Turbo Jam: Cardio Party 2Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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I’m reviewing this workout after previewing it and doing it at least twice.
General workout breakdown: Beth and Laura have already described this 43-44 minute kickboxing workout so well. Chalene includes the jab, cross, hook, and upper cut; speed bags; knee strikes and knee raises to the front and back; and front, side, and back kicks. There are also “jumping rope,” jumping jacks, and other such moves. In between some sections she asks you to dance in your own style for about thirty seconds; some moves acquire some hip shaking or “old school” arms in the later part of the repetitions. This is the extent of the dance party, though. (In other words, if you were expecting a dance video with a few kicks and punches, look elsewhere; at the same time, if you were afraid this would be a video with lots of dance moves, you can relax.) She does have some different combinations from other kickboxing videos. I felt the moves were performed at an appropriate pace: not too fast (a la Tae Bo double time) and definitely not slow. (This pace would be too fast for true kickboxing or exercise beginners, though.)
Level: I’d recommend this to an experienced beginner/intermediate (i.e. someone who’s been working out for a bit and who has some TaeBo, kickboxing, or martial arts experience) through someone at the intermediate/advanced cross-over level. Someone at the high intermediate to low advanced level could add weighted gloves or light hand weights for more intensity.
I consider myself a high intermediate with respect to cardio but only have kickboxing experience through kickboxing videos, which I’ve been doing on and off for the past 1 1/2 years or so. I’d probably consider myself a solid intermediate when it comes to kickboxing. I found this workout appropriate for me without hand weights, although I’ll add the hand weights once I get the moves down. I worked up a good sweat but didn’t feel wiped out afterwards. There are a couple of quick movement changes that aren’t well cued, so I had a little trouble with them the first but felt comfortable with everything the second time through.
Class: Six women and two men join Chalene in a fairly diverse cast. Two participants show lower impact moves. (The higher impact modifiers are gone, but that’s not a big loss since in CP1 they traded impact for form.) As with all of the TJ first set, there is audience participation (whooping, mugging for the camera, etc.).
Music: The pulsing music, much of which has vocals, is motivating and suits the workout well. The songs include “Disco Heights,” “I Got that Boom Boom,” “Renegade Master,” and “Baby Got Back.”
Set: The brightly lit interior set has some frosted windows in the back but is otherwise gray. One exerciser is on a raised platform to each side at the back.
Production: good picture and sound, usually helpful camera angles.
Comments: at least enough room to take a couple of steps and kick to each side (front, back, right, and left).
DVD Notes: The DVD is chaptered by segment. Extras include “Jam’d” (a Chalene practical joke caught on tape), “Get to Know the Cast,” “Beachbody Supplements,” and “Kathy Smith’s Project: You” (short version of the infomercial).
I haven’t had any problems with this disc playing in either of my players.
Conclusion: I like this in spite of myself. Turbo Jam doesn’t reinvent the wheel of kickboxing workouts, but it does have some different combos and music. I can’t see doing Turbo Jam all the time, though, as I think that might be too much Chalene for me, but this is a good one to rotate in with my other kickboxing videos by Cathe, Janis, and Kimberly to give me some variety in intensity and length. (I think this is most similar in intensity to Janis’ Hardcore Kickbox Circuit.)
CP1 vs. CP2 (my take): CP2 is missing the fun capoeira moves (jinga, wheel, etc.), and there are fewer dance breaks. The combos thus seem to repeat the kickboxing moves a lot more without so much variety. I think there’s more kicks in 2; at least there are fewer speed bags. Chalene is significantly toned down here and spends a lot more time cueing, with less time picking on cast members (no “I can hear you singing back there, George!” only to have the camera cut away to the perplexed exerciser who clearly was doing no such thing). For fun factor I’d pick 1, but for kickboxing I’d pick 2.
Chalene is energetic and encouraging. She’s not quite so over the top here in comparison to CP1. “Baby” doesn’t come up a lot in this workout, and the “you’re going to love this!” statements thankfully die off towards the middle of the workout. Chalene does mirror cue, but her overall cueing is inconsistent: sometimes right before moves happen, sometimes right as they’re happening, but sometimes she’s not cueing at all, which is particularly noticeable during the Turbo. When she’s not cueing she’s motivating the viewer or getting into the music. She includes few form pointers and reminders. I know there’s an instructional segment with the Turbo Jam set, but I feel all of the workouts should include form tips, even if there isn’t a need for form instruction proper. I don’t care much for her loud exhalations during her punches, but that may be just because I’m sensitive to hyperventilating.
Chalene admits that she is not a martial artist. If you like kickboxing instructors to have great form and a serious, focused attitude, Chalene is not the person for you. On the other hand, she might seem more approachable to someone without much kickboxing experience.
I kept hearing raves about TurboJam and wanted to try them, so I traded for Cardio Party and Cardio Party 2. I liked Cardio Party somewhat, but it seemed somewhat repetitive and not quite engaging enough. Then, I tried Cardio Party 2. Woo baby – THIS was the workout I had hoped for. It is a lot of fun and the time flies when I do it.
OK. How about some details? This workout is set in a workout studio with fake windows at the back. The two exercisers at the back are on raised platforms, so you can see them. Chalene leads the workout with a large group of exercisers behind her. They all look fit, but look like “real” people, not models. They also seem to have a really good time throughout the workout and I enjoy watching them. Two of them modify the workout to low impact. As one of them is in the front on the right and the other is in the back on the left, one of them is on the screen almost constantly. The impact in this workout is mixed, but Chalene gives low-impact modifications throughout the workout. She cues pretty well, but is late in calling for a move a certain percentage of the time. She does mirror cue and gives a number of form pointers throughout the workout. You need enough room to move side to side and front to back a few feet, but this workout is not a space hog.
