Like I mentioned yesterday, I spent the day on Sunday getting certified as a PiYo instructor.
The training was in Green Bay, 2.5 hours away from home, and while we’d originally planned to turn the weekend into a mini family trip, we ended up scratching that idea at the last minute.
The tricky thing about traveling with toddlers is that toddlers need naps, and 11 AM check-out times mean that any one-night hotel stay is going to leave you on the street during prime naptime hours. So we’d have to book the hotel for two nights (Sat and Sun) just for the boys to have somewhere to go on Sunday afternoon, even though we’d be leaving right after my class got out at 3.
In the end, we decided the whole thing wasn’t worth the dough, especially since I’d be out of commission for half of it–and, plus, the weather wasn’t supposed to be that great–so I ended up going it alone.
Which is how I ended up with a 5:15 AM alarm and a 5-hour solo roadtrip.
It actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds, thanks to an iPod full of fresh podcasts and lots & lots of these:
So, let me tell you about the actual certification!
First of all, you might be wondering:
What is PiYo?
PiYo is a new Beachbody workout, created by my girl crush, Chalene Johnson.
We talked about how to describe it in class, and one of the best definitions was “it’s pilates and yoga…with an EDGE.”
It’s also referred to as “yoga for athletes,” since it’s way more up-beat and cardio-intensive than a regular yoga class. It’s designed to be high intensity, but low impact, so it’s kind to the body while also being outrageously effective. (Seriously, my quads are still protesting two days later.)
Strength is a huge component of PiYo, in addition to flexibility, but there are no weights. It’s 100% bodyweight work, which makes it super accessible and convenient.
And, of course, there’s the best part: the workouts are set to high-tempo pop music. It’s really hard to not get into it.
I think PiYo is the perfect workout for people who recognize the benefits of yoga and want to like it, but are zonked-out bored in traditional yoga classes. It’s also a great compromise workout for people who want to do more than “just stretch.”
There is nothing boring about PiYo, and while you’re definitely getting the flexibility benefits you expect from yoga, you’re also building strength and working on that powerhouse pilates core (hope you’re comfortable with planks!). Plus, since all the moves are full-body compound movements, you’re torching major calories.
I know I’m starting to sound like a Beachbody infomercial here, but I wouldn’t have pursued this as my first ever group exercise certification if I wasn’t totally in love with the format. It’s the perfect fit for me, since I decided that “yoga fit” was my soulmate workout. (Funny–that post in the same one where I first mentioned my goal of going after the PiYo cert!)
What was the training day like?
I would have loved to know more about what to expect from the day itself prior to Sunday, especially having never gotten a group exercise certification before, so let me give you a little rundown of what it looked like for us.
In our case, the entire class was held in a yoga studio on a college campus. We spent the day on our yoga mats, either sitting and listening or up doing PiYo moves.
The class was 6 hours long, and I was amazed how fast the time flew by!
Here’s a rough outline of the day:
9:00 – 9:45 – Intro to PiYo (history/future) and what it means to be a Beachbody instructor (+ how it works). We sat and listened to the instructor.
9:45 – 10:30 – Intro to PiYo moves (lots of traditional yoga poses–warriors, chair, down/up dog, chaturanga, triangle), with focus on proper form and correction cues. We were on our feet during this section, going through the moves as the instructor explained each one.
10:30 – 11:15 – Example PiYo class, led by the instructor. Aka Sweatfest USA.
11:15 – Break
11:30 – 12:00 – Intro to cuing with music and the “32 count.” We listened to the music from the warm-up and worked on hearing the beat and understanding how the flow of the phrasing connected with elements of the workout.
12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 – My memory’s a bit fuzzy about this part of the day, but I think this is where we went over how to be motivational as a Beachbody coach and PiYo instructor, and how to keep people coming to your classes.
1:00 – 2:00 – Choreography practice. We split up into groups to learn the warm-up and take turns leading it for the 3-4 others in our groups.
The main idea here was not necessarily to learn how to teach specific choreography so much as it was to learn how we would learn it. Did we learn best by watching the example DVD, then listening to the music and practicing the sequencing? Did we need to rewrite the choreography notes in our own words?
Personally, I thought repetition was the biggest key. The more times I physically went through the routine, the more comfortable I was with it, and the more easily cues came to mind. We were also encouraged to remember that even if we got off track–like, if we did one too many rounds of the chair/lunge sequence–it was easy to get back on, as long as we were familiar with the phrasing of the music and the smaller chunks the workout was divided into. So you could easily botch the workout and no one would know. :)
2:00 – 3:00 – Going through the PiYo manual as a group. We didn’t have time to read the whole thing–the instructor just went over key parts with us.
And that was it! I’d thought class was supposed to go until 4, so the 3 PM finish time was a nice surprise. I buzzed home and made it in time to hang out with Mase for a few hours before bed.
How did it go doing the class pregnant?
I chatted with the instructor prior to class about the fact that I was preggo, and she said it was no prob. The only time it was even slightly an issue was during our chaturangas, which I had to modify a little.
Of course, I did sort of feel like the elephant in the room (literally and figuratively) a few times. It’s probably not super common to see a preggo chick in a group exercise certification class.
I also ended up front and center in the room for the day, thanks to a late entrance (which was thanks to some crappy GPS directions–thanks GPS!! grr!) so I couldn’t even hide out in the back. Luckily, it was a very relaxed and welcoming environment (the instructor said several times, “you are exactly where you’re supposed to be,” which is an amazingly comforting thing to hear!), so I didn’t feel too self-conscious.
If nothing else, I thought maybe my being there might inspire some people and/or give them a story to use later–even preggo chicks can do this!
I don’t plan to pursue any teaching opportunities until after the baby’s born, but I do hope to start once I’m back on my postpartum feet. (Nothing crazy–just a class or two a week, for fun.)
Even though I won’t be using it for awhile, I’m glad I got the certification now (much easier to leave a toddler for the day than a toddler and a nursing newborn!).
To keep my skillz sharp, I plan to work on the class we all got for attending the cert over the summer. I might actually need the whole time between now and the baby to get comfortable with it!
Local friends, anyone want to be my practice audience??
So that was my experience! Let me know if you have any questions about PiYo or the certification–I’d be happy to help!
Fellow group ex. instructors, how have your training experiences been similar/different?
Any advice for a new instructor??
Have you heard of PiYo? Any interest in trying it?