I wrote this post for my old blog last year, back when I actually went to the gym – before I left to ‘save money’. Ahem. Anyway, a lot of people seemed to find it useful so here is is, Pilates Vs PiYo…
Billed as an exercise that uses Pilates and Yoga moves set to music, PiYo promises to “lengthen and tone muscles while maintaining sufficient pace to burn unwanted body fat”. Not that I tend to listen to all of these fitness guru claims, and not that I particularly want to lengthen my muscles (should they lengthen? Is that a thing?) but it looked like a good addition to my workout schedule.
My first session was a bit of a disaster though as unfortunately the instructor had to rush her daughter to hospital, so I ended up doing a replacement Pilates course instead…
Ah Pilates! I tried as hard as I could and did start to get some of the moves by the end, but my mind kept wandering and I found it too long winded for my apparently short attention span. I just couldn’t quite ‘get it’, which was frustrating for someone who likes to be in control! By the end I did feel very relaxed, but I just didn’t quite see the point – if I’m doing a fitness class I want to know that I’ve done one; I want to be sweating, aching and red faced with only three sips left in my water bottle, not coming out feeling like I’d been stretching in my sleep for the last hour. Perhaps if I went into the class expecting to do a slow-paced activity I would have enjoyed it slightly more, but I’m just not sure that Pilates is for me.
Onto PiYo. Firstly, music helps me so much in exercise; having a great song that I can sing (quietly…) or tap along to keeps my motivation going, and when I’m doing planks, squats and other nasty things I can hum along and focus on the beat rather than the fact that my legs are about to fall off. The fact that there is a fast-paced soundtrack in PiYo certainly got me energised and ready to push myself, which is one of the things that was missing for me in Pilates.
The routines in my class varied in intensity and difficulty, focusing on body warming, core, power, flow and balance. It’s easy to come out of your first session with a sense of bewilderment wondering how on Earth it’s possible to not have picked up a single thing, but it’s definitely an activity where you can easily see progress – doing that push up without using your knees, holding the warrior pose for a little longer, extending your back leg a little higher or realising you’re not meant to be on your feet whilst everyone else is on the floor doing a PiYo flip.
Having done a bit of both classes, there’s definitely a clear winner… PiYo! It’s bloody hard and I’m not gonna pretend it isn’t, but despite the aching the day after (and the day after that) it was satisfying to feel muscles being worked that quite frankly I didn’t know existed. It was useful to do the Pilates sessions first to get a handle on some of the moves in a slow and measured way and I do think it helped me, but I can’t say I’ll be returning to it anytime soon…
PiYo 1, Pilates 0.