I recently heard about PiYo by Beachbody and was curious to give it a go and learn more about it. As a single parent to my two children, Millisent 6yrs and Gabriele 2yrs, I work hard to maintain my post-pregnancy body to make the most of my strength and stamina and get me through the long days and endless nights alone. I am a P90X, P90X3, Insanity and Focus T25 graduate, and somewhat accustomed to jumping, grunting, straining and pushing my body to the max to break a sweat and get results, but PiYo takes an entirely different approach to its workout.
PiYo consists of 60days of training between 35-45mins a day and combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga. Apparently it cranks up the speed to deliver a true fat-burning, low-impact workout that leaves your body looking long, lean, and incredibly defined. So how could I possibly resist!
There are eight workouts spread across three DVD’s, which are:
Align: The Fundamentals
This workout breaks down the most important and effective moves in the program to help you perfect your form and get the best results possible.
Define: Lower Body
Get your sleekest and leanest legs ever as you lengthen and strengthen your entire lower body—from your glutes and hamstrings to your calves.
Define: Upper Body
Use this incredibly effective workout to start chiseling away at your upper body to help shape your arms, carve out your triceps, and define sexy shoulders.
A traditional PiYo workout that incorporates effective dynamic conditioning, fast-paced cardio yoga-flows, and bodyweight resistance strength training to help sculpt your entire body.
This ab-centric workout hits your powerhouse from every angle to build a strong core, flat, sculpted abs and obliques, as well as a strong and sexy back.
Twenty-five minutes is all you need of this nonstop body-carving, calorie-incinerating workout that uses no weights, no equipment, and gives you no bulk!
This endurance workout maximizes fat burning while it works every muscle in your body. It will not only leave you drenched—it will kick-start your metabolism as you scorch away the fat.
This workout uses varying tempos to keep your muscles under tension for different periods of time. This generates muscular endurance and metabolic changes that will totally transform your figure.
So why do I want to test PiYo? Well first of all I love feeling and looking good, and I’ve had a rather indulgent summer, one too many cocktails, a few too many veggie burgers on the BBQ and I’ve easily consumed at least twice my body weight in ice cream. I am presently 26yrs old, fast approaching my 27th birthday in a months time and I want to welcome my old age with gravity on my side! I have been vegetarian since I was just five and I also avoid fish and egg, unfortunately I disliked dairy as a child so my bones and joints crack and are weak if I don’t workout, I find exercise helps with not only my mobility but also my strength and stamina.
I have continued to follow a vegetarian diet since my childhood, eating healthy day to day with bingeing on sweet treats and wine being my biggest downfall. I don’t drink alcohol excessively, smoke or take drugs. I carried both of my two children to 39wks in pregnancy and gave birth naturally, which resultantly loosened my stomach muscles and bladder, sorry if that’s a little too much information! So my main focus is always to strengthen and maintain my core to combat these issues. I am somewhat soft and squishy around the edges at the moment and have around half a stone, or several pounds in weight that I would like to shift which isn’t a massive amount, but enough to make my clothes fit a little more comfortably and firm up my body all over.
My main fitness goals with PiYo is to improve my strength, stamina and flexibility and bring definition to my core. I would like to regain my abs and have a more lean and defined physique. Therefore I will not be weighing myself, as to me weight doesn’t matter, I could easily replace fat with muscle and the results would be flawed. My triumph will be visual, seeing how the shape and definition of my body changes and how I feel before, during and after. I will not be taking any supplements, shakes or diet plans as realistically I don’t want to punish myself and deny the foods that I love, a varied and balanced diet is far healthier than starvation or powder. I adore yoga and Pilates and find it a beautiful and peaceful way to unwind and de-stress after a hectic day running after the children and dealing with life. So I hope that you will follow me on my journey as I will report back here each day with photos, feedback and my thoughts on each routine and how I feel that my progress is going. I will not be changing my diet for this workout, as I am already healthy with plenty of green leafy vegetables, pulses, lentils and leaves, gaining protein through soya produce. I will however make a more conscious effort to step away from the chocolate, cakes and puddings that I indulge in and try to increase my water intake, as I don’t drink squash, tea or coffee anyway.
17/09/14 UPDATE: Day 1 – Align The Fundamentals
Today I started my first workout and was introduced to the beautiful coach Chalene Johnson. Having completed many Beachbody workouts in the past I am very much used to upbeat and muscle-bound men such as the hilarious Tony Horton and arse-kicking Shaun T. Chalene’s approach is very soft and feminine, laid back and gentle. This first workout took things slowly, explaining each position and how best to achieve and maintain good posture and helps you to familiarise yourself with each stance ready for the routines to begin.
