. PiYo has been recommended, but all by Coaches. As I do appreciate that, I would like to know what will work best. And I doubt Shaun T will personally get back to me as he is a busy guy keeping many of us fit. So I wouldn’t mind losing some weight, but want a good workout with results, which I’m not dying over. Thoughts?

    Amy

    • Chris

      2014-10-09 at 2:32 pm

      Hey Amy. What’s your goal for a fitness routine? Something to maintain your form and your activity level? PiYo is certainly a little more low-key than Insanity or T25. Do you enjoy active, high-energy workouts? You might enjoy 21-Day Fix, actually. I’m not a huge fan but those who like it, like it a lot. You don’t stop for a moment during the intense workouts, so if you like a driving, intense workout this might be a good choice.

      If you want something a little slower that you can customize yourself, take a look at the You Are Your Own Gym DVDs or You Are Your Own Gym book, as well as the Body By You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide to Total Women’s Fitness book. When I need to change things up in my workout I always return to this series of bodyweight exercises. It’s what kicked my ass back into gear years ago, and I still pull it out from time to time to keep my workouts fresh. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Chris,

      I’m looking to take a break but not stop. I’m looking forward to Max 30 but want to maintain what I’ve gained without killing myself. Are you saying that PiYo isn’t a good choice?

      Amy

      • Chris

        2014-10-14 at 9:05 am

        If you’re looking to throttle back on the intensity, PiYo or any of the You Are Your Own Gym products below would be a good choice. If you’re just looking to take a break from Insanity but still want to maintain the intensity of your workouts, then I’d pick something else. Have you looked into Les Mills Combat workouts? It’s a 60-day program which would carry you through to mid-December when Max 30 should launch.

  37. Hi, thanks for such a helpful review!

    Would you recommend this program for a complete beginner? I’ve never done a fitness program or class and though I don’t need any weight loss, I am about as weak and inflexible as they come. I’m concerned I won’t be able to get through even a 25 minute workout since I am really starting from scratch. Also, is it difficult to learn/keep up with the fast paced positions without having previous yoga or fitness experience?

    Additionally, this sounds like it could be a good program for people with severe obesity issues (because of the low-impact nature). Do you think the workout/modified positions they offer are feasible for someone 100+ pounds overweight?

    • Chris

      2014-10-09 at 2:22 pm

      My mantra is “some is better than none”. If you only make it through 20 minutes of the first workout, that’s 20 more minutes than you got the previous day. The positions are familiar to people who have done yoga/Pilates/bodyweight before but honestly, they aren’t that complicated. But you know what makes me really keen to recommend PiYo for a beginner? The host, Chalene Johnson herself. She’s incredibly engaging and I never get tired of listening to her. I’d also recommend the Chalene Extreme line of workouts – they can be modified for any fitness level and they’re more focused on building strength and muscle tone. Good luck!

  38. I am 30, 4’10”, and 132lbs as of right now. I started piyo at 148lbs. I haven’t even passed day 25. 12 inches lost, and 16lbs. I find your “review ” interesting. Obviously, these programs will affect everyone different. I even quit for 4 weeks. Didn’t gain any weight back. I’m starting day 3 again today.

    • Chris

      2014-10-09 at 2:18 pm

      Fascinating. Approximately how long did it take you to get to Day 25? You state you took four weeks off, so I can only assume two things: you’re an on-again, off-again exerciser like me, and you’ve probably followed the recommended diet for all that time.

  39. Hi Chris,

    I started PiYo yesterday. I’ve done yoga and pilates at the gym before so I expected to see a lot of yoga moves. My problem is the wrists. I have tendonitis in my right wrist. I also have disc herniation (L4 and L5) and arthritics on my S1 joint. Finally, I have periods of sporadic pain in my right knee (although nothing is wrong with it according to the orthopedist who saw me). However, I can modify the moves to not hurt my back and knee as my therapist has taught me. I’ve had chronic low-back pain for over a decade, so I know what I can and cannot do. In fact, my back and knee wasn’t a issue, but my wrist was. I did a modified plank with my fists closed; this seemed to help. I also stretched my wrists a lot. My question is: Is this a good workout regimen for someone with wrist tendonitis? I don’t want to do anything to aggravate my wrists, which is why I’ve always shied away from yoga classes. Whenever I do body pump at home, I always wear a wrist guard, and this also seems to help. However, the wrist guard has a soft metal insert, which would make the PiYo moves cumbersome. Do you suggest doing a modified plank on my elbows instead? Hence, alternating between fully stretched arms/closed fists and elbow planks? Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    • Chris

      2014-10-14 at 12:44 pm

      Raquel, when I was experiencing wrist and lower arm pain, I used the closed fist approach as well. It helped, but it does not eliminate all stress on the wrist. If you want to up the difficulty of your planks without putting stress on your wrists, try the following: (1) For a static plank, stay on your elbows but raise your feet up on a chair, stool, or weight bench. (2) For a walking plank progression, get some yoga blocks, and instead of walking up on your outstretched arms, walk one of your elbows onto one of the yoga blocks, then the other elbow, then back down. You can raise your feet during this walking progression as well to increase the difficulty. Good luck!

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