Focus On: TurboFire

I love this week’s Focus On topic because TurboFire is one of my workout staples. They’re designed well, fun, the music is fab, and I burn a crazy amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. I love the fact that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training is utilized and Chalene Johnson is pretty much amazing.


Best part: it’s a DVD set, so they’re extremely easy to travel with. I’ve done many TurboFire hotel workouts in the past year 🙂

What is it: A Beachbody DVD set featuring Chalene Johnson (creator of TurboJam and ChaLEAN Extreme) as the instructor. She designed the workouts and mixed the music so that it corresponds perfectly to the choreography. The workouts are a combination of kickboxing with some dance moves thrown in there (think “punch, punch, shake it”), HIIT drills, a core workout, stretch workouts and a strength workout using resistance bands.turbofire (3)

There are workouts in the set, along with a lifestyle nutrition plan, resistance ribbon, 5 day Inferno plan, and class schedule. I recommend following the class schedule for these workouts, to prevent yourself from doing too much HIIT on consecutive days. [For myself, I’ll do a HIIT DVD on a HIIT training day, an EZ DVD for a steady state day and a Fire DVD for an even more intense cardio day]

What to expect:

-To have an amazing time. The workouts are extremely fun and Chalene is so motivating – I want to hang out with her 🙂 The workouts are always over quickly, even though I’ve been doing them for over a year and know what to expect.

-To SWEAT. I’ll wear my heart rate monitor during the workouts and these workouts keep my heart rate at a great fitness range for a consistent amount of time.

What to wear:

-Anything – chances are that you’re working out at home 😉 A tank or sports bra with shorts is perfect, and make sure to wear shoes that will stabilize your feet and ankles for the kicking and lateral movements.


-The music. The music (and instructor) truly make this workout set what it is. She didn’t pick trendy at-the-moment songs (so you aren’t already sick of hearing them), but rather high-energy remixes of songs you already know. I also love the option of watching the DVDs with the music “Fired Up” so all you can hear is the music, since I’ve memorized what Chalene is going to say. Insanity was another Beachbody program that I loved, but the music was so lame and dinky.

-The group fitness atmosphere. I thrive taking group classes and this was filmed in a group setting – you’ll feel like you’re part of the class.

-Suitable for all levels. For every.single.workout and part of choreography, there is a modification. Allie is the girl to watch, and has made it possible for me continue to use the DVDs throughout my pregnancy. She keeps the intensity up, but offers low impact modifications, so you can still get in a safe, but effective workout if you have knee concerns or anything else going on. Also, the HIIT workouts are intense, but anyone can do them (and modify if necessary)- you can go crazy if you want to, or take it back a little, it really is easy to customize and make it your own.

-The instructor. Like I said before, I kind of have a girl crush on Chalene. She explains everything extremely well, keeps it upbeat and fun without being annoying, and you can tell that she knows her ish. I also love the little chats she throws in the workouts during the cool downs.

-Focus on crosstraining. Quite a few workout DVDs will have a strength and/or fitness component and that’s it. This set really does include everything you need for a balanced workout routine (strength, cardio with varying intensities, core work, and flexibility).



-Picking up the choreography. I’ve danced for my entire life and taught fitness for a few years, but I’m a dancer, not a puncher 😉 The intro video explains the difference types of punches and proper form for the kicks, which helped a LOT, but it still took a sec for me to figure out.

For the longer workouts, there’s a “New to Class” option, where she’ll break down the combos slowly before continuing with the workout. This is helpful because once you learn it slowly, chances are that you will remember it next time.

Have you tried TurboFire or any of the other Beachbody DVDs before? Do you enjoy at-home DVDs or would you rather take a class? I’ve done Insanity (you can read my review *here*) and TurboFire, but would love to try ChaLEAN Extreme or Insanity Asylum in the future.

A vintage video from the first night I tried TurboFire:

Maybe I’ll make a new one with my baby belly 😉

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  1. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on September 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I’ve been wanting to try this and the chaLEAN for a while. Although I have to say the clip of the Pilot dancing made me LOL. Haha. I feel like all the Beachbody stuff is kind of pricy though.

  2. Dakota Campbell on September 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    looks like fun! I want to try this now!!! : )

  3. Marci on September 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I am sitting at work behind my computer (with the sound off) and honestly LOL’ed when the pilot starting dancing!!!

    Also, I havent commented on a “focuson” post but wanted to let you know how much i appreciate them – its a great way to learn about new workouts while getting an honest opinion on the pros and cons of each!