This session lasted 45mins and wasn’t the all-singing-all-dancing bang that I was expecting, as this was more about gradual foundation building and an introduction to the program rather than actually being a workout. But nonetheless I am excited about the rest of my first week and hope that gradually you will notice my progress as I tick off each day on the calendar for the next two months step-by-step. I will try to post pictures throughout and demonstrate the moves to show you my ability and give you a little taste of what to expect if you’re thinking of trying it out yourself. The fantastic thing about PiYo is that any age and ability can do it, and the effort that you put in is equal to the results that you get out.
18/09/14 UPDATE: Day 2 – Define Lower Body
Today I have eaten rather healthy, as I am on day 2 of PiYo I feel good for starting my new workout and want to start as I mean to go on in the kitchen too. I had lentils and brown rice for breakfast followed by seeded crackers and fruit for lunch and a salad with roast potatoes for dinner. I’ve also made sure I sip water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Todays workout was Define Lower Body and it took some of the moves we went over yesterday to focus upon working the legs and core. There were a lot of downward dogs, warrior one, two and three and half moon, as well as triangle, upward dog and leg extensions and stretches. Although stretching may not seem like a workout, when you’re doing each move, pulsing up and down and pushing your limbs you really work up a sweat.
There is a girl in the video called Michelle who demonstrated the easier version of each move for those who aren’t yet flexible enough to go all the way, and even if you’re at the top of your game you can always go lower and longer to push your limits, so it really covers all abilities. Todays session was just 20mins in length and absolutely flew by, with Chalene the instructor being very positive, consistent and keeping the workout constantly flowing along. My leg muscles are now burning, I broke a sweat and I feel that my body is worked and happy. The session could easily have been twice as long and I wouldn’t have minded, but it’s been a gentle step into PiYo so far. I’m going to celebrate with a nice glass of water and an early night in bed to recover because I can’t wait to try some ab work.
19/09/14 UPDATE: Day 3 – Define Upper Body
Today’s workout focused on the arms, shoulders and core and it was a real grunter of a routine, as I struggled with a few of the arm moves particularly the triceps and plank push ups as my arms are by far the weakest part of my body. But the mantra is that you start little and slow and with time and practice you get stronger and can go deeper and longer, so I am no doubt at my weakest and worst right now and the only way is up!
It was great to get in some ab work and the planks, pedalling, down dogs and one armed balances really gave my stomach the burn I was hoping for.
This routine was just 20mins in total and didn’t stop once, it had a great momentum taking you from one move straight into the next and as a result you get a whole lot of exercise in a short space of time. I’m feeling great after today’s routine and looking forward to noting my progress in my arms as this is an area I’m sure will really show a difference.
20/09/14 UPDATE: Day 4 – Sweat
There are no surprises for why this routine is called sweat, I am literally dripping from today’s routine and I’m so pleased that it’s cold and raining outside because I can stand at the door and let the breeze cool me down!
The chair to squats made my legs burn, with burpees getting me out of breath and stretches really working my muscles hard. I feel like today I really hit the wall and powered through and it was such an amazing and fulfilling workout, just what I needed and had hoped for!
21/09/14 UPDATE: Day 5 – Rest
Today is my day of rest so I thought I’d use this break to share with you some pictures of the routines and also to help me to note my alignment. It’s not about how good or bad you are to start with, but having good posture and making progress. We all have to start somewhere, so here is my beginning.
22/09/14 UPDATE: Day 6 – Define Lower Body
Today is the first repeat exercise of Define Lower Body and it was nice to come back to a routine that I already know. When Chalene talked through each move this time, I found I didn’t have to keep looking up at the screen to see what she meant or how to do it, and I could really focus and concentrate on getting into each position with just her voice as guidance.
I’m already noticing an improvement in my flexibility as I was more able to go lower into the warrior stances today and could hold each balance position without shaking as much. I still have a massive way to go as I’m about to begin my second week of eight, but I’m loving the progress so far. My core is tighter, I have greater balance and co-ordination and I’m walking just that little bit taller. I’m also eating more health consciously with plenty of raw foods, salads and water. How blissful it is to be fit and healthy.
23/09/14 UPDATE: Day 7 – Define Upper Body
Today was Define Upper Body again and I’m noticing an improvement in my wrist strength. My arms are by far the weakest part of my body and something I have always struggled with, but my tricep pressups are really helping.
I’m still a little shaky on my arms like when I do a plank side arm balance or pressup, but with each one that I do I become this little bit more capable and it’s so rewarding to see. My core is also firming up nicely and I’m starting to notice the top of my abs under my ribs. Not bad for week one!
24/09/14 UPDATE: Day 8 – Sweat
Please excuse me whilst I huff, puff and drip sweat everywhere, but that was incredible! A meaty little workout that really got my heart pumping and my lungs flapping. There is something incredibly rewarding about pushing your body and feeling the burn, and boy oh boy do I feel on top of the world after todays routine.
