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  • Nikki Cagle


I am no stranger to fitness programs - I have tried almost all of the trendy routines under the sun.Body Revolution, P90x (and P90x3!), 30-Day Shred, Biggest Loser, HIIT's, cross-training, and pretty much anything by Jillian Michaels. You name it, I've done it, and occasionally still revisit my favs. So when you ask me to start a new program with a new instructor that I've never virtually met before, I'm weary, judgement and skeptical...I'm a fitness snob.

Nonetheless, my incredible BeachBody coach gave me all the convincing I needed and I started my journey with Chalene and her long and lean limbs. I started BeachBody's PiYo when I was fresh off the heels of training for, and running, a 10-miler. Suffice it to say I wasn't in "bad" shape—I felt strong and energetic. But I was b o r e d. BORED, I tell ya! I was tired of hitting the tread and felt a little bulky from all of the cross strength training that came along with a 10-week running program. I needed something f r e s h, and something that would get me long and lean—something that would make me Summer-ready!

Enter, PiYo.

This is my full, raw, no-holds-bar review of every single aspect of PiYo - broken down by each workout! Hopefully it will help you decide whether PiYo is a good fit for you...or not...but I'm going to give a pre-review round-up of my detailed review below and say yes, it's t o t a l l y a good fit for you, and you, and you.

Align: The Fundamentals {43 minutes}

So, like I said, I am a former P90x & P90x3'er, and I've also done my fair share of yoga in the past, so this "workout" was a bit...::grits teeth::...pointless, for me. Chalene basically walks you through the different moves, the terminology, and the layout of the program. This is NOT considered a workout, in my book. I watched 15 minutes and then said, "Okay, I got it," and moved on to the next day's workout. Do yourself a favor and watch this the Sunday before you start. If you feel like you're BeachBody {BB} & yoga savvy, you'll know in the first 10 minutes whether it's worth it to watch or not. If you've never done a BB program or a measly downward dog, this is probably beneficial for you to watch. But I'm more of a hands-on kind of learner - I'd rather do the dog than hear about it.

Define: Lower Body {20 minutes}

Truth be told, this was a little easy for me, too. Remember, I had just come off a rigorous 10-week running program where we did a LOT of lower body work. At the end of this video I felt like, that's it?! Now what do I do to get my sweat on? Which brings me to...

Define: Upper Body {19 minutes}

Same song and dance as above - which is to say: a lot of song, not a lot of dance. After doing each of these twice I made the executive decision to start pairing them on the same day. You get a great stretchy yoga-heavy workout for under 40 minutes. I would either pair them together and do a run on the second day, or pair each with a short run or circuit workout pin. I do NOT think they're pointless, I just think they're better served together or paired with another workout. This, again, coming from someone who was used to working out up to an hour a day. So, 19 minutes? I laugh in the face of 19 minutes! This became one of my favorite AM workouts when I needed to wake-up, but not throw up. And then I would do a second workout after or in the PM.

Sweat {37 minutes}

NOW we're talking!! Sweat is very, VERY, aptly named. You know how you sweat so much, and so quietly, that it's just dripping off the ball of your nose? Times that by ten. The sweat will be rollingoff your nose. The best part of Sweat is, even though you're buns are burning, your legs are quivering, your arms are buckling and your abs are screaming, you don't feel like you're killing yourself. Chalene takes you riiiighttt to the edge, and then BANG - you're moving on. Switching it up and having that fluid motion is likely, I think, why you're glistening like a pig in oil. This is one of my absolute favorite PiYo workouts!!

Core {30 minutes}

Anything core is always my favorite - I love a good ab-crushing workout! This one is no different. It is core at its finest - encompassing some of my favorite and well-known core moves {like the bicycle}...and newly hated core moves {PiYo pike, anyone?}. But when I say "hate," what I mean is, love to hate {hate to love? Either way.}. This is 30 nonstop waist-cinching minutes, but they FLY and you're left feeling tight and taut. P.S. The last move is a funky little side-plank meets bend backwards in half and kick forward move that you have to live to understand - but it's a new fav!

Buns {28 minutes}

Of STEEL, ya'll, steel. Not to be graphic, but I think my buns are my most, um, enhanced, aspect from this workout? Yea, enhanced. This bun-burner will leave you feeling like you can barely sit down - in the best way possible. I think the first day after I did this workout for the first time I actually contemplated crawling to the bathroom, and then somehow figuring out how to hover over the toilet. You know the feeling - this will certainly give it to you. Chalene again takes you right to the edge when you think your gluteus medius {that's your bum-cheek-bone} might very well pop right out of your skin, and though mine now looks like it might at any second, I thank Chalene from the bottom of my bum for my new Kardashian-esque bootay. {The hubs thanks her, too.}

Strength Intervals {21 minutes}

This is the perfect quickie to pair with a quick run or Upper or Lower PiYo! It flies! But don't let that fool you - it will still kick your bum and leave you in pain and dripping sweat. I almost always pair this with a 2 miler, or even sneak it in on my "off day." Keep in mind that you can do anything for 20 minutes and you'll crank this sucker out in a cinch. {Just kidding, don't hate me when you're in pain after 20 minutes... Mind over matter!!}

DRENCH {48 minutes}

Remember how Sweat actually leaves you sweaty? Times that by, oh, I don't know - 30? And you have yourself DRENCH. It is in capital letters for a very good reason. There is no other way to explain Drench, other than that you will literally be left dripping, oozing, drowning in sweat. You clothes will be drenched, your floor will be drenched, and if your dog gets too close, they too will be drenched. This is one of my absolute favorite PiYo workouts, because although it is the longest at a whopping 48 minutes, you feel like you can take on the world afterward! Well, after a good shower, some gorging on a delicious ShakeO, and maybe a nap. This workout takes bits and pieces from every single workout - all of your favorite moves in a nonstop fat-blasting workout. Then you round out the whole thing with 13 minutes of "flow" at the very end. Flow is like yoga on speed - and I swear that's where you elevate from sweaty to drenched. There's a good reason why this workout doesn't make an appearance until week four!

Sculpt {26 minutes}

Sculpt is a lot like Strength Intervals in the way that it's quick, painful & done before you know it. This is like a mini Drench in fast forward - hitting each area very quickly before moving on to the next. Despite its condensed version, you still get a major workout. The one thing that sets this workout apart from the rest is a chair. Yes, a chair. Your biceps, triceps and glutes will be screaming and pissed at that chair by the end of this one!!

Bonus: Hardcore on the Floor {33 minutes}

After a few weeks you get the option to swap out Core for Hardcore on the Floor, but truth be told, I was so obsessed with Core that I couldn't imagine substituting it! I didn't try Hardcore until after my 60-day program was over...and boy was I regretful. Hardcore is almost a tiny notch harder than Core and you literally never. ever. ever. get off the floor! After a few weeks of Core I would suggest swapping this out every other time. Don't forgo Core altogether because they both have their strengths {and by strength I mean pain}, but do incorporate Hardcore every now and then!

So, there you have it - my honest rundown of PiYo. Did I convince you to sign-up, or did I scare you off?! I hope it's not the latter... If you need any more inspiration that YOU can do this, how about the fact that my BB coach {Gina Notes of Popcorn and Pandas} was actually doing the program the same time as me...while seven months pregnant!! If that doesn't make you get off your bum and start planking, I don't know what will. Thoughts on PiYo?? Please share below!! And feel free to ask me anything else about this strength & toning workout program with my new fitness-BFF, Chalene ;-)

Psst! You may also like:

10 Health Hacks: How I Changed My Body, My Life

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