My Gym-less Year: TurboFire
$1400. This is approximately the amount I paid my gym last year to not work out. Now I sort of had a good excuse because last year was my first full year as a new mom. Still, despite all of my good intentions, I think it made to the gym all of 10 times last year. That’s not to say I didn’t work out – just not at the gym. Late last year Dr. D. and I decided to get rid of our gym membership for a year to see if we could create a fitness routine at home. We’ve accepted that our days of 90 minute workouts are pretty much over now that we are parents. Over the next few posts I’ll share with you some of the equipment and DVDs I’ve tried out. My personal goal is not just exercise but to really get and stay in top shape. My criteria for a good work out DVD is that it’s challenging, works all of my major muscle groups, can be completed in an hour or less, and has high-production value. My newest find is TurboFire and it’s replaced Zumba as my go-to workout out right now.
TurboFire is a high-intensity work out that is based on boxing, plyometrics and hip hop dance. Creator Chalene Johnson, developed a workout system that combines long high-intensity work outs, short (15-20 minute) High Intensity Interval Training (referred to as HIIT) and sculpting and stretching classes. The system is very much geared towards working all of the major muscle groups in the body. The shortest workout is 15 minutes and the longest is 55 minutes. If you follow Chalene’s system, you’ll work out six days a week with a day of rest mid-week.
TurboFire at a Glance:
Degree of Difficulty. Moderate to Very Difficult. I consider myself to be in good cardiovascular shape and this workout really challenged me. There is a lot jumping, kicking, jabbing and squatting and not a lot of rest periods. There are one minute “fire-drills” where you will go all out to boost your metabolism.
Fun Factor. High. Chalene Johnson has great energy and presence and the music is fantastic. You really do feel like you are in class with her and the other class participants. She’s one part drill instructor –”You are a MACHINE. You can DO THIS.” and one part cheerleader “You are in the home stretch. Dig deep!” This might be annoying for some.
Production Value. Excellent. The studio the class takes place in is well lit and clear audio makes it easy to follow Chalene’s instructions. She breaks down new routines to give you a chance to pick up the moves before moving into high gear. On the stage with her is one person doing the high-intensity routine and another doing a lower-impact modified routine. The music is great if you like techno and house music. Each DVD comes with the option to boost the music volume in the background once you’ve mastered the routines and need less verbal instruction.
Cost. About $150.00. The TurboFire system includes eight instructional DVDs, two exercise bands, a getting started guide and a nutrition guide. You may be able to find this system for cheaper on E-bay or Amazon as well.
Don’t Do TurboFire if…you have any kind of joint problems, including back, neck and knee injuries or if you are injury prone. Also avoid TurboFire if you are pregnant or have just had a baby as your joints are still going to be jangly after giving birth. If you are not into club music, dance moves and lots of disco “woot” shouts you might also want to give this DVD a pass.
Overall, I’d rate TurboFire a four stars on a scale of one to five. I’ve withheld one star because I would like to see better low-impact modifications for people who are less fit. I love the variety of workouts on the DVDs, the music and the quality of the instruction. The work out is fast and intense and I love that I can get a full-body workout in less than an hour. If you follow the workout plan and modify your diet you will see results. I’ve been doing the routine now for two weeks and have lost an inch off my waist and a half inch off my hips. So far so good.
Do you have a favorite exercise DVD? Do share!