Good morning and happy Friday! Last night at Zumba one of my students asked if I had shared the playlist for PiYo on the blog yet, and I realized I hadn’t! I also realized I haven’t really given a true update since I started teaching the class, so I figured it was time to throw one your way. 🙂
About PiYo Strength
PiYo is something of an “everything but the kitchen sink” class. There is flexibility, balance, strength, plyometrics (jumping), and core work. It’s even a little dance-y in the sense that the movements are choreographed and they follow the music, although not in the same way that Zumba does. Zumba pairs moves with a certain part of the song, so, for example, you always do the same steps during the chorus. PiYo just follows the measures of the music.
Even though it draws it’s name pilates and yoga, it’s very very different from either of them. It’s nothing like a typical yogilates class if you have tried one. There is no zen happening (and I love zen, but that’s not the goal here). It’s much more high energy. You are moving quickly to upbeat music for most of the class. Most importantly, “strength” is in the class name for a reason. There are tons of push-ups and lunges and plies happening in there.
Also unlike Zumba, the choreography for PiYo is controlled by the central organization, and a new class of music and choreography is sent to instructors every three months. Each song in the class has a different purpose, and every new release follows the same format:
- Heat building: For really warming you up! For fellow yogis, it’s basically speedy sun salutation variations.
- Lower body: Lots of lunge variations jazzed up to be more fun to really burn out your legs.
- Full body fusion: A mix of lower body and upper body strength moves with a strong yoga influence.
- Power: My favorite. This is our one true “cardio” track, and it’s kind of like a mini HIIT in the middle of class. This is where all the plyometrics are and it’s the intensity peak for the class.
- Flow: One track each for the right and left side, its the most similar to a normal yoga class. In my class, we aren’t doing the flow sections yet because we don’t have time for every track in the choreography.
- Strength & stretch: My other favorite! Long holds for stretches with a strength move after each hold. Right now, it’s 48 push-ups, in different variations, in a single song. Love it.
- Plank & core: Exactly what it sounds like. This is the really pilates-like section.
- Cool down
Thoughts on teaching
Overall, I’m really loving teaching this class. It’s so nice to teach something other than Zumba, and it’s a great way to make sure I get some strength work in every week (I love weights, but bodyweight strength training is my first muscle love). It’s definitely been an adjustment for my teaching style. In Zumba, all the cuing is with your body language, so it’s mostly a lot of pointing, tapping, and miming the next move so everyone knows what’s coming. Then its just being full-on energy from start to finish to pump everyone up. Add some occasional head flipping hairography for flair and you’re set! I feel weird talking so much in PiYo but also weird if I’m just quiet. It’s also tough because you’re moving too fast to really cue form, but that’s the most important thing in this class. I just try to squeeze it in. I think I’m getting better.
I’m really hoping they will keep letting me teach it next semester even though the class numbers have been really low. I think a lot of it is that the time of day that it is offered (morning) is not popular with college students. The people who come seem to really like it at least, and I love it!
PiYo uses it’s own covers of these songs with alterations/repetitions to make them longer. But, students, you can still use them to practice at home, and non-students, you can use them however you’d like 🙂
- Let there be love
- Only you
- Sweet nothing
- Stay (flow song we aren’t currently using but may add)
- Sail (flow song we aren’t currently using but may add)
- Just give me reason
- Paris (Ooh la la) (fun fact, I went to high school with Grace Potter!)
- When I was your man
Questions: Would you try PiYo (if you haven’t already)? What do you like to hear from instructors during group fitness classes?