Turbo Jam: Cardio Party Remix

Chalene Johnson
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it 2-3 times.
Note: This video is from the Turbo Jam Live set, so you may also see it referred to as Cardio Party Live, with or without the Remix.

General workout breakdown: This DVD contains one 31.5 min. kickboxing workout.
The warm-up (4.25 min.) is a shortened version of the standard TJ warm-up, with double bob & weave + punches, knee raises, and dynamic stretches, mostly for the lower body, plus some opportunities to “shake it.”
Next come Punch Combo #1 (6.5 min.) and Punch Combo #2 (6.75 min.). Chalene builds up a combo on one side, switches to another one, then does both combos on the other side. Moves include crosses, zig zag knee, speedbag, knee lift / strike, knee w/ punch, pump it abs, upper cuts, hooks, overhead punches, “howz it,” twist (which, as Beth mentioned, for TJ means jab-cross-jab-knee), back kick, Tae Kwan Do punches, blocks, and jumping jacks.
2 Turbos (higher intensity segments), which are about 1.5 min. each, follow each other in quick succession. The two Turbos are different but both mix kickboxing, including knee lifts, jabs, crosses, and high & low punches, with more athletic moves, including several variations of jogging or fast run, fast feet (sometimes called basketball or football drill feet), side hops w/ “crack the whip,” hopping on one leg, squat jumps, and jumping jacks.
Following the Turbos come the Finale (4.5 min.) which has a combo done on both sides with high & low punches, the TJ twist, side push kick, knee strike, and crosses. Finesse / Cool Down (2.75) takes you through a slower paced combo done on both sides with ginga (a move from capoeira, a Brazilian martial art), knee lift, front kick, back kick, and crescent knee (or kick). The Tai Chi Cool Down (2.5 min.) is a shortened version of the usual TJ cool down / stretch segment, with a few Tai Chi-inspired moves plus stretches for the hamstrings and quadriceps.

Level: I’d recommend this to intermediate exercisers with prior kickboxing (and preferably some TJ) experience. Beginner / intermediate exercisers can follow the low impact modifier, while intermediate / advanced exercisers can add intensity by following the more energetic members of the class who add extra impact and/or by adding light weighted gloves (1-2 lbs. should be enough) if they are comfortable and used to working with the extra weight on their hands.
I consider myself an intermediate + to intermediate / advanced in cardio; I don’t go for puke in the bucket or fall into a puddle of goo afterwards type of intensity, nor am I a huge high impact fan. I find this an acceptable level of challenge, especially since it can be modified up or down, depending upon my mood or needs for a particular day. This gets my heartrate up but doesn’t wipe me out.

Class: 2 men and 8 women join Chalene, who alternates between instructing and walking around to interact with her class. All instruction is live (not via voiceover). 1 woman demonstrates lower impact moves.
Those who don’t care for whooping or mugging for the camera should know this has both.

Music: very upbeat mostly vocal music with a definite beat. (The credits list Rachel Auburn, To Kool Chris [sic], and David Shaw.) There are frequent music changes, with each combo getting its own song to which its moves are coordinated. Oh, hope you love the “Hey, it’s time to party” song, because it plays during the menus, the intro, and one of the turbos.

Set: brightly lit interior standard aerobics studio at a gym, with mirrors along one wall and fitness equipment along the other.

Production: clear picture and sound. If you choose the normal mix, Chalene’s voice is just loud enough to be heard over the music; in the music pumped up version, it’s a few notches quieter than the music.
There are a few awkward camera angles, including a preponderance of close-ups, which can be explained by the shape of the studio, but there are a few unhelpful ones that don’t show someone straight on when a new move starts (these seem to be covering up oopsies).

Equipment: sneakers.

Space Requirements: You should be able to step and kick in all directions, but as Beth noted this is a fairly compact workout.

DVD Notes: After the standard Beachbody intro, the main menu offers these choices: start workout, with music pumped up, and special features (Jam’d, Chalene’s take on Punk’d; Behind the Sweat, Chalene’s take on Behind the Music; Get to Know the Cast; P90X; and I’m Gonna Help You, an ad for Beachbody’s forum). The DVD has chapters so you can skip the WOWY bit and intro or do a combo twice.

