BodyFit 360 is one of Michelle Dozois new workouts. It came out the same time as Cardio Interval Burn Remix and Cardio Strength Remix. I pre-ordered those two, but at the time, had no interest in BodyFit 360. That has changed. I am about 2 months into Chalene Johnson‘s PiYo and loving it. It occurred to me after I started doing PiYo, that from the previews at least, Michelle’s BodyFit 360 looked very similar. So I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! It is a very challenging workout–even fun in some places (and just plain hard in others). It is also similar to PiYo. But I will touch on that more here in a minute.
Michelle describes this workout as “cutting edge body weight and dance conditioning.” You get strength, flexibility and cardio work all in one 53 minute package. Michelle and crew do the workout sans shoes (I did not–I wore shoes) and there was a bit of impact/jumping. Not a lot and easily modifiable. Oh, there is a modifier as well, but don’t look to her for any “real” modifications. She was doing basically the same workout as everyone else. Pretty useless modifier IMHO. This workout combines yoga, pilates and dance into flowing movement that works everything–lower body, upper body and core. It also stretches everything out as well. She works you hard then stretches you out beautifully.
Now, I have to review this in comparison to PiYo because that is the workout it most resembles. Also, I plan to use BodyFit 360 in conjunction with PiYo, so it only makes sense I would review it that way. Briefly, PiYo is a whole workout program/system that contains 9 -12 workouts (BodyFit 360 is obviously just one workout). Each workout has a specific focus–core, upper body, lower body, total body and one of these total body workouts is super advanced and intense (Drench). All of the PiYo workouts are challenging on some level, but one in particular (Drench) is extremely advanced. This is the workout BodyFit 360 most closely resembles. They are both close to the same length, they are both intense and sweat inducing giving you total body strength + cardio + flexibility workout. They even contain many of the same basic moves. However, BodyFit 360 is much more varied. It contains dancy aspects that are not present in PiYo, it has a lot of different moves from PiYo, plus, even when it uses the same base move that PiYo uses, it is done differently. However, PiYo has a great modifier for people not yet ready for the advanced level of the workouts; BodyFit 360’s modifier is practically pointless. Finally, at the end of BodyFit 360 you get a much longer and deeper stretch than you get with any PiYo workout, including Drench. These differences are not criticism; in fact, they compliment PiYo beautifully. Currently, I do PiYo’s Drench every Saturday. I will now alternate between PiYo Drench and BodyFit 360 on Saturdays.
Before I move on to the breakdown, I want to talk about the value of these types of workouts; or at least my opinion of their value. I’ve been working out regularly and consistently for a long time and for most of that time I have been focused on the visible results a workout can give me–muscle and leanness primarily, which is why I tend to neglect flexibility. However, as I get older I have been trying to pay attention to the whole picture of fitness–not just how high I can jump and how hard my triceps are and what my body fat percentage is, but also flexibility, range of motion and strength. Yes, strength. For a long time I put muscle growth/definition and strength in the same category, but as I am discovering with programs such as PiYo and Weider Ruthless, they are not the same thing. One of the biggest benefits I have gotten from PiYo (and therefore will also get from BodyFit 360) is a huge increase in strength. I have lifted weights for years, but didn’t realize until recently how much stronger bodyweight exercises will make you. I’m not saying I have any intention of giving up lifting iron (I do not because I love lifting weights and I still think it is very important) but incorporating frequent body weight training will give you huge strength benefits–which is why we see so many articles about how/why pull ups, pushups and planks continue to be some of the best exercises out there. And workouts like PiYo and BodyFit 360 incorporate a whole lot into one workout: strength, cardio and flexibility–and with no equipment. So I am sold on these types of workouts and will be making a point to do them consistently.
BodyFit 360 is 53 minutes with a 6 minute warm up and 10 minute stretch. Before I start the break down, keep in mind that there is generally more to each move than just the move listed–there is lots of reaching and arm movements to lengthen the body. Flexibility is incorporated into the workout throughout. In addition, this is a fast-paced workout with a lot of moves. She never stays on one exercise an excessive amount of time and you never do tons of reps or multiple sets. So it would take forever to break down every single move in this workout. I am touching on the main moves without elaborating on what your arms will be doing, and just keep in mind that most of them are only done for 4 or less reps.