  4. Christina on September 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

    haha watched your video! get it, Pilot! haha!
    I always forget you’re from AZ and I’ve never heard you say “com” before (‘’) and you have a cute little accent compared to my Chicago accent! =)

    The choreography looks so fun! But the package looks super expensive… what could I expect to pay if I bought it?

  5. Beth (well ill be) on September 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I think I would love this at a gym, but I can’t seem to get as motivated doing videos. If any would work this probably would. Love the vintage video, it’s weird to see you in workout gear that’s not Lulu!

  6. RachelG on September 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

    This looks like a fun way to workout where I forget that I’m working out…right up my alley! My boyfriend does the P90X workout and while he loves it (and admittedly I love/hate the plyometrics workout), I’m wary of home workouts because a) the moola and b) will I be able to keep to a workout schedule while incorporating other things like yoga and group classes at my gym? With P90X it seems so confusing if you skip a day/week.

    “P.S.”–please tell the pilot that he actually dances better than most dudes I know. lol!

  7. Maria on September 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

    haha! Loved your video 🙂 I bought turbofire a few months ago, and have done a few workouts here and there and I loved it! I got roped into training for a 1/2 marathon, so Turbofire went on the back burner. But now that it’s over, I definitely plan on doing the scheduled workouts.

  8. Terran leigh on September 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I have the 10-minute Tony Horton work outs and LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I was leery at first because I wasn’t sure how such a quick workout would be felt. I was proved wrong when I did the first one! My favorite is the lower body and abs workout.

    They weren’t that pricey and as you have said are easy for travel!

  9. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on September 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I watched the video on mute because my baby is napping, omg. you must watch yourself on mute. you made my day. I also love turbofire and was able to do it until I was on bedrest!

  10. Christina @ The Athletarian on September 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I loved this post! I read your blog all the time but I think this is the first time I’m commenting. Thanks for always sharing great workouts and tips! I’ve heard a lot about TurboFire and may consider it now. It looks like its really high intensity and fun! I’ve tried Insanity before and it was definitely hard core. I love switching up my routine, especially as the weather starts to cool. It’s nice to have options to work out at home 🙂

  11. Alyssa on September 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I’ve done Insanity for about the first month (I get really bored listening to the same person and don’t follow through) and do it intermittently when I don’t get to the gym and can’t go outside. I really like it because it is INTENSE! I’ve also done a few of the P90x workouts but have never tried the program yet. Might have to check that out, but I just like to mix up my workouts a lot.

  12. Moni'sMeals on September 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Never done Turbo Fire but I loved your video! The Pilot gettin in there was awesome! That is something my husband would do too, haha. 🙂
    I do not see how you could get bored with these dvds!

  13. June on September 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

    well thats just great. Now i have to go home and download Burn This Motha Out (We want the Funk) to my iPod!

  14. chelsea on September 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

    You definitely seemed to pick up her dance moves pretty good and quickly to me haha! I’m a horrible dancer. I love Turbo Fire for sure though 🙂 I also like p90x and insanity though!

  15. Julia on September 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Hi, Gina! You look so strong, while being so cute, in your video!

    What kind of hair band are you using? I can never wear one because it always slips off my head – but yours is staying put.

    Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      i’m pretty sure it’s a lululemon one? if not, it may be one of the goodie elastic headbands from target 🙂

      • Julia on September 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

        Cool! I’m going to NYC this weekend so can swing my lulu to check it out. There is a Target here in Williamsburg VA, so that’s the back up plan. Thank you for answering : )

  16. Yaara on September 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Gina! Thanks for doing a “focus on” on Turbofire. I love turbokick and can’t wait to try it. Which video are you doing? Thank again!!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      i’m doing the fire 30 video 🙂

  17. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on September 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I love how the pilot jumps in and does some moves in your video hahaha… it made me laugh!

    Turbofire looks like an insane workout but lots of fun!

    I just got the physique 57 volume 1 dvds sent to me last night… I tried half of the first video just to see what it would be like and MY POOR THIGHS are screaming at me this morning. I’m so excited to follow their reccomendations and see results!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      he’s such a goofer. i love it!

      • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

        and enjoy physique- it’s a beast, but it works!!

  18. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on September 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Love the video! The pilot was werkin’ it Haha. TurboFire looks like a lot of fun! I am itching to join a gym after I move into my new apt; I miss classes. I haven’t Zumbaed in a year. It was my non-running day treat and I looked forward to it every week.

