I’ve been putting this post off for a couple of weeks now, and I’m putting my foot down now! I must talk about the latest and greatest fitness program from Chalene Johnson, TurboFire!
I mentioned that I’d be doing this program on my last fitness post, but I didn’t go into details. I’ll be doing that right here.
Being an alum of both Turbo Jam and ChaLEAN Extreme, I am extremely familiar with Chalene and her fitness programs. Also, as someone with a background in dance, I pick up choreography pretty easily. So, I approached TurboFire with a lot of optimism.
Chalene is very big on writing down your fitness goals. My August goals are very different than my January goals. My August goal is to stay in shape and keep moving, just like I mentioned in my previous post, Fighting the “Late Summer Slump”.
Really, what I want to do is keep moving. Just do something Monday – Friday. That’s my goal. Starting a 90-120 day program, like Turbo Fire, just gives me structure and accountability. That’s why I chose TurboFire. When I’m not doing a program with a planned out schedule, I’m more likely to slack off.
Right before I started TurboFire, I was already at my goal/happy weight. Once I get to about 130, my body gets stingy, to a fault, and clings to my weight like it’s going out of style. That’s how I know it’s my “happy weight”. All my clothes fit well, and I generally like the way I look. Sure my abs could always be flatter, but I’m not going to be prancing around without my clothes, or in a swimsuit, anytime soon, so it’s all good.
Well, 3 weeks into TurboFire, and I’m already down 2-3 lbs from that “happy weight”. It’s been a long time since I dipped into the 120s (I’m a tall, slender 5’8″), so this is new territory. With TF, Chalene triumphs the afterburn period; the post-workout time where your body continues to burn calories. I guess I am experiencing that. It has really kicked my metabolism up another level or two.
But let me tell you more about the program itself. Even if you are already in shape, it will improve your physical fitness even more. I’ve been running all summer, and I am 5k ready, even though I’ve yet to run one this year. After 2.5 weeks of TurboFire (and no running), I subbed in a 30-40 minute run for one of the workouts and was simply amazed at how effortless it was. Before TF, I wasn’t struggling or anything, but it did make my running sessions easier. I felt really good.
Each week I also noticed improvement with the TurboFire workouts. Not only was I becoming more familiar with them, but my recovery improved. I attribute this to the HIIT workouts. If you push yourself, as Chalene asks, you will be huffing & puffing, but as your fitness improves, it won’t take as long for you recover. In just 3 weeks, I’ve already noticed an improvement there. It’s very encouraging. She says those HIIT workouts help when you go on to do the longer/steady workouts (like running) and I’m here to say that she’s absolutely right!
FIRE 55 EZ
When I got my first taste of Fire 55 EZ, I was totally dreading it. Part of the reason I liked ChaLEAN Extreme so much was because the workouts were never longer than 45 minutes. I have attention span issues and I’m not one of those people that can just workout forever and love it. (It’s why I haven’t made the commitment to P90X yet). So the thought of a 55 minute workout scared me! I figured she rounded down to 55, but she actually rounded up! With the warm-up and cool down, it’s really like 40 minutes. Not bad at all! My attention span isn’t an issue at all & I really enjoy it! The music is great, and the choreography is EZ, just like the title says.
FIRE 45 EZ
Just like the 55 minute version, I thought Fire 45 EZ was very doable. Got my heart rate up and is nice to get a break from the Fire Drills. I’ve only done it once, though the schedule called for me to do it twice last week. The first day was the day I subbed in a run. The second time I was hurting because Mother Nature had just “blessed” me with my monthly gift. I don’t like skipping workouts because of cramp, so I fought through it. I’ll have to report back when I’ve done it at full strength.
So far, this is the toughest TurboFire workout I’ve done. The choreography isn’t terribly complicated or anything, but the combination of the moves is what makes this one hard. There are a lot of kicks in this workout, so that’s what I mostly attribute to its toughness. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have really long legs. I already mentioned that I’m 5’8″, but I’m alllll legs. My college roommate liked to tell people that my legs grown out of my armpits. So, getting those kicks up high during this workout really takes it out of me. I mean, front-front, back-back, side-side — all at a very fast pace & in succession — is very tiring! In the TurboJam videos, the combo might include 1, maybe 2, kicks at most. And they wouldn’t be back-to-back either. That’s what I was expecting. But Chalene wasn’t having none of that in TurboFire!
The combo is sometimes nothing but kicks. That’s hard when you’re going so fast! The 1st time I did it, I didn’t lower them any, & I almost didn’t make it through the workout! Now I lower them a little, as do a lot of (if not most) people in the TF class. I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to do my usual high kicks for this workout. But regardless of modifying the kicks, when I get to the end, I’m exhausted! It’s the workout that take the most out of me, cardio-wise! But I love it! Like Chalene says, you look forward to that feeling, at the end of the workout, where you feel so accomplished. It’s a great natural high!
But with the toughest workout also comes my 1 big complaint with TurboFire, thus far. I hate, hate, hate the Fire Drill that remixes Ike & Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”. I like the move, but the transition is just so awkward and off-putting. I can’t stand it. I literally roll my eyes every time Chalene tells us to do “The Tina” & the music cuts to that song. It’s just so forced. Whomever produced that segment didn’t do a good job. Just terrible. Very disappointed.
I can see myself using this workout as a multipurpose workout for a long time to come. Absolutely loved the music and it’s the perfect length for those days when I’m just not feelin’ it, but I force myself to do something. Before, that workout was the TurboJam 20 minute workout or the TurboJam Cardio Party Remix. I think it is now Fire 30. Love the choreography and especially the music. Enjoyed this during week 1. Hasn’t been back on the Class Schedule since then, though. Maybe next month?
I’ll talk about all 3 of them right here. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these! I got a little taste of this method of training via ChaLEAN Extreme, in the Burn It Off and Fat Burn Challenge workouts. Also, TurboJam’s “Fat Blaster” workout is similar to this method of training. These are right up my alley, because they are fast and super intense! You should notice an improvement in these workouts from week-to-week as well. That’s what I love the most! Seeing that you’re getting in better & better shape is so motivating! And seriously, if you’re not out of breath at the end of a combo, you have got to put more into it! It’s good for you!
SCULPT 30 / TONE 30
These 2 strength-ish workouts are pretty much wasted on me. I like the creativity and different approach from using resistance tubing, but it hasn’t worked too well for me so far. First of all, the tube I have is the lightest resistance, so it’s a chore to make the exercises adequately challenging. Then there’s the ongoing issue of the very low ceilings in my workout space. Hinders form and the effectiveness of certain moves. All in all, I’d just assume pop in one of the Burn Circuit workouts from ChaLEAN Extreme instead. Actually, I think that’s what I might do. I want my body to be challenged and these aren’t really working for me.
So those are my thoughts on the TurboFire workouts I’ve done thus far. I’m really liking the program so far, and can’t wait to see how the next month goes!