The warm up consists of reaching arms overhead, raising shoulders up and down, rolling shoulders, dancy side-to-side hips and hips front and back, hip circles, shoulders/chest front and back then side to side. Roll down, stretching the back of the legs. Roll down and swing back and up, then step to the side and do side to side hips. Add a jump to the roll down and swing up. Rib isolations front and back then roll body down and up. You do some deeper stretching then lunge to the side and pulse up and down. Jump so you are facing the other direction, still in lunge and pulse. The actual workout starts with knee raises: 8 to each side, then 4, then 2, then alternating knee raise each side. Pulsing chair pose alternated with rocking hips. Plie squat jacks. Lean side to side then side lunge. Plank, jump to wide leg pike, back to plank, into squat thrust. In down dog do alternating calf stretches. Stand with legs wide and reach arms down the sides of the thighs–alternating side to side. Curtsy lunge to the side, touching the floor with fingertips and when you come back up to standing lift the knee, working the oblique. Alternate knee raises. Reverse lunge pulse. Plie pulse. Lunge pulses then lean forward while raising back leg in the air. Get down into low wide squat with hands on the floor and pulse 3 then straighten legs, hands still on the floor, stretching hamstrings. Change pulsing squat to pulsing side lunge (hands still on floor). Change to bringing opposite leg under so that you are in crab with leg raised in air and pulse leg in air twice them come back to straight leg hamstring stretch with hands on floor. Get into reverse plank and raise and lower hips. Lower to bottom with knees bent. Raise from seated to one arm crab, lifting the other arm over head; continue alternating arms. Bring feet close together with hands on floor by hips; lift body (hands and feet on floor) and draw bottom between hands while straightening legs. Get into plank and push body forward and back, bending knees. Stand and alternate reaching arms overhead. Deep plie squats and lean to the side with arms overhead at top of move. Pulsing plies then one leg up and tap the floor on the other side of the opposite foot then come back to plie. Front kicks. Side kicks. Some hip rocks. Alternating side leg hop. Continue the alternating side leg hops but do 3 then add deep reverse lunge (touching the ground with one hand). Raise and lower from chair pose; at top of chair pose (when standing/arms overhead) lean back. Stay in chair and row arms. Alternate with holding twisting chair for a few seconds. Warrior 1, while opening and closing arms while leaning torso forward and backward. Reverse warrior to warrior 1, but in warrior 1 you are reaching forward. Come down into right angle and alternate with coming back up into warrior 1 but pulling your arm like pulling a bow/arrow. Roll back to plow and back up to warrior 3 but with hands on floor; after doing that 4 times, the last time you will actually hold a warrior 3, arms out to sides (balance move). Alternate forward folds with standing and reaching arms overhead while arching back. Get on all 4s. Extend one leg out behind you and do 3 tricep push ups then bring extended knee in under you to nose while raising up on toe of other leg. Bring leg in so you are standing, facing side with wide legs and move side to side, rolling shoulders. “Back and reach warrior lunges”(that’s what she called them–basically lunging forward and backward with bow/arrow arms in warrior pose). Alternate from plank to warrior. Stay in plank and bring knees to outside of body to touch elbows. Get on knees and lean torso forward and back, stretching quads. Next is what she calls the “Core Track.” You will lie on your stomach and do several arm variations of spinal erector training. Get on all 4s but with toes on ground and knees raised a few inches off the ground (in PiYo Chalene calls this Beast Pose). Twist side to side, touching hip to ground. Go back to toes and hands with knees a few inches off the floor and alternate lifting legs behind you. Down dog to up dog. Go back to down dog and bend and straighten knees. Go into bent knee boat pose; lean knees to side and alternate pulsing knees in with hollow body. Still in bent knee boat pose, twist knees side to side while bringing arms to the opposite side. Hold hollow body while pulsing feet outward. Go into side knee plank, reach top arm under you then go up into pike. Next you will do a one leg dog, bend extended leg and let it fall until it touches the floor and you are in a sort of one arm crab with one leg straight and the other bent; you will lower bottom to floor then push up, arching back and straightening both legs (in PiYo Chalene calls this PiYo Flip). Next you do camel variations. For the last 10 minutes you move into the deep stretches. The stretches start dynamically then go static. The first one is all kinds of variations of runners lunge that stretch all of the lower body muscles. Move into a deep straddle stretch. Sit on your bottom and do various leg stretches in that position. You will do pigeon. Lay on your back and do spinal twists. Lay in corpse pose.