PiYo Review: Month 1

Some Facebook friends and I just finished up the first month of PiYo yesterday, and I thought I’d write a review for you. I’d been wanting to try a new Beachbody workout (<— coach link) for a while -especially since P90X3 was a womp– and hadn’t committed to anything, especially since they have the new On Demand service which allows you to try a ton of different workouts. In the end, I figured I’d try PiYo because I knew it was low impact (perfect since impact currently torches my hip flexors during this pregnancy), and I’d had the change to try it live with Chalene at BlogFest last year and LOVED it. 

PiYO with Chalene at IDEA 2014


Chalene Johnson is my #1 fitness instructor inspiration, and I’m always excited for the opportunity to learn from her and get new teaching tools and techniques. (She also offers social media marketing podcasts, awesome Periscopes, and online courses, which have been fun to follow along with, too.) Why do I love her so much? She has AMAZING energy, and will pump you up, but she’s not annoying/cheesy about it. It’s easy to tell when an instructor is feigning excitement and energy, and this isn’t the case with her at all. You can tell she genuinely loves what she does and wants to share it with others in an authentic way. In a nutshell, she is a goddess. 😉

So, I rounded up some friends on Facebook (there were about 30 of us!) and we cranked through the first month of PiYo workouts.


Here’s What I Thought About PiYo
 piyo review

What is PiYo?

PiYo is a combination of yoga and Pilates with elements of dance and martial arts. You can check out the full Focus On post here! It’s been a Beachbody workout for years now, created by Chalene herself, but they launched the DVD workout set, which is what we did for our challenge.

PiYo Pros

You’re always moving. When I first started with yoga (senior year of high school!), it was really hard for me to sit still. I think this is a great option for those who don’t really want the stillness aspect of a yoga practice: they want to gain strength and improve flexibility, without having to hold any postures for extended periods of time. The movements are choreographed, and you build onto the sequence as you go. For this reason, I never got bored. It felt nice to move and stretch! The progressions also felt very dance-y, which I enjoyed.

Modifier FTW. I love when workouts offer modifiers to demonstrate low-impact options. The modifier for these workouts did an excellent job maintaining the integrity of the workout, while providing safe regressions. I ended up following her quite a bit since touching my toes and certain movements are becoming more and more tricky.

Chalene is amazing as usual. Like I said before, she has a very authentic way of teaching that will motivate you to work HARD without driving you crazy.

Me after PiYo workout

(Sign of a great workout: side bang goes crazy)

PiYo Cons

Many of the workouts are SHORT, at least in the first month. While I think that it’s a great option if you’re short on time and want to get a quick workout, many left me wanting more when they were over. I like short (20 minutes-ish) workouts for HIIT and intense intervals/cardio, but for a low-impact strength/flexibility combos, I wished they would have been longer.

Lack of cardio. Some of the workouts (Drench, Sweat, Buns and Sweat Intervals) incorporated cardio aspects, but on the Upper, Lower, and Core days (which are all short workouts), I liked adding in a bit of additional cardio. 

Doing piyo

PiYo Workouts Breakdown:

Upper: (20 minutes) This workout emphasizes upper body and core strength. This workout involves a combination of pushups, roll-ups, planks (with side planks), and beasts. I liked this workout, but didn’t find it super challenging. 

Lower: (20 minutes) This workout includes more of a traditional-ish vinyasa flow, with triceps pushups, low lunges, high lunges, Warrior series, and balance series. I particularly liked the 3-point and crouching crow exercises. Like I mentioned before, I wanted more when this one was over. It felt very short to me!

Sweat: (35 minutes) This was one of my favorite workouts. The first portion of the workout is Heat, which increases the heat rate through sun salutations and other exercises mixed in. You start sweating pretty quickly! The next part, Lower Body, emphasizes lunges with balance exercises and skaters. Next is Plank and Core work, with lots of planks and PiYo pushups. The last part of the workout (my fave) was power, which included burpees (yessssss) and squat variations. I felt like this was a perfectly balanced workout, especially with adding in 10-15 minutes of cardio afterwards.

