PiYo Class Review

Posted February 20, 2015 in fitness classes, PiYo, workout, fitness, yoga, Pilates, sweat, YMCA

*The Kearney Family YMCA invited me to try out a PiYo class. All opinions are my own.

I recently took a PiYo class at the Kearney Family YMCA. This is a new class at their gym. It launched in January!

This was actually my second PiYo class. I tried PiYo for the first time at KTown Shakedown. But I always need to try a class a few times and by different instructors before I can form an opinion.

Before I get into my thoughts, let's discuss the details of PiYo. It's a low impact workout that combines Pilates and yoga-inspired moves to burn fat and sculpt lean muscles (source). You are in constant motion during the workout, which keeps your heart rate up to help you burn more calories.

Here are my thoughts on PiYo..

The first time I went to PiYo (last November), I took the BF. It wasn't his jam. He thought it was a bit feminine and he felt uncomfortable (as you can tell by the above photo).

So I went to the Y's PiYo class on my own. I think it may have been a difference in teaching style, but the Y class didn't seem girly at all. It seemed like a guy could have taken it without feeling uncomfortable. I also looked at the PiYo website, and they use men in their marketing.

The instructor, Nicole, started doing PiYo DVDs in her living room because she wanted to increase her flexibility (She was also a Beachbody coach, and the PiYo system is part of the whole Beachbody thing). When she had the opportunity to get certified as an instructor, she went for it. She taught in a small town for awhile, and recently moved to Kearney and began teaching at the Y.

Right now, all the PiYo classes are progressive. So you have to sign up at the beginning of a 6- or 8-week session and pay extra if you're a member of the Y. But you can also sign up even if you don't have a Y membership.

Nicole said she loves the progressive part of the class because she sees people overcome fears when they start gaining strength and they leave feeling better about themselves.

(image source)

She also loves PiYo because it increases flexibility, helps with balance and it's not destructive to the body.

I can see why they do a progressive class at the Y. Unlike a regular yoga class, PiYo is choreographed to music. So the people who had been coming to the class for the past few weeks, knew what movements were coming. It took me a few missteps to catch on to the choreographed movements. But they are repetitive, so once you get it you can follow along.

What I liked...

  • I liked the music. It was fun and upbeat.
  • I was sweating! I'm a sweater, so maybe this isn't a good way to judge a class. But I had sweat dripping off of my face onto my mat.
  • There were a few movements I really loved. Going from a downward facing dog to a plank with one leg crossed over the opposite leg. I also thought the abs track at the end was challenging. We also did Warrior 3 - one of my faves! (in the photo above)
  • It was challenging. Two push ups, spiderman plank on the right side then (from plank) move your right leg up toward your left hand and raise your left hand. Doing that a bunch of times had my arms burning!

What I didn't love...

  • There wasn't much Pilates. Nicole said other tracks that we didn't do have more Pilates movements.
  • There isn't much time to correct form. Because it's a fast-paced class, you don't hold yoga poses long enough to get cues on form. Nicole did say "check your alignment" a few times.

Overall, I actually think a power yoga class is more challenging than PiYo. The PiYo website kind of bashes yoga saying "PiYo is more than just holding poses." Well, so it yoga. My muscles are usually sore the day after a power yoga class, but I wasn't sore the day after doing PiYo.

But I think PiYo is a great option for people looking for a low-impact workout that incorporates strength training and flexibility work. Also, everything can be modified so this would be a great class for beginners

The Y's PiYo progressive classes are Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 a.m. The next session starts in April. They may also start offering an open Saturday class. Check the Y's Facebook page for updates.

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