It may not look it, but my body is changing daily from the inside out. My arms are more muscular and my body is becoming sculpted gradually. The biggest change is my energy, strength, stamina and core. Just a week ago my stomach was soft and squishy and now it’s beginning to feel firm and springy, I can feel my muscles engaging when I bend, and my balance has improved massively. I am more in-tune with my body and able with my day. I love how great PiYo makes me feel and how attainable it is for all, as there’s no equipment needed, I simply strip down to my underwear and sports attire in bare foot in the lounge and pop on the DVD once a day when I get time. The routines are short, upbeat and so much fun, and this program is literally flying by.
25/09/14 UPDATE: Day 9 – Define Lower Body
Leg day. Ow-wie! I love a good burner of a workout and the warrior one and warrior two combos really got my thighs and hamstrings sparked. My balance from three point to crouching crow is on form today and my core is fast becoming my new best friend, it has my back, literally and delivers me through each move and position and back to the ground safely.
It’s true what Charlene says, it gets easier every day, and although a workout with PiYo will never be ‘easy’ per se, you can modify, deepen and adjust each move to suit your skill level, ensuring no matter how incredible your body becomes there is always room for improvement. I love it!
26/09/14 UPDATE: Day 10 – Core
Oh yes! Exactly what I was craving, Core! I’m so excited and happy to give my abs a real beasting of a workout, as a mother of two my biggest focus is my stomach, which not so long ago swelled to a billion times its size to build a couple of humans. Since becoming a parent I’m forever craving firm washboard abs and a tight torso from my teens, and PiYo will hopefully get me there.
I literally couldn’t stop smiling all the way through the planks and leg lifts and afterwards I felt as though I’d been punched in the stomach, that’s when you know you’re doing it right. Fantastic, amazing and it’s keeping me focused for the rest of the program ahead. Bring it on!
27/09/14 UPDATE: Day 11 – Define Upper Body
I woke up with the most horrendous cold and flu, my head is bunged up, my eyes ache, I can’t breath out of my nose at all and it hurts when I swallow. But. Still I trained, because regardless of what I do I will still have this cold for as long as it takes to leave, so instead of losing my progress and going back to the start I will carry on and do my best. It’s not easy doing push-ups when your nose won’t stop running and your bones ache, but if I can do it now then it means that I can do anything.
I took my routine a little slower today, keeping time with the DVD but perhaps not quite running on 100% for energy and efficiency. Hopefully I am the sickest I can get and every minute, hour and day that passes from now is one step closer to being back to full health. No excuses.
28/09/14 UPDATE: Day 12 – Rest
Today is my rest day and I’m pretty grateful for it right now as I’m coughing, sniffling and sneezing and have absolutely no energy. I just want to curl up in bed and fall asleep for a million years, which as a single mother of two is pretty rare, but tonight I will certainly sleep like a baby!
My diet is remaining fairly average, with my staple meals being fairly healthy containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lentils and pulses in homemade curries. Perhaps the tin of 850kcal coconut milk that I add to it is a little naughty, as are the two creme brulees I had for afters, hula hoops and Wispa chocolate bars. But I can’t deny myself a few little treats in life because I love my food too much. So long as I workout after it’s well worth the sweat. Exercise is a positive experience, it makes me stronger and keeps my fire burning, it’s not a punishment or chore, it’s a lifestyle choice and a happy and healthy lifestyle is one of moderation and balance not denial and starvation.
29/09/14 UPDATE: Day 13 – Sweat
After a good sleep yesterday I feel so much better, I’m no longer coughing and sneezing and my nose has stopped running like a tap. I can almost breathe again now so I’m certainly out of the worst of my cold and on the road to recovery, so what better to do than the ‘sweat’ routine!? Gah! It totally kicked my butt, but I really needed it, and I powered through to the finish just so that I could collapse in a heap on the bed.
It goes to show that recovery is an essential part of a healthy exercise, as no matter how fit and strong we are, our bodies always need the time and space to repair and rebuild muscle.
30/09/14 UPDATE: Day 14 – Core
Today was the Core routine once again and it really gives me a great sense of achievement when I work my abs, perhaps because this is where I want my results to show the most. But I’ve been very naughty, as I’m getting over my cold, my nose is no longer running and I’m not coughing as much anymore, but I’m still wheezing when I breathe and my head feels stuffy. I sat with the children last night and ate SEVEN bags of cheese puffs and had TWO curries for dinner. I guess when you feel rubbish you need a little treat, which for me is quite a big treat. Now I’ll have to spend the rest of the week making up for my moment of weakness, or I’ll be burying my abs under an avalanche of calories instead. The kitchen is just as important as the cutting when making abs.
