PiYo Review: Pilates and Yoga Hybrid Workout
• Low impact exercises
• Not time-intensive
• Good for beginners
• Less expensive than other systems
• No equipment needed
• Variety of exercises
• Weak instruction
• Constant pitching of their protein shake
• Not as effective for people who are already fit
PiYo is a solid, although not perfect, beginner-level exercise set by Beachbody. As with any exercise regimen, consistency on the part of the user will be what makes or breaks this investment. Its low impact, quick-paced workouts will be sufficient for most users, although the host's ability to instruct seems lacking at times.
PiYo is a workout program which combines yoga and Pilates using nonstop motion.
Claims & Features
- No weights or jumps
- True fat-burning and low-impact
- Long, lean, and defined body
- Non-stop, fluid movement
- Get results quickly
- Minimize aches and pains
- Works for all ages and body types
Cost & Availability
From the official website, PiYo is available for 3 monthly payments of $19.95 + $12.95 S&H; can’t opt out of free gifts; can opt out of free upgrade to express shipping. There is a 60-day money back guarantee, although shipping is non-refundable.
You can find PiYo on Amazon for about $72.
The TV commercial below has been airing as of this writing.
PiYo is stretch and strength and flexibility all rolled into one powerfully dynamic workout. Shoulders back, abs like you’re an athlete. Tell yourself, ‘This is easy. Are you kidding me.’ PiYo is for people who just don’t feel like yoga and Pilates is the right fit for them. It’s for people who know they need flexibility training but they wanna get more out of it.
“Both arms let’s go.”
“I like my performance overall. My balance is better. My posture is better. I don’t have some of the nagging injuries.”
PiYo is extremely effective. PiYo is just using your body to train your body. We use our own flexibility and our own strength to actually shape the shape of your body. So I wanted to give them a workout where I was gonna get the cardio, I’m gonna get the strength training, but as I’m doing it I’m becoming far more flexible.
“Pump those arms. Almost there. Almost there. Here we go.”
“I’m literally drenched in sweat and I haven’t touched a weight today.”
“Yeah that’s not your imagination. Let’s go guys!”
I mean this is flexibility training that changes your whole body. Yes, you become more flexible but you become so much stronger everywhere like push-ups get easier, lunges get easier. Every part of your body is stronger, longer and leaner from PiYo”
“Yeah so proud of you, glad you did it. You know what you’re feeling right now? You’re feeling that post workout-high. Don’t think about how you feel when you start, think about how amazing you feel when you’re done.”
Gracing late-night infomercials is the lovely Chalene Johnson, pitching her PiYo DVD instructional set which combines Pilates and yoga (thus the name). There are also elements of dance and martial arts included in some of the workouts. It features “nonstop, fluid movement” which is said to set it apart from traditional Pilates or yoga classes, which often require you to hold poses for long periods.
There are a total of 10 workouts across three DVDs. It is a 60-day program, consisting of 25-45 minute exercises, six days a week – meaning you’ll watch each DVD six times. The official product page describes the program in the following manner:
PiYo isn’t like standard Pilates and yoga classes that make you hold long, intense poses, or lead you through dozens of repetitive, microscopic core movements. PiYo speeds everything up—including your results—by introducing you to dynamic, flowing sequences that can burn serious calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone your muscles and increase your flexibility.
Below are a list of pros and cons our product researchers have compiled.
PiYo is an effective workout regimen that keeps you moving continuously, which helps burn calories and stimulate more muscle groups. The exercises are not extremely long (most are under a half hour), which is desirable to the target demographic: those who are not gym rats and not in top physical shape.
A session of PiYo does in fact lead to a nice moderate cardio workout, and will make many users work up a nice sweat. The exercises themselves are low impact and focus on body-weight strength through push-ups, lunges, and balancing. There is very little jumping, which has become an over-utilized part of many workout DVDs. A few workouts do call for jumping, but it is only a minimal part of the series. Because the impact is low, this makes PiYo an excellent choice for those in apartments with downstairs neighbors.
Another excellent feature of PiYo is that no additional equipment is needed, other than a mat if you so desire. Strength training is done via your own body weight, so you don’t have to purchase anything else. If you are traveling, you won’t have to worry about bringing any equipment along.
As the series progresses, exercises you learn in earlier DVD’s will be built upon for more elaborate exercises. Some of the biggest results may actually be found in your core, as the abs are generously used in many of the exercises.
Flexibility and stretching are core features of PiYo, which is often minimized or overlooked in some of the more “hardcore” workout systems.
The “Align” DVD sets up the series and teaches you all of the moves and poses you’ll use in the PiYo system.
The instruction itself is somewhat hit and miss. Ironically, there seemed to be too much talking in some places, and not enough in others – such as explaining certain exercises. Chalene sometimes speaks as though the viewers already understand the terminology, and even sometimes refers to the same exercise by different names without explanation. Combine this with fast-pace transitions, and it can get easy to be lost. Additionally, some of the off-hand comments range from bizarre to condescending.
An awkward aspect of the DVDs is that a significant portion of the exercises (the “muscle sculpting” Pilates aspect) will find you in a push-up position, staring at the floor. This makes it somewhat difficult to look up at the television to follow the on-screen instructions.
Shakology. The constant stream of pitches for their over-priced protein shake known as Shakology becomes something of an annoyance. You can find similar products for significantly less, but it is presented in a way to make it look vital and irreplaceable. There are moments that PiYo starts to seem like an infomercial for Shakology.
List of video times. Some users may find this irritating, while it may go unnoticed by others, but the times listed for each workout are incorrect.
Those who already have some level of fitness may find that most of the workouts don’t push their heart rates enough. “Drench” is an example of one workout which will get most hearts up and racing, but the majority of workouts will not push those who are already fit.
Despite a number of significant cons, there is a large majority of consumers who have used this product and lost weight while building muscle, a fact that should not be overlooked. If you are particular about your workouts and instructors, you may want to consider other options alongside PiYo. If you are a beginner and don’t mind hit-and-miss instructions, PiYo will probably do the job.
If you are looking for an extreme exercise program, you will not find it with PiYo, nor will you find it sufficient to building muscle. That would be a job for something like P90X. If you are already in good physical shape and have attended fitness classes regularly, you will probably not find these workouts to raise your heart rate sufficiently.
PiYo is available on Amazon, and the overall customer rating as of this writing is a solid 4.0 out of 5 stars.
If one were to generalize the demographic most satisfied with PiYo, it would be women who are looking to slim down. There is, of course, no single type of user for which this series is designed, but that group of people seem to be most satisfied. Men often want to bulk up and opt for the more hardcore workout programs.
Although advertised as low impact, some of the balance-based exercises could put tension on certain joints, which may have the same net result as impact exercises.
Chalene’s commentary will probably seem natural the first time you go through the workouts. As you begin to repeat the workouts, however, some of the comments and banter become more of a distraction.
Despite rather scathing reviews of BeachBody by some readers, the company has managed to maintain an A+ rating with the BBB, with 605 closed complaints in the past 3 years. The most common complaints are those related to billing.
PiYo is a solid, although not perfect, beginner-level exercise set by Beachbody. As with any exercise regimen, consistency on the part of the user will be what makes or breaks this investment. Its low impact, quick-paced workouts will be sufficient for most users, although the host’s ability to instruct seems lacking at times.
If you’ve used PiYo, please give it a star rating and comment below.