Turbo Jam: Turbo Sculpt

Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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51 year old restarter- no injuries, unless you count a nasty blow to making appropriate priorities an injury. I'm working through dust bunnies & virgins (some are both, like this one), and starting at beginner level to reduce any dread factor.

From video cover:
Get ready to shed pounds and inches, get in shape, and have a blast doing it! Chalene Johnson has created a fusion workout of kickboxing, dance, and martial arts. This high-energy, calorie-blasting routine combines the hottest dance tunes with body-slimming and sculpting moves. Once the music starts, you won't want to stop! Turbo Jam is not just a workout; it's a dance party that delivers Turbo results that will keep you coming back for more!

Tighten and tone your muscles using Chalene's signature moves. Get sculpted abs and glutes, strong arms, and lean legs with this fun and innovative workout.

Breakdown from my log:
(39:24) Total Duration

(3:41) Warmup
(33:08) Workout
_____(8:14) Lunges
_____(7:33) Squats
_____(6:55) Travelling Lunges
_____(5:23) Inner Thighs
_____(1:52) Chest
_____(3:39) Abs
(2:35) Stretch

Thoughts, observations
I used a pair of 3kg (6.6lb) handweights.
1) For one-arm rows, you're advised to hold 2 weights. My hands are too small, so I had to rewind a bit when I fetched my single 6kg weight. I didn't really like using just the one set of weights for everything - I can't lift much in a front raise, but can use a lot more for bicep curls, and something in between for tricep kickbacks; and can hold a LOT more for squats.
2) The background exercisers who tried desperately to make it look like a "funky dance" workout. It isn't, it's standard moves for using dumbbells. Two in particular, continually annoyed me with this, and doing a nodding pout to the camera (repeatedly), like "I'm so cool, aren't I, and working SO hard ? even though I'm not holding any weights?!"

That's it on the cons, actually.

1) No dread - it moves along well, and at no time did I check the clock.
2) Suitable for beginners, AND beyond. Even an advanced exerciser, using appropriate weights, could make this work for them without even thinking. The moves ARE mainstream, so advanced people would know what to grab & have ready.
3) Chalene isn't annoying (apart from her choice of backgrounders).
4) Duration - modest, but not flimsy.


I'm changing the code in my log from 'beginner' to 'beg/int' as it was definitely suitable to both levels, as noted above. I did sweat, but being summer, my gym at the top of the house, no air conditioning, and it's so humid it was raining - well... I'd probably have worked up a sweat anyway; but I chose weights that worked for me and made me work - as we all should (gold star on my forehead for that). I'd definitely do this one again without fear or boredom or bucket; but probably won't as I have about 3 years worth of dusty/virgins still to get to.... but that's what it's like around here isn't it?

Instructor Comments:
Looks fit without being intimidatingly so. Not patronising. Cheerful without being cheesy - so, as the current (getting dated now?) phrase goes - It's All Good.



I am a 51 year old restarter. Last year, 2014, was a really bad year during which I was sick as a dog with bronchitis for 6 weeks around the first part of the year, I had knee replacement surgery at the beginning of July (a good thing given I could hardly walk by the time of the surgery), and my husband had heart valve surgery at the end of October and I was majorly involved with his recovery. As a result of all this health excitement, my fitness levels plummeted throughout the entire year and I wasn't even exercising by the last part of the year when all my energies were going to caring for my husband. Now, it's 2015, my husband is on the mend, and I'm ready to get back into the fitness groove!

At this point, I am trying to just do workouts I find fun in the general arenas of cardio and strength six days a week. I want to work out between 25-35 minutes each of these days, so shorter workouts that I can do most of to all in that timeframe are good. I was drawn to this workout because it was reported to be fun and it's short, around 30 minutes.

I had Turbo Jam way back when and eventually got rid of it. After several years, I tried Turbo Sculpt and found that I really enjoyed it. This is a workout I can do many times and still reach for it.

It is the strength workout from this set and actually moves at a moderate pace. This was surprising to me given Chalene's energy, but it works. I tried using two sets of weights with this workout, but it just doesn't work. The moves flow one into another and there isn't time to switch things around. Also, most of the moves are compound moves - something I enjoy, but some don't. There are several sections in the workout and there is a countdown timer that counts down both the section and the workout as a whole. Chalene is in front of a large group of background exercisers and there are two modifiers. They don't make many modifications though other than not using weights. Once in awhile, they'll do something that is a little less intense like doing regular lunges rather than curtsy lunges.

