Couple of announcements:
1.) REMEMBER! First Descents Climb-a-thon is THIS Saturday March 2nd nationwide. I’m raising money on behalf of my brother who was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. This is a nationwide event so sign up to participate in the climb or you can donate to my cause! 🙂
2.) HLB Book Club– You read my review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as part of Healthy Living Blog’s new book club, well we are planning a meetup to go see the new movie Oz by Disney. The plan is to meet on March 14th in the evening at the Union Square Regal Cinema. EVERYONE is invited! Bloggers, friends of bloggers, people who don’t really care about blogging. Come meet me and other cool people to see the movie and just generally have a good time! Stay tuned for even further details!
And now back to our regular programming:
So I know we’ve been on a lot of travel and reading hiatuses recently so its time to refocus and talk about fitness! You’ve heard my reviews before on Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution (which I thought was great and highly recommend- you can purchase Body Revolution here) and I’ve given you some insight into a couple of other fitness DVDs I love, like Physique 57. But, one of the first DVD programs I started doing way back when I decided I loved fitness DVDs (circa 1987):
Just kidding, that was Jane Fonda and yes I did do work out videos when I was about 4 or 5-a precursor of things to come. But seriously, circa 6 years ago, I became really interested in fitness DVDs when I started law school and realized I didn’t have time to go all the way to the gym and back. So while the weather was getting warmer and I was stuck inside studying for finals, I kept seeing these infomercials for Turbo Jam. At first I thought “This is stupid. These weight loss stories are all fixed.” Then I started watching them more and more and learning more and more about torts and contract law. And suddenly I was ordering my copy online.
This was the first ever fitness DVD “program” I ever bought. It came with 5 DVDs, a nutrition book, a fitness guide, weighted gloves for the workout, and a tape measure to measure yourself before you started. I have to say that I fell in love with this workout immediately. Turbo Jam was created by Chalene Johnson, a fitness guru and creator of many fitness programs (some of which we’ll cover here at a later date!), but this was her first. It is a kickboxing workout mostly but Chalene adds in some dance flair and capoeira for good measure. She also doesn’t forget that all good exercise programs include cardio AND toning, so she’s got both for ya.
The set comes with a Learn and Burn DVD which teaches you the moves and then lets you try them out in a short 15 minute cardio class. It also comes with a 20 minutes quick burn session, Cardio Party 1- the entire 45 minute Turbo Jam workout, Ab Burn and Turbo Sculpt. I love pairing the 20 minute quick cardio with the Ab Burn (20 minutes) or the Turbo Sculpt (40 minutes) for a complete 60 minute workout including cardio and toning. The Turbo Sculpt workout is not too difficult and you can use 1 set of 5 lb weights but I keep an 8 lb set around as well to up the ante a bit. The Ab Burn DVD really does burn!
Cardio Party is really what gets you hooked. The workout starts with a warm up and then moves onto different kickboxing combos interspersed with some dancing. About midway through the workout a siren goes off and there is a Turbo boost, which is a short burst of intense cardio. Chalene gets your heart rate really high during this short boost and then allows it to come down slightly in the next combinations. This type of interval training has become really popular and the short boost really does get your heart rate up! Chalene ends the workout with a nice cool down and stretch.
Chalene raves about the music, which she puts together herself. I have to say the music is a little old school but I actually kinda like it. There are actual songs that you get to know and its better than that repetitive beat stuff you get with some other programs. Plus Chalene actually choreographs her moves to the music which as a Zumba enthusiast and dancer, I pretty much demand in my DVDs and classes.
The DVD program also comes with weighted gloves you can wear on your hands like boxing gloves. They are about 1 lb each and they add a little extra oomph to the workout. I find that my heart rate gets a little bit higher with the gloves on compared to without the gloves because I’m working harder. I also really love the way the gloves help tone my arms with all the punches I’m doing.
Of course once I got hooked on Turbo Jam and found out there were more DVDs, I obviously had to have them all. I wanted more, much more!!! So I went online and purchased the remaining DVDs: Cardio Party 2, Cardio Party 3, Turbo Jam Fat Blaster, Punch, Kick and Jam, 3T Totally Tubular, Turbo Jam Kickin Core, Lower Body Jam, and Turbo Jam Total Body Blast. A lot- haha! The DVDs are consistently good just like the DVD program set. Here is a rundown on all of the DVDs:
Cardio Party 2/Cardio Party 3– Both of these DVDs are similar to Cardio Party 1 in format but with different music and choreography. Both are about 45-50 minutes. Both have a Turbo boost midway through the DVDs just like Cardio Party 1. The good news about Cardio Party 2 & 3 is that Chalene kicks it up a notch and they are both more intense than Cardio Party 1. Great DVDs to progress your fitness.
Turbo Jam Fat Blaster– This short 30 minute DVD is great for when you are short on time. Chalene combines the Turbo boosts from other DVDs into one DVD providing 4 high intensity intervals layered into 4 lower intensity recovery periods.
Punch, Kick and Jam– Punch, Kick and Jam is another awesome 50 minute workout. It is structured like the Cardio Parties but has a great capoeira section towards the end. The DVD also uses a resistance tube at the end to throw in some quick toning moves before stretching. This DVD is a great total body workout and the cardio section is really punched up!
3T Totally Tubular– Keep your resistance tube for this DVD. This 45 minute workout uses the tubing to create resistance to perform toning moves to compliment your Turbo Jam cardio workouts. You also have the option of using weights but I really like Chalene’s innovative tube toning moves.
Turbo Jam Total Body Blast– This DVD uses a balance ball for toning. It’s the longest DVD, 60 minutes in total. Chalene organizes this DVD into different circuits to work legs, abs & core, cardio, bottom and arms.
Lower Body Jam– Grab a resistance band for this workout, it’s only 30 minutes long but effective at working legs and seat. It’s really more focused on toning rather than cardio but I sometimes pair it with Ab Jam for a total targeted workout.
Turbo Jam Kickin Core– Keep your resistance ball for this workout. It’s only 45 minutes in length but the first 25 minutes are cardio and the second 20 is toning with the ball. The toning section is focused on abs, as opposed to total body but the exercises are really effective.
Phew, tons of DVDs. Don’t be intimidated. You can start out small with the regular Turbo Jam and then after you fall in love with it like I did, you can progress further with the remaining DVDs. Here are some quick points about why I love Turbo Jam so much (I literally did these DVDs every day while studying for the bar!):
1.) Almost all of the DVDs are under an hour but still manage to burn a ton of calories. Plus, its easy to mix and match the DVDs to create longer workouts if you want (e.g., 20 minute Turbo Jam with 40 minute Turbo Sculpt; 20 min Ab Jam + 30 min Lower Body Jam).
2.) Equipment is generally minimal and the equipment that is required is inexpensive.
3.) The accompanying food plan requires very minimal prep so its easy to incorporate.
4.) The music and choreography are fun and will keep you coming back for more!
5.) I really like Chalene. Some people might find her perkiness a little corny or grating but I guess I’m a little bit like that so I don’t mind it! 🙂
I hope this review was useful to you! Give Turbo Jam a try. It’s fun and easy to follow and a little addicting.