Beachbody PiYo Review

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.

Save up to 63% on Yoga Mats at

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. 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 I love to hear from you guys!


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149 thoughts on “Beachbody PiYo Review”

  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.


    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

  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! 🙂

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

        1. 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.)

    1. 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.

    2. As a Beachbody Coach, I have to say something here. I am NEVER dishonest when reviewing a program. I have to defend us some of us coaches on that. I will be honest about a program because I CARE about people and would NEVER want to lead them astray. So, watch what you say about us coaches not giving honest reviews because that is simply not true at least on my team.

      1. Hi Jai. Interesting comment, and a true statement that we can’t paint all coaches with the same brush.

        A question for you, though – would you recommend a NON-Beachbody program, if you thought it was best for the client? I routinely point people to the great free workouts on Fitness Blender and, even though there’s nothing in it for me.

  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.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. 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. 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?

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

    2. 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!

  7. 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?

    1. 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!

  8. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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

  10. 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?


    1. 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?

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

        1. 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!!

          1. 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!

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

  13. 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?

    1. 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!

  14. 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!

    1. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

    1. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

    1. 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!

  19. 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?

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

  20. 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?

    1. 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!

  21. 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

    1. 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!

  22. 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?

    1. 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!

  23. 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!

    1. 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!

  24. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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!

  25. 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!

    1. 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!

  26. 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. 🙂


    1. 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!

  27. 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.

    1. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. 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! 🙂

  29. 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

    1. 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!

  30. 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.

    1. 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!

  31. 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!

    1. 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?

  32. 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?

    1. 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!

  33. 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?


    1. 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!

    2. 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?


      1. 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.

  34. 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?

    1. 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!

  35. 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.

    1. 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.

  36. 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!

    1. 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!

  37. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the info!! I have been out of commission for the past 8 months from adrenal fatigue and various other metabolic imbalances and am now just finally getting back into exercising. I am walking the beach and biking a bit and have been doing pilates for the past 8 weeks or so (a private class with reformer). Pilates is getting super expensive so I’m looking to do something similar that won’t put me in a financial crisis. Would you say that it’s something that can be used to tone but not necessarily over strenuous? My endurance and stamina aren’t up yet and anytime I push myself too hard I pay the price still…. unfortunately!!

    1. Hey Lisa!
      You’ll find that PiYo has some similarities to Pilates – with some Yoga and bodyweight cardio thrown in for good measure.
      If you find that your endurance is not yet up to snuff, take the “mix and match” approach to the PiYo workouts. Choose the four or five lowest-impact workouts of the set, and rotate through them until you find that your endurance is improving. As you feel able to, work in a few more workouts at the higher intensity levels – but feel free to dial it back if need be.
      I tell people all the time that “there’s nothing magic about these workouts”. You’re not “doing it wrong” if you cherry pick workouts and ignore the rest – I do this all the time with lots of workouts including PiYo, Body Beast and even Chalene Extreme. Good luck – keep us posted on your progress!

    2. Hi Lisa, Could you tell me what you did for adrenal fatigue? I am dealing with that now. I don’t want to hi-jack the thread but I could really use any info that you could give me to help. Thanks!

  38. Hi Chris,

    Great site! Gonna go read your 21 Day Fix and P90 posts after this just for fun. Quick question: I just bought PiYo (should get it today!) and am thinking of doing it in conjunction with what must be my millionth round of CLX, which is my soulmate workout. While I’d always love to lose a few, I likely don’t need to – I’ve only gained a bit back from my first round of CLX where I lost 15-20 lbs. I tried doing hybrids with CLX and TF and 21 Day Fix, but neither stuck. I’m hoping this one does, and helps me lost 5-10 and/or tone up a little more/break out my plateau. Do you think I’m on the right track? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lindsay – If you’re a fan of Chalene then I’d say mixing up CLX and PiYo would be a great fit. I like the fact that CLX uses a lot of weight-bearing exercises which is incredibly important for not only muscle tone but bone strength, and PiYo gives you freedom from equipment to feel your body move all on its own. What kind of hybrid are you planning: cherry-picking workouts from both programs, or are you planning on doing both programs full-time?

