Turbo Fire: HIIT 15 ClassChalene Johnson
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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HiiT comes with a huge dread factor for me due to the extreme intensity and the "drill-ish" style that tends to accompany them. Not so here. It is very short at just over 16 minutes, and I love having such a quick workout option. I have been adding it onto my strength days -- doing this one 3x a week is the equivalent of doing a long HiiT routine :)
Another thing I love here is that while the intervals do have the extreme intensity you'd expect from a HiiT, they are combo based vs. just "do this one movement over and over and over again" which IMO = boredom city.
I love Chalene. So motivating.
This only applies to the HiIT workout (not the stretch workout that is also on the disc). The workout is just over 15 minutes. There are 3 intervals; each is previewed and then done 3 times. Each interval is basically some assortment of jacks, runs, skis, with high knees runs, tuck jumps, and power jacks sprinkled in for intensity. I actually like this workout for when I want a short, fast, high intensity workout. That said, I have some issues. I'm going to start with 2 trivial issues that do get to me, despite how silly they seem. 1- In the third interval, when you're doing the sequence full out, some of the participants make this UH-UH-UH sound. I'm not opposed to whooping, but the way they sound reminds me of the noise my father makes in a seizure, and it freaks me out. I know this will not be an issue to most exercisers, but if you do have a history of living with an epileptic whose seizures include grunting noises, this may strike you the wrong way. The other silly peeve is that I want to hit Chalene and the cast with a hose and some soap. The quantity of product-- make up, bronzer, and hair gunk-- just looks dirty. Chalene looks like she has black eyes and her is so shellaqued that looks like an ad for Brylcreem.
Now on to the more trenchant concerns, most of which relate to Chalene's quality of instruction. Or the lack thereof. I know this is an advanced workout, but I don't think advanced precludes form instruction. Cathe, Kari, and many others certainly include form reminders. Chalene often doesn't include any form suggestions-- not on the plyo squats. And when she does do so on the plyo alternate lunges, she brings it up after you've done them twice.
While there is no difficult choreography, Chalene's cueing is off, especially when you transition from "marking" the program to doing the sequence full on. In the first interval, she previews the routine but leaves out a series of jacks after the squat plyos. (oh, and can I just say that the lyric in the song sounds like "the boob job is my job, the boob job is now"??? I have no idea what it actually is.) In the second, she doesn't preview that you repeat the jack combo before moving on to the blocks. She then doesn't mention that you will repeat the blocks before doing the lunges. And she doesn't mention that you will do the lunges at a higher tempo.
Another concern is that she uses terms interchangeably. Sometimes she says run but then calls it a ski. And then she uses out and in instead of jack. This last one is a problem for me because in some of her workouts, she uses out and in for something else so it is distracting to have a move called and end up with something else. At times I wondered if she used different terms to make it seem like there is more variety than there actually is. Really, this shouldn't be an issue-- when the workout is short and based on high intensity, I think it is fair to assume a low amount of choreography to keep the action moving and the intensity high.
There's just something about this workout that seems half baked. Like Chalene needed to do her brand of high intensity workouts to capitalize on their popularity. The modifier is often not in frame, and when she is, her feet and legs are often obscured by the heads of the people in front of her. It's almost as if there was a mad rush to get whatever they could out and bother with details like instruction, cueing, and keeping the modifier in frame. I get that it is advanced, but if you're going to include the modifier, you might as film her clearly.
I liked Chalene in TurboJam, but if this was first workout with her, I probably wouldn't get others. As much as I like it, and it fills a niche in my workout schedule, she just doesn't come across as professional here. As much as interacts with the cast and looks directly into the camera, it is obvious she is both aware of the cameras and exercisers yet she doesn't seem oriented to them. If she were focused on the exercisers (either there or at home), I think she wouldn't make those big cueing errors. In the last interval, you only see a few exercisers during the preview, and they are just jogging in place. It looks like they aren't following the steps she's barking out. And then she just says, "Let's just do it." Really? Because you were so clear?
I liked Chalene in TurboJam. She came across a fun, kinda like the somewhat wild girl down the street who also is a cheerleader. Her cueing left something to be desired there too, but something here just rubs me the wrong way, even though I like the workout. I wish I could put my finger on it... I don't know. Maybe she just looks less credible with the excessive make up, hair product, and sparkly zip boob top, so I'm less inclined to cut her slack for the mistakes? Maybe the intensity of the workout commands some better cueing and instruction, and she doesn't seem interested in (or able?) (or willing?) providing it? I know I've been critical, but I do like the workout for what it is.
I just did this one tonight - it's a great, fun, short workout. It's 15 minutes long, but that includes a warmup of several minutes and a short cooldown. I believe you do each drill 3 times, and there are 3 separate drills. Very high impact, lots of tuck jumps, jumping jacks, ski's, but you knew that already. Great music, as usual with the TF workouts. : )