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PiYo by Beachbody Review

Quick Summary

PiYo (pronounced pie-yo) is a fast-paced exercise program inspired by aerobics, pilates, and yoga; some describe it as “cardio yoga”. The main benefits include muscle toning, body strengthening, calorie burn, and flexibility. 

This trademarked form of exercise is taught by personal trainer Chalene Johnson in the Beachbody video series that’s available on DVD or streamed through Beachbody On Demand. Although Beachbody are phasing out DVDs, you can still purchase PiYo on DVD as well as streaming it, which allows you to decide which option is best for you. Keep in mind that the online streaming option gives you access to some additional PiYo workouts and online program materials. 

The PiYo DVD set currently costs about $70 including shipping (the total is $72.80 to be exact).

Read on for FitRated’s full PiYo review.

Our Rating: 80/100


Program PiYo by Beachbody

Our custom rating considers all of the treadmill's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

Skill LevelIntermediate
Program DurationVaries
Workout StyleYoga/Pilates

Rating: 80%

Pros & Cons


  • Dramatic Weight Loss Results: If you’re looking to lose weight quickly, PiYo is a great choice. It boosts your metabolism, revs your heart rate, and helps increase total fat burning.
  • Ramp Up Your Energy Level: This workout variety will get your blood flowing and muscles moving. You’ll have far more energy at the end of your session than you did going in.
  • Low Impact: A great workout routine that still protects the joints which is perfect for those looking to prevent or recover from an injury.
  • Very Little Equipment: To perform this workout, you’ll only need a towel or yoga mat along with appropriate clothing.


  • 20% Negative Reviews: About half of these negative customer reviews came from customers who had trouble playing the DVDs, and others who considered the workouts as too easy or too hard.
  • Intermediate Level: PiYo might be too difficult for home workout beginners and too easy for those in great shape.
  • Advertisements: Get ready to see ads for Beachbody products throughout the DVDs and on the screening service.
  • DVD Errors: Roughly 10% of customer reviews complain that the DVDs “freeze” or have other playback issues, so it’s a good idea to check that the discs play correctly immediately after they arrive. 
  • Basic Meal Guide: If you already eat well, the Get Lean eating guide won’t provide anything new. The book explains how to balance foods to maximize your workout payoff without feeling deprived. It shows how to calculate the number of daily servings to fit your body size and fitness goal.

PiYo Full Review

PiYo is an approximately eight-week (60-day) home fitness program with workouts scheduled 6 days a week presented by Chalene Johnson for Beachbody. Pronounced pie-yo, the workout style combines cardiovascular exercise with features of pilates and yoga for strength and flexibility training. Each exercise routine is about 20 to 45 minutes long, with the majority clocking in at around half an hour. Trainees are encouraged to also follow the Get Lean approach to nutrition (book included with DVD packages or in the program materials section online).

The name “PiYo” is taken from pilates and yoga, but PiYo is a higher energy workout than its namesakes. PiYo exercise is cardiovascular like classic aerobics, but with the influence of pilates and yoga its moves are low impact (gentle on joints). One of the best things about daily PiYo routine is that the sessions range in length, so no matter what your schedule happens to be, you can fit them in. These workouts are ideal for those who are looking for light to moderate exercise and have a few months or years of experience under their belt. Since it does incorporate some intermediate-to-advanced workout demands, beginners may feel a bit awkward trying these routines.

How It Works

PiYo addresses whole-body fitness through daily exercise videos and balanced nutrition. The DVD set arrives with a large wall calendar displaying your daily exercise plan; the schedule alternates between seven video classes. The shortest PiYo video is 19 minutes and the longest is 48.

The set also arrives with a booklet, the Get Lean Eating Plan. The PiYo Get Lean Eating Plan is based on portion size but not calorie counting. It’s essentially what we’ve seen with other Beachbody home workout programs. The main idea is that in order to lose weight and feel energized, you should eat food types in a certain ratio (including lots of vegetables and little oil, for instance).

Many people like Beachbody’s color-coded food containers (sold separately from PiYo) because they make portioning easy. The food containers help people plan their daily intake in terms of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and more.

PiYo Workouts

Seven workout videos are repeated over the eight-week PiYo program. All seven videos show how to boost your heart rate while losing pounds, toning your muscles, and gaining flexibility.