01/10/14 UPDATE: Day 15 – Define Upper Body
So today is the 1st of October, and just 12 days until my 27th birthday, which I really want to use as a benchmark for getting my abs, so I’m really going to behave in the kitchen from now on. When doing pressups today I couldn’t stop sneezing and my head feels super stuffy and heavy. Perhaps I’m not getting better from my cold? Boo hoo. But my 20min workout went super fast so it wasn’t a punishment.
02/10/14 UPDATE: Day 16 – Buns
Buns, bum, booty, junk in the trunk, whatever you want to call it, after todays routine mine is on fire! Wow, what a feeling. Much like when I work my arms and abs and they suddenly feel so much firmer and pumped, my derrière is a peach right now. From glute lifts to pulses and squats, I really had to fight through today for stamina, but I’m so glad that I did. I’ve never done a single workout focusing on the rear before so this was a new experience for me and left me dripping in sweat, I’m looking forward to getting buns of steel.
03/10/14 UPDATE: Day 17 – Core
Today was the Core routine yet again and my most favourite by far, it really makes me feel like I’m making a difference to my body. As I’m due my period any day now I realise why I’ve been wanting to eat myself silly, as I could hardly sleep last night with stomach cramps and back pain courtesy of Mother Nature. But I won’t allow my monthly cycle to stop me from continuing with my workouts, as taking exercise during a period always makes it pass quicker. My stomach feels tender and bloated which it will do until the end of the week, and hopefully then it should reveal some cheerful little abs underneath!
04/10/14 UPDATE: Day 18 – Define Lower Body
Lower body is always a push that leaves me sweating and panting, as the squats and burpees really get me, but I love them. It’s like a love hate relationship almost, I love working out but hate failure, and when I’m really pushing my body and fighting myself to finish the final set or get that little bit lower and deeper, it goes from a battle with my muscles to a battle with my mind. I simply will not allow myself to quit, because winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win. It is very much a thinking game in fitness, you have to get yourself into the mindset of completing your goals, and for me I give it the highest importance. I don’t expect to be the best at what I do, but I expect to try my best. I don’t accept excuses and I thrive on results and progress.
05/10/14 UPDATE: Day 19 – Rest
I totally needed my rest day today, as I attended a party which was indulgent to every extreme. From rich food to too many glasses of wine and jagerbombs, my poor temple of a body feels more like a scrap heap at the moment. And if you take into account my period cramps and bloating, and two very sore heels that have bled from breaking in new shoes, a day of rest is certainly what the doctor ordered! Oh dear…
06/10/14 UPDATE: Day 20 – Sweat
Ooh, sweat how I love you. Those beautiful little droplets of moisture are priceless, they take so much to earn and I am proud of each and every one of them that I make. Although I wouldn’t say that being a hot sweaty mess is very attractive, I believe that positivity is; having the heart, soul and guts to set yourself a challenge and see it through. No matter the outcome we are all winners for making a difference to our lives and looking to improve our health.
07/10/14 UPDATE: Day 21 – Strength Intervals
Today was a squeaky new workout, Strength Intervals, and the first time that I’ve had to use any sports equipment, as so far I’ve done every workout in underwear and bare foot, but today I needed my trusty sports bra. This workout had me panting and sweating like crazy and the squat holds left me whining like a baby, they burnt so good! My legs feel rock solid, my arms are burning from press ups and floor work and my whole body feels alive from lunges, jogging and burpees. Total body MOT, I love it!
08/10/14 UPDATE: Day 22 – Sweat
Sweaty Betty, what a workout that was! I feel pumped and alive after all those burpees and squats. My period is coming to an end so my cramps are easing and my back isn’t aching as much. I just need to get my diet under control now as it was my daughters 7th birthday and we ate cake and ice cream like it was the end of the world. But sometimes it has to be done! It’s my 27th birthday in five days time so I don’t need a crystal ball to predict that a repeat calorie attack is on the cards!
09/10/14 UPDATE: Day 23 – Hardcore On The Floor
Today was a squeaky clean routine called Hardcore On The Floor, which you’ve guessed it, involves a lot of press ups and ab work. From leg extensions in downward dog to peddling, beast and knee pulls. I loved every second of this 33min routine and my body feels great. Core work gets you hot and sweaty and it really pulled my balance into position as I aligned my hips and went deep with every pulse.
10/10/14 UPDATE: Day 24 – Buns
I am seriously cooking some buns after todays workout, let’s hope they don’t catch fire and char because I am smoking hot right now. I’m really learning to love a good booty workout and my buns are turning from dough to stone with each and every session. Rock on!
