“I want those glutes talking to you tomorrow!” Ashley Full yells to the dozen women taking her Monday morning PiYo Live! class at GB3 in Clovis.
The ladies are about halfway through the hour-long, low-impact muscle-sculpting class that uses nothing but a mat and the participant’s own body weight.
The name suggests that the class is a mixture of Pilates moves and yoga poses, but It feels more like Pilates and yoga got together and had a cardio-loving baby.
However, there’s no jumping, straining or working to the brink of exhaustion.
“Older ladies can come, and beginners. The class has to be for everybody,” Full said. “That’s what I like about it: everybody’s welcome. I have no interest in having a super crazy, high-intensity class that a lot of people feel like they can’t do.”
PiYo focuses on strength and flexibility moves that can be modified to accommodate all abilities, yet it also cranks up the heart rate with fast-paced intervals.
“We’re going to build some heat here,” Full said before leading the class-goers through a series of sun salutations.
The class then got ready for a three-minute bout of Pilates-inspired cardio moves.
“We can do anything for three minutes,” Full encouraged. “You have to have that mindset.”
PiYo Live! classes are fairly new to gyms around the Valley, although Chalene Johnson’s PiYo DVD came out in 2000. The fitness star’s follow up, PiYo Workout by BeachBody, was released in 2014.
Full, a BeachBody Coach, bought the PiYo home program about a year ago and was instantly hooked.
“I loved it so much. It got me in shape, it got me strong,” she said. “I have a bad knee so I couldn’t do the P90X (high-intensity workouts). I found PiYo; it’s low impact and it worked for me.”
She became a certified PiYo instructor in February and began teaching in March.
GB3 member Sonja Martinez has attended Full’s PiYo class for about three months. The cardio queen said she enjoys the fact that the class makes her break a sweat although it starts out slow.
“Everyone who exercises should put this in their regular workout so that they can stretch and tone their muscles,” she said. “I have strong muscles in my legs, but during PiYo I’m kind of wobbly and I try to balance. Gaining balance throughout the body and focusing -- that’s my benefit from her class.”
Another GB3 member, Jennifer Anderson, said she spent months working out on weight machines without seeing much change in her body.
“I can see results faster using my own body weight than I can on machines,” she said after taking PiYo for a month. “I’m already seeing definition where I want to see it.”
Anderson used to suffer from debilitating back pain, but PiYo has fixed that, she said.
“My back is stronger, my posture is better,” she said. “PiYo increases muscles in the right area, targets my core and relieves pressure and pain from my body.”
Anderson has never taken a Pilates class, but has tried traditional yoga.
“But I like this more because it’s more of a challenge,” she said. “When I leave, I feel it in my body and I feel it the next day in my glutes and my abs.”
Full said she has about 25 regular PiYo participants at the 10 a.m. class at GB3, 1885 Herndon Ave., but wants to offer more classes.
“The nighttime is a lot easier for a lot of my women,” she said. “The daytime is hard for people who work.”
She also hopes to offer PiYo in the new GB3 Super Club being built at Champlain and Shepherd avenues.
The public is invited to try the class for free by coming into GB3 for a free week trial pass, Full said. Those on the trial will be able to use all of the gym’s equipment and take any classes on its schedule.
PiYo classes are also available in some Blast Fitness and Fitness Evolution locations throughout Fresno, as well as Live Fit at 2042 E. Copper Ave. Visit www.beachbodylive.com/piyo/find-class to find a PiYo Live! class near you.
lululemon athletica Fresno will host an in-store PiYo class with instructor Monica January from 9:45 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. The class is free, but donations will be accepted for The Art of Life Healing Garden in Woodward Park. The store is at 712 W. Shaw Ave. in Fig Garden Village.