Hey Belles! I mentioned in my last entry that Iíve started Turbo Fire workouts. Two weeks in, and Iím hooked! Hereís why:
1. The closest youíll get to a gym experience at home
You know how itís sometimes a drag to have to work out at home? A gym membership, in a way, forces you to attend, since you have a venue to go to. To simulate this, the Turbo Fire workouts stress the ďclassĒ concept, so it feels you have something to look forward to. At the top of each workout, Chalene, the instructor, welcomes you to class, saving you the best front row spot. The camera is positioned precisely to make you feel this.
In class with you is a bevy of beautifully sculpted beings. I donít think Iíll ever look like them (Iím not following the Turbo Fire meal plans), but itís still somehow motivating to work out with them.
As an added bonus, if you mess up on your moves (which I tend to do often), you wonít feel embarrassed since youíre at home anyway.
There is also a set class schedule to follow, using a set of 12+ DVDs, but more on that later.
2. Itís a fun all-around aerobics class
Turbo Fire seems to combine high/low and kickboxing aerobics, designed to maximize toning all around the body. There is A LOT of arm movement, so itís perfect for toning flabby arms. Youíre also advised to contract your core muscles while doing the moves, so you get a head start during the aerobics classes (Fire and EZ classes) before you get to the more targeted Sculpt or Core classes.
3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Turbo Fire also makes good use of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sequences, referred to as ďFire DrillsĒ, that last for 45-60 seconds. I lost most of my 30 lbs with HIIT, so I can vouch for its effectiveness. The Fire workouts contain about 2-3 HIIT sessions within the aerobic workouts, while there are also dedicated HIIT days, where you do between 6-10 HIIT sessions. Gulp! There are at least 60-second breaks between HIIT workout, to let you catch your breath.
4. A breakdown of the choreography
A live aerobics class features the instructor teaching you the moves if youíre new in class. On the DVDís main menu, there is a ďNew to ClassĒ feature which you can turn on, and Chalene slowly goes through the choreography of the sequences, including the HIIT sequences. Itís filmed and edited so that the transitions between the class and the breakdown are seamless; itís pretty impressive. If youíre feeling confident, you can turn it off and perform the workout as intended.
5. A class schedule to follow
I initially balked at the thought of doing 6 workouts a week. But as it turns out, the variety of workouts outlined in the class schedule kept me motivated and made me look forward to each workout day. And thatís even if I felt dog-tired during the previous dayís workout.
I wonít strictly do 6 workouts a week, but I am following the suggested sequence of workouts, including not performing two consecutive HIIT days.
Like I mentioned, I even bought an app to track my progress, so hereís a sample week:
6. Chalene Johnson, the instructor
Karen described her as ďa soccer mom hopped up on her kidsí RitalinĒ; I described her as a Stepford Wife on speed. And we both mean that in a good way. She is the personification (and the creator) of this high energy workout, bouncing around like a bunny onstage, and injecting some dance moves to make it all fun. Her charismatic energy really is infectious, and it keeps you going through a whole hour of intense cardio. Her signature line is ďGood news! Youíre not tired!Ē, and I hurl expletives at my screen when she chirps it. Itís OK. I do that to all my favorite workout instructors.
7. The use of a resistance band
The Turbo Fire kit comes with a rubber resistance band. Itís amazing how much torture that little rubber band can inflict. The magenta-colored resistance band allows up to 20 lbs of resistance, giving me an ample challenge on bicep curls (which I thought I do well), tricep curls, and rows. I pretty much max out on 5 lb dumbbells.
I have the license to not strictly follow the recommended schedule of 6 workouts a week, since Iím not doing this at all to lose weight, just to maintain it. Iím even taking an unscheduled break today, since I felt fatigued during yesterdayís Fire 45 workout.
My one quibble about it would be the Stretch 40 classes, my least favorite class of the program, but itís only because I am not a yoga person.
Where to find Turbo Fire: The company bought this kit in the US, where itís available by mail order, but you might be resourceful enough to find it gratis. (Please donít ask me for the link; I wouldnít know where.)
Hope you consider this as a summer workout, Belles, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!