PiYo Workout: Review & Results

It’s been a little over two months since I started PiYo, so I now feel like I can share a thorough review. When I went looking online for reviews for the PiYo workout program, the only ones I found were brief reviews on Amazon, or reviews by BeachBody coaches, so I’m writing this from the perspective of an ordinary gal who is not affiliated in any way with the BeachBody program.

Since I do occasionally write sponsored posts, I’m specifying here that this is not a sponsored post and I purchased this program with my own funds.

PiYo review

Short version of my review: I enjoy PiYo, I recommend PiYo, and I plan to keep doing PiYo. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

You can read what the program includes here so I won’t cover all that. Instead, I’ll address my personal experience with the program. This is also not a post about the benefits of exercise in general, and of course you should check with your doctor if you have any concerns about what type of exercise program you should or shouldn’t do.

“PiYo is for people of all ages, fitness levels, and body types.”

This is what the BeachBody site says, but I have to add some major qualifiers before I’d say I agree with that statement. I can’t imagine, for instance, my mom with a rotator cuff problem and history of back surgery doing PiYo.

If you have any significant joint pain/issues, I don’t think this would be the program to start with. Although PiYo is no-impact, it is strenuous. Every video shows how to take the workouts down a notch, but even so, they’re still pretty intense, and probably not very forgiving for arthritis or injuries — but I’m not an expert there.

My fitness level starting this program was what I’d classify as wimpy. I have asthma, and it had been eons since I’d had a regular fitness program of any sort. I also have arthritis in my neck, scoliosis in my mid-back, and some other wonkyness in my lower back. However, I’ve never had significant joint issues or injuries (other than a broken arm back in 8th grade).

What I love about PiYo:

  • It’s fast-paced but not so fast I felt lost, even the first time doing a routine.
  • It can be modified, whether you need to take intensity down or kick it up a notch.
  • It’s no-impact so I don’t feel like I’m beating myself up just to get in shape.
  • No equipment required. (A yoga mat is suggested — and very helpful.)
  • Instructor Chalene is enthusiastic, but not over the top.
    {I just can’t workout with someone who annoys me.}
  • There’s plenty of variety so it doesn’t get boring.
  • Workout days are already planned, which I found helpful in follow-through.
  • It’s the most fun I’ve ever had while in pain. 😉

Also, customer service was great when I realized one of my DVD’s was scratched; they immediately sent a new one, no questions asked.

Challenges I faced with PiYo:

PiYo has kicked my tail. Within the first couple of weeks (6 days on, 1 rest day), there were nights I had trouble sleeping because my muscles were so sore. I kept on, and that was short-lived. It just goes to show how out of shape I was.

Around the one-month mark, my back spazzed out in the middle of a workout. I was afraid it would be one of THOSE spells that sideline me. I paused the DVD, stretched every way I could think, and gingerly finished the workout for the day. I should point out that the workout had nothing to do with it because I’ve also “thrown out” my back doing ridiculously easy things. I used an ice pack for a day or two and was extra careful during workouts, but all was well.

I’ve had wrist pain but the instructor addresses this in the videos and says it’s a common issue which decreases as wrist flexibility increases. I’ve found that true; my wrist pain peaked at about a month in, but is already almost entirely gone.

By month two, my elbows began to give me trouble. I’ve determined this is merely from the fact that my wimpy elbows are trying to figure out why — after 40+ years of never doing even one “real” push-up — I’m now doing push-ups several days a week. Since I’ve made a point of being more intentional about proper form, this pain is decreasing but not entirely gone.

My cardio-respiratory fitness still isn’t what it should be, but I’m making progress. Sometimes I have to make modifications more for my lungs than my wimpy bird arms.

My PiYo results:

Remember, I’m a genetically skinny girl; if you aren’t, don’t be discouraged because skinny does NOT equal fit! This is simply about progress. My motivation to start an exercise program was “less pain, less stress, more energy.”  Seriously, that first month I repeated that to myself as motivation to get out of bed and workout — so everything else is bonus awesomeness.

Piyo before after

The scale hasn’t changed (I didn’t want it to) and I didn’t bother to measure inches. But I can tell a difference. I’d made peace with the middle-age body I assumed wouldn’t change, so the improvements I’ve seen are a happy surprise. I debated about including photos — because a better comparison would be watching me [attempt] push-ups then vs now — but decided to go ahead because if this wimpy 40-something mom can improve her fitness level, you can, too.

before after PiYo workout program

Most importantly, I’m stronger, I have more energy, and I’m much less stressed.


  • I can do push-ups! I can plank!
  • I do NOT have 6-pack abs but they are tighter. (So helpful for my back!)
  • My posture (already pretty good before) has improved.
  • I have less back pain than I’ve had in years, thanks to strengthening and stabilizing my core muscles, and increasing flexibility.

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If you’re considering trying PiYo and have questions I didn’t cover, ask me in the comments!

Update: in the years since this post, I’ve become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor! Follow me on instagram and/or my facebook page for fitness tips and inspiration.