First of all, what is a PiYo workout? The Beachbody PiYo Workout is ultimately a combination of two famous exercises: pilates and yoga. It also includes a bit of cardio with how quickly you will be moving from one workout to the next. The workout comes from the large fitness company Beachbody, and they are a powerhouse in the industry to say the least. They have a variety of different exercises to choose from, ranging from easy to intense and for different lengths of time. On top of their at home and online fitness programs, they also offer different supplements to purchase to enhance your fitness experience. Do be mindful that some of these supplements tie you into an auto ship program where you will receive them and be billed monthly. The Beachbody headquarters is located in Santa Monica, California, and their products are available online and on the main website.
The Beachbody PiYo workout contains seven different workouts on three different DVD’s. For starters, Charlene Johnson, a celebrity fitness trainer and expert in the fitness world, created this workout and she instructs it so you will see her quite often. I will highlight more detail about each actual workout below if you are interested in what exercises you will be doing. Her bubbly personality, fit nature, and mental drive will help to keep you on track and on fire for her workouts. She claims she took out the “boring stuff” of yoga, pilates, and cardio and only added in the good stuff. You will not need any weights while going through this program, just body weight. So what exactly comes in the PiYo workout package? In the package, costing $59.85 plus shipping and handling, you will receive:
- The Quick Start Guide
- The PiYo 60-Day Workout Calendar
- Get Lean Eating Plan
- Three DVD’s+ 2 bonus workouts for buns and core
- 24/7 online support from Beachbody.com
The 3 DVD’s and the 7 Different Workouts
- Align: The Fundamentals– The basics for strength.
- Define: Lower Body– This targets lower body strength.
- Define: Upper Body– This targets upper body strength.
- Sweat: Dynamic conditioning and fast paced cardio.
- Drench: A combination of all of the exercises maximizing fat burning potential.
- Sculpt: This is a tempo workout which tests the endurance of your muscles.
- Strength Intervals: A body carving and calorie burning workout that lasts 25 minutes.
I want to go into a little more detail about the workouts and what you will be getting when you purchase this package. When looking at the upper body workout, this will mainly focus on upper body strength with a mix of core strength too. Examples are push ups, roll outs, and side planks. Lower body is more geared toward yoga style, with lunges and different balance exercises to work the lower body in a controlled way. The sweat workout is truly meant to get your heart rate pumping and your fat loss zones in check. The yoga flow sun salutations will get your sweating, along with lunges and balances too. The drench workout is the longest of them all clocking in at 48 minutes. It truly feels like a full blown exercise class where you will go through the entire body from top to bottom. Lastly, the buns DVD has been said to be the hardest and you will most definitely feel the burn in just 28 minutes time.
Each workout is meant to last anywhere from 30-45 minutes, and the program overall is meant to last for 60-days. You are given 1 day off a week, and are expected to work out 6 days a week on this program. Because there is a lot of cardio involved, that rest day is important to take so that you do not get hurt. You can modify the workouts if you are struggling to get through each day, but it is recommended that you do all 6 workouts each week for optimal success. The amount of PiYo workout calories burned really depends on the amount you are exerting each day, because the workouts are always the same amount of time.
Beachbody PiYo Workout Claims
Regarding the workout, there are not a lot of claims made outside of what the workout can do for your body overall. The big seller is just letting the potential customer know that if they want to lose weight and get sculpted, this program might help them with that. See below for a few direct quotes from the main site regarding the PiYo workout video DVD’s.
“PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga. And, we crank up the speed to deliver a true fat-burning, low-impact workout that leaves your body looking long, lean, and incredibly defined.”
“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.”
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind The Beachbody PiYo Workout
While the company does not offer actual “science” per say behind the effectiveness of their products on the website, there have been plenty of studies done on the types of exercises they are offering to their customer base. Pilates, yoga, and cardio have all been studied and are proven ways to burn fat and lose weight. I wanted to take a look at a few of the exercises and some studies done on them regarding fat loss percentage, and effectiveness. You will notice there are not huge leaps and bounds with the results, but there is progress being made. This is similar to the feedback from the PiYo program, and how customers felt about their progress levels too.
I wanted to take a deeper look into the effectiveness of pilates workouts in certain individuals to see if it really does help with fat loss overtime. If you are familiar with pilates, you know how it can make your muscles burn, but what about fat? In one study done over a 24-week time period with elderly women over 60 years old in Serbia, they did see a reduction in fat mass overall.
“Initial muscular mass values remained stable, whereas FM decreased, without causing deterioration of health during the practice of exercises. For the level of balance and functional performance, physical capacity was not evaluated.”
Another study was done on the effectiveness of the pilates exercise with individuals suffering from back pain or other ailments which might inhibit them from exercising. They reviewed certain individuals who had persistent lower back pain, and how pilates could potentially heal them, or at least get them to workout with less pain than before. The conclusion of the study?
“Pilates-based exercises are superior to minimal intervention for pain relief. Existing evidence does not establish superiority of Pilates-based exercise to other forms of exercise to reduce pain and disability for patients with persistent nonspecific low back pain. However, the relatively low quality of existing studies and the heterogeneity of pooled studies in this systematic review combine to suggest that these results should be interpreted with caution.”