She hits the legs and glutes hard in this workout. Most of the sections are based on a lower body focus and then she throws in upper body moves to do with them. Her cueing isn't perfect since she cues with the moves and that sometimes puts me behind. Overall, I find Chalene incredibly motivating in this workout and it just flows for me. It is one that I am motivated to work on to try to improve my strength and stamina. You need to use light weights in it, but given my strength losses in the past year, that's where I am right now.

Instructor Comments:
She is her usual self. And, she excels at this workout.

Laura S.


When I was first starting out with kickboxing, I enjoyed Turbo Jam Cardio Party, but as I became more experienced, I moved on to other things. However, I recently had the opportunity to re-acquire a used copy of the Turbo Jam set (Turbo Jam: 5 Rockin' Workouts) and decided to go for it.

TURBO SCULPT is the strength-focused workout from this set. As with all of the other Turbo Jam workouts, instructor Chalene Johnson teaches in front of a large class. Her usual modifiers, Mindy and Anna-Rita, perform the routine without weights. The only equipment used is a single set of dumbbells (more than one set would be helpful, but Johnson does not allow time to switch weights) and a mat for the floorwork at the end.

This workout starts with an approximately 3-minute warm-up. Johnson does moves such as slow lunges to the side, and she does incorporate the weights here, including some overhead presses. She also briefly does a few dynamic stretches for the hip flexors and hamstrings. Keeping hold of the weights, Johnson moves into the first series, a lunge-focused sequence (7.5 minutes). She begins here by doing lunges with bicep curls, moves into lateral raises with leg abduction, curtsy with bicep curl, plie with lateral raise, and bicep curl with both rear leg curl and rear leg lift. She then repeats the entire sequence of moves on the second side, finishing with additional overhead presses. The second series (7 minutes) is a squat sequence. Johnson first cues narrow, medium, wide, and plie squats, taking these into pulses. Next, she performs triceps kickbacks, also adding pulses here. There are also bent over rows, additional plies with lateral raises, and additional lateral/front raises with one leg balance work.

The next standing series is 6.5 minutes long and involves traveling lunges. Johnson takes the lunges forward, back, and then performs a tapping version. After brief stretching the hamstrings, she alternates a one-arm row with a posterior delt row. There is some VERY brief standing core work with a single weight, including a move called "water toss" and then a row; finally, Johnson does a pulsing lunge to the center and to either side. Before moving to the floor, Johnson concludes the standing exercises with some inner thigh work (5 minutes). She starts with plies, adding in variations and an overhead press. The last move is a single leg squat variation. With 7.5 minutes left, Johnson moves to the floor. There is a short (1.5 minutes) sequence of chest flies followed by about 3 minutes of abs work (plank, side crunches). Johnson concludes with a quick 2-minute stretch, bringing in the total time for the workout at just under 40 minutes.

This was a decent routine that did start getting my heart rate up a bit towards the end of the standing work. I did think that it over-emphasized the shoulders--there are A LOT of shoulder presses! I would have liked to have seen a bit more focus on the glutes/hamstrings. Another negative was not being able to switch to different weights for different exercises (if you want to do this, you're probably going to have to pause the DVD). In the end, if you are looking for a relatively short, full-body strength routine using light weights, this might be a good option.

Instructor Comments:
Chalene has a lot of enthusiasm, but I find her a bit corny and over-the-top. I can take her in small doses, but she does annoy me after awhile.

Beth C (aka toaster)


This is the only workout I've done from the Turbo Jam series, so I can't compare it to others. This workout is currently in the FreeZone of the OnDemand videos available from my cable company. I tried this workout to get a flavor of TurboJam without purchasing the series.

The workout is about 40 minutes of mostly compound moves - lunges with shoulder work, plies with overhead presses. It's a high rep, low weight workout. One odd thing is that you never change weights. If you start with 5 pounds you use that weight throughout. What makes that strange is that some muscles are bigger and stronger than others and could benefit from a heavier weight. When you do lats, you do put both weights in one hand. For the chest presses I upped my weight.

Overall, I liked it. Her cuing isn't flawless, but it was easy enough to follow. The music was good. The instructor is certainly charming and I can understand why people would enjoy the TurboJam series.

I'll use this as long as it's on the freebie list from the cable company, but I probably won't buy it.