Each video is led by celebrity personal trainer Chalene Johnson, whose coaching approach is more about encouragement than being a “drill sergeant”. Alongside Chalene are male and female assistants who show exercise modifications.

No special equipment is needed besides an exercise mat, and a thick mat is especially useful here during exercises that touch your knees to the floor.

Here are the seven PiYo videos (in order of difficulty):

  • Align: The Fundamentals – 43 minutes – This video serves as an introduction to PiYo. It focuses on basic moves that are used in other videos, but here they are broken down to help newcomers achieve proper form. It’s also useful for calorie burn after you’ve learned the basics.
  • Define: Lower Body – 20 minutes – Here Chalene helps sculpt your lower core and legs (especially the thighs) with exercises that stretch and tone.
  • Define: Upper Body – 19 minutes – This is the shortest PiYo exercise video. It targets the shoulders, biceps and triceps.
  • Sculpt – 26 minutes – Chalene’s “Sculpt” PiYo workout alternates between slow and fast-paced exercise. It focuses on lengthening the muscles and it tones different muscle groups in isolation.
  • Strength Intervals – 25 minutes – This video focuses on light resistance training to build whole-body strength without adding bulk.
  • Sweat – 37 minutes – You’ll sweat during any PiYo workout, but this workout is more challenging than those described above. It’s especially fast-paced cross training with cardio yoga and resistance exercises.
  • Drench – 48 minutes – This intense cardio yoga video targets all the major muscle groups. It’s the longest and most difficult workout in the PiYo set (and it burns the most calories per minute).

PiYo Pricing

The PiYo DVD set and program materials sell for $72.80 which includes the shipping  fee. You can also watch PiYo videos with a Beachbody On Demand subscription, and there’s a variety of packages to choose from. Choosing the On Demand option, you’ll have 24/7 access to hundreds of fitness videos including exercise classes and cooking shows.


PiYo especially appeals to trainees who appreciate the strengthening and flexibility benefits of yoga and pilates, but want faster-paced workouts with more cardio intensity.

This home workout program works best for those who occupy the middle of the bell curve. If you need an especially easy or advanced fitness program, then PiYo isn’t for you.

We generally recommend that you try PiYo through Beachbody On Demand instead of buying the DVDs. The DVDs have quality control issues and getting three or six month access to Beachbody On Demand is cheaper than buying the whole PiYo DVD set, as well as giving you a whole range of workout programs at your fingertips.


