Towards the end of February I thought to myself, “Hey, I haven’t put my body through torturous physical pain in a while. Let’s change that!” While I had been doing Yoga with Adriene for 6 months, I felt like I needed a change. I wanted a challenge (not that yoga isn’t challenging because good god crow pose is tough). I needed to change things up and I wanted to get stronger. In the past, I was practically a “cardio bunny” and just did cardio without the strength training (which is no bueno). Then, I twisted my ankle and turned to yoga for rehabilitation, but over time, I felt like I needed more. That’s when I remembered blogilates AKA Cassey Ho! Before I moved to Rhode Island back in 2014, I used to do Cassey’s free monthly calendar workouts and they kicked my butt to the curb. I wanted to get back into Pop Pilates, and that’s when I discovered her PIIT28 program.
What is PIIT28?
PIIT stands for Pilates Intense Interval Training. It combines the cardiovascular intensity of HIIT (high intensity interval training) with the strengthening elements of Pop Pilates. The main portion of the workout includes 7 moves that are 45 seconds long with 15 seconds of rest in between for a total of 28 minutes and 40 seconds. You then repeat that circuit for a total of 4 rounds. Each move alternates between a Pilates move like double leg lifts, and a HIIT cardio move like jump squats. The warm-up beforehand is about 5 to 6 minutes and the cool down afterwards is about 9 minutes, so the “total workout” is approximately 45 minutes from start to finish.
There are 3 levels of PIIT28 – 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. You start off with 1.0 and then once those 28 days (or 56 days if you do a second round) are up, you can move on to 2.0, and so on and so forth. Each level helps you build your strength and endurance to move on to the next one. You can also purchase and download the Blogilates app for your Android or iPhone. There is a timer that you can use for your workouts if you don’t want to replay the videos.
What was it like?
When I first started 1.0, I struggled with doing things like mountain climbers for the full 45 seconds. It was beyond challenging, but it was so fulfilling once the timer was up! I had accomplished something difficult and stuck with it, regardless of whether or not I sounded like a dying seal while doing it. Might have scared the cats…
I felt like 1.0 had a nice mix of cardio and strengthening moves, and was a good foundation to prepare for the next two programs. 2.0 felt like it was a bit more focused on cardio, and 3.0 seemed geared towards strengthening and combo moves. Overall the program in its entirety is very well-rounded, and gets more and more challenging as you move forward.
Also, throughout the program you can participate in the PIITstagram challenge! If you complete it, you can earn a free PIIT28 t-shirt! It helps keep you involved in the community and is just plain fun to do!
Are there any cons to PIIT28?
Since PIIT28 has a lot of the HIIT moves involved jumping, I had to modify them due to my other ankle (ironically the non-sprained one). Some people may find it harder on the joints, however, Cassey gives you modifications for everything so no one feels left out and you still get a killer workout regardless!
PIIT28 will push you to your limits which is not a con, BUT you need to be aware of what your body is telling you. I went HAM on a particular leg workout that had a ton of lunge moves and ended up straining my hip flexor (which has taken months to heal). This was most likely due to user error, but like any workout you have to make sure you have good form. If you’re straining (and not in a good way) take a break. Don’t sweat it!
Why PIIT28 over something else?
I chose PIIT28 because I’ve followed Cassey’s workouts in the past and I love the community. I knew she would challenge me beyond what I thought possible, and the price was right. If you do your best and dedicate the time to improving yourself, you’ll be surprised at how far you can go. And like any fitness plan you have to stick with it to see change. There’s no miracle cure – just you and your determination to better yourself, for yourself.
Did you see results?
Definitely! But, it’s important to remember that every body is different. Some see changes “right away” and others don’t. My body is the sloth of bodies when it comes to change. It’s important to note that the PIIT28 program also recommends pairing the workout with the 28 day reset plan, which I did not do. The reset plan is not necessarily a diet. Its main goal is to help you figure out if you have any food sensitivities. You eliminate dairy, gluten, added sugar, processed food, and alcohol. Then, once the 28 days are up, you can slowly add that food back into your diet and make note of whether or not you feel a change.
While I did eat healthy throughout my experience and avoided processed foods and added sugars, I did occasionally indulge in YOLO meals like pizza, chicken tenders, etc. You know, because I’m human (I think). Life is about balance! I discoverd that my approach to food had changed. I no longer felt guilty about indulging in “the bad stuff” every once in a while. I knew I was taking care of my body and eating healthy most days of the week. Those YOLO meals were for my soul and helped me maintain a good mental balance.
After round 1 of 1.0 I didn’t see much of a difference, but I was determined to keep going. I felt so much better on the inside, and that’s where change truly happens. Once you feel it on the inside, it will make its way to the outside. Again, the trick with most exercise programs is that you have to stick with it. There is no quick fix. So I kept going. I did round 2 of 1.0, and then moved on to 2 rounds of 2.0 and 3.0.
By the end of my PIIT28 journey (about 6 months later) I saw a big difference and it surprised me! I lost a few pounds and went down a pant size. I really noticed that my posture improved greatly and I was so much stronger – and to me that’s what really matters.
What are you doing now post-PIIT28?
I still incorporate PIIT28 in my fitness routine and workout 6 days a week first thing in the morning. I now follow Cassey’s monthly workout calendar and will usually do 2 rounds of PIIT beforehand. Someone in the Official PIIT28 community on Facebook does something similar to this, and I’m giving it a try as well! For example, if the workout of the day was upper body focused, I would do 2 rounds of a PIIT workout that’s also focused on arms and back, and then follow her daily calendar. My workouts are now a bit longer (about an hour), but I love it. It keeps me happy and I feel like I have a good balance between “oh god I’m dying” cardio and “oh god I’m still dying” Pilates strengthening moves.
How do I get started with PIIT28?
If you want to try something that will challenge you and push yourself to your limits, give PIIT28 a try! I started out with just buying 1.0, and then bought 2.0 and 3.0 separately (before they offered the packages). You can purchase different packages of the program below! The choice is yours!
AND right now you can buy anything listed below for 30% off until Sept. 5 using the coupon code: “THANKYOU30″
And remember, you can also earn a free PIIT28 t-shirt by completely the PIITstagram challenge!
If you’re not yet ready to pay for the program, you can start with some of Cassey’s videos on her blogilates YouTube channel. She has some free PIIT-like workouts so you can get a feel for it before committing. So what are you waiting for beautiful? Get out there! Be the best version of yourself every day!