11/10/14 UPDATE: Day 25 – Drench
Another brand new routine today, Drench, and it does exactly what it says on the tin, drenches you in sweat! As the routine is almost 50minutes long it’s the longest PiYo session and literally leaves you begging for forgiveness. I found myself really struggling today, especially on the leg work as it pushed me to exhaustion and spent several minutes working one leg at a time, doing the same sets over and over which is good for getting you into a momentum of the moves, but towards the end left me feeling broken and sadly thinking “Oh no not again! When can we go on to the next move!?” But I guess this is negativity stems from where I had hit the wall and really needed an alternate move to take over in order to allow my legs to recover in between, perhaps a nice plank or tricep pressup? Eek!
But as the lovely Charlene always says, if at any point it feels too much you can always go into child’s pose, which I’ve never done as I like to hold on and push my limits. And today certainly did that. Perhaps if it were a little shorter, say 30mins, I would have handled it better but I felt like a bit of a failure today as it totally exhausted me and I couldn’t wait for it to end.
12/10/14 UPDATE: Day 26 – Rest
Boy oh boy did my legs need a rest day today! Even though the children and I went for a walk I didn’t put my legs under as much strain as usual and I feel so much stronger for it. You get to that point in training where you begin to feel exhausted and the more and more you push the weaker you become, which is why it’s so important to allow your body to rest up and repair. An afternoon on a gorgeous white beach would have been a lovely way to recover as opposed to doing a mountain of washing and housework whilst cooking dinner for the children, but hey ho!
13/10/14 UPDATE: Day 27 – Strength Intervals
This routine always makes me smile as just when you feel like you’ve hit the wall and can’t go any further, Charlene switches to the next move in the nick of time and give you that sense of relief and power to carry on. From burning legs to jelly arms, each and every time you workout you get that little bit stronger and more capable. Today was my 27th birthday and I finished the evening with a few cocktails, a truckload of food and a giant double chocolate birthday cake, so it’s safe to say that calories are not my friend today but it’s the last of the naughty treats!
14/10/14 UPDATE: Day 28 – Sweat
Sweat. What more can I say!? I’m hot, my heart is pounding and my entire body is burning from todays routine. Just the way a workout should be really. There’s no point in doing something half hearted as what you put in is what you get out. It doesn’t matter what you starting ability is, so long as you make progress, continue to try and enjoy your results.
15/10/14 UPDATE: Day 29 – Sculpt
Sculpting is what I’m all about now, I really want to cross that finish line with definition to my body. I am so incredibly happy with my results so far as I’ve built up my muscles, my strength and balance and feel great. Having a six-pack will literally be the icing on the cake. Mmm cake!
16/10/14 UPDATE: Day 30 – Sweat
I earned every last drop of sweat from my routine this morning, I love the burn, I love pushing myself and I love how I feel after. There is something very powerful about putting your body through its paces, it gets your heart pumping, blood flowing and frees the mind. I feel absolutely blissful, healthy, positive and lifted.
17/10/14 UPDATE: Day 31 – Core
My core really needed a workout today after a giant curry for dinner, whoops! I love food just as much as I love working out, and it’s a balance that is very fine to achieve. I don’t believe in denying yourself the things that you love, and I simply couldn’t exist if I couldn’t eat what I want. But at the same time I know that when I’ve eaten a large meal I have to then put in the time and effort to work it off to avoid undoing my results. I’m certainly paying the price for my greed today and taking the children on a nice walk to compensate. Oink oink.
18/10/14 UPDATE: Day 32 – Drench
I’m really enjoying the colder autumn weather as it makes working out so much easier when you can strip down to the bare minimum of a sports bra and shorts with the doors and windows wide open, cooling your body and muscles as you go for the burn. When I’m over heated it makes me want to give in or get weak, but with a cold fresh blast of air it seems to make me far more resilient to a drenching hot and sweaty workout.
19/10/14 UPDATE: Day 33 – Rest
I seriously needed todays rest day. Like seriously! The days leading up to rest day I find myself feeling more and more exhausted, and even though I feel guilty for eating so much on a day without exercise, by the following morning I realise how much my body needed the let up. My muscles repair and are far more capable, taking the following workout so much more easily. It’s a bit like building up pennies and putting them in the bank, if you build and build and build without securing them you can lose it all if you drop the pennies. But once you’ve banked them you’ve set it in stone and have that as a safe foundation which you can build and build and build upon again. And I’m ready to start some fire in tomorrows workout because of todays rest.
20/10/14 UPDATE: Day 34 – Buns
I can’t help but admire girls bums when I see them walk past in leggings, as I’ve never been particularly proud or happy with my bum. But Buns really makes a difference between a sagging droopy bottom and a rock hard pert peach. I seriously thought that I’d love nothing more than defined arms and a washboard stomach after children, but firm buttocks are almost becoming my main goal now. My derrière is feeling really tight, chiseled and rock solid when I walk, now I just need a juicy curve to it and I’ll be in goal heaven.
