Turbo Jam: Cardio Party

Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

This is a 45 minute workout included with the original 2-DVD (five workout) Turbo Jam set. This is a kickboxing themed cardio workout with PLENTY of standing ab work. Like all Turbo Jams, there is a large background cast (men and women, maybe 10 people total) with some people up on platforms. Two women demonstrate low impact modifications. The music is awesome and makes the workout a party in a box! Everybody waves, smiles and pans for the camera, (so yes it is somewhat hokey) and people are generally having a great time like they are at a party.

Like I mentioned, this workout is very abdominal-focused. Chalene includes a lot of twisting, knee crunches and repeaters, the “wheel” (side crunches), and all other variation of kickboxing-themed ab crunching. To emphasize how ab focused this workout feels to me, I would say it is at least as intense as a Tae Bo ab workout, though perhaps TJ is more fun. She encourages you to groove to the music and make it “funky” but does not include any actual dance moves, which is great for somebody like me who doesn’t catch on well to dancy choreography! The combos are fairly brief and repetitive but certainly not redundant. The great combination of easy to follow but also engaging.

I use the Turbo Jam 20 Minute Jam often and Cardio Party is far more challenging – not just the time length either but the types of moves involved. The first two tunes really focus on the abs (ALL those torso twists and standing crunches) the third tune focuses on the legs with lots of squats and kicking, then you have the Turbo (a 1 minute high intensity interval), then, to my relief, Chalene takes the energy down (although only slightly!) for the final 15 minutes of the workout. There is yet more punching and twisting and some slow but powerful punching.

The first time around, I used 1# weighted gloves like I do with 20MJ, but just ran out of steam too quickly. This workout doesn’t NEED the weights to work, although as my endurance improves I do hope to advance to using those weights again to make it a more advanced workout. Done as is (following Chalene), I would say this is solid-high intermediate but can easily be modified to low intermediate or even high beginner by following the modifiers or very high intermediate by using 1# weighted gloves as I mentioned. Definitely a killer fun cardio DVD and highly recommended!! Overall grade A!

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is a great instructor. She is happy, smiling, enthusiastic, she gives very good cues and form pointer. I disagree with some of the other reviews that say she doesn’t give good instruction – I think her instructions are clear (assuming you know the Turbo Jam moves).

Emily B.