Getting a cardiovascular workout is not easy. Your heart rate needs to be up and you need to do it for at least 20-30 minutes in order to really burn some calories. You can get your cardio in at the gym on a machine, such as a treadmill or elliptical machine or you can take a class. If you want to get your cardio in without leaving the comfort of your own home, you may want to give Turbo Fire by Beachbody a shot.
TurboFire® is the intense 90-day cardio conditioning program that will help you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat and calories than regular cardio.
Turbo Fire was launched in 2010 by Chalene Johnson. Chalene is a fitness expert, dancer and published author with a passion for fitness and physical training. Prior to creating Turbo Fire, she created other successful exercise programs, including Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick, PiYo and Hip Hop Hustle. Turbo Fire is her most recent release and it has already received rave reviews from trainers and novice workout fanatics alike.
So, what is Turbo Fire? Turbo Fire is a cardio workout centered on HIIT training intervals to get you the most calorie burn in the shortest amount of time. According to Chalene, HIIT training can help you burn up to 10 times more fat than a typical cardio workout in the gym. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT training involves high intensity, minute long intervals of cardio followed by a one minute rest period. Your heart rate will go up and down throughout the workout while performing plyometrics and other cardio moves to get the burn.
The Turbo Fire workout is broken up into three phases. Each phase is approximately a month long and increases in intensity. The first phase eases you into the Turbo Fire workout and is definitely the easiest. The second will focus more on strength workouts to get you stronger and ready for the end. The final phase combines the intense HIIT cardio workouts with strength training to finish the program with a bang. Some have referred to Turbo Fire as a “cardio program on crack”. Chalene is full of energy and does not let up one bit as she puts your through some of the toughest cardio sessions you have taken part in.
The Turbo Fire Workout Plan includes everything you will need to get your cardio workout in the comfort of your own living room. It includes 12 workouts on 5 DVDs. The workouts range from 10 minutes to just under an hour. In addition to the workouts, you will also receive the Quick Start Guide, the Turbo Fire Class Schedule, the Fuel the Fire Nutrition Guide, the Abs 10 Class workout, Fire Started Class Instant Streaming and Beachbody’s infamous 24/7 support. Read on for an in depth look at each of the Turbo Fire components.
The Turbo Fire workouts are grouped into three categories titled Fire, HIIT and Strength Stretch. The Fire workouts include a lot of cardio kickboxing moves with a hint of dancing mixed in. The Fire workouts range from 30 minutes to an hour. They also include a “New to Class” option in the beginning. If you are new to Turbo Fire and Turbo Kickboxing in general, it may be a good idea to choose this option when you begin the program in order to learn the choreography used throughout the series. This will help you learn the moves ahead of time instead of missing out on the workout itself during the core sections of the video. Chalene transitions very quickly throughout the workouts and, if you get lost, it will be difficult to catch up. The HIIT workouts are shorter but much more intense. They are no longer than 30 minutes long and involve strenuous intervals and short periods of rest. The Strength Stretch workouts include some resistance training, ab exercises and ab work.
Fire Starter Class
The Fire Starter Class will help ease you into the moves that you are about to perform during the HIIT workouts. In this session, Chalene will break down each move and perform it at a slower rate so you can clearly see how to do it and do not feel overwhelmed when the workouts speed up.
This is the shortest HIIT workout at 15 minutes long. It may seem like the longest 15 minutes of your life at first but, after doing this workout several times, it gets easier. You will go through the one minute HIIT intervals repeatedly throughout this workout and will not believe how high you can get your heart rate in only 15 minutes.
In this DVD there are a total of seven interval segments, referred to by Chalene as “Fire Drills”. The workout will get you sweating almost immediately and, although it is still considered short at only 20 minutes, you will still feel like you got a good cardio workout when you are done.
This workout is tough and some opt to increase the intensity by using weighted gloves. The weighted gloves can be purchased separately if you choose to use them with Turbo Fire but they are not necessary to get a good workout and succeed with the program. The HIIT 25 is difficult enough without the need for additional weight or resistance.
This workout is 30 minutes long and is filled with fun, upbeat music to help get you through the half hour sweat session. It is difficult but not to the point that you will feel like you are dying by the time you are finished.
