Happy Tuesday! Today I am sharing something completely different with all of you, and that is my current fitness routine. I started a new-to-me workout program a few months ago, and I’m about to complete the first round. I first heard about PiYo from a friend who is a Beachbody coach. I’ve always been a Beachbody skeptic, but I really wanted to start being active, and PiYo sounded great for me. Now that I’ve been into PiYo for a few months, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my thoughts on the program, and also share more about my fitness journey with all of you.
My Fitness History
I think it’s best to start off sharing my fitness history with all of you. Growing up I was a competitive dancer. I began dance at the age of three, turned competitive at age eight, and kept that up through high school. I studied jazz, tap, and ballet, with other styles such as lyrical and hip hop thrown in some years. While I was always a bit overweight, I was very strong, especially in my lower body. I took three to five classes each week, and part of our normal routines included a lot of stretch and strength. I was strong, flexible, and very active.
In high school I was also a member of the competitive marching band, all while I was dancing at the same time. It might not sound like a workout, but marching band is tough! I had to play the trumpet all while moving along the football field in a choreographed way. The end of a ten minute halftime show always resulted in a sweaty mess! I had marching band rehearsals three to five times per week as well. I was really busy as a teenager, but because I was participating in activities I loved, I never felt like I was exercising.
When I got to college, my fitness changed a lot. I took recreational dance classes about once or twice a week, and I got a lot of walking in around campus. Otherwise, I didn’t work out at all! Once I got to law school, all bets were off in terms of fitness. I never went to a single class, nor did I ever hit the gym. I focused 100% on my studies. Luckily, I was walking at least three miles per day around the city. It kept me in great shape. In fact, I was the healthiest I ever was – I lost a lot of weight, ate great foods, and didn’t put in any effort in at all.
Unfortunately, once bar study kicked in, I was stuck sitting at my desk 12-16 hours every day. I quickly began gaining weight, both from sitting still all day and from eating more while being in study mode. Once I moved back to the suburbs, my weight skyrocketed even more. I knew it was time to make a change. I was extremely uncomfortable in my own skin, especially after feeling great in law school. When I saw my friend and Beachbody coach post about PiYo, I decided to invest in the system and give it a try.
PiYo Review and Experience
PiYo is a hybrid workout program that combines the muscle sculpting of pilates with the flexibility of yoga in high-energy routines. I’ve taken both pilates and yoga classes in the past, so I thought this would be the perfect program for me. My goals were to lose weight, improve my strength, and feel better overall. My coach told me PiYo was a beginner’s workout, so I had high hopes that it would be doable for me after not exercising properly in three years. PiYo comes with a 60-day calendar where you work out six days a week, and rest one day. Well, I was not ready for PiYo!
PiYo is no joke. The routines are very difficult for me, and I’m still modifying many of the exercises after weeks of working on them. I love how upbeat the instructor, Chalene Johnson, is, and I do like the moves and programs in theory. PiYo is a program for which you don’t need any added equipment. That was also a top selling point for me, as I didn’t want to go out and buy more weights or tools. I also like that I can follow the calendar every day to see what routine to put on next. The DVD pack that I purchased comes with seven different workouts that each target a different area. This made planning easy, because I could follow the schedule.
That being said, PiYo is proving to be a huge challenge for me, not just in terms of completing the actual workouts, but in finding time. For the first five weeks, I was on schedule and it felt great. Then I missed a few days, and had to adjust. I stayed true for about a week, then got off schedule again. I’ve nearly completed the first 60-day cycle as I type this blog post, but I’ve been off track for a few days. This is really easy to do when the PiYo workouts range from 25 minutes to nearly a full hour!
Moreover, I’m sure you are all interested in my PiYo results and overall review of the program. Unfortunately, I gained about 12 pounds since starting PiYo, and I also gained about one to two inches in all of my measurements. This is a huge disappointment for me. While I didn’t follow PiYo’s nutrition program, I did eat healthier by focusing more on fresh produce and less on junk food (I even went on a dessert ban for three weeks!). It doesn’t make sense why I gained more weight by adding in exercise, and it’s really frustrating. I know it’s not ‘muscle weight’ or ‘water weight,’ so that’s very disappointing. Nonetheless, I am finding that I am stronger overall, and that my flexibility is improving. I can do many of the moves better now, and I am slowly improving every time I exercise.
As for my specific thoughts on the PiYo program, I do want to mention that part of my struggles with the moves comes from being someone with a long torso. Chalene Johnson designed the moves according to her body type. She mentions several times that she has a short torso, and about a month in I realized that’s one of the reasons I have to change things up while doing PiYo. I have to take extra steps to get to Down Dog from a Plank, for example, and I am constantly adjusting while she flows through the movements. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is annoying. Definitely keep that in mind if you also have a long torso like I do.
Otherwise, I think PiYo is a fun workout, and I do plan on continuing on with the program. I do not consider it to be a beginner’s routine. Instead, I would recommend it for people like me who may have been active in the past and are looking to get back into it. If you’re a dancer, or if you like classes that are upbeat, PiYo is a great option. Of course, keep in mind that I am not a doctor or fitness guru, and this is just my personal opinion. Always speak with your doctor before beginning a new workout regimen.
If you would like to begin PiYo you can purchase the DVDs directly from Amazon HERE. I look forward to continuing on with my fitness journey, and increasing the difficulty as I improve. I will also be sharing more about the food I eat on a regular basis very soon.
What is your fitness routine? Please share in the comments!
I purchased PiYo with my own money. I included an Amazon Affiliate link. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.