      1. Hi Chris,

        Agreed about CLX; that’s why I love it so much. Completely changed my body and how I look at working out. That being said, I need to infuse something with it to avoid plateauing further. I’d say the hybrid I’ve created is a mix of cherry-picking and attempting to do both – here is a link to it:

        I want to get the best of both worlds here, but I am unwilling to part with any of the strength exercises from CLX. I don’t need much cardio to maintain weight, so I’m hoping that PiYo can kind of be the yoga/lighter cardio solution to the mix.

        1. Interesting mix – it’s a pretty aggressive workout, all told. What kind of plateau are you hitting – is it a motivational plateau, or is it a weight-loss plateau?

          1. Definitely a weight loss plateau. I think I lost roughly 20 lbs the first time I did CLX, and I’ve gained at least 10 back (though some of it is likely muscle, but still). I’m looking to whittle down a little again; though the weight isn’t as important as losing a few inches.

  39. Hi Chris
    I enjoy the sweat workout on PiYo… Doing this 5-6 times a week, will I lose pounds doing the SWEAT part of PiYo? Thank you for your reviews 🙂 appreciate the real talk!

    1. Hey Trixie – your weight loss not only depends on how often you do the Sweat workout, but you also need to pay attention to your caloric intake. I’ve always said that there is nothing magic about any of the workout routines, so if you want to take your favorite workout (or workouts) and make your own schedule, you’ll still see progress. Sweat is fairly well-rounded for a workout so I’d say go for it – and let us know how you make out!

  40. HI Chris!

    I am underweight and want to gain ten pounds. I read your great review and would like to ask you which workout that you would recommend for me. My goals are to gain 10 pounds and to gain muscle mass. I am a 56 year old female wanting these next years to be my best years! I really enjoy weight lifting although I don’t have a lot of experience with it. I like the TRX workouts because they push me. With all the reviews you have done and with knowing my goals…which would you suggest? Thanks Chris!

    1. Hi Kathleen!

      I’ll assume that you’re hoping to gain lean muscle mass for those 10 lbs; otherwise I’d just point you to the nearest McDonald’s. 🙂

      Gaining weight through adding muscle is governed by one rule: “Muscle growth occurs when muscles are stressed, then rested in the presence of nutrition.” That means you need three things: weight-bearing exercises, rest days, and proper nutrition including increased protein intake. Let’s look at each in turn.

      Weight-bearing exercises

      Cardio is great, but you won’t gain lean muscle unless you’re stressing the muscles using weight. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to lift weights; there are a lot of bodyweight programs I’d recommend. One of my favorites is You Are Your Own Gym and Body By You: The You Are Your Own Gym Guide to Total Women’s Fitness, both written by the same author, Mark Lauren. These books are full of terrific workouts that require very little equipment – they rely on your body weight alone to build muscle. Check out my review of You Are Your Own Gym here – there’s also apps and DVDs that you can get for this program which complement the program nicely.

      I’m also a big fan of the ChaLEAN Extreme program for building muscle; Chalene Johnson presents a great program with bodyweight, cardio, and dumbbell exercises that will keep you lean and keep those muscles working. My wife really enjoyed it and I enjoyed the program as well; you can bump the weights up or down as you need to. I’ve never been bored doing a Chalene Johnson workout yet.

      If you *really* want to get into weightlifting, try Body Beast hosted by Sagi Kalev; you’ll have to get past the testosterone-fuelled bro humor but I’ve been doing Body Beast for over a year and it will build muscle mass. Guaranteed. You’ll need a fairly complete set of dumbbells and either an exercise ball or a weight bench to take full advantage of the program. I bought most of my gear second hand; you can read my complete review of the program here.


      A lot of people claim that you need to go hardcore 6 days a week to build muscle; that’s not necessarily the case if you are looking at lean muscle gain in a slow, controlled manner. If you can take 6 days a week, then go for it! Otherwise, you can still see gains with an every-other-day program. I did this with You Are Your Own Gym; I was training for a 5K at the time and did YAYOG every other day on the days I wan’t running. I still saw great results over the 10-week program even though I wasn’t doing it 5-6 days a week.