She talks about appearance-related benefits a lot, but also stresses strength and fitness. She also explains fitness-related concepts like bringing your heart rate down after it goes high in a particularly intense section. She also comments a lot about how great the music is. I am of two minds about the music. It is not the kind of music I generally enjoy – it has more of an edge than the music I generally enjoy, but then I am a stuck-in-the-mud middle aged woman whose musical choices edge more toward easy listening than rap or hip hop. The music, however, DOES add a lot to the workout and keeps me motivated throughout it. So, although I would never listen to her “great music” I don’t mind it in this workout. Of course, I may be just having enough fun I ignore it.
Every time I do this workout, I FEEL it in my abs the next day, especially in my obliques. I rarely get DOMS with any workout, but given how much you work your abs in this workout, it’s not too surprising. This workout just flies for me and I feel really worked out, yet energized, at the end of the workout.
She is relaxed and natural in front of the camera. She is also very motivating and fun to work out with.
CP2 is the second Turbo Jam video I have tried (on loan from VFer Rhae); the other is CP1, so I'll be comparing and contrasting the two in this review. Charlene again leads a large class of mostly the same participants from CP1; Mindy and AnnaRita again show lower-impact modifications.
The 4-minute CP2 warm-up is very similar to CP1: Chalene begins with a few shoulder rolls, reviews each of the punches (jab, cross, hook, and upper), and then goes into the same series of stretches. The first cardio segment is about 7 minutes long, and it begins with 4 jabs to the front. Chalene adds on the turbo twist (jab-cross-jab-knee) and eventually incorporates uppercuts as well to form a little combo. After completing the combo to the one side, you do jab-knees plus a pump with a jab, then go back and repeat the original combo on the other side.
The second cardio segment is 6 minutes long, and Chalene says at the beginning that she's going to bring down the intensity (unlike in CP1, which seemed to get increasingly intense up until the turbo). She starts with a march (one-two-three-knee), eventually changing the knee lifts to front and back push kicks, then adding repeater knees to form a combo. The second combo consists of 1) a speed bag with a crunch to either side followed by uppercuts, and then 2) a knee up with one punch diagonally up, one punch diagonally down. You then repeat the first combo to the other side.
The pace picks up a bit in the third cardio segment, also about 7 minutes long. Standing in horse stance, you'll do 4 cross punches with a zig-zag knee, eventually adding on a single-single-double punch. The next combination includes a turbo jab (a side shuffle with 3 jabs and then a cross) and clockwork (jab-cross-jab-cross to the side, then repeated to the front). After repeating to the other side, you're ready for the turbo: a 1.5 minute high intensity segment. Here, Charlene begins with a jump squat, moves into fast punches and jab-knees, and ends with both fast and high jogs.
Following the turbo, there is the usual 30-second water break, and then a 7-minute "dance recovery" segment (which I didn't find to be very dancey at all). In this segment, you'll combine a step front/side kick-step back/speed bag with a knee/side push to either side. For some reason, this sequence felt very awkward to me, and I found myself frequently off the beat. The second combo consists of a side shuffle with 6 side jabs, a punch up/punch down, and squat/claps in-between. The 4.5 minute finale is very similar to CP1 except that the order is reversed: you'll start with high-low jabs to the side, then do quick crosses to the front with a knee, eventually adding a single-single-double cross. However, I thought that this segment did not have the same revved up feel as the CP1 finale.
Finally, you'll begin lowering your heart rate with finesse, a 3-minute segment of slow steps and kicks. The moves are a bit more complex here than in the finesse segment of CP1, yet they are performed slowly enough that they're easy to pick up quickly. The 2-minute cool-down consists of about 1 minute Tai Chi moves and 1 minute of brief stretches, bringing the entire workout time in at just under 43 minutes.
Overall, I did enjoy this workout, but not enough to purchase, and not as much as CP1 for several reasons. First of all, whereas I thought the music in CP1 was a lot of fun and I recognized several of the tunes, which wasn't the case here (at the end of the DVD, I saw that "Baby Got Back" was listed, and although I know this song, I didn't notice it either of the two times I did the workout!). Secondly, I found that my heart rate varied more during this workout than with CP1; I had to make a conscious effort to keep the intensity level up. Finally, I simply found the individual exercises and combinations in CP2 to be less enjoyable. In addition to finding the dance party segment to be awkward, I also found the side shuffles (used in both the 3rd cardio segment and the dance recovery) to be repetitive as well as difficult given my limited room to move side-to-side in my exercise space. However, like CP1, this is a still a solid, fun cardio workout, and so I think that most people who enjoy CP1 would enjoy this as well.
Although Chalene was a bit over-the-top for me in CP1, surprisingly, I found her to be almost too subdued here; the workout just didn't seem to have the same energy level, which decreased the fun factor a bit for me. As with CP1, she offers minimal cueing, although I actually had LESS of a problem with her cueing during this workout, probably because I was already familiar with many of the moves from CP1 (although I thought the turbo segment was particularly poorly cued).
This is a really fun workout. You need to enjoy kickboxing style cardio to enjoy
The music had lyrics and a peppy beat, which I liked.
It's real pop music, but not as 'real' as a live class. Live turbo kick classes have far better music.
I still think the music here is a cut above most workouts.
The routines were fun, and I don't remember them well enough to break them down here.
The warmup music was whfn like, which is a compliment.
All told and done, I love this. It is a fun and energizing kickboxing workout that kept my energy up. There was some very high impact in the turbo section, but it only lasted 90 seconds.
I did the entire thing barefoot and am glad I did. Shoes seem to bother me when I do kickboxing workouts.
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.