Turbo Jam – still loving it

Last week the cold weather made me want to cocoon myself indoors and not head out to the gym at all, which left me digging through my DVD collection. Since my last post on the Phil Ross kettlebell DVD I have mainly been doing cardio and stretching [ala Paul Chek’s ‘How to Eat, Move and be Healthy,’ with the cardio mainly coming from doing Turbo Jam

If you’ve read my other posts on Turbo Jam you will know how much I enjoy the workouts, but I just wanted to write a little about why I enjoy them so much, even after all these years.

I recently read a post, which I should have bookmarked, which threw me off at first: the author stated that Turbo Jam was all hype and didn’t work and that Jammers were pretty much Chalene Johnson’s sheep – I am paraphrasing here. I couldn’t have more of a polar opposite view of Chalene or her workouts. Not only is she unbelievably talented and has truly found her niche in this world, but her work has helped so many people lose weight. 

A few years ago I used to teach Turbo Kick, which is the gym version of Turbo Jam. A Turbo Kick class is much more cardiovascularly demanding, especially when teaching it, than a TJ home workout, due to it lasting 15 minutes longer and being more high tempo and higher intensity. When I was teaching I was 20lbs lighter and had abs of steel. I had my own story to tell and motivate others with, but so did those who also did Turbo Kick with me. I just wish I had the time and energy to live those TK years again!

Maybe the blogger was upset because she bought the Turbo Jam package from Beach Body and fell for the almost ‘overnight’ promises as a benchmark for the everyday exerciser. As we all know, the success stories we hear about any weight loss is always the best story – and the most controlled story, if it is true. 


As for the Turbo Jam infomercial, the participants that are not Turbo Kick/Jam instructors, who lost the weight, did so by being holed up in a hotel for 10 days in a controlled environment, with food being served to them that had already been weighed and pre-packaged according to their needs and goals, and they worked out more than once a day. In the real world we can’t live like that and so our results won’t be like that either.

Take it all with a pinch of salt and know that, just like in Body For Life, those ‘winners’ didn’t play by normal rules: None of the winners have ever gotten to the pinnacle of physical beauty in 12 weeks without doing way more cardio than Bill Phillips recommends in his books.

But I digress, I wanted to talk about why I love Turbo Jam. Well I guess I basically love the workouts because I know they work. The day after a TJ workout your body tells you that you worked it out good, without it crying out in pain; and all those different movements have accumulated to give you the best ab workout ever, without having to do one single sit up. To me that is the best part. Paul Chek talks about the forward [leaning] head posture that you can get from too many crunches and sit ups, and it’s so true – if you can work all angles of your core without having to lay on the floor, then do it!

Finally, in closing, out of all the Turbo Jam workouts I have, the Cardio Party 3 DVD is the closest to simulating a Turbo Kick class that I have done and I will review it soon. Maybe other Turbo Jammers out there can enlighten me on the other workouts by Chalene Johnson and their intensity – if there are others out there in the CP3 vein I want to get them!


4 Responses

  1. I just got TJ. I did 20 minute workout and lean & burn yesterday. I felt very uncoordinated. She moved from one to the next way to fast for me to think. Plus I couldn’t tell which side we were supposed to be working or when to switch. I suppose it will get easier as I do it more. It didn’t feel like much “exercise” yet I was sweating and am a bit sore today, especially my lower back and sides. However, I never felt like quitting and it was rather fun so I’m going to try it again. If I can find time, I may try the Cardio Party 45 minute workout and see how that goes.

    How long did it take you to get coordinated with the moves?

    • I can’t remember how long it took me to get the moves down as I had been doing kickboxing and dance workouts for years.

      It’s great to have you in the TJ club! Don’t worry about feeling uncoordinated – it won’t take many workouts to get into it. No one is going to be good at those moves when they are just starting out, so relax and enjoy yourself.

      Come back and let me know how you get on!

  2. Hi. I’m back and still doing TJ. I now love it! In fact, I mentioned it to my gym and some of the instructors. They are interested in my getting certified to teach it there. How cool is that! What’s the difference (other than what’s mentioned above) between TJ and TK?

    • Well TK lasts just under an hour and has more rigid formatting – kicks, punches, etc broken down into obvious segments – that all flow nicely together. The instructor also builds on the moves over time so that the first time it’s done in class is very different to the last time, many weeks later. The actual turbo part is longer and for ‘crazy people’ they can do it more than once in a live setting.

      Whichever one you choose, they are all good!

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