Instructor Comments:
Encouraging and charming. A nice workout partner.



I didn't know how much I would like this workout, but I do think it has a place in my collection. The workout runs about 40 minutes and hits all the muscle groups. The workout consists of squats, lunges, planks, compound exercises, etc. I liked that the workout included chest flies. The stretch was kind of short. The music wasn't that great. It got better toward the end. Overall I thought it was a pretty good, short, thorough (for the time frame) strength training workout.

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is very energetic and seems very down to earth. She really wants you to have a great time working out.



Okay the first time I did this I didn't like it very much. It's a strength workout where you don't put the dumbells down to change your weight at all. I don't like this because obviously you can lift more with your bigger muscles than smaller muscles. If you are not causing fatique, you won't get results. BUT I decided to do it a second time with a heavier weight and it worked just right and I had lots of DOMS!! I think this would be great for people who really dislike strength training. THe music and the mixed movements really make the time fly. I tend to bulk up with cathe/the firm so this seems like a good alternative.

Instructor Comments:
I love Chalene--she is goofy and fun. She really motivates me.



Turbo Sculpt is a 39 minute total body sculpting workout. It?s a fusion of kickboxing, dance, martial arts, and sculpting moves, many which are compound moves. This workout works your abs, arms, legs & glutes, chest, and back. Weights range from 3 lbs. To 10 lbs.

Turbo Jam has a Slim Series feel to it, but the music is much better, and overall, the workout is much more fun. Chalene?s form pointers is excellent throughout the entire workout.

As with all of Beachbody?s workout, Turbo Jam has a Master Clock and Segment Timer

Warmup: 3:30 minutes
Lunges: 7:50 minutes
Various lunges with biceps curls
plies w/lateral shoulder raises and military presses
balancing work w/biceps curls.
Squats: 7:17 minutes
triceps-triceps kickbacks, triceps pulses
back bent-over rows, plies w/lateral raises, shoulders w/balancing moves
Traveling Lunges: 6:25 minutes
back-one arm lat rows, rear delt flies, functional fitness moves for shoulders
Inner Thighs:4:47 minutes
plies, shoulders-shoulder presses, ?W?s,
Floor work: 1:34
chest flies, ab work
Cool down and stretch: 2:00
Even though the chapter breakdown looks boring, the variety of the squats, lunges, and rep speed makes this workout fun. Like a SS workout, once the workout starts, you?re in constant movement until the cool down. I have no problems working up a good sweat.

Chalene spends a few seconds before the start of each chapter giving us a heads-up to what exercises we will be doing and giving us form pointers.

I think Chalene has picked up where Billy left off. Chalene went a step further and combined, kickboxing, great music, and dance moves, and created a workout that really is fun to do, Turbo Jam/Kick. It's all about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously.

I would have to say her, cuing. Even though I can catch on easily, my daughter thought that her cuing was definitely a problem for anyone who needs to have a routine broken down before attempting the routine. Even though she?s been taking kickboxing classes for the last three years, she found Chalene?s lack of cuing a negative.

Her form during the lunges could have been better. I felt that Chalene was leaning forward too much.

Some of Chalene?s chatter could be annoying to some. Her, ?Yeah Baby? comment could bother some people.

About me:
I'm an advanced exerciser who likes to rotate my heavier strength workouts with lighter weights/higher reps workouts. My rotations are usually 4-6 weeks of heavy weight training, followed by 2 weeks of lighter weight training.

Instructor Comments:
Chalene Johnson?s enthusiasm is contagious. She has great camera presence and is very confident in her ability to lead a great workout. As as I stated earlier, Chalene's form pointers are excellent!
I also love her philosophy: ?Music can motivate you to do anything.?
I?ve been introduced to three new instructors this year that I feel have a lot of potential in the home fitness industry. Chalene Johnson is one of the instructors.

Debbie Stout


A total body workout - low intermediate.

I wouldn't buy this as an add on. If you get it with the entire package, then you might want to keep it just to have a complete set.

The music was "ok". The cool down music was great.

Some of the songs bugged me (had that weird warpy electronic mix to it that i hate so much - i.e. Cher's 'Believe' song. Ick.)

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is really friendly and motivating. I think she is an excellent instructor with a pleasant voice and infectious enthusiasm.

She says "Yeah baby" a lot, but although that sounds like it might be annoying - it didn't annoy me.