  19. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on September 7, 2011 at 11:59 am

    If there’s one workout dvd I want to do, it’s TurboFire! I always see the infomercials for it at my gym (they are on ALLLLLL the time) and it looks awesome, despite the annoying “call this number on your screen!” all the time. Your video is great too! Maybe the world needs a FitnessistaFire? 😉

  20. Jess @PinkChilli on September 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I love Turbofire! I was so excited when i got it last month in the UK. I was waiting for ages.

    I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit with fitness and hoping to get back on soon, having a bit of a crazy time at the moment. But Turbofire is something that really motivates me 🙂

  21. Holly @ The Runny Egg on September 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I love TurboFire — I too have a total girl crush on Chalene. The music is great and some of the moves were hard for me to pick up on, but once you know them, you know them!

  22. Kim on September 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Love Turbo Fire and Chalene! She ROCKS!

  23. Allison @ Food For Healing on September 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    i’ve been kind of wanting to try turbofire, i really liked insanity! I will have to re-do it once it gets too cold to workout outside

  24. GirlonRaw on September 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Great review thanks. Sounds very similar to my boxing fitness classes I used to take religiously before falling pregnant. Now I’ve had bubs, my instructor has moved country and without a Body Pump class anywhere nearby I think I’ll have to invest in this, really glad you review it! 🙂

  25. GirlonRaw on September 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm


  26. Aine @ Something to Chew Over on September 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I’m rubbish at learning choreography! I love Jillian Michaels DVDs because they are no steps and I can pick up the moves pretty easily.

  27. Amber on September 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    You should try to get your recommended workout dvd’s on opensky!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      i keep trying, but beachbody won’t source them :/

  28. Alexandra on September 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    You’re adorable! As a dancer I love choreography based workouts as well 😉 perhaps I’ll give this a try! Thanks Gina!

  29. Rebekah W on September 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for reviewing this! I LOVE your Focus On posts! I have been considering getting insanity, but I think I might do Turbofire now instead… 🙂

  30. Tracy @ Commit To Fit on September 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I love, love Turbo Fire, but am itching to try something different. I would love to see some suggestions too!

  31. Tiffanie Northrup-Robinson on September 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Chalene is my idol! I just did the 20 minute HIIT and my upper body workout. I have utilized Turbo Jam, ChaLean Extreme and Turbo Fire. I have loved each one of them. I’m going to start the TF/ChaLean hybrid next week!

  32. LisaG on September 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I like the Turbofire and Chalean Extreme! Did you or anyone review Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis? You know me; I like to have a stash of these dvd’s. Lately I’m still sticking with the Kettleworx dvds and doing outside cardio since the weather is cool.

  33. Lindsay @ biking before bed on September 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This is just the type of workout I am looking for! I used to swear by body combat but when I moved a year and a half ago my new gym didn’t have the class. Time to move aside the couch for some kicking and punching!

  34. Kelly on September 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I did P90X last winter but felt it lacked the cardio. So I ordered TurboFire for this Fall. I just started the 5 Day Inferno yesterday. I’m so uncoordinated it’s not even funny. I had the same problem with KenpoX but finally got it after a few workouts. I will say that you REALLY need to watch her footwork so that you don’t run into knee problems. She’ really good at pointing that out constantly. So I’m moving forward with an 8 week rotation of TurboFire. I’m only doing 8 weeks because of a vacation. After my vacation I’m going to do the P90X/Turbofire hybrid workout. I love strength training as much as I love cardio so I want a nice mix of the two. I am strictly an at home workout person. My problem is I am a morning person and gyms by me don’t open early enough for me to get in a good workout and get to my train. Plus I feel there are no excuses if you don’t even have to leave your house.

  35. Steph @ A Life Without Ice Cream on September 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Great review! You’ve got me all geared up to try Turbo Fire!

    I’ve been a fan of Turbo Jam for years. I used to work out in my living room all of the time when I started losing weight. I also found that even my 90+ lbs heavier self could do Turbo Jam with the lower impact modifications (so I totally trust T Fire would be the same). I loved that as my fitness level increased I could see myself slowly modifying toward the higher intensity side and found the DVD kicked my butt just as much now as it did 2.5 years ago.

