Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PiYo: Sculpt Review

This week, I finally got to the last of the PiYo workouts, Sculpt. For those of you that follow my blog closely, you'll notice that I have had a race every weekend the last three weeks. For that reason, I took a brief PiYo hiatus. Now that I am not racing again until the Spartan Beast in September, I have picked up PiYo again.

Month two of PiYo introduces the last of the new workouts, the approximately 28 minute, Sculpt workout.

Overall, I found Sculpt to be not that challenging of a PiYo workout. I also saw a lot of repetition from prior workouts (so much so that my husband, who was watching me, asked, "Didn't you do this one already?").

The workout started in a way that was very familiar. The warm-up, this time, was a bit more lower body focused, which led into the Lunges, Bowlers, & Squats section quite well. The Lunges, Bowlers, & Squats section was very very similar to what we've done in other workouts for the leg sections. Lunges are definitely good to do, but I wish we could see more variety here; it would have been great to have the Sculpt workout have a more unique section for legs.

We then went on to the Full Body Fusion. I liked this section -- it reminded me of a slightly less interesting version of the Flow section from Drench. I have very tight hips, so any time Warrior 1 comes up I am glad to be doing what I'm doing. This section was not too challenging but was a good stretch component to the workout.

We then moved to the Arms & Core section. As usual, tricep push-ups ruled the day. We did get some side planks in there, which was a nice way to mix things up. We finished up with triangle push-ups. I was familiar with these from P90X3 where they are called diamond push-ups and done with the hands even closer together. This is a tough move, and it definitely added an element of challenge to have this at the end of the arms section.

The final section of the fairly short Sculpt workout was Triceps, Buns, & Cool down. Here we did tricep dips instead of push-ups. At this point, my triceps were starting to get a little tired, so I was glad when we moved to the glutes and legs and did some bridges.

To get a more in depth view, here is the moves list.

Circle arms
Lunge right and left
Fan arms overhead
Fold in half
Lunge right and left
Repeat entire series
Squat hold for 3 > knee lift
Squat > right knee > left knee
Sumo pliƩ
Add lat pull
Sumo squat > alternate shoulder drops
Flat back > round up > round down > round up
Fan arms up
Calf stretches
Fold in half > relax
Round up > shoulder rolls

Lunge lower and lift
Lunge lower and tap
4-count lunge and tap
Lunge pulse
Bowler lower and lift
Bowler lower and tap
4-count bowler and tap
Bowler pulse
Repeat lunge and bowler series (alt. lead)
3-count squat pulse > knee lift
4-count squat
Squat and hand tap
Fan arms, hold over, bend knees

Sun salutation
Forward fold
Down dog
Warrior 1
Warrior 1 > raise and lower arms
Warrior 1 > lat pull pulse
Warrior 1 > 4-count down
Runner's Lunge
Down dog
Open leg split
Crouching push-up x4
Down dog
Repeat series (alt. lead)
Down dog
Lower to knees
Child's pose

Slow Tricep push-ups
Standard Push-ups
Side plank
Side plank crunch
Tricep push-ups on one knee
Standard push-ups on one knee
Side plank (alt. lead)
Side plank crunch
Tricep push-ups on both knees
Standard push-ups on both knees
Down dog / child's pose
Triangle push-ups
Triangle push-ups on one knee
Child's pose
Down dog
Walk hands back
Roll up

Tricep dips
Tricep dips with alternating knee lifts
Tricep dips with one leg up (and alt. lead)
Bridge with one leg up (and alt. lead)
Bridge pulse with half-dip
Hip stretch
Knees to chest circle
Sit up tall, legs straight
Seated hamstring stretch
Repeat sit and hamstring stretch
Hand behind knees, round back and up

To sum it up, Sculpt is not going to go down as one of my favorite PiYo workouts. I don't feel that it really adds anything super unique to the program. A lot of the sequences felt similar to what was done in the past, so the addition of this workout doesn't seem to add anything to the PiYo experience. I didn't feel like I was "sculpting" anymore in this workout than in any of the others.

Sculpt is average all around. It isn't too difficult. It isn't too original. It's okay. Is it a nice workout to do? Sure. Will it add anything for you? I'm not sure. 

Having done all of the PiYo workouts now, I would highlight Drench as my favorite. It did a great job bringing all of the elements I was hoping for -- stretching, strengthening, balance -- when I got PiYo. It's also the one that I feel is most challenging, likely because of length, as it clocks in at almost 50 minutes. 

PiYo will never be a favorite program for me. I like my high impact cardio and circuit training too much for that. I do think that including PiYo in my workout library is beneficial. Because it balances body-weight resistance training, non-impact activity, and stretching, PiYo offers me something that my other workouts don't. It's certainly easier than what I normally do, but I like having the option of popping PiYo into the DVD player on days when I want to be a little more gentle on my body. For that reason, PiYo has staying power.


Robin Seneta said...

I just found your blog and have been doing PIYO after finishing P90X3. I thought PIYO was a little easier than X3 and have been slightly disappointed. I am hoping to come up with a great hybrid calendar that I enjoy. I agree Drench was great and so was Sweat. I plan on supplementing other days with some P90X3. I don't want a lot of jumping but I love the stretching and flexibility. If you have any suggestions I would be open to them! Thanks!

Nicole Sibley said...

Agreed, Robin! I think doing PiYo with another program, like P90X3, is a great idea. One other nice program to pair with PiYo might be T25. I know you said no impact, and there is impact in T25; however, there is a modifier with a no impact option.

I've mostly been doing PiYo about three days a week as a second workout of the day. For my "main" workout I've been doing mostly running or circuit weight training. I've been doing some hard workouts and have felt pretty good, I guess the flexibility work in PiYo is doing something!