Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Workout at Home Tuesday: Turbofire Series Overview

(I reviewed this program in January, but I wanted to do a new, updated version of the program as a whole. You can still find some individual reviews in the archives).

Turbofire: The program
What is it?
Turbofire is a series of workouts that focus on cardio training, with some strength training included. The program also includes a nutrition guide, and a "5 Day Inferno" plan for rapid weight loss.

Turbofire is the next step up from TurboJam, a workout system released in 2005. Turbojam is the home version of Turbokick, which is a popular class taught in gyms and health clubs. I became a certified Turbokick instructor in 2003 and taught until I was pregnant with my son in 2007. It's been interesting to see it evolve during that time, and I also think it gives me insight into these new workouts. I am planning to attend a recertification for Turbokick in August, and to start teaching again- even if it's in my living room :-)

Fire: Fire workouts are based on the format of live Turbokick classes. They include cardio kickboxing, a little dancing, and "Fire Drills". "Fire Drills" (which are also known as "Turbos" in the Turbokick format) consist of short, intense drills where you work AS HARD AS YOU CAN, usually from 45 seconds to 1 minute. Fire workouts in this set range in length from 30 to 60 minutes.

Hiit: Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) are short, intense workouts consisting of fire drills. These are designed to get you to work at your maximum capacity and then recover multiple times in the workout. The Hiit workouts range from 15 - 30 minutes.

Strength and Stretch: There are a few resistance workouts included with the program, some ab work, and stretching workouts. Resistance is not the primary focus of this workout (compared to something like P90X), so they are short and use light resistance (most of the time a resistance band).

Who is it for?
Someone who wants to put an emphasis on cardio would really enjoy Turbofire. The creator, Chalene Johnson, stated that she wanted to create a workout that anyone, regardless of their fitness level, could do. Each workout includes a modifier who does everything with low impact (but still intensely).

I do kind of a half-modified version. There are some moves I just can't do full out, so I do the modifier's version in those cases. On days when I'm tired, or injured, it's nice to have the low-impact option. I can still get a great workout without hurting myself.

The Fire workouts include an option called "new to class", where, before each section, you go through the choreography. I think this is a great idea for ALL fitness videos that involve choreography (you know, as opposed to 50 jumping jacks or something easy to catch on to). You can choose this option the first few times, or as long as you need, and review the choreography before the section, without a drastic drop in heart rate, and then you perform the section with more mastery. Chalene moves fast, which is great for keeping it exciting and intense, so this option insures you don't get lost.

The Good
The music is amazing. Ever since I received my first Turbokick Round (Round 13...I think they're on 45 now. That doesn't make me feel old-school at all...), I have been impressed with Chalene Johnson's ability to match music with movement. She does a great job of that here, as well.

The Not-As-Good
I hate to say there are any negatives to this workout series, but surely, it won't be for everyone. If you are focused on heavy strength training, this series (as is) is not for you. You can use the Hiit workouts to go along with an existing weight training or bodybuilding program, but the program as a whole is primarily for cardio conditioning.

What is the difference between Turbofire, Turbokick and Turbojam?
Well, absolute beginners should probably start with Turbojam. It's geared towards multiple levels, but the pace is much slower than Turbofire. The choreography is also much less intricate. There are also not as many workouts available. They are less intense, but can be modified to a higher intensity *to a point*.

Turbokick is the version of the workout that is taught by certified instructors in the gym. It is slightly more intense and possibly more complicated than TurboJam. Each round has a similar format. The music is often the current top 40 or hip hop hits. I highly recommend finding a class and trying it, provided you can find a good instructor (I'm kind of an instructor snob, and am very picky).

Turbofire is the only one of these programs that includes Hiit workouts. The pace is faster than both Turbojam and Turbofire, and (in my opinion) the music is better than Turbojam.

My personal favorites of the system:
Fire 45 (Love the music on this one) (Here's a link to a review)
Fire 30 (I reach for this often because it's short) (Here's a link to a review)
Hiit 15 (I combine this with a strength workout, or Fire 30. It has the best music of the Hiits, I think.
Remember, the best workout program for you is the one you will do!
Stretch 40- This is a good yoga style workout.

I like the others, too, but these are the ones I reach for most often.

Have any of you tried Turbofire? Do you have any thoughts? Anything to add?


Jessica Warrick said...

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Tanyia said...

Thanks for the follow I am following you back now as well :)

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of it.. But it sounds wayyyy cool!!!!!

Elena (Running in Heels After Child) said...

Turbo Fire humm.... I am stuck on Insanity, if I am working out at home I have been doing Insanity. Dripping in sweat at home makes me feel like it was so worth my time.

Running Ricig said...

I've never heard of this program. I usually just run and occationally do yoga...I should probably branch out a little :)