Turbo JamChalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
So I'm five years late to the Turbo Jam party, having used Learn & Burn before finding out I was pregnant, then moving to the 20 Minute workout once or twice while I was pregnant. Seems like that 20 Minute workout got the most use out of the set I purchased which included the Fat Burning Elite add ons.
I liked Chalene. Despite the wealthy suburban mom pretending to be urban feel to the series, I found her motivating, fun and full of energy. That said, my main problems were with the structure of the rotations and the hyperfocus on the obliques and shoulder muscles. This was enough to make me decide to not finish the TJ rotation and to reconsider the purchase of Turbo Fire.
There were only two rotations, a Beginner and an Advanced. The Beginner rotation used the 20 Minute workout exclusively for most of the four weeks, adding Cardio Party in sporadically. The Advanced rotation was better structured but a bit much for an intermediate level exerciser who is new to Turbo Jam or new to working out five or more days a week. Right now I can honestly say if I never use that 20 Minute workout again it will be too soon since the Beginner rotation relied upon it too much.
Also, neither rotation introduced any strength training until near the end. So the rotations were almost all cardio which made them uneven, in my opinion. I ended up using the 3T workout on an off day and found I liked it better than the Turbo Sculpt workout which gave me sore knees. And like many BB sets which include deluxe add-ons, the rotations only include the basic set, leaving you to your own devices.
Finally, the workouts overused the shoulders and obliques and I actually gained an inch on my waist instead of losing it. My right shoulder felt a little out of whack until my normal adjustment and I wish there had been a little more instruction on how to throw punches safely. I ended up not using Kick, Punch, Jam for this reason as I felt leery of adding weighted gloves to already overworked shoulders.
In the end, I liked the series but did not fall in love with it the way I thought I would. Turbo Jam ended up being, for me, a nice date that I struggled to feel an attraction to but could not even though it was good on paper. Turning kickboxing into a dance party was not my cup of tea as I prefer my dance party workouts to feel more like Zumba and kickboxing to be more athletic.
Chalene is engaging, fun and enthusiastic. I didn't think I would click with her but I did and I look forward to trying CLX now that I've passed on Turbo Fire.