      If you want to gain by adding lean muscle, you’ll need to eat a good, controlled diet with a good balance of macronutrients. I can’t tell you exactly what to eat or how to eat, but if you keep your intake at about 45% carbs, 25% fat and 30% protein that’s a good basis on which to build lean muscle. If you’re a vegetarian, it will be more difficult to keep the protein levels high, but it can be done. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you can easily supplement your diet with protein-based drinks; Beachbody sells Shakeology which is fine if you can afford it, but I’ve written about much cheaper ways to supplement your protein intake, including the product that my wife and I use daily.

      If you don’t want to supplement with protein shakes, you can still ensure you’re getting a good mix of the essential amino acids for muscle building by eating non-processed meats from animal sources, eggs, fish, milk products, legumes and grains. Trust me, it will feel like you’re eating a LOT more protein than you’re used to, but we’ve become very carb-dependent in this society and carbs won’t help with your gains like protein will.

      I wish you great success – hopefully you come pay me a visit again and let me know how things are going!

      1. Chirs! What a great reply you gave me! I would like to encourage you to turn it into a post for others that are trying to gain weight. There are the typical questions of what to eat before a workout, what to eat after? How can I get all the calories in that I need? These would all be great in a blog that talks about gaining weight and building lean muscles. Most all the stuff I read has to do with losing weight.

        I had gotten ill and had gotten to 98 pounds. I am 5’7” so that is way to thin! I told myself that I couldn’t work out hard until I hit 120. That is where I am at now. I am ordering the three supplements from Bodybuilding that you recommend and I will for sure look at some of the resources for workouts that you suggested. I will do a before and after photo and let you know how I do. I appreciate so much the encouragement!


  41. I’ve been trying to learn about piyo. Reading reviews, and watching video clips with focus on knee movement. See, I have a totally ruptured ACL in one knee and likely have a torn meniscus in the other. You mention that modifications are offered for the moves. Would the modifications be able to deal with the knee that has no ACL? MY goal is to strengthen my body and avoid surgery. Thanks!

    1. Hey Bonnie – that sounds like a serious injury! Since the ACL is designed to stabilize the leg at the knee, you’d have to be really careful with some of the moves in PiYo that require strong leg stability, such as the burpees and hard lunges. I know that other people with ACL injury have completed PiYo (albeit a heavily modified PiYo) – you might want to head on over to the Beachbody forums and ask about people’s experiences there to see what they recommend! Thanks!

  42. Hi Chris,
    I LOVE your posts thank you! I need to lose 30 pounds (I have gained 20 in the last year). I am looking into purchasing a program that hopefully doesn’t include long workouts. I will follow your recommendations on nutrition. But I would like to know your thoughts around Slim in 6® vs PIYO both from beach body. I didn’t find a review of Slim in 6® so just wondering if you know about it.

    1. Hey Martha! Slim in 6 is an older Beachbody program – believe it or not, you can find most of the Slim in 6 workouts on YouTube. I haven’t looked at it in full yet, but I’ll try to find some time and let you know what I think of the program. This was the program that kickstarted one of my friends into losing a lot of weight and becoming a Beachbody coach, so I know it works for some people. The three main phases of Slim in 6: Start it Up, Ramp it Up, and Burn it Up are 25, 45 and 60 minutes respectively, so they’re not short workouts. Stay tuned for my update!

  43. Thank you for your reviews. I’ve been searching for an honest opinion of PiYo. I bought the deluxe set thinking this was the change I’ve been looking for but so far I think they are very boring. I’ve done Drench, Sweat, Sculpt, Upper Body and Lowerbody. I’ve only done them each one time. Maybe I need to do them again? I am thinking I might send it back to beachbody.

    1. Hey Char. What sort of workouts do you usually prefer? T25 and Insanity style workouts? I like PiYo because it’s not too high energy and I can relax my brain for a while without the pounding drive of Shaun T in my face.

  44. I do a lot of Cathe Friedrich workouts but was looking for something to balance things out and incorporate more yoga. I did Core last night and that was really good but I can’t see keeping the whole set for just one workout. Any suggestions?