21/10/14 UPDATE: Day 35 – Strength Intervals
I had bags of energy today and really gave todays routine my all. My whole body is burning and I feel great in myself. I’m happy with my ability and agility, but I’m still a little weak on my elbows. As a child I hated dairy and as a result I have weak bones, with my wrists and elbows being like jelly. Although I can do tricep push-ups and side arm stands I feel as though my bones want to smash through the floor and not support me. But I know the harder I work them the better they will become and my upper body strength is so much better than when I first started, but I have a long way to go before I become a push-up pro.
22/10/14 UPDATE: Day 36 – Drench
I smell like a gone-off onion after todays drench. I’m dripping in sweat and ready to flop into a nice cold shower. It’s crazy how the leg section gets me the hottest as stretching and working muscles really gets your body burning. I’m loving my results and feel so strong and healthy, I just need to cut back on the sweets and treats to make it all worth it.
23/10/14 UPDATE: Day 37 – Hardcore On The Floor
Hardcore on the floor again and I’m literally laughing as I wince from working my abs so hard. I feel like a rock hard wrestler right now and todays workout seriously ripped some stomach muscles. With just over two weeks to go until I finish PiYo I’m seriously hyped to cut definition.
24/10/14 UPDATE: Day 38 – Buns
My love for buns is growing by the minute and I’m really enjoying working my glutes. Although my legs burn from squats and lunges I know that it’s for the greater good, and with each lower and lift I think of my new Diesel jeans. Bun-tastic! But I still have a way to go to tone and lift to my liking.
25/10/14 UPDATE: Day 39 – Sculpt
Everytime I do Sculpt the bowlers set my legs on fire and my thighs feel like rock, I love it! I literally spend the entire routine gritting my teeth with a bright red face as I laugh at the burn. I’m still finding my sticking point to be my weak elbows and wrists, as the side arm balances really make me feel like my hand will smash through the floor taking my weight, and the press ups make me feel like a weak little flower. I’m fine with lifting weights and building biceps but it seems my triceps are very shy and are refusing to play ball. I have improved in the depth and control of my tricep pushups since I first started, but I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m good at them yet. How frustrating!
26/10/14 UPDATE: Day 40 – Rest
Rest day. Heavenly! I’m letting my muscles relax whilst watching a bit of cosy weekend TV snuggled up whilst it rains outside. Every warrior deserves some down time and I’m so happy with my results so far, my body is firm all over and I’m feeling so strong and balanced. I haven’t eaten as much naughty food recently and I’m hoping I can wean myself into good kitchen behaviour this week and focus on salad, lentils and wholewheat. Bye bye cake and custard, hello six pack.
27/10/14 UPDATE: Day 41 – Drench
No joke, I’m certainly drenched today. The set at the end always gets me grunting, as I go from runners lunge to stretching through the warrior series and triangle. The minutes seem to take so much longer the closer you get to the finish line and by the end I’m elated to flop onto the floor and cool off. Leg work always gets me hot!
28/10/14 UPDATE: Day 42 – Sweat
As I have a hormone imbalance my period is somewhat spontaneous, but with my stomach feeling a little hard and bloated I’m guessing that it’s on its way. My abs have totally gone into hiding and my back is aching which makes me think I’m ready for a visit from Mother Nature. I have just two weeks left of PiYo and once I’m past my cycle I’m going to be so strict on my diet in order to get the best results possible. However in the meantime I’m feeling a little tender and those cookies in the cupboard are calling my name as the perfect comfort food. Cheat day today then! Shh, it’s allowed!
29/10/14 UPDATE: Day 43 – Sculpt
I feel fabulous today, possibly because I went to bed early and rested after feeling rubbish, or maybe because I aced the Sculpt workout just now. I laughed with pain during the leg routines and growled my way through the push-ups as Charlene said we should aim to do the final set on our toes like Jimmy instead of with one or both knees down. I’d say I managed about 75% up on my toes, but towards the final few my triceps wanted to explode and the dips on the floor finished me off. Instead of quitting I modified my moves and carried on and feel ripped and happy now. Whoop! I’m grabbing hold of every ounce of motivation on this cold and wet grey day and focusing on earning my abs.
