If fairies were real, they would look, talk, act, and make you smile just like Chalene Johnson does.
If you can’t tell, I have a total crush on Chalene. Which means I did PiYo as soon as it came out on DVD, but even if you have no idea who she is, this promo picture for the program could maybe, possibly, sort of, kind of convince you to drink whatever she’s drinking, right? (PS, did you know she is in her forties? She RULES.)
So if you haven’t heard of PiYo, I’m about to go through what exactly it is and share my honest review of the program.
What is PiYo?
PiYo is workout program on DVD designed by Chalene Johnson for Beachbody. It is a combination of Pilates, Yoga and strength training to help you reach your goals in 60 days without any weights, jumps, or intense strain on your body. If you are used to doing high impact workouts (Insanity, CrossFit, or HIIT style training that leaves your joints crying) PiYo is a great program to have on hand for days (weeks, months) where your body is in need of restoration but you don’t want to stop training.
It was designed to increase both flexibility and strength at the same time by using a combination of Pilates and Yoga-based moves. If you are not a Yoga/Pilates person, that might sound like a snooze fest to you, but guess what…I am NOT a Yoga/Pilates person either. The pace of this program is like no other Yoga/Pilates I’ve ever done. I personally struggle with yoga, but I love every second of PiYo (maybe that has to do with Chalene’s chipper attitude, but hey whatever works!)
Who should do PiYo?
This is the one program that I really truly can recommend to EVERYONE. It might not be the right path to your goals today (for instance, if build bulk muscle mass or increase speed are your goals) but it will fit in your needs at some point, guaranteed. It will challenge everyone from very beginner to elite athlete. Because we all use our own bodies to train, the experience is different for everyone. Not everyone is ready to start out and kill Insanity or squat 200 lbs, but everyone can do PiYo. I really truly mean that. On the other hand, people that have graduated Insanity or are lifting heavy friggin weights can also benefit from PiYo. After doing Insanity a few million times, as well as other high impact, intense programs, I was ALWAYS worried that a new program wouldn’t be challenging enough and I would be wasting my time and not working to my capacity. I’m so over that notion now. I have done countless programs that be default are not as intense or crazy as Insanity, but the beauty of all workouts is that they are exactly as challenging as you make them. You can also personally increase (or decrease! I’m talking to everyone!) the intensity of a workout by changing speed, range, reps, etc.
What are the workouts like?
The basic DVD package includes (8 workouts):
- Align: The Fundamentals (40 min.): The “how to PiYo” guide. Not exactly a workout, but good to run through so you know what you are getting into.
- Define: Lower Body (25 min.): Works glutes, hamstrings and calves….a good quick workout.
- Define: Upper Body (20 min.): Works triceps and shoulders.
- Sweat (35 min.): A traditional PiYo workout that incorporates effective dynamic conditioning, fast-paced cardio yoga-flows, and bodyweight resistance strength training. I return to this workout again and again, even when I’m NOT doing the program.
- Core (30 min.): Truly a core workout, more than just abs. Everyone should be doing this one to strengthen your back and core (new mamas, I’m talking to ya’ll!)
- Strength Intervals (25 min.): I am not kidding about the SWEAT that you will churn up in 25 minutes! This is one of my favorite all time workouts.
- Drench (45 min.): Just like Sweat but a little bit longer, I return to Drench again and again as well. It is such an awesome mix of stretch, strength and power. There is a special place in my heart for Drench.
- Sculpt (30 min.): Another good full body workout. Uses tempo to trick your muscles into training harder.
You can also opt for the Deluxe package, which includes these little buggers:
Do you need them or the extra workouts? No, of course not! Are you going to want them? Uh YEAHHH you are. They are so fun, so great for toning your glutes (read: perky butt) and the best way to use your body as your resistance. You will also get two additional workouts:
Full Body Blast (30 min.): This one is super fun. The slides make things a bit more difficult and challenge every muscle.
Strong Legs (30 min.): Get through the lunges on the slides and then tell me you need weights to build muscle. For real.
Check out me doing some of the workouts in my YouTube review!
What about a meal plan?
Results are truly maximized in the kitchen. I challenge you to dig in for 60 days (sure, you can have that piece of cake at the birthday party, but for as much time as possible, be serious about nutrition) and see what a difference it can make in your body and the way you feel. Luckily, the DVDs come with one of the best nutrition plans of all the Beachbody workouts. PiYo “Get Lean Eating Plan” is pretty easy to follow and is key in defining your body.
In addition to the meal plan, you can choose to go the Challenge Pack route and get the workouts plus Shakeology, which helps get you set up for success with nutrition. If you want to nail your nutrition, the Challenge pack is a great way to go because you save a ton of money (I’m talking almost $100) compared to buying the program and Shakeology separately & you get access to the streaming version of the workouts.
Ok great, but what about results?
I shall let the images speak to you:
I wasn’t really looking to look pounds with PiYo, but I was looking to lean out and well, look like Chalene. Ok, I didn’t 100% come out of this looking like Chalene, but I saw muscle tone improvement across my entire body. I wanted abs from this program, but what I didn’t anticipate was how strong my legs would get!
I am a the point in my fitness where I honestly don’t weigh myself that often, so I don’t know if I lost pounds or gained. I use these photos as my progress report and I think I passed this one. I loved the results of this program!
If you made it this far you must be interested. Want to know where to start?
Yes! Do it! I promise you won’t be disappointed (but did you know Beachbody offers money back guarantees on programs…for real you can do the whole friggin thing and then return it if you didn’t like it). Order from these links and I will make sure you get these free BONUS workouts that you don’t get from ordering directly from the site:
>Hardcore on the Floor – floor routine with core work. You’ll be sweating!
>Buns – Beach Booty on the way!
If you decide to do PiYo and want to get started right away, I invite you to join my challenge group! We are all doing PiYo together starting May 4 and will be checking in daily. It is so fun to do with a group, join us! Just send me your info in this form and I’ll be in touch to get you set up and ready to rock PiYo!