    1. I love Cathe – she’s a powerhouse! Have you seen her latest Ripped with HIIT series? They look awesome.
      Did you purchase the PiYo program with Hardcore on the Floor? That’s a killer workout. To be honest, I don’t know if “exciting” and “yoga” can be used in the same sentence. I’ve enjoyed Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown in the past, and I’m currently weaving Mark Lauren’s Mobility Rx into my workout routine to help maintain my flexibility and mobility. What are you looking to gain by incorporating yoga – flexibility? Improved healing and workout recovery?

      1. Yes! I am anxiously awaiting for new series to arrive. I was thinking since Cathe’s new series was going to be intense between the cardio and the weights that the PiYo would be a nice compliment to it but I’m just not that thrilled with the PiYo. I was kind of disappointed because I really wanted to love it.

        1. I always say that there’s no point in hanging on to anything that does not thrill you and motivate you. I’d say send it back and put your money towards something that you’ll love. I was hoping to be thrilled with 21-Day Fix but I just couldn’t get into it. I never sent it back, though, because my wife loves it! LOL 🙂

  45. THANK YOU! This review was awesome. Every time I found a review it was by a Beachbody coach with a link to buy through them. All I want is an honest review. Not a sales pitch. And thanks for the info on weight loss. I find it hard to believe you can lose a massive amount of weight on this program which is why I partnered it with T25.

    1. Hi Stephanie!

      T25 is a great partner to PiYo! 75% of the weight loss battle is won in the kitchen and at the meal table, not on your gym mat. Are you doing the complete program, or are you cherry-picking workouts from PiYo?

      1. Hi Chris,
        I’m actually doing the Piyo calendar and adding T25 on easier days (like on the days I do the super short define videos). Thanks again!

  46. I’ve been looking for a workout that I can do in the Tri offseason. I struggled with knee and ankle issues and I’m looking to strengthen thoses joints with little impact and increase my flexibility. Loosing weight would be great and I need to clean up my diet but weigh loss is not my main goal. Do you think this would be a good choice?

    1. Hey Kristie! I think this would be a great addition to your off-season training. There’s a lot of focus on core movements in this program but along with that comes joint flexibility and improvement of range of motion. Unless you have pre-existing issues with your feet or ankles, do this on a good mat with bare feet and you’ll find that your ankle strength will improve. Good luck!

  47. Chris,

    Thank you for posting this. I have been researching Piyo for a while now, and I had yet to find a review that wasn’t from a Beachbody coach or a link to purchase the program through a coach. Also thanks for the info on weight loss. I find it hard to believe you can lose a massive amount of weight on this program which is why I plan to go through at least one round of Piyo and then combining it with T25 or even Les Mills Combat if my body feels up to it.

    i have found in the last year that my body isn’t as willing to work as it once was so running, jumping, kill yourself workouts have landed me in the doctor’s office with injuries. It sounds like Piyo might be a great start.

    1. Christy – thanks for the kind words. I’ll reiterate that PiYo won’t get your body working as hard as T25, but it is still a nice core-and-mobility focused workout. If you can’t stand the jarring movements of T25 then you might want to check out ChaLean Extreme if you haven’t already; it’s a killer workout that doesn’t stress the joints like a Shaun T workout does.

  48. Chris I love your reviews ! I’m 39 and overweight and getting in shape. I am in my last couple days of PiYo (8weeks) and I loved it. I have back, neck, shoulder, wrist issues (I’m a hairstylist 20 yrs) and needed something that would I could stick to and not hurt. Before PiYO I had pain everyday but that has drastically diminished in the last 8 weeks. I have changed my eating habits and have lost 14 Lbs. At the beginning I did have a hard time with my wrists but after 2 weeks of sticking with it and modifying when needed I have no problem. I think PiYo is an ideal gateway to getting into shape. I am so much stronger than I was 8 weeks ago. Could I have had the same results with any other workouts ? Sure..but not sure I would have stuck with it if I killed myself with a high intensity program. I’m ordering P90 now and will start that in the new year.

    1. Hey Kim! Thanks so much for your great comments! I’m working my way through the new P90 now and LOVING it. I’m planning on posting a review soom – I hope you come back and share your thoughts onP90 with us!