30/10/14 UPDATE: Day 44 – Sweat
Sweat. Wet. Excuse me whilst I go shower now! 🙂
31/10/14 UPDATE: Day 45 – Hardcore On The Floor
I certainly feel like my core is as hard as stone after todays session. I have a funny little soft spot for beast as I start off each time feeling smug over how easy it is to remain on all fours with my knees raised up an inch, but after twenty seconds my core is shaking and I’m burning like a furnace. You wouldn’t think to look at some of the slow and still moves on a DVD that they were doing much to the body to gain results, but I can tell you first hand they have smashed me and I feel fantastic. Despite eating two ice cream cornetto’s with the children today, my diet has been relatively healthy all week and I’m limiting my portion sizes to one plate per meal time and running away from bread and sugar. Despite how hard you work out, abs are predominantly made in the kitchen as the biggest factor in defining your body is based on your diet.
That being said, I’m not looking to compete or lose weight, but simply to feel good about my body, which I do. To gain strength, stamina and agility, which I have. And to have a pretty set of abs would be the cherry on the cake. God I love food! I believe that motivation comes from allowing yourself little rewards and not starving, punishing or beating yourself up every day. If you’re not happy and you don’t enjoy doing what you do then you have no driving force to spur you on and keeping you going. My motivation comes from allowing myself to lead the lifestyle that I choose, I workout so that I can pig out, I don’t deny myself the little luxuries I enjoy, so long as I earn them first, and that’s what keeps me on track.
01/11/14 UPDATE: Day 46 – Buns
Another buns in the bag! Kapow! My legs, core and glutes are feeling rock hard and I love it. As much as bun-work wears me out I’m totally addicted to the results and love the new peach inside forming my jeans.
02/11/14 UPDATE: Day 47 – Rest
I have a horribly aching back, swollen stomach and cramps right now and Mother Nature is knocking at my door. Please excuse me whilst I totally abuse my rest day and have a lovely Sunday roast and watch daytime TV feeling rough. Zzz.
03/11/14 UPDATE: Day 48 – Drench
I love earning my sweat and at just under an hour for the drench routine I certainly worked up a sweat today. The super long flow routine at the end of the workout always gets me panting and begging for the finish line, but equally it’s a good chunk of time that flies by. I’m on my period today and feel bloated and blah, and I ate a loaf of bread and butter which was amazing but totally unhelpful when building abs. I keep moving my “be good” day one further away each time, but definitely after my period finishes I will be the epitome of health and eat incredibly clean just in time for my before and after picture. Famous last words?
04/11/14 UPDATE: Day 49 – Strength Intervals
Please excuse me whilst I regain sensation in my legs, wow-wah-wee-wah! Although strength intervals is only 22minutes in length, it certainly puts you to work. My legs feel rock hard and the bowlers almost finished me off. I love how tight and hard my body now feels, and despite my stomach being sore and swollen from my period, there is certainly definition there. Just one week left to go and I’m hoping the finish line is ready for me!
05/11/14 UPDATE: Day 50 – Drench
Today has been a really solid workout and I’m so happy with how hard I pushed myself. The drench routine is always a killer and leaves me sweaty, out of breath and craving an ice cold water. I have my mind set firmly on reaching my goal, and the closer I get the more determined I am to go harder.
06/11/14 UPDATE: Day 51 – Buns
My final buns routine was today, boo hoo! I’ve really come to love building my buns and will certainly miss it. Every last inch of my legs is solid, and my buttocks are nicely firm which has made such a big difference. My buttocks don’t shake as much when I walk and feel more concise and round instead of soft and squashed out if that makes sense. I’ll certainly take away with me the importance of training glutes from doing this workout as it’s an area of my body that I’ve always overlooked as I don’t see it very often, but the results are fantastic.
07/11/14 UPDATE: Day 52 – Sweat
How I love building up a good sweat, and now my legs are literally humming from the burn of the squats and lunges. It’s amazing how stretching can really heat up your body and start a fire from within, and I get myself through such a crazy workout by telling myself that sweat is good, burning is what you want, and hitting the wall means that you’re doing it right. Working out is rewarding, not a punishment, but you’ll only get results if you’re prepared to push yourself. There’s no point in doing 50% of the effort because you’ll only get 50% of the results you were expecting. So always go hard, always give it your best shot and earn every single drop of that sweat.
08/11/14 UPDATE: Day 53 – Core
So this has been my marmite routine. And by marmite I mean you either love it or you hate it, just like the TV advert for the spread. I really do enjoy doing the core routine as I like to feel my stomach tightening, to remove that Mummy-of-two pouch and feel confident in tight tops and clingy dresses. I’d set my heart on having a sixpack by the end of PiYo, but then I discovered that I love food just as much as I love working out, and abs are undoubtedly built in the kitchen, as no matter how hard you workout, if you’re not prepared to eat clean then you won’t get a sixpack. Although I’m a vegetarian I do like my treats, cakes, biscuits, puddings and wine, and although I cut back on how often I have sugar, I certainly didn’t remove it from my diet. I don’t think I could live without the foods that I enjoy, and for this reason I have to accept that I will never have washboard abs, but I will always be happy with my lifestyle. I workout so that I can eat what I want without dieting or denying myself the things that I love, and to me that’s the healthiest kind of lifestyle going!
