with trainer Chalene Johnson
You will love it if:
TurboFire workouts are a great way to burn a lot of calories and tone up while having fun. These workouts are intense enough to give you a good workout, but not so intense that you will dread doing them. TurboFire is like a form of choreographed kickboxing. Most of the moves are kickboxing moves with some plyometrics and dance moves mixed in, but Chalene brings a dancey flavor to the entire workout, making them a ton of fun. The high intensity intervals are challenging, but they are short enough and include enough breaks in between that the workouts are very manageable.
Because of the choreography and dance-like feel these workouts have, it can be tricky to catch on to the videos at first. You need to get used to the cuing and the progression of the moves so that you can anticipate what comes next and make the workout flow smoothly. It probably took me a week or two before I really caught on to the flow of the workouts well enough that I could time my moves to match Chalene. (I was still getting a good workout for the first few weeks, but I just didn’t feel, or look, all that coordinated.) To me, it is worth a few weeks of practice to master these workouts; the variety and complexity of this more advanced choreography only adds to the fun. The music in these workouts is also great—mostly R & B, hip-hop, and techno style club music. And Chalene has a very perky, upbeat, encouraging personality that is fun to work out to. She is super positive with a touch of sass.
The HIIT (high intensity interval training) videos are especially good if you have kids because you take lots of short breaks during the workouts in case you need to mediate arguments or check on your little ones. Chalene breaks down the choreography for the HIIT drills during the recovery periods of the HIIT videos so it will be easier to follow along with the workouts. When the Fire videos include HIIT drills, Chalene does show the break down for the choreography ahead of time, but she does not break down the rest of the workout for you. However, the choreography in the Fire videos is easy enough that I didn’t need to see a breakdown. In case you do have trouble figuring out the proper form or mastering the choreography in the Fire videos, there is a “New to Class” option that adds a breakdown of the choreography and lets you practice the moves just before doing them. You are basically doing the exact same Fire workout but with 5-10 minutes of additional footage that makes the workouts easier to follow. (The downside of using the “New to Class” option is that the workouts take 5-10 minutes longer.) There is also a “Fired Up” option on each workout which plays the music much louder so that you can only barely hear Chalene’s cues.
There is an actress who stands to the right of Chalene, Ally, who does a great job of demonstrating the low-impact version of the workouts. I found her fairly easy to follow and felt the low-impact version of the workout was almost as challenging as the high-impact version. This is helpful for those with joint problems or those who live in an upstairs apartment and don’t want to jump around a lot. However, there is a lot of twisting and turning in these videos, even if you do the modified version, and this can be tough on your knees if you aren’t careful about keeping the proper form.
Each workout includes a short, 2 to 5 minute warm-up and a short 2 to 5 minutes cool-down. The warm-ups on each video are very fast-paced, so you will already be burning calories during the warm-up. The warm-ups and cool-downs on each video are very similar.
For the Tone, Sculpt, and Core workouts you will need resistance bands (ie. resistance tubing). There is also one move in the Tone workout that uses a lower body band (a 10 inch loop that just fits around your legs similar to the bands used in Insanity: Asylum or Brazil Butt Lift). The Fire and HIIT workouts don’t require any equipment, but you may want to use weighted hand gloves to increase your upper body workout. I wrap 1 ½ or 2 ½ pound ankle weights around my hands instead of using weighted hand gloves. I like the feel of ankle weights better because they don’t wobble around on my hands; plus they serve a dual purpose because I can use them for either hand or ankle weights.
Your space should be as wide as you are tall and as deep as you are with your arms stretched overhead. There is also some jumping in these videos and you may have to modify some moves if you don’t have a lot of head room.
As long as you can maintain moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise (jogging, stair stepper, biking, etc.) for at least 15 minutes, you should be able to start this program. However, if you lack coordination or have a difficult time learning and imitating workout and/or dance moves, these workouts might be more frustrating (or perhaps even dangerous!) than fun.
What NOT to Expect
Do not expect to become a super-star athlete by doing these videos. They are meant to be a fun way to workout and burn a ton of calories and will get you into good shape, but they are not nearly as intense as some of the other workout programs available. The HIIT videos include some plyometrics, but not enough to really get your muscles burning. Also, do not expect to get ripped up biceps and quads. The Tone and Sculpt videos are great for building muscle tone and tightening your body so you look great, but they won’t exactly have you ready for the next bodybuilding competition.
How does TurboFire compare to other similar programs?
TurboFire workouts are a great way to burn a lot of calories and tone up while having fun. These workouts are intense enough to give you a good workout, but not so intense that you will dread doing them. If you love kickboxing but don’t think you’ll be coordinated enough to master TurboFire, Jillian Michaels Kickbox Fast Fix is a good workout. If you want a video that is more dancing and less kickboxing, Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results is a good choice; it also requires a bit less coordination. If you can’t sustain 15 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise and think you need an easier calorie burning dance-like program, try Hip Hop Abs, TurboJam, or Rockin’ Body. If you want a more challenging program that still has a dance-like flavor, you’re out of luck, because I haven’t found one. But you could try Focus T25 if you want a slightly harder program.
REQUIRES LESS COORDINATION
Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results
HARDER AND REQUIRES LESS COORDINATION