Sunday, July 20, 2014

PiYo - A Beginner's Week 1 Review & Meal Plan

I've always loved yoga, but never really felt like I was getting a good workout with it. That's why I was so excited when I found out about PiYo. I knew that I could trust Beachbody and Chalene Johnson to deliver hard-core results, even with a low impact workout -- and I wasn't wrong!!

I started week one right after the 4th of July holiday. After our midwest vacation getaway where I'd skipped my workouts and eaten more than my share of hot dogs and hamburgers, I had put on an extra 5 pounds and I was ready to get back into a healthy routine.

Week 1 Review 

Day 1 - Align: The Fundamentals
Day 1 walks you through all of the moves you'll need to know for the program and teaches proper form. Do not skip this! To see results with PiYo, you want to make sure you're doing the moves correctly so I recommend doing this in front of a mirror so you can self-correct. (Tip: If you don't have a mirror in your workout area, you prop up your iPhone up on the floor and reversed the camera so you can see yourself!)

Day 2 - Define: Lower Body
Define: Lower Body is a great first workout to ease into PiYo. It's only 20 minutes, but don't be fooled by the short length... it's still a great workout. I was surprised to find tricep push-ups, chaturangas, and down dogs in a lower body workout, and I definitely felt this one in my abs arms and shoulders too. My lower hips and hamstrings felt nice and stretched out too after all those lunges, warriors and pigeon poses. Because it was so short, I personally felt like I was just getting warmed up at the end of day 2, so I went ahead and did day 3 too.

Day 3 - Define: Upper Body
Define: Upper body is where it really started to burn for me. Between Lower Body and Upper Body there is a lot of wrist/shoulder action (plank, down-dog, push-ups, etc.) and Chalene really turned it up here with some unique low-impact cardio movements like the PiYo Push-up series (roll spine down, walk your hands out in three counts to plank position, do three tricep push-ups, and walk hands back in to standing position), PiYo Pike (from side plank position, tuck your raised arm under your body, twisting your body forward), and Beast (from table top pose, lift your knees so you're on your hands and toes, kick one leg forward and raise the opposite arm).

Day 4 - Sweat
Ladies and gentlemen, the name doesn't lie! I normally don't sweat very much when I work out, but I was literally dripping my the end of Sweat. The rapid succession of movement elevates your heart rate without the high-impact cardio. It's the perfect fat-burning workout for anyone who can't (or just doesn't like to) do a lot of jumping around. I will warn you though, there is a surprise burpee sequence toward the end of the workout, but all in all the workout including warm-up is only 37 minutes so it's not too overwhelming.

Day 5 - Rest
Woohoo! I was surprised to have a rest day during the week, but by day 5 my core and upper body were feeling pretty sore, so it was definitely welcomed.

Days 6 & 7 - Define: Lower Body & Upper Body
To finish out the week you will repeat Define: Lower Body and Define: Upper Body. You should find both to be slightly easier the second time around. Again, I did both on the same day to give myself an extra rest day.

Overall, I loved week one of PiYo for a number of reasons:

  • PiYo gets my heart pumping without a bunch of jumping around
  • Every move has a modification, so the workout is perfect for all fitness/flexibility levels
  • You don't need any equipment (except a yoga mat -- which, really, is optional) 
  • You don't need a ton of space, just an area big enough to lunge forward, back and side to side

PiYo Meal Plan

Recipe Links

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  1. Is this program suitable for an obese woman? I did yoga religiously for 5 months in 2012 so I'm not a beginner but I'm trying to transition back into a routine after having 2 kids since then.

  2. Hi Cheyenne, Can you please tell me what plan this meal plan is A,B,C or D?
    I am plan B and would love to us this. Thanks, Jackie

    1. Hey Jackie - it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure I was using plan A. You can totally use this though, just add in an additional serving of veggies, protein and a healthy fat. You can follow the same menu - just increase the portions to account for those extras :)