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Programme Review : Piyo

In these programme reviews I will be covering off my experience of the workouts, what you need to get started and what to expect.

About this Programme

Piyo is a totally non-impact workout created by trainer Charlene Johnson back in 2014

PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility benefits of yoga. It’s a true fat-burning, low-impact program, and you’ll get incredibly defined.

This was the first ever Beachbody programme back in 2017 and it made me fall in love with exercise. I talk more about it on this page as I now teach it live too.

Programme Format

The programme consists of 8 different workouts that are built up into a 60 day calendar.

Over the 8 weeks workout 6 days a week and have one rest day in every calendar week.  There are also 3 bonus workouts that you can access when you sign up to use Beachbody on demand, these are great if you go on to repeat the calendar and want to build on your ability.  If you sign up to use Beachbody you will have me as your coach for 12 months and I can walk you through this and many other programmes.

How long is each workout?

The workouts range from 18 to 48 minutes and each focuses on different muscle groups and functions for a total body experience .The amount of calories you burn in PiYo depends upon many factors, however, for most people, 250 to 400 calories would be about the average.

  • Upper Body = 20 minutes that will helps your strengthen and stretch your entire body.
  • Lower Body = 20 minutes to shape and tone all of your lower body muscles without jumping
  • Sweat = 35 minutes that will have you working on your strength with bodyweight exercises and core work. And yes, you will sweat!
  • Core =  30 minutes that focuses on your whole core not just your abs, be prepared to work your back and obliques too! 
  • Drench =  a 45 minute full body workout. It will have you burning tons of calories and have the sweat dripping off the end of your nose!
  • Strength Intervals =  25 minutes designed to tone without using weights
  • Sculpt = a 30 minutes fast paced full-body workout without the use of any equipment

The bonus workouts are all 30 mintues

  • Hardcore on the floor = core work on the mat. 
  • Full Body Blast = taking your workouts to the next level with sliders
  • Strong Legs = another slider based workout that will sculpt and strengthen your legs

What did I like?

Everything. No seriously. When I started I was so unfit but thankfully there is a modifier on screen that you can follow – and if you can’t keep up, you can always go to child’s pose, or because you are at home and not in a class you can hit pause and have a water break! On the other end of the scale there is also an intensifier if you already have a good level of fitness and really want to progress.

The trainer Charlene is really positive and as well as giving really clear cues during the workout she focuses on feeling positive and working out for your benefit.  I know some people try and watch the screen and try and workout, but my advise is to either watch it and rewind or to just trust yourself, listen to the trainer and give it your best shot.  Another thing that can help is to watch the workout before you do it – but trust me, by week two you will be following it like a pro!

I have to admit I felt totally uncoordinated when I started this programme, I did most the push-ups on my knees and found sumo squats IMPOSSIBLE to maintain. By the end of 60 days I had massively improved my ability to do push-ups ON MY TOES,  I was comfortable with the routines to not have to turn my neck to look at the screen to see where I was going and my endurance was a 500% better.

Things to note

The music that accompanies the workouts wont be anything you recognise, the moves are driven by the music so do tune into the beat and feel it as you move.

If you are new to mat based work, you may find that your wrists complain the first few times you do these routines. This is normal and primarily because they are not used to being in that position rather than because they are not strong enough. I would encourage you to persevere and keep going as you will notice quite swift progress in this area!

You don’t need to do any additional workouts alongside Piyo to get results, it really does it all. However, there are hybrid programmes that combine it with other Beachbody workouts as well as one that makes it a great accompaniment to running (as it helps improve range of motion and core stability).  For me personally, Piyo helped me to start running for the first time in 10 years as I found that I finally had the muscle strength and cardio endurance to get past those first few minutes.

What did I dislike?

That it was over. Not only did I do the 60 days of this programme, but I repeated the last 30 days to really build on my experience. Now that I teach it I get to do it 2 to 3 times a week and it never gets old.

Something that I have noticed as I have gone on to do other programmes is that there is no preview of each move or water breaks, so expect to press pause if you do want a drink.

What will you need to get started today?

To begin you will need 45 minutes to watch the first introductory session called  Allign, the fundementals. This takes you through all the basic poses and class format and will help you to recognise the cues.  After that the first session is 20 minutes.

In terms of equipment , you will need a mat, a towel and some water.

If you go on to follow the strength calendar, you will need some sliders; these work by isolating your muscles as you move.  Whilst you can buy the ones from Beachbody here I really liked these as they work both on carpets and hard floors. I don’t just use this for Piyo either, they regularly make an appearance in my circuits class as they really are great at targeting muscle groups.




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