Turbo Jam: Cardio PartyChalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
This has been the first and only Turbo Jam video I've tried so far. I was looking for a fun kickboxing workout, and overall, I was not disappointed. The workout wasn't as dancey as I had expected--there are occasional brief interludes where you are encouraged to move to your own beat--but the entire atmosphere is more akin to a dance club than to a workout studio.
This workout is about 43 minutes long, and I realy liked how it was broken down: each chapter is a 6-7 minute segment that is separately choreographed, so once you are done with that segment, you move on to a new routine. I have provided an overview for the moves contained in each segment below (times are approximate, and I didn't necessarily include *every* move):
Warm-Up, 4 minutes. Charlene begins by warming you up with each of the 4 basic punches (jab, cross, hook, upper) and simple side steps. A few moving stretches are included towards the end.
1st cardio segment, 7 minutes. As with most of the segments, you'll learn two combinations which you then connect together. The first combination consists of "wheel" (a standing side crunch) combined with cross and hook punches. This combo connects to a march with alternating knee lifts and then double knee lifts to either side; at the end, Chalene changes the march to a jog.
2nd cardio segment, 7.5 minutes. The first combination here consists of a partial squat to either side; side kicks are then added to the squat. Building on this, you'll do the squat/side kicks, then squat front and back, add front/back push kicks, and then add knee lifts with front/back push kicks. Last comes a move Chalene calls a "twist"--you'll move front with jab-cross-jab punches and then do a knee lift, first just on the one side but then on both sides with arms added in. The entire sequence is then repeated to the other side.
3rd cardio segment, 7.5 minutes. You'll start here with speed bag, adding an upper cut to the end of the move and then adding a front knee/back kick. After doing two knees to either side, you'll add in "Tai" punches--slow punches and blocks to the front while in "horse" stance (straddle squat).
Turbo, 1.5 minutes. For the turbo, a siren goes off and you kick up the intensity, doing jogs and hopping knee lifts. However, two of the women in the large class always do a low-impact version of the moves.
Water break, 30 seconds. Following the Turbo, there is a pause allowing you to get a drink of water, although Chalene encourages you to keep moving during this time.
Recovery Dance Party, 6 minutes (but for some reason, this segment continues partly into the next chapter). I didn't really notice much difference between this and the other cardio segments; after a brief freestyle dance at the very beginning, Chalene moves back into kickboxing combinations. Here, she does cross, hook, and uppercut punches to one corner, speed bags to repeat in the opposite corner, and then does "zig zag" knees--basically, a side crunch combined with a knee lift to one side; eventually, a back kick is added on as well.
Final cardio segment, 4 minutes. This is a quick segment performed entirely in horse stance. First, you do a front speedbag followed by quick cross punches. Staying in horse stance, you do a high-low punch to the side, then add zig zag knees; for the last couple of reps, Chalene does a hop when doing the knee lift.
Aerobic cool-down, 3 minutes. Chalene describes the moves in this section as "finesse." There are some arm swings to the front plus some low front and back kicks, but everything is performed at a slower, more relaxed pace.
Stretch, 1.5 minutes. Here, Chalene borrows from Tai Chi and talks about focusing your energy; she does just a few very brief stretches such as a hamstring stretch.
Overall, this is a high-intenstiy workout that is mostly low-impact--there are a few jacks/hops thrown in here and there, but as previously mentioned, two of the participants always show funky, low-impact alternatives. The mood of this workout is definitely high energy, and the music is loud and upbeat, with a few recognizable songs (eg, a very fast version of "Busta Move"). Also, there is a countdown bar at the bottom of the screen which lets you know how much time is left in the current segment as well as previews the upcoming moves. If you enjoy kickboxing but are looking for a style that's more fun and funky than serious, this might be the perfect video for you.
Chalene is clearly enthusiastic and has a ton of energy. She makes frequent comments to say that she *knows* you are having fun, and there are several points where she bursts out singing along to the moves. I would say that she's pretty over-the-top, but I didn't find her to be annoyingly so.
Much has been said about Chalene's cueing (or lack there of). She actually *does* cue, but I wasn't always sure what she was talking about. For example, she cued "twist," which turned out to be a punching move. I had the sense that if I had done her "Learn and Burn" video first, I would have found it much easier to follow along with this workout. As it was, however, I was able to pick up the combinations pretty quickly, especially since they are repeated throughout each segment, and when I used the video for the second time today, I had little problems.