This workout is one of the toughest. It is long and includes plenty of “Fire Drills” to get your heart rate up. The music is great too. It includes songs that are upbeat and current for those that are into pop music.
Fire 45 EZ
This workout is also 45 minutes long but it does not include any intervals or “Fire Drills”, as referred to by Chalene. This is a straight cardio workout that will have you wishing you were doing Fire Drills again. There are no rest periods in the Fire 45 EZ so you will need your rest once it is over.
Fire 55 EZ
This workout is one of the longest and includes interval segments and straight cardio portions as well. Chalene also manages to include a lot of ab exercises for those looking to lean up and expose that six pack. The music on this DVD includes the song “Push It” by the 1980s rap group Salt ‘n Pepa.
The Core 20 is a workout DVD that focuses mostly on the ab muscles but also works your entire core, including your back. This workout is usually grouped with the Stretch 40 workout in the schedule that accompanies the Turbo Fire program.
You will need a resistance band to complete the Sculpt 30 workout. You will be doing plenty of strength training using the band and most will be performed at a slow rate in order to really isolate the muscle and feel the burn.
This workout is similar to the previous one, Sculpt 30. In the Tone 30, you will be doing more repetitions of each exercise at a slightly faster rate. You will need the resistance band in order to complete this workout as well.
This workout is comprised of basic stretching moves and is incorporated throughout the series. It is recommended that you do the Stretch 10 each day after completing one of the other HIIT or Fire workouts. It is included in all of the DVDs so that it is always handy and you can go directly into it after completing your initial workout. Ideally, it would have been better to have different stretching workouts on each DVD for a little variety, but it is still a great stretching workout overall.
This workout is primarily geared towards yoga moves and is not as easy as you would expect a stretching workout to be. The Stretch 40 will help increase overall strength and help balance your core. Many of the moves in this workout include the plank position, making it challenging yet effective for those looking to increase core strength.
Abs 10 Class
The Abs 10 Class is a bonus workout included when you purchase the Turbo Fire program. It is approximately 10 minutes of ab work to help tone your ab muscles and strengthen your core. You can add it in after any of the daily workouts with Turbo Fire or do it alone on your rest day.
Turbo Fire Class Schedule
The Turbo Fire Class Schedule will help guide you through the program and let you know what workouts to do on each day of the week. With the Turbo Fire program, you will be working out 6 days a week and your rest day every week will be Wednesdays. If you expect to get real results from this program, you will have to ensure that you adhere to the class schedule and avoid missing workouts.
Quick Start Guide
The Quick Start guide enables you to immediately begin using the program with easy, clear cut directions and tips. It also briefly explains what HIIT workouts are and why they are so effective in burning fat and calories.
Fuel the Fire Nutrition Guide
When it comes to dieting and losing weight, nutrition is key. This nutritional guide is just as important when it comes to getting results as are the 12 workouts that come with the program. This nutritional guide provides you with quick, easy to make recipes that will change your eating habits and lead you in the right direction to a new, healthy lifestyle. The guide also includes shopping lists to help you choose healthy snacks throughout the day and remove the unhealthy options that you may have stored in your pantry. There are a few different eating plans included in the guide. You should look them over and decide which one will better suit you and keep you properly fueled to endure the intense cardio workouts that you will have to complete six days per week.
Free Online Support
As with all Beachbody products, once you purchase the program, you will have 24/7 online support available at your finger tips. If you have questions about the program, would like some encouragement or just want to talk to someone about leading a healthier lifestyle, you can log onto the Beachbody forums and you will be connected to thousands of other Beachbody customers, trainers and coaches around the world. As I have said before, this is a valuable tool that very few other programs offer. With so many independent Beachbody coaches around the globe looking for more people to inspire and add to their client list, you will always have someone on the other end to answer your questions. In addition to having access to an endless online support group, you will also be able to sit in on live online chats with Chalene Johnson herself.
When you begin this program, you can expect to be winded and out of breath from the mere speed of the workouts. They are fast paced with quick transitions but the moves are not super complicated. The best part is that it includes modified ways of doing the program if you are a beginner and/or not at the level to do the workouts at full speed. Each individual workout includes a modifier in order to do it intensely but at a low impact. This is ideal for those with health conditions preventing them from elevating their heart rates past a certain point (i.e., pregnancy, heart conditions, etc) or individuals that are new to exercise and cannot handle a fast paced workout yet.