Drench: (48 minutes) This workout most closely replicates a full class. You start off with Heat (sun salutations, push-ups, planks), then move into Legs (low lunge, Warrior 3, knee lifts and speed skaters), Plank and Core, Power (lunges, squats and more burpees!) and Stretch (alternating between strength and flexibility exercises). I was drenched in sweat the first time I completed this workout, and my legs were on fiiiiire. 

Buns: (28 minutes) This was KILLER, and probably my favorite workout of the set. Similar to the other workouts, Chalene led through a progression starting with Heat and then starts to light up your lower body. There are a lot of squats and sumo burpees in this one, which cranked up my heart rate and also gave me an awesome burn. This is a great “legs day” workout and one that I’ll definitely be coming back to. 

Strength Intervals: (22 minutes) My workout cup of tea. This one starts off in the same manner (Heat, into Legs, Plank + Core, etc.) but also includes some cardio blasts to increase your heart rate. I really liked this one, and got a good sweat, but wished the duration was a bit longer. The beast combo was a beast!

Piyo define yourself

All in all, I loved the workouts and thought it was a fun way to change up my routine since my teaching schedule is very minimal right now. (I’m only teaching barre from now until little miss arrives!) I think it’s a great option if you’re looking to improve flexibility and want a different method for your strength training, as it’s bodyweight-based. Because you don’t need equipment and it’s low-impact (very little noises if you have neighbors), it’s also an awesome travel workout. Challenge-wise, I didn’t find it extremely challenging, which is just what I was looking for. If you’re looking for more cardio or a challenge, I recommend TurboFire (kickboxing + dance), Insanity (the classic never dies), or the new 21dayfix Extreme. 

Have you tried PiYo or anything similar? If you’ve done the Beachbody workouts, which one if your favorite? TurboFire still has my heart. 

Tweet: Check out @fitnessista ‘s full review of the PiYo workouts here: http://ctt.ec/B4aHE+ #beachbody #piyo

Have a great night and I’ll see you in the morning!



More workout review posts:




Barre workouts




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  1. I would love to try the 21 day fix!

  2. I haven’t tried PiYo yet, but I want to! It looks like a good workout and I love the Pilates yoga combo. It’s one of the reasons I like BODYFLOW so much. Have a great Tuesday!

  3. i’m interested in hearing about the 21 day fix! Thank you. 🙂

  4. I am interested in the 21 day fix! But what is the difference between the 21 day fix and the 21 day fix extreme???

  5. I’m a coach and am currently loving Max 30!!!

  6. Rebecca A Meier says:

    If I’m not too late, I’d like to be added to the 21 Day Fix Challenge Group as well. 🙂 🙂

  7. I haven’t thanked you yet for introducing me to TurboFire! I love it. For me, low-impact modification and lots of warm-up are a must. When I tried the PiYo cardio sample on BB On Demand, it started with deep bends and lunges too early, so I stopped. I might try it again and warm up on my own for 10 mins before the video.

  8. Great review! I am a HUGE fan of Chalene as well, she really does the marketing thing well! Thanks for sharing your insights xo C

  9. This sounds great — I would love to try the 21 day fix!

  10. I would love to do the challenge!

  11. I did Piyo and I enjoyed the workouts for the most part. Short workouts are key for me since I don’t have much time to commit but these workouts didn’t feel hard enough. I think they are good to add in when you need to take it easier but I prefer something that is quick and dirty and really kicks my butt in that 30 minutes.

  12. This is a great review – thanks for being so thorough. I’ve been debating trying some of the Beachbody workouts. I was initially going to try to on demand service, but is Piyo or 21 Day Fix available through this? Or do you have to buy the DVDs? I’m definitely interested in learning more about the 21 Day Fix Extreme thing you’re about to do. Thanks!

    • The PiYo and 21 day fix workouts are only available on demand if you’ve already purchased the program on DVD. I got them with challenge packs and they turned out to only be $10 each if you buy them with Shakeology!

  13. yes!! 21dayfix fun, let’s do it.. i’ve been doing Zumba and following zuzkalight for years now but love the idea of trying something new… and in time for my nuptuals in october. Very pumped.