  49. Hi, Chris! I’m going to be doing the PiYo 60 day challenge with a friend. I chose PiYo because I’ve always loved the flexibility and core strengthening that Yoga and Pilates has to offer and I’m really excited to see how PiYo really steps all that up. However, I was in an accident when I was little and I don’t have complete mobility in my left arm (just under 90 degrees to about 160 degrees). So, usually whenever I’ve come to a pose in the past that requires me to fully extend and support with my arms (ie. Downward dog or push-ups) I either chose to do something else or massively fail altogether. Is there a way that I can modify the PiYo moves without losing the effectiveness of the workouts?

    1. Hey Alysha! NEVER be afraid to modify a workout. My mantra is “some is better than none” so if you modify a move, you still get a lot of effectiveness out of it – even if it’s not perfect. For downward dog and pushups/planks, you might find the positions are workable on your elbows instead of fully extended arms. A yoga block might also give you some relief here – it will allow you to brace your left arm at 90-160 degrees in an elevated position while your right arm is fully extended. This may help you stay in alignment while doing the poses. There’s also my favourite piece of equipment – the humble chair – that can be a great brace if you need it.

      And if you just can’t do a pose – swap in something else that you CAN do. Simple forward bends along with plank positions will still give you most of the same benefits you would get with a full downward dog position. There is nothing sacred about ANY workout program – modifying the program so that you can stick to it is infinitely better than getting fed up, or worse, hurting yourself. Good luck!

  50. Hi, I’m obese, 286 pounds, I did kickboxing for 3 years and got fit but left it 3 years ago and gain a lot of weight again, so I’ve been doubting between getting PiYo , T25 and Jillian Michaels-any of her-, which would you recommend me to start all over again?

    1. Hey Maria! Since you’ve already been active before with kickboxing, you might well enjoy the Shaun T T25 workouts – they are short and intense. Since you also have a kickboxing background, you might also enjoy Les Mills Combat workouts – a big calorie burn with an MMA twist. Good luck – and let me know which one you picked!

  51. I am so happy I found your review. I have been doing the PiYo plan for a little over two months. I started a third month because I thought that I wasn’t giving it my all that second month because I didn’t see the results that everyone else boasted about “I lost 16 lbs and 12 inches doing PiYo”. I am only slightly overweight for my height and I am 35 years old. I’ve lost a few inches and 3 lbs doing PiYo. And this is going from never exercising, eating whatever I wanted and having a drink or two every night after work. I changed my eating habits, eliminated those after work drinks and started following the PiYo nutrition plan. You would think that I would have lost at least a little more at this point. I will have to get some more cardio going in my life. I am a terrible runner, do you have any other suggestions for cardio workouts that are “easy” to do at home?

    1. Denise – PiYo includes enough cardio as it is, and I agree, you should be experiencing slightly more weight loss than you’re seeing; I imagine it’s more than a bit frustrating! Have you considered adjusting your calorie bracket down a bit to see if that makes a difference? I don’t know what calorie range you’re targeting but sometimes just adjusting it down a bit can make the difference between a plateau and weight gain. If you *really* wanted to add more cardio, then I would suggest some of the New P90 workouts would be a good introduction – or you can always kick it up a notch and try some of Shaun T’s T25 workouts as well. Good luck!

  52. hello …..
    i am looking for a workout that DOESNT bulk you up.
    i am really quite worried that doing PiYo with no other cardio wont burn fat but turn it into muscle instead……which would make you look bulky
    i have done T25 before and also TurboFire……..i dont necessarily want to loose weight (eg onthescales weight) but i want to slim down and tone up…..
    so. would Piyo be the right workout for me to buy if i dont want to get bulky

    1. Hey Tabitha!

      I guarantee you won’t get bulky on PiYo. Since a lot of it is based on bodyweight, yoga and Pilates, it will strengthen your muscles without adding much muscle fiber (what people call “toning”). If you’ve done T25 and TF then you’ll notice PiYo is quite different; some of it can be real challenging. Good luck!