Comments: If you like kickboxing workouts to have 100% perfect traditional martial arts form and a serious, kick butt attitude, Chalene’s might not be for you. This is more about delivering a fun fitness class using kickboxing to burn a lot of calories and including some chances to “bust a move.”

I usually take out many of the pivots (other than the ones needed to execute the punches and kicks properly), as there’s really no need for Chalene to do some of the half and quarter turns that she does, especially since she usually just moves or even quickly hops right back to where she started for the next move. This helps eliminate some of the torque that has aggravated some knees.

I like the TJs in spite of myself. Yeah, there’s some infomercial-type cheesiness and over the top personalities (at least on camera) and goofy moves and questionable tastes in outfits (seriously, who wears a beret to the gym?). But the workout itself is good, with some nice little kickboxing combos with other interesting moves thrown in. I can’t see myself 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 (Amy, Cathe, Ilaria, Janis, Kelly, Kimberly, Patricia) to give me some variety in intensity, length, and moves.

Cardio Party Remix vs. the other Cardio Parties: Well, one obvious difference is the shorter length of Remix. Usually there’s one more combo before the turbo, and the warm-up and cool-down are usually longer, too. Another difference is the two Turbos. A third is the live class, with some different faces from the other sets and the actual gym setting.
Otherwise, like Beth mentioned, this remixes many of the usual TJ moves, so it’s not all that distinct from the others. In other words, if you normally love TJ, you’ll probably love this one. If you don’t, you probably won’t care for this one, either.

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is energetic, that’s for sure! Her inconsistent cuing (Sometimes she’ll cue before a move change, sometimes right on it, sometimes afterwards, and sometimes not much at all, particularly during the Turbos. She might cue the whole movement combination, or she might use an abbreviated cue), combined with the assumption that you’re familiar with the TJ versions of a few moves means, might give this a learning curve for those new(ish) to TJ. That said, she mirror cues. Chalene spends a lot of time motivating the viewer, getting into the music, and just plain having fun; encouraging people to exercise is probably her biggest goal. She includes only a few form pointers and reminders – not enough for true beginners to kickboxing. There are some Beachbody plugs during the intro and cool-down, but at least Chalene’s not doing an infomercial the entire workout.



Cardio Party Remix is part of the Turbo Jam Live series. Here, instructor Chalene Johnson is unscripted--she talks more, moves about the class, and displays a higher energy level overall. The workout itself incorporates many sequences from the previous three Cardio Party workouts. In particular, the 4-minute warm-up was reminiscent of CP1, with virtually the same moves, just performed in a shorter time frame. Other familiar exercises include plenty of knee lifts, turbo twist, Tai punches, howzit, zig-zag knees, punch high-low, and of course finesse/jenga. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more kicks; there is a front knee/back kick combo and a section that includes a few side kicks, but that's about it. However, I did like that this workout wasn't a space hog, particularly in terms of side-to-side movements (my exercise space is limited!). Finally, for fans of the high-energy turbo segments, this workout includes two turbos back-to-back with only a brief water break in-between (at about the 20-minute mark). The workout concludes with a 3-minute cool-down and 2-minute Tai Chi stretch, bringing in the total time at 31 minutes; as with all Beach Body videos, there is a helpful countdown clock on screen. The only really negative I see to this video is that Chalene gives even less instruction and cueing than she does in her other workouts. She seems to assume that you already know the moves, so if you've never tried Turbo Jam before, I wouldn't recommend starting with this DVD. For Turbo Jam fans, however, this is a great workout to add to your collection!

Instructor Comments:
Chalene is definitely high energy, even more so in this video! I think that if I had to work out with her every day, I would quickly tire of her, but in small doses, she's fine. ;) However, she is notorius for her poor cueing, and she offers even less instruction than usual here; I think most uses will need a few times through to get all the moves down, especially given the fast pace.

Beth C (aka toaster)