What in the world is PiYo?

By: Kylie McGraw ’16, Campus Recreation Services Group Fitness Instructor


When you step inside the gym, there are many different people there. Some love to get their sweat on with a cardio workout, so maybe they will be jogging on the indoor track or taking a Hip Hop Shake class. Others may prefer to test their strength both mentally and physically, and you might find them lifting in the weight room or doing bodyweight exercises in the Functional Training Studio. There are swimmers and bootcamp lovers, yogis and cyclists. Some are elliptical junkies, while others catch any group fitness class they can.

Maybe you are a person who isn’t sure what to do at the gym and so you always try something new. That works too!

There is one thing that all of these people have in common: they are Active Terps!

What’s so great about Campus Recreation Services are the endless options and the many opportunities to be active in a way that YOU enjoy.

The newest way to be an Active Terp at UMD is to check out the latest group fitness class added to the schedule this semester – PiYo! It may just be your new favorite way to be an Active Terp …

What in the world is PiYo, you ask?!

Well, if you can’t tell from the word itself, this workout is inspired by both Pilates and Yoga. But PiYo is not Pilates OR Yoga!

It is a fast-paced, full body workout combining cardio, strength, and stretching. Created by Chalene Johnson, PiYo is low impact and works to define and strengthen all of your muscles. It started as a home workout on DVD, but lucky for you, it is now a group fitness class offered right here at the University of Maryland!

What makes PiYo different from Pilates or yoga?

PiYo is different from your traditional yoga or Pilates class because it is choreographed and done to popular, upbeat music. Don’t let the word choreography scare you – we are not dancing! All that means is we are doing exercises on an 8 count over and over. Can you count to 8? Then you will catch on! And we all know that music is a pretty powerful motivator when you’re in the midst of a workout, so being able to sing your way through lunges can be helpful.

When you’re taking a PiYo class, you are constantly moving.

You should expect many lunges, squats, sun salutations, pushups, and even (gasp!) burpees! There are modifications for every movement, which is what makes PiYo such an effective workout for everyone. I have had regular yogis, first time gym go-ers, and even football players take a PiYo class and all of them have left feeling accomplished and sweaty!

Slower movements, like downward dog, feel really great after a sequence of faster paced movements like pushups.

All you need is a desire to try something new, clothes that you can move in, and socks or bare feet. We will provide you with a yoga mat (though you are welcome to bring your own) and a killer workout!

Here is your official invitation to come try a PiYo class. Maybe you’ll love it and maybe you’ll hate it…but at least you challenged yourself and tried something new! Hope to see you soon!


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