After my marathon, I needed something else to keep me going with my workouts. Jenn gave me the Turbo Fire DVDs, and I thought, “Hey, why not?” I thought it looked intense, but I was determined to tackle it (check out my progress, phase by phase here, here and here).
Chalene Johnson, the instructor, takes you through HIIT workouts, along with dancing and cardio mixed with a little boxing. There’s lots of fun dance music playing in the background to keep the class pumped up. And the concept is a good one for those, like me, who like cardio—although Chalene moved a little too fast for my friends and me to keep up with her.
The first phase of the program was a good taste of the overall program. It had short intense workouts, 15 to 25 minutes, that allowed you to tackle the theory of short workout, high intensity. Those were good for getting a good sweat on if you were in a hurry. The HIIT workouts were a series of Fire Drills that had you moving at max speed for a minute or two, and then you would recover for the same amount of time. Tough, but definitely got your heart rate up.
Throughout the series of DVDs, my friends and I discovered how hard it was to follow Chalene and her moves. She went through the moves quickly and didn’t always finish each count that she did. THAT was frustrating. And to make it fair, Laura and I at one point tried to do the “New to Class” version of a workout and that went on WAY too long. We spent more time learning the moves we already felt comfortable doing than actually doing the workout.
In the second phase, Chalene started to incorporate more strength training with the Tone and Sculpt workouts. My friends and I liked those much better than the other workouts. We felt we were getting more out of them versus the others that were harder to follow. Also during this phase, we discovered a bonus workout on one of the DVDs and found it to be quite refreshing. It was called Burn Circuit, which was essentially a weight workout. And since we were getting a little frustrated with the amount of effort spent trying to figure out other workouts, we incorporated the Burn Circuit into our weekly rotation. Whether we were supposed to or not, we definitely got something out of the workouts and made them our own.
Speaking of adapting the workouts, by the time the third phase rolled around, Laura and I were still doing a lot of the Tone and Sculpt workout, plus weight training along with the other Turbo Fire workouts. This made the series a little more manageable and fun. Another thing I discovered during the program was that my joints were so out of whack from running that doing all the jumps required for this workout were not conducive to my body. So I found myself modifying many of the moves to make sure I was not hurting myself. For me, this was a little frustrating because I like to get as much as possible out of these workout programs—having to modify a cardio workout was tough for me. Going all out is what I like to do. But when your body won’t let you, you gotta listen to it!
Overall, Turbo Fire was a good workout series, although probably not my favorite. The moves were hard to follow, all the jumping made my knees hurt and Chalene was a little too cheerleader-like and perky for my tastes. She had her quirks, just as Tony Horton did in P90X. (It all comes down to personal preference!)
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★ 1/2
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★ 1/2
Fit Bottomed Line: If you ‘re a Turbo Fire or Chalene fan and are looking for a high-impact workout that has fun music—and you’re good on the Turbo Fire moves—this might be for you!
Are you a Turbo Fire fan? Does anyone else have trouble keeping up with the moves? —Kelsey