Halfway there! A review of PiYo

I’ve made it to month two of the 60-day PiYo program, so I wanted to do a quick little check in and share my journey so far!

First, a quick rundown on what PiYo is.

In a phrase, PiYo is the combination of pilates and yoga (GET IT? GET IT?!), meaning you’re not using weights or doing intense cardio (like running, high knees, jumping jacks, etc) for two months. Sounds kinda nice, right?

Wrong. Well, not totally wrong. It’s easy on my knees and shins (unlike running) but does not spare me when it comes to breaking a sweat. This is because it’s constant movement between body-weight exercises, instead of holding a pose for a length of time.

The schedule changes from week to week (a win for me, because I get bored), and gives you one rest day per week. I chose to do one of the bonus exercises that day, because I’m hardcore! *Punches the air*

So far…

The first thing I noticed about PiYo was the difference in length of each of the daily workouts. PiYo comes with 8 workouts (plus some bonus ones you can do when you feel like it), that very in length from 20 minutes to 45. In reality, though, they stretch from 18 minutes to nearly 50. Of course, there’s some days where I’m busy and can only get 18 minutes in, but when I look at the schedule and see that long one, I usually have to shuffle my day around to fit it in. Of course, I feel good to get those extra calories burned for a longer workout, but for me, it’s a lot easier to block out a consistent chunk of time for my workouts each day. Luckily, the longer workouts are sprinkled throughout the program, and most days I spend 30-35 minutes in front of my TV working up a sweat.

Part of the reason, I assume, for these varied workout times is reflected in the daily schedule. The intensity builds as weeks go on, and by the 4th week you’re done with the sub-20 minute workouts and onto the longer ones. Unlike the 21 Day Fix (the first program I ever did in full), I really feel like I’m getting stronger and making it through more and more of each workout without stopping because of the format.

I think, more than many other programs, this is the most friend-friendly. I never had the urge to suggest that someone else join me on a run, at the gym, or even when I was doing the 21 Day Fix, but so far I’ve done a few of the workouts with a buddy, and it’s fun. Because the program is low impact, it makes it easily adaptable for nearly anyone, and there’s no equipment needed aside from a yoga mat…but even that’s optional for some of the workouts.

The eating plan is also easy and adaptable. I may be biased because of my experience with the 21 Day Fix, but it’s been a breeze to plan my meals each week. I haven’t felt hungry, and I’ve been pushing my culinary skills thanks to the Fixate cookbook. Normally I lean toward quick meals (especially ones I can just put in the microwave), but I’ve been finding some recipes that are easy to make, don’t require too many ingredients (ca-ching $$), and will last me the week.

My results so far

No photos yet, that’s for later, but I do have some numbers to crunch.

I was silly, and only measured my weight on the scale and took some photos on the first day of PiYo. I never measured my inches. If you’re just starting a new program LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE and measure everything!

In any case, half way through the program and I have gained .2 pounds. DON’T STOP READING YET. I PROMISE THERE’S A MORAL HERE.

I have a scale that measures my weight, BMI, body fat percentage, and calculates my lean muscle v. fat. (It’s a FitBit Aria scale, if you’re curious). I recommend something like this if you’re seriously working to lose some weight, gain weight, gain muscle…whatever. It’s a way better and more specific look at what your body is up to.

 

I was really, really discouraged to see my weight decrease for the first three weeks, then suddenly spike up at week four. Then I took a look at the more detailed information.

Lean muscle: + 3.2 lbs
Fat: – 3 lbs

So here’s the lesson. It’s taken me a long, long time to learn it, and often I forget, but the number on the scale is NOT an indication of how healthy you are, fit you are, or “fat” you are. I’ve lost three pounds of fat but gained back dense, healthy muscle. I can do body weight-based exercises I could never do before, and I’m more flexible than when I started.

I’m super pumped to move into the second month, and show off my final results! Stay tuned 🙂

 

 

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