  53. Hello,

    I’m 19 and a student who works two jobs so I’m busy busy busy. I’ve been trying to find a workout that fits my needs and have been going back and forth for some time between several. I need something that’s going to help me loose fat and gain a little bit of definition. While I’m not overweight at all, I find I have excess fat that I’d like to get rid of (particularly on my back and muffin top). I’ve considered piyo but am worried it won’t give me the results I want. Could you suggest a good program. I haven’t worked out for a while so something that’s either good enough to stick with despite its intensity or something more beginner style would be great 🙂


    1. Hey Paris!

      I would strongly recommend ChaLean Extreme. If I recall correctly, the workouts are all under 45 minutes, and it is a SERIOUS fat burner – and fun to boot! But don’t forget that a lot of fat loss comes from EATING properly…you can’t cheat on this part! I remember being a student, and it was always hard to eat well AND eat cheaply at the same time. You also might want to check out the Cize workout from Beachbody, coming out soon; it’s very similar to Zumba and is a really great cardio workout. Let me know how you make out!

  54. Hi Chris-
    I just started PiYo and I love it! Problem is, I am used to doing 45-60 minutes on the elliptical trainer 4-5 days per week. I work at 75-80% of my max heart rate for most of the time. I love the strength and stretch PiYo gives me, but I can’t get my heart rate up doing the moves. I’m worried I will lose the conditioning I’ve worked so hard to achieve. Even more so, I am worried I will gain weight because I’m not burning as many calories as I did doing the elliptical trainer. Have you found any of this to be true?

    1. Hey Gail! Sorry for the delay – seems this one got caught up in the filters.

      PiYo is a great strength and flexibility builder, but it won’t provide you with the same HIIT and calorie-burning benefits that cardio can. If you don’t want to lose your conditioning, but don’t have the time to commit to PiYo AND hit the elliptical 60 minutes a day, you might consider a shortened high-intensity burst workout (15-20 minutes or so). A basic HIIT approach would be 30 seconds high-impact cardio (going for 80% or higher Max HR), then 30 seconds of low-impact cardio to recover and catch your breath. Repeat this cycle for 7-8 times, then take a few minutes to fully recover. Then repeat for another 7-8 cycles. Perhaps you’re doing this already with a hill-interval style elliptical workout – if so, I suspect you don’t need the full 60 minutes to reap the conditioning benefits: 30 should be enough to maintain your conditioning while doing PiYo. Good luck!

  55. Hey there! Thank you so much for this review.
    I have been gymming for two years and lost 20kgs and now I’m doing insanity because even though I have lost a lot of weight and built a lot of muscle, problem lies in my core. Love handles and back fat basically. Currently I am hooked on to insanity max 20, do u suggest doing PiYo after max 30 for my core fat to go basically ? Except my sides (love handles ) and lower back everything is toned and muscular.
    Thank you !

    1. Congratulations on the weight loss – you’ve come a long way!

      I think Max 30 will make a big difference – and here’s why: your body is very much adapted to your gym workouts. Whenever anyone I know hits a plateau, I suggest they switch up their workouts to start stimulating the body in different ways. Max 30 is a great whole-body workout and builds core strength while you get a cardio workout as well.

      The best way to get the last bit of fat off your core is really through three things: building up core muscles, burning fat through cardio, and tailoring your diet to not give your body a chance to store fat. You’re going to get the core muscles and cardio through Insanity Max 30, and you just need to make sure that you’re keeping your diet consistent. Do you track what you eat? I usually suggest cutting back on most carbohydrate-based foods like breads, rice, and fruit while you’re trying to get that last bit of fat off your core, and eat more proteins and fats. You can go back to the carbohydrates (and reduce the fats and protein you eat) when you do burn off that last bit of fat, but to get your body into fat-burning mode it helps to give it less of the easy fuel( the breads, rice, grains and fruit) and more of the nutrients that help make a shift to fat-burning mode (fats and proteins).

      I know that’s a really general guideline for eating, but I think you have your diet pretty well figured out. I think you’ll see a definite improvement with Max 30. Good luck with it!

      And yes, PiYo is really good for maintaining core and flexibility. I do a bit of it with my daughter in the morning and it makes a world of difference with how I feel. It’s way less intense than Max 30, but it’s really great for core, flexibility and balance. Let me know how you make out!

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