  14. I would like to participate in the 21 day fix!! My husband wants to do the 21 sugar detox with me but not until January. I told him I’m out because in January and I’ll be able to treat myself to a glass of wine 😉 I might be able to get him on board with the 21 day fix 🙂 please email me at healthytidbitsblog@gmail.com.

  15. I have the PIYO DVD set and I do like the workouts, but there’s really nothing like taking a live PIYO class if it’s available to you! 🙂

  16. Alyssa Johnson says:

    I already have the 21 day fix, and would love to follow along with you and the group.

  17. I’d like to be added to the 21 Day Fix group. Thanks!

  18. I would love to be involved in the 21 day fix group!

  19. maria vittoria says:

    Hi, I would like to be part of the challenge for 21 days fix, thanks

  20. I love TurboFire! I also really like Slim in 6 and 21 Day Fix! I’m currently doing Cize and I love it but I would love to try PiYo too. Maybe for my next challenge. 😉

  21. Love to learn more about 21 day fix! I’m training for a half marathon but my weight has stalled:( have 15 pds to lose

  22. Would love to Do 21 day fix with y’all!!

  23. I’m on week 2 of PiYo. I was already on week 4 of T25 when I started PiYo.
    I do my T25 workout, as per schedule, and
    then add in the PiYo workout at the end. It feels perfect for me this way
    as the PiYo stretches feel great after the T25 cardio and strength training!

    I’m really really loving PiYo because it gave me a moment of epiphany
    last week when I thought – yes, this is what I should pursue and teach someday!

    I found something called the 21 day fix ultimate. Is that different
    from the regular 21 day fix?


  24. Could you give me more information on the beachbody on demand? I’m tossing around the idea of trying piyo or the BOD. Not sure if piyo is on BOD? I wouldn’t mind trying the shakes also if I could find a challenge pack or something?

  25. I’d like to know more about the 21 day fix.

  26. I’m interested in learning more about the 21 day fix! Thanks!

  27. I need to try something different…def interested in 21 day fix.

  28. Hi, I would like to be part of the 21 day fix challenge 🙂

  29. I’m interested – many thanks!

  30. Please add me to the 21 day fix challenge! Thanks!

  31. Christina says:

    I have the 21 Day fix and would love to join the group!

  32. I would like to join the 21dayfix fun 🙂

  33. Interested in 21 day fix if it isn’t too late. Is it possible to do 21 day fix without shakeology?

  34. Amanda Bee says:

    I just ordered PiYo as a way to get back in shape after being out of it due to a really stressful work schedule all summer. I’d love to try 21DayFix at some point, but am not interested in the diet plan/containers. Is it possible to just get the DVDs?

    • Fitnessista says:

      you can get the ultimate fix dvds (2 workouts) and plyo fix (1 workout) separately, but otherwise, you have to get the containers to get the full set since it’s such a big part of the program.

  35. Pattie Welch says:

    Would love to join your 21day fix challenge.

  36. Angela Brown says:

    I know I missed out on the September group, but I was hoping there would be another one soon? I really need help with motivation….

  37. Joyce Ross says:

    What is the difference between PIYO and 21 Day Fix

    • Fitnessista says:

      piyo is a combo of pilates, yoga and strength training. 21 day fix is more like traditional cardio and strength work

  38. Hey! I’m curious what modifications you made for this while pregnant? I’m doing mostly the modifiers, but is there anything in particular I should steer clear of? I’m 17 weeks. Thanks girl!

  39. My husband and I saw the infomercial for PiYo yesterday while waiting in the doctor’s office. We are 66 and 61 years old and in pretty good shape. My husband does have steel rods in his back. We were wondering if this would be something that would help us with flexibility, stability and maybe help lose those 20 pounds we have hanging around. What do you think? Thanks in Advance.

  40. Patrick OKeefe says:

    I’m a 62 year old man with a torn PCL. Have had the injury over 40 years and keep having to give up workouts. I’m wondering if this program will work for me

  41. Hey,

    I’m interested in buying this for my wife, who needs something that’s low impact but effective. What were some of the results you noticed? Also, how were you able to get the workout for your iPad? Is there a downloadable version?

