PiYo Day 1: Align

Here we go again: I’m setting a health and fitness goal. This usually ends in one of the following ways:

1. I hurt my back a third of the way through and have to stop.
2. I get bored within two weeks and go back to my more indulgent (read: lazy and dessert-laden) lifestyle.
3. I don’t see results immediately and give up.

As the day of my 17-mile charity walk drew near, I knew that pretty soon I would need a new goal to keep me motivated.

Right about the same time, I caught wind that Chalene Johnson was going to release her PiYo workout on DVD. I’ve been a fan of Chalene’s fitness programs for years. I don’t normally gravitate toward perky California blondes, but Chalene won my heart years ago when she released her TurboJam workout. There’s something about her energy and coaching style that speaks to me.

PiYo emphasizes low impact movements that are a combination of Pilates and yoga. Strengthening using your own body weight. Lengthening while toning. Sounds right up my alley, especially since my back injury prevents me from doing anything too high impact, and my chiropractor has told me that core work (along with strengthening my glutes and thighs) is key for my progress.

PiYo is produced by Beachbody, the massively successful health and fitness group that’s put out gems like P90X, Insanity, and Hip Hop Abs. PiYo is Chalene’s fourth program (I think).

I hooked up with a Beachbody coach, Lindsey, through Facebook and ordered the PiYo program. It arrived just in time for me to start a group challenge on the PiYo Push Facebook group with said coach Lindsey.

Today we did the introductory workout, Align. I loved how much Chalene focused on core stability, proper form, and well, alignment. She also mentioned time after time the importance of modifying the exercises based on your fitness level, flexibility, and even just your body structure.

At one point she mentioned that if your forearms are significantly shorter than the lower half of your leg, you may never be able to physically put your palms down on the ground while doing a lunge.

So logical, and yet when’s the last time you heard a DVD fitness coach that said something like, “You might not be able to do this”? It’s amazing how saying something as simple as that can be a breath of fresh air in an industry where you’re often told to push, push, push, regardless of what it might do to you!

After Plushenkoing myself a little over five months ago, I am so grateful that Chalene spent an entire forty minutes going over form, modifications, and technique. Some of the tips she shared were the exact techniques I’ve learned from my chiropractor as I worked to regain mobility after my latest flare-up – a good sign, if you ask me.

I’m hoping that this focus on the core, along with the support I’ve found in the Facebook group and the TeamBeachbody community are enough to get me through the “It’s been two/three weeks and I haven’t seen any results and good God I want to eat all the brownies and ouchie my back hurts” phase. I’m going to try really, really, really hard to focus on my stability, even when I’m tempted to eke out the full range movement that all the muscly, perfectly-formed people on the screen are doing.

One step at a time.

Looking forward to tomorrow!