Nicole Perales once believed that to get a full-body workout it required high intensity aerobics mixed with weights.
That is until the 41-year-old fitness instructor tried PiYo, a combination of Pilates and yoga that delivers a full-body workout.
“It’s the muscle sculpturing of Pilates and the flexibility of yoga with non-stop fluid moves,” Perales said.
Perales, who has built a solid following with her RIPPED (Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometric, and Endurance) classes at In-Shape Clubs in Manteca and Tracy as well Cal Fit in Manteca, noted PiYo is an ideal complement to those classes as well as other high intensity group exercise programs by filling in the gaps.
That said, PiYo stands alone as a full-body workout using only one’s body weight and a mat.
“You can work up a sweat,” noted the mother of four, ages 14 to 23.
She has also found that PiYo works well for those that want more than yoga offers or may be intimated by either discipline.
Part of the reason is the count in PiYo is shorter meaning stretches aren’t held as long. Due to that and the more fluid motions, students find it easier to adjust PiYo to their physical abilities with many noting an improvement in flexibility and muscle tone as well as lower heart rates over time.
And, as Perales points put, they are doing so without jumping around and putting a lot of stress on their bodies. That said, you can kick up the intensity of PiYo if that fits into your workout better.
Her 9 a.m. Friday PiYo class at Cal Fit on North Main Street reflects a cross-section of people. There are those that like the combination of the two disciplines, some who want to do yoga and Pilates but don’t want 45 minutes of one specific style, and beginners who in the past have found yoga and Pilates class by themselves intimidating.
When she was younger Perales said she was motivated by exterior goals such as muscle toning. But as she has gotten older and found out how various exercise regimens can impact health whether its a lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, mental well-being and a repertoire of other physiological advantages she says she is now driven by a desire to have a healthy heart.
“I can look hard on the outside but if my heart isn’t healthy it doesn’t matter that much,” she said.
She takes great joy in seeing her team — how she refers to her students — improve and obtain fitness and heath milestones.
“That is what motivates me to teach,” Perales said.
Perales teaches RIPPED classes on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 9:15 a.m. at the In Shape on 11th Street in Tracy, at 10:30 p.m. Friday at the In Shape Manteca on East Yosemite, and 9 a.m. Wednesday at Cal Fit.
She noted Cal Fit is flexible with people wanting to check out exercise classes to see if they are for them. They often are allowed to do the first one free to see if it is something that will work for them. They also allow students, if they wish, to pay $5 per class instead of getting a full membership.