    I’ve been debating Turbo Fire for a while… you may have pushed me over the edge 😛

  36. Nikki @ The Legalista on September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    This was a super awesome post. Thank you for the information! I’ve heard so much about the Turbofire series, but it seemed like it was going to be too challenging for my level. I love the fact that her workouts are easily modified.

    I think I might add this to my growing workout DVD collection 🙂

  37. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run on September 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    WOW! Turbo it is! Now THAT’S high intensity! 🙂

  38. Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life on September 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I loved that TurboFire video it made me want to really give it a try! …and I love the Pilot’s appearance near the end! Soooo funny!

  39. Julianne on September 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    haha i watched the video all the way to the end. the pilots cameo was hilarious. looks like a crazy fun workout but way too complicated choreography wise for me!

  40. Sam on September 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    THATS THE FIRST TIME?!?!?! haha sorry but i just looked so so so much more pathetic than that the first time I tried turbofire 😛 so much. I am very uncoordinated I guess! The pilot is a very skilled dancer as well!

  41. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on September 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    One vote from me for making a new video with the baby bump!

  42. Kristin @ STUFT Mama on September 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I totally want to try those videos. 🙂 Love the vintage at home video. It made me want to jump up and down in my kitchen (not a good idea). 🙂 However- making a new video with your baby bump IS a good idea! 🙂

  43. kara on September 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    man, i was just thinking about how i miss turbo and now i miss it even more! i haven’t been able to work out for over two weeks (!!!!!!) because of being away multiple times and then moving but now i’m settling in and can’t wait to get turbo up and running again. it’s definitely my favorite of all the workout dvds i’ve tried – and i’ve tried a lot.. i really don’t like going to the gym!

  44. Shayla @ The Good Life on September 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    OMG I just love watching that video to see the blurp with the Pilot, the expression on his face is hilarious!! 🙂

    I would love to try that workout, looks like a blast!

  45. Gurminder on September 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Haha, I loved when the pilot popped in. It looks fun! Very fast paced, I need something like to add to my routine. We have Insanity but that is a little too much for me…I never tried it after the pre-test thing.

  46. kathleen @ the daily crumb on September 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    oh my gosh that looks SO fun!!! but i could never move like you do, girl!

    i also realized that i have always pronounced your blog in my head as “fitness sista”… was so surprised to hear you say “fitness – ISTA!” but it makes sense now 🙂

    • Melissa on September 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      In my head I always read “fitness sista” too! Even though I’ve thought about it before and realized it’s probably to be pronounced like fashionista… but now it’s just habit, sista.. haha

      • Fitnessista on September 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

        you can call me your sistah if you like 🙂

  47. Jen on September 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I bought TurboFire the second it came out last year and LOVE it. So much more fun than any home workout I’d ever done before. I went on to do two rounds of P90X and one round of Insanity, both of which I highly recommend. I lost 90 pounds nearly 10 years ago, but Beachbody workouts toned, scuplted, and leaned out my body like never before. I’m definitely in the best shape of my LIFE and look forward to working out now. No joke.

    That said, I sang the praises of these workouts so much that I decided to become a Beachbody coach to make some extra dough on top of supporting my favorite programs. Health and fitness is my passion, so this was basically the best decision ever. I’m so glad you found Beachbody programs you love too! 🙂

  48. Chandra on September 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I started doing TurboFire last month after I had seen you mentioning it… I LOVE IT!!
    Thank you!

  49. Kari on September 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I too have a girl crush on Chalene. I started with Turbo Jam about four years ago and own almost all of those DVDs. I added ChaLEAN Extreme to the mix two summers ago, and then TurboFire last summer. They are all great! TurboFire is definitely my favorite. I have had a hard time sticking with ChaLEAN extreme because, while a great workout, you need to invest in a variety of weights, from light to heavy. She uses the adjustable weight ones that are pricey. The heaviest weights I had were 15 pounders, which aren’t enough, and I just couldn’t invest more money into equipment. With that said, you can always do ChaLEAN extreme with bands, but I don’t find it as challenging since she really pushes you. I rarely pull out my ChaLEAN extreme DVDs anymore, but once Baby is here in November and I get back into the workout swing of things, I may try incorporating them again.

  50. Angelle on September 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I have fallen in love with the Insanity workouts! I have had it for about a year and a half and have went through the entire 2 month program twice ( I believe almost exactly a year apart). Currently I like to throw an insanity DVD into my workout routine and still get an Awwe-sssome workout in. ChaLEAN extreme does seem like a great workout. Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy hearing about other programs that may help change things up a bit!

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