On the other side of things, yoga comes into play because the Beachbody PiYo workout does include quite a bit of yoga in the mix. Some people might assume that yoga is just light stretching, but it can truly impact your muscles and joints far past that notion. In a study done by AJMC, they set out to prove that yoga can really impact overall fat loss if you stick with it over just plain stretching. The study period was done over a 6 month time period, and there hadn’t been many studies done on actual fat loss so it seemed relevant. Most of the time there are studies done on what yoga can do for diabetic patients, but not for fat loss. In the study, the average age of the yoga participants was 55 years old and their BMI was an average of 36. The average age of the stretching participants was 54 years old and their BMI was an average of 32.
All of the participants received medical evaluation at the halfway point (3 months) and then they were tested at the end, obviously. Their overall findings?
“Both groups lost weight, with the restorative yoga practitioners losing more, an average of 1.3 kg at 6 months compared with 0.7 kg for the stretch group. Significantly, the yoga group maintained the reduction, with the average weight loss reaching 1.7 kg at the 48-week mark, even when controlling for BMI.”
The one thing that yoga did reduce more than the stretching group was cortisol levels in the body. Because of the significant stress reduction, it opens up the pathway for even more weight loss.
One could argue that you cannot just lose all of your weight by doing PiYo workouts, but you really can get into better shape than if you not were to do them. In the studies above, there were results on individuals who might not have otherwise worked out and lost the weight. Getting healthier sometimes starts with trying a new workout, one that involves yoga and is less straining on your muscles and joints. While no specific science study will tell you to join a PiYo group over another style of weight loss, it has been said to have benefits overall.
Word On The Street About The Beachbody PiYo Workout
When looking into the PiYo workout reviews, there truly was a mix of happy and unhappy customers. With the happy customers, they felt like there was a lot of energy and positivity given to them during the workout. With the unhappy customers, some just felt like the workouts were not enough to really get them into great shape and coupled it with their other workouts. There were also complaints about the amount of commercials and advertisements that get thrown your way during the workouts. The nice thing about this workout series in comparison to other Beachbody workouts is the low impact effect it has on your joints and muscles. While some people might not think it is the toughest out there, it might be a good workout to use if you are trying to ease back into shape after an injury or break.
L.E. (June 2017, 1 star),
“I was so looking forward to this DVD. When I got it I was so very disappointed. Throughout the DVD they are advertising and trying to sell their other products. The selling of things is very distracting and it definitely puts a damper on the entire work out. I wish they would have stuck to just the work out. It would have been a nice addition to all the other activities I do. I returned it.”
Theresa (June 2016, 3 star),
“She does an adequate job of explaining how to do the poses, but in the end it lacked the effectiveness of regular weight work and the mindfulness of yoga. I love Chalene (hugh fan of her ChaLean series), i think she’s a hoot — inspiring and fun — but this just didn’t work for me.”
Hrobinett (May 2015, 4 star),
“The workout is fairly easy to follow, but not so easy as to make it boring. I like that they are SHORT workouts, I’ll often add in a jog or walk with it. They are also LOW IMPACT. For a quick, quiet, low impact workout these are great.”
What Is Beachbody On Demand?
We all know that the Beachbody PiYo Workout DVD’s can be physically purchased and then used on a DVD player at home. But what if you do not have a DVD system in your home? Many people are now moving completely digital and do not want a ton of DVDs lying around waiting to be ruined, scratched, or lost. Beachbody offers an On Demand option which will still give you access to the workouts just not in physical form, but rather online through streaming. There are some cons to this type of purchase however, and that is the monthly or yearly charge that you have to pay for. Once your subscription expires, you no longer have access to any of the workouts. If you buy the DVD’s, it is a one-time purchase and you will always have them.
You will have access to over 600 workouts promoted by Beachbody (PiYo included) and you can customize other add ons if you would like. For example, they are promoting the 12-month challenge pack, which includes a full year of access to the different workout plans, a 30 day supply of Shakeology drinks, and a portion fix container system for $160.00. If you only want access to the workouts and none of the additional add ons, it will cost around $100 for 12 months. Please note, your subscription will renew itself automatically after the first 12 months are over. There are also 14-day trial offer periods, which you can take advantage of, and a few different three and six month packages if you don’t like 12 months.
This On Demand option is available for many of the mainstream workout DVD’s, but it is only available when you purchase directly from their main website. There are no discounts really, as you might be able to find from an outside retailer like Amazon, and once your time is up, you don’t have access anymore. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could get through 600 workouts in 12 months as there are many programs to choose from which could make it overwhelming. Each different program also demands different workout equipment, so charges could rack up that way too. However, this option is nice for some people who want access to more than 1 program at a time if they need to switch it up.
The Bottom Line: Is The Beachbody PiYo Workout Worth A Try?
Yes. There is little risk in trying this program out, and the company gives you 60-days to see if you like it or not. Results will come if you decide to give this series a go, and many times in order to see success moving in the direction you want it to just takes a little time. This program will offer you insight to how yoga might work too, if you are unfamiliar with this style of workout practice. Another nice thing about this workout is the lack of equipment you will need to get into shape, because it really just requires body weight. Many are looking for overnight success and you will not get that with this particular program just due to the shorter workouts. Pilates and yoga are both wonderful forms of exercise to incorporate into your routine whether you are doing them for your entire workout, or just for a portion of it. If you can get past some of the commercials and selling of the supplements that are notorious throughout Beachbody’s workout DVDs, then you just might enjoy this PiYo workout to get a sweat going!