    Thank you for an awesome and detailed review!

    • Fitnessista says:

      Hi Anthony,
      I definitely noticed improved balance. I was pregnant when I did it, so no increased muscle tone, though my friends have experienced that from this program. If you purchase the program, you get an instant digital version for your iPad

  42. Hi there beautiful!

    I’m loving the FITNESSISTA LOL!! I have subscribed and everyone who cares about fitness should also do so.
    Thank You for your great website and fitness updates 🙂 !
    I’m Looking for something extra to add to my daily routines, and would love to hear your point of view on something, cause you look like you know what you are talking about when it comes to different types of exercise programs etc. I’m going to try your 21 fix but have you, or any of your fans tried piyo by Chalene Johnson? I’m really thinking about buying it but after reading what this Debbie lady had to say about it on her blog http://www.piyoreviews.com/ I’m really not sure what to do…has anyone ever tried it? ro anything close to it. Is there a more perfect exercise program, or does PIYO actually work.
    I’, still unfit and overweight, and I’m trying to give up smoking cigarettes, but I don’t think I can completely give up alcohol, ever!

    Anymore info would be greatly appreciated, and all of your advice will be taken seriously, I’m loving your blog so far 🙂

    Kind Regards from Down Under


  43. Maritza says:

    Hi there!
    Thanks for sharing all this info!
    I’m just a few weeks away from finishing turbo fire and I’m looking at a new workout to start right after it, and I’m looking at Piyo. I’ve lost some weight and finally have been able to wear some of the clothes I put away in my wardrobe for a long time, specially for my upper body, however I’ve been loosing weight in my legs too and my jeans are way too loose now. I’m happy with the way my upper body is starting to look now but I want my legs to have more muscle, do you think Piyo is a good option after turbo fire??

  44. Bella White says:

    Hey and Congrats on everything you have achieved so far with PIYO 🙂
    I have also been trying to follow what you have been doing, even trying some recipes which I enjoy, BUT I’m not really enjoying the workout. I was wondering could you give me an idea or some advice on what to try next? Sorry if I sound helpless, but what you’ve done has given me a bit of inspiration.
    I need something a bit harder or faster working if you know what i mean. I have looked online and have found other workouts, but have no idea what to choose. I don’t want to waste any money. There are so many workouts to choose from like on http://topworkoutprograms.com/ BUT, which would you recommend, because everybody says their’s is the best lol

    Please Please help!

    Thank You


    PS: I need to fit into my wedding dress by August, and want to drop 4 sizes in the healthiest way as possible.

  45. Justine says:

    Hi Gina!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews. I’m a full time mum, and I am very keen to get back in shape (but don’t have all the time in the world), so I’ve decided to start a family wide diet, as well as an workout routine for myself, so hopefully I see results quicker, but also get my family healthy at the same time.
    I’ve been checking out websites all of the net for the right diet that the family can enjoy, and decided that a traditional diet is perfect for myself, my husband and my kids, so after reading about Paleo Diets here http://weeatpaleo.com/ I’ve decided that from now on we are going to be eating Paleo only in our house. We are now just over 2 weeks into our diet, and I must admit I feel better, so I’m 100% ready for a workout. I’ve been searching, and after reading everything on your website, including feedback and comments, I’ve decided that I’m “HIT IT”!

    I will keep you updated on my progress with the workouts 🙂

    Thank You So Much and Keep up the Great Work!! (I will try LOL)

    Kind Regards

    Justine J.

  46. I love to do and teach piyo. I’ve just started to incorporate it into my triathlon training. I use it on run days. I warm up with the warm up and heat building then I run and end with lower body and flow. A strong core is the key to all physical success. Mike

  47. This is literally the worst instructor I have ever seen on a Beachbody product. She moves through the exercises without letting you know which moves are coming up and does not do the moves equally on both sides (lunge on right leg 10 times, lunge on left leg 3 times). Feeling frustrated after the first workout, I kept going until workout #3, halfway through I wanted to break the disks.

    Moves are fine, instructor is the worst, workout is frustrating as a result.

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