The various moves that Chalene incorporates into the workouts are fairly easy to grasp as well. Many are basic moves that you may have already done in your gym fitness classes with an added twist from Chalene. As long as you take your time in the beginning and make sure to learn the steps prior to starting the main portion of the workouts, you should not have a difficult time getting a hang of them.
As for results, if you follow the nutritional plan and stick to the workout schedule, you will lose inches and see a difference in your tone and body fat percentage. In order to truly see how much improvement you have made since beginning the program, you should take measurements prior to beginning. You can then measure yourself midway through and once again at the end.
After you have completed the Turbo Fire program, you can do it once again and change the order of the workouts to modify it. You can also double up the workouts, doing one of the shorter 10-15 minute workouts along with one of the 20-30 minute workouts on the same day. This will up the intensity and allow you to keep losing weight with Turbo Fire.
If your goal is to gain size from this program and bulk up, then this is not a program that you would be interested in. As previously stated, this program is considered an intense cardio workout with minimal strength training mixed in. You will get lean and tone up with Turbo Fire, but you will not increase size and bulk up as you would with weight lifting.
This program has many more pros than cons but, in order to make this a fair and non-biased review, it is best to discuss both in length.
- The workouts feature upbeat music with some of the most popular pop hits from today and from the 80s as well.
- Anyone, regardless of fitness level, weight and/or fitness background, can do this program with the help of the modifiers in each of the workouts.
- The interval training helps you burn calories and fat in a shorter amount of time than if you got a cardio workout on a gym machine or standard, non-HIIT fitness class.
- You can do the workout in the comfort of your own home with little to no equipment necessary.
- If you go on vacation, you can easily get your workout in since most are approximately 20-40 minutes long.
- The nutritional guide that is included with the program is thorough and even includes a shopping list. You can begin eating healthy immediately and will know exactly what to buy to get started making those healthy recipes.
- The program is comprehensive and includes cardio workouts, strength training, core exercises, ab work and even a stretching DVD to do after each workout daily.
- The program is not for everyone. If you want to get lean through strength training and gain size, this is definitely not the program for you.
- And if you consider yourself in good shape, it may not be intense enough for you and you may want to opt for a program such as Insanity.
With exercise, variety is key and you will not see real results unless you are mixing up your workouts. The Turbo Fire workout can be for everyone as long as you incorporate it into your every day routine. If you are looking to lose weight and tone up, then follow the program is it states to do so in the schedule and you will get the results you need. If you are a beginner to exercise and want to ease into Turbo Fire, do the modified low impact version demonstrated in the beginning of each DVD and you will be able to complete the workouts with no problem. Once you have completed the series in the modified version, you can do the program once again at full speed and see even better results.
If you are looking to gain size and add muscle, you can also add Turbo Fire to your routine and still get the results you are looking for. Regardless of your fitness goals, you will need to incorporate cardio workouts into your fitness regime. You will not get lean, toned muscles without it and Turbo Fire is an excellent way to get your cardio in. You can add a Turbo Fire workout to your routine 2-3 days per week so that you get your heart rate up a few times a week but are not doing so much cardio that you lose weight and size with it.
Overall, Turbo Fire seems like the happy medium between Insanity and Turbo Jam. It is more intense than Turbo Jam and the workouts are done at a much faster pace. On the other hand, it is not as difficult as Insanity and the moves on the videos are probably moves you have seen before.
I shed the 23 pounds I gained with the baby in less than 2 months and definitely suggest Turbo Fire for those that are looking to see their muscles and definition once again.
Jeanette Guzman – Sleepy Valley, CA
What I love about Turbo Fire is the fun dance music and the upbeat feel of it in general. It seems to make working out more entertaining and doesn’t feel so much like something that I dread to do every day.
Giuliana Graves – Los Angeles, CA
I incorporated the HIIT 30 and FIRE 60 workouts to my weekly lifting schedule and I have seen some pretty incredible results in the last several months.
Brad Krase – Indianapolis, IN