Sunday, March 10, 2013

The deets on TurboFire. // Jen J.

Long time no post!  I've been meaning to give you guys the skinny on TurboFire for some time now, but life has been mad crazy lately and I just haven't had the time.  As of today, I am on day two of week seven; which means I am over halfway complete!  That puts me in a good position to articulate what the program is all about.

What:  TurboFire is a 90-day cardio conditioning program - part kickboxing, part dance - and includes 12 workouts on 5 DVDs.  The program is comprised of four different types of sweat sessions.

1) Fire Classes - These classes are really the core of the program as this is where you really get into the kickboxing and dancing.  They are very cardio centric and you punch, kick, and in my case white-girl fumble your way to a good calorie burn.  The choreography was difficult for me at first but for most of these classes there is a "new to class" option on the DVD where Chalene Johnson will walk you through the routines.  There is also an option to "fire up" or not "fire up" the music.  Firing up the music drowns out the verbal cues so you can get lost in the moment.  I, however, still need the cues, so I do not "fire up" my workouts. 

In addition to the routines, some of the Fire classes have what are called fire drills.  An alarm will sound and for one minute, Chalene has you go balls to the wall, with a plyometric jaunt.

Fire classes range from 30 to 55 minutes and the length of the workout is included in the class title.  For example, Fire 45 is 45 minutes long.  This titling logic is used for all of the classes.

2) HIIT Classes -These classes are shorter than the Fire classes and range from 15 to 25 minutes.  They are like the fire drills you see in the Fire classes and focus on short intervals.  The purpose is to  maximize the heart rate - triggering what they call the "after-burn" effect.  Beachbody claims that you continue to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours after your workout.  I honestly don't know if I believe this or not.  

3) Strength Classes -There are three classes that I classify as strength.  They focus on toning and sculpting the body by utilizing a resistance tube and sculpting band.  Examples of exercises include bicep curls and bicycle crunches using the resistance tube.  The classes range from 20 to 30 minutes in length and the class schedule pairs these with one of the shorter Fire classes.  

4) Stretch Classes- The program includes two stretch classes.  There is a quick 10 minute one that is  a compliment to many of the workouts as a cool down.  There is also a 40 minute stretch class that is a principle class.  I tried the 10 minute class once and I was bored out of my gourd, so I haven't done it again.  I heard the 40 minute class is just as boring so I haven't tried it.  Instead, I've do hot vinyasa flow yoga on those days.  I love yoga and I feel practicing it for an hour has to be more advantageous. 

Who:  The workouts are led by the spunky, upbeat, and gorgeous Chalene Johnson.  It is so fun to watch her shimmy and shake, the girls got moves like Jagger.  I also have an affinity for her because she is a fellow Michigan gal. 

Cost: I paid $79.90 for the program plus tax and another $6.59 for shipping.

Equipment:  Sculpting band (included and resembles a giant rubber band), resistance tube (not included), and mat (not included).  I googled what weight resistance tube was used in the program and everything I read said 30 pounds.  So I purchased this one for $24.99.  Turns out it was too heavy for me and I was not getting a good range of motion so I also purchased a 20 pound resistance tube for $17.99.  The lighter tube seems just about right.  I use my yoga mat for the floor exercises, which is minimal. 

Other helpful information:
  • The music is fabulous.  The best I've come across on any fitness DVDs.  Chalene includes high-energy mixes of songs you actually know such as: Boom I got your Boyfriend and Tina Turner's, Rolling on a River.  
  • I highly recommend doing this workout on a floor that is conducive to a good foot pivot.  I think carpet would provide too much friction, especially with sneakers on.  I have a wood laminate flooring in my basement which works well.  
  • As mentioned above, pivoting is a large component to this program.  It is so important to move your feet in the direction of the punches, otherwise you torque your knees.  I learned this lesson the hard way.
  • It took me about five weeks until I was like gosh-by-golly I am actually getting the moves.  Until then I flopped around like a fish out of water trying to do what I could and making sure Tower (my boyfriend) wasn't watching.  I am below average when it comes to coordination, so I would expect that most people would get the knack of it much sooner.
  • I've been chronicling my progress and calorie burns by logging my workouts in my Hello Kitty planner and placing a sticker on my TurboFire class schedule each day.  I'm juvenile, what can I say.  There is just something about visualizing my progress with a dang sticker that motivates me.  I just loved Lisa Frank stickers growing up!! 
  • The classes are conducted in a group setting.  Typically Chalene is on a stage with two other people, one of them is a chick named Alee who modifies the movements to a low impact version.  Honestly, though there wasn't much I needed to modify which is good because they really don't show her that much.  From the stage Chalene leads a group of high energy good looking people.
  • The class schedule has you working out six days a week, with one rest day.  The longest day is 60 minutes.  I do not take my rest day as scheduled.  I use it whenever I have a super hectic day and working out just seems impossible.  But, I never take more than one rest day per week.  The flexibility of the rest day just seems more realistic to me.
  • As much as I think this is a good and engaging program, I am officially sick of it.  I feel like I picked the perfect time to do it - during the winter.  If it were the summer there is no way I'd make it through.  I always prefer neighborhood jogs, softball, and cruises on the bike over any indoor activity.
  • There's this super motivating girl named Erica P. (from Fit Camp) that hosts a TurboFire Facebook group that I am part of.  It's been instrumental in keeping me on track and for addressing any questions I have.
That about concludes this post.  I'll be back though.  First with some details about the calorie burns I've experienced from some of the classes, a comparison of Jillian Michaels v. Chalene, and then after I graduate I will detail my progress or lack there of.  Additionally, leave any specific questions you may have in the comments and I will address them in one of my future posts.

TurboFire is a Beachbody product. I am not a Beachbody coach nor do I want to be.  I actually hate selling things.  I purchased this product after hearing about it in Fit Camp because I've always enjoyed kickboxing.  I also recently finished my basement and cancelled my $100 a month gym membership.  I figured this program would be a great kick start to getting fit at home.  Oh and if you are interested in purchasing it, email me ( and I can put you in touch with a coach.  I purchased mine through a coach because I felt that if I was going to purchase it, I might as well support someone's business.


  1. Great review! I tried the first day, felt like a complete idiot (I found that Chalene didn't start giving real instruction until after the warm up was done) and gave up after 10 minutes. I'm going to try to do Firestarter for a week or two to get the basic moves down then go into TurboFire again. Hopefully that helps. I can totally see how after 90 days you'd be sick of it though!

  2. Interesting. I had wondered about the product. Maybe after my 1/2, I can look more into it as a filler.

  3. Owning both turbo jam and turbo fire it was easier for me to get the moves since having done turbo jam already. When I did turbo fire ( I didn't do the complete program I just use as a fillin when I can't run) I thought it was super fast pace so don't feel bad about not getting the moves right outta the gate:) Great job on being half way through.

  4. Awesome review Jen, thanks for the shout-out!

  5. Great review! I'm in awe of your dedication to this program.

    Also, thanks for the very exact disclosure on how you came to own it, if only so many other bloggers and IG-ers were as transparent ;)

  6. I put in the first TurboFire dvd today. I have a problem however. The 'New to Class' option seems to be identical to the actual workout. I tried several times reselecting the new to class option from the menu, but each time the actual workout begins instead. I am finding it impossible to keep up with the workout without an introductory session. Has anyone else had this problem? is this a problem with my DVDs or am I doing something wrong?


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