  • Christine January 26, 2020 at 12:15 am from Westlake, ohio
    Question. Are used to be in great shape and had let myself go a little bit due to illness. I thought PIYO would be a great place to start since it’s low impact and I can do it at home. If I’m not able to handle the next workout session, do I just repeat the same (previous) one until I feel good enough to go on to the next? Or is that defeating the purpose? Thanks! Can’t wait to hit it!
    • FitRated February 18, 2020 at 10:43 am
      Hi Christine, you can certainly repeat the previous one until you've mastered it! The pace that you go is really up to you. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.
  • Tracy May 31, 2019 at 6:36 am from Raeford, NC
    I want to order to order, but I am a disabled veteran with a lower back issues and arthritis in other parts of my body. Would this be low enough impact for me?
    • Krissy Selda June 3, 2019 at 4:12 pm
      Hi Tracy, Piyo is meant to be low impact and challenging without straining your muscles! The Piyo set comes with 7 DVDs, starting with basic elements and works up to more challenging options. You can always start with the first DVD, working through it at your own pace, and doing modifications as you see fit.
  • Joan Clark May 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm from East Coast
    Be very careful with this workout. Look at the reviews on Amazon with warnings from intermediate level consumers especially the one who said the transitions between moves are too aggressive. I was going to PT for months before starting and was told I was doing very well and to go back to the gym. I thought this would be a good start, injured my back and knees, and now I feel worse than I did from the car accident that totaled my car. All my progress is wiped out with one session. And my vacation plans ruined. They have adequate warnings, so my bad. Pilates classes or videos would have been a much better.
    • Courtney Grafton May 2, 2019 at 11:20 am
      Hi Joan, we are so sorry to hear about your injury. With any workouts, we do recommend customers stay within their realm of capability and comfort. While it is importance to push yourself, we always suggest people stay within a reasonable movement level especially if recovering from an injury. The workout can be great for people because it is a lot of body movements but it is always important to take caution with any exercise and avoid movements that seem unsafe to each individual.
  • Annette Soss April 23, 2019 at 8:30 pm from spokane
    I just order e d pinto. And again I can't figure out how to get to the next workout.???
    • Courtney Grafton April 24, 2019 at 8:05 am
      Hi Annette, have you tried contacting customer service? Are you able to access a main menu and select the workout you want specifically?
  • Victoria Maria Albright April 10, 2019 at 11:45 am from NEW YORK
    I bought the set of DVDs and they are a nuisance to try and get to the correct workout since multiple sessions are one disc. For instance I have to go through the whole Align session (45 min) to get to the other body workouts. There is no main menu to choose where to start. Spent an hour trying to figure a way around this with NO success. And the ads are SUPER annoying. I already paid $$ for the product, so don't try to keep selling to me. Disappointed.
    • Courtney Grafton April 18, 2019 at 10:14 am
      Hi Victoria, we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing inconvenience with the dvd's. Have you tried contacting Piyo directly to see if there is a way that you can skip directly to the workout you are looking for??
  • Alice Siedschlag April 9, 2019 at 12:37 pm from Rockford Illinos
    I would like to possibly purchase piyo but would like to know which is the best for a senior citizen. I am 64 and I have not exercised alot in the last few years. I would like something low impact and would like to burn calories but also strengthen my arms.
    • Courtney Grafton April 10, 2019 at 8:07 am
      Hi Alice, the Piyo set comes with 7 DVDs. The first dvd focuses on basic elements and works you up to more challenging options. I would recommend starting with the first DVD and take it at your own pace. Customers love this set as it really challenges you without straining your muscles!
  • Donna April 8, 2019 at 11:27 am
    The Piyo website says the program was made for all ages and they even offer a senior discount, but I don't see any seniors and their pictures. The review says it's an intermediate level workout. So, as a senior how do I know that I'm not wasting my money if I buy this program?
    • Courtney Grafton April 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm
      Hi Donna, yes this program is great for all ages. Since the programs aren't based around weights but more designed to build core strength, it would be a great program for seniors. Keep in mind if there are moves that are more challenging, we advise building up to these in time.
  • Lezlie Greenberg March 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm from AZ
    i got the piyo dvd last year unfortunately when i received it i did not receive the butt and core extra videos when i called the gentleman and he sent the wrong extra video.. The TV I had and where i lived i was unable to try the video... over a year later i am finally somewhere I can try it ... actually yesterday i finally was able to find a blue ray and now i will be able to start.. I don't know why the guy sent me hard core. Is it too late to return hard core and receive the dvd i was suppose to receive . I am sure it is and thats ok... I will finally get to see if this series is great.
    • Courtney Grafton March 14, 2019 at 10:25 am
      Hi Lezlie. We are sorry to hear that you weren't able to play the video until now and hope that you will enjoy it! If you contact Piyo directly they may still be able to offer an exchange on the videos for the one you wanted. Let us know if you have further questions
    • Lisa September 13, 2020 at 1:50 pm from Chicago
      I see a lot of talk about DVD’s but can I download it to stream on my tv? My DVD player doesn’t work...who uses dvds anyway? So...what format does this come in? Thanks!
  • Lisa Furlano March 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm
    Finished piyo with Charlene Johnson. Are there other piyo workouts
    • Courtney Grafton March 12, 2019 at 9:48 am
      Hi Lisa. We are glad to hear you completed the program of Piyo! Congrats! If you are looking for your next challenge you can always try doing the workouts longer or doubling up. Another great workout program are HIIT workouts that incorporate similar body movements with high intensity training elements. These are great for fat burning and toning. I would also recommend looking into pilates.
  • Lucy March 11, 2019 at 9:14 am from Tn
    I want to order it but want the senior discount? It it doesn’t tell me what it is?
    • Courtney Grafton March 12, 2019 at 9:49 am
      Hi Lucy. You are best to contact 1 (800) 784-0946 and speak to a representative as they will better be able to answer your question.

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