09/11/14 UPDATE: Day 54 – Rest
I made the most of my final rest day today by doing absolutely nothing, and I caught up on some well needed sleep. I feel renewed, refreshed and ready to take on my final days of PiYo and smash through that finish line. I’m so excited and proud of how far I’ve come and can’t wait to say that I’ve completed my challenge.
10/11/14 UPDATE: Day 55 – Sculpt
So here I am on PiYo Eve and I’m feeling pretty good. The Sculpt routine today was a lovely way to finish up all of my muscles, to tighten my core, arms and legs and unwind gradually at the end. I can’t believe that tomorrow is the finish line and I have just one final routine left. I’ve loved every minute of PiYo and looking back it seems to have gone so fast! My body feels really solid right now and strong and I love what this routine has done to me.
11/11/14 UPDATE: Day 56 – Drench
What a way to go out with a bang with the wonderful Drench routine! I can’t believe it’s all over as I’m seriously going to miss it. I put in 110% today and feel absolutely shattered now, but it is the best feeling in the world to see progress in your body, as our health is something that we should give total priority and importance to. We are all capable of making the best of our bodies, to build strength, stamina and ability to help us to lead our lives to the full, and thanks to PiYo I have achieved just that.
Looking at my before and after pictures taken just 8weeks apart it’s pretty cool to see the transformation. As I said at the start, I don’t workout to lose weight as I’m usually quite skinny and soft, but I do a routine to gain weight, build muscle and enhance my strength and stamina. I didn’t take any shakes, supplements or diet at all during this routine, and if anything I increased my calorie intake from 2,500kcal to around 3,100kcal per day as my body needed that little bit more. I have always had a very large appetite and simply adore food and always will, so there are no weighing scales in my house, I don’t diet, measure myself in any way or take readings, I simply use my daily photos to track my progress and let the results speak for themselves.
In my before picture I had a soft and slightly protruding stomach which folded over the top of my jeans when I sat down. My arms were squishy and wibbly, shaking when I waved and my legs were thin yet mushy. When I jumped my belly, thighs and arms wobbled showing me that I was carrying excess fat and needed to tone up. My non-workout body in the before picture isn’t bad, I didn’t feel out of shape or overweight, but equally I didn’t feel healthy, I tired easily and found lifting shopping and tending to the children took it out of me and I couldn’t sleep well at night.
However in my after picture you can see that I have gained a little weight and my body is completely hard all over. My arms are incredibly strong and when I lift my children they feel more like teddybears rather than people now as I can lift so much more without feeling any strain. My elbows have always been weak and this was possibly my hardest sticking point in doing the tricep pushups. Although I wouldn’t say that I’m a pro at them now, I have certainly improved since I first started and my arms looks and feel so much better. My stomach sadly doesn’t have a sickpack that I was dreaming of, but I have my mouth to blame for that because I really enjoyed eating everything that I wanted when I wanted. In my eyes it’s far better to be happy and love your body, than to deny yourself the things you enjoy simply to achieve a result that you can’t maintain. I know that I can eat like a King and have the body of my dreams, but in order to achieve a sixpack I have to deny myself, which to me isn’t as appealing. If you look at my stomach you can see a two pack, possibly even a four pack and my core is as hard as a drum. I no longer have a post-pregnancy belly bounce or wobble, and when I poke my stomach it feels firm and not flabby. My belly no longer folds when I sit down, and as a result of having a stronger core my balance and flexibility is amazing.
Finally my legs and buttocks are massively improved, as you can see the size and definition of my quads. Now when I walk I feel like a superhero as I take huge muscular strides and my legs can keep going for days and days without me noticing I’m even walking. I don’t get tired so easily and bending, lifting, tending to the housework and children whilst running things upstairs to put away is a total breeze. When your body is so incredibly strong it makes your daily routine so much easier because you’re not fighting for energy or motivation, it’s like switching a computer game from hard to easy and everything falls so effortlessly into place.
I have absolutely adored my time with the PiYo routine and am rather sad that it’s over. Pilates and Yoga are a fantastic duo for keeping the body mind and soul focused and at it’s fitness peak and I sleep so well because of it. I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my journey, and if you’re thinking of trying PiYo that you will get in touch and share your results with me too. We all have the ability to achieve our goals in life and get to the top of that mountain, and it all starts from taking baby steps, building a strong foundation and using each and every day to climb that little bit higher and go that little bit further. So go out there and get it!
If you have any thoughts, questions, comments or feedback please feel free to leave them for me in the box below!