Review: Beachbody’s Turbofire

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Turbofire came out 2010, so naturally I’m a little late reviewing it.  Sorry, did I say late?  Just kidding. I’ve actually been actively avoiding doing this review.  When I saw the previews, I bailed like Trump at an all-Latino convention for business ethics.  My reasons will become apparent soon enough.

But given the number of requests for Turbofire, I can only conclude that I have made many enemies online who would take joy in my suffering.  So rather than risk a revolution, I stood tall, girded my loins and threw back a stiff shot of Canadian whiskey.  Time to do my job, by golly.

TurboFire_ProgramWhat you get:

10 DVD’s, food guide, calendar, 5-Day plan and a low intensity resistance band.

It begins…

It should be stated for the record that I have never been overly blown away by Chalene’s programs. The reason is because her offerings are heavily targeted towards women.  And by Teddy Rosevelt’s moustache…I am manly ( throws back another shot and scratches crotch ).  Bubbly dispositions are like an itch I can’t scratch.  Therefore, if you are a bubby person, feel free to disregard this review and understand that we have clearly different tastes.

happy
Also, stay the Hell away form me.

The second I hit play, I know this is going to be rough. I mean, look at the cast.  They’re just so peppy.  So gosh darn peppy you want to club the lot of them like baby seals.

turbofire_cast
Look at them. I SAID LOOK AT THEM!!

This is 30 minutes of low impact cardio that keeps you hopping. Jumps, punch combos, squats, etc.  All to a curious audio track of remakes.

HIIT 15

Can you make it 15 minutes?  Don’t worry, once again the music will make it feel like a solid hour. The idea is that whenever the alarm bell goes, you are supposed to go balls to the wall with full speed high impact cardio.  The end bell sounds like a laser pistol from a discount Star Wars knockoff.

FIRE 55

There is a pattern with Chalene’s warm-ups that apparently extends beyond this workout series.  They all begin with the same arm swinging sequence.  I did my own and fast forwarded part this time.

Like Fire 30, this one is simply longer but is much the same: low impact cardio.

CORE 20

Time to utilize some resistance with the abs. The crew uses bands to add some push back with core workouts. I suggest a variety of bands as most guys will barely feel them with some of these workouts.

FIRE 45

I’m not sure if there is really a good reason to have a FIRE 30, 45 and 55, but oh well. This is one of those cardio workouts that come completely random and again, has an audio track few men could ever work out to.  For the record, I’ll do cardio to a rap version of “Rolling on the River” when all Hell freezes over. Seriously, what if my kids saw me?

screaming_kid
No Dad, not Turbofire! Nooooooooo!

HIIT 20

I’m getting to hate these shoulder roll warm-ups. 3 drills, repeated twice. When the alarm goes you have to move your butt for a solid minute. Yes, it hurts.

HIIT 30

I have to admit, the 60 second blasts are truly a physical feat that one should be proud they can accomplish.  The combo of fast feet, and jumps in rapid succession would make Shaun T proud.

FIRE 60

Punch combos, kicking drills combined with one minute max-out drills.  It’s like a non-sucky Kenpo X.

kenpox_1
Few things are worse than Kenpo X anyway.

Lower 20

The added use of a fitness band around the ankles certainly works its magic.  Squalts and kickbacks with the infernal thing will make sure you don’t be able to sit down the following day for sure.

SCULPT 30

It’s an upper body combo. Ladies, feel free to use the bands.  For most men I would suggest a range of weights.  That way if your kids come down the stairs and see you, the comforting sight of Dad holding steel weights will lessen the traumatic impact.

STRETCH 10

It’s a basic stretch workout with an audio track that is half decent.

STRETCH 40

Same as above, only now there is a substantial amount of yoga added to the mix.

TONE 30

While I would normally recommend weights, the positions here are more conducive to resistance bands. And while it doesn’t really attack any particular muscle group, it does smack the core around pretty good.

tone30
Tone 30 is a good core workout, but does little else.

UPPER 20

Triceps, shoulders, biceps and some ab work. There are sadly, not a lot of sets for each muscle group so this is not going to compete with Body Beast anytime this century. Just very high reps. A perfect workout for the ladies, but very much the opposite for men.

Conclusion

I feel like the requests for me to review this were intended to provide entertainment at my expense.  Still, Turbofire absolutely has its target demographic.  Women may find this enjoyable, but I have to be honest, most men will see this as absolutely intolerable.   Chalene’s cheerleader style has a very particular demographic which sadly, was not me.  Not by a long shot.  Granted, Turbofire does not hit Beachbody’s degrading low of Brazil Butt Lift ( few things could ).  Nonetheless, Turbofire did not light my candle.

The crowd workout is a neat idea on paper but just does not work in practice.  A sound-track of cringe-worthy music also forces Chalene to screech like she’s trying to be heard over a freaking chainsaw.

I don’t want to say that Turbofire is bad.  The set is expertly designed and Chalene is clearly a talented trainer.  But even with all the right pieces, Turbofire just doesn’t come together in a way that would ever make me choose this over a plethora of better choices such as Max 30, Ruthless or 21 Day Fix Extreme.

2.8 FEATHERS OUT OF 5

© 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

5.8 Women only need apply

While a competent workout program, Turbofire suffers from an unappealing music track, and a training atmosphere drowning in estrogen.

  • Production values 8
  • Music 4
  • Trainer skill 7
  • Cardio 7
  • Strength 3

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Joy Obinyan

    Nooooooo, you can’t not love Turbo Fire. I love it and the soundtrack really contributes to my enjoyment of it. Oh wait, I’m a lady.
    Turbo Fire is my go to workout when I need to kick myself out of an exercise funk.

    • I can see how someone would like it to be sure and would never want to take away from your positive experience with Turbofire. It’s just that men in general find this kind of workout series the equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard. The cheerleader mentality and this type of music are intolerable.
      That having been said, women may have an entirely different opinion. For example, I like Body Beast from time to time, but my wife thinks Sagi is an insufferable ass. All perspective!

      • Steve MacKenzie

        I like the HIITS for Xtraining. I posted above. The smiling is hard to take but I love to change it up. Love the agility aspects of it. Helps me from rutting out.

    • Sherry Shrinkingchefpants Fran

      Not the first time I’ve seen a reviewer complain about the music. I thought the music was fun and way better than the music choices in ChaLean Extreme.

  • Steve MacKenzie

    I love Turbofire for the HIITS. Granted I only do those but they are a great way of cross training. I love the fact that they keep me agile. In allot of cardio like Insanity always pace off the females because they are more agile and tend to have better form with less breaks. I love the intensity and complete change of the HIITS as I can throw them in and work out in new ways. The only issue to me is the Anna Ferris look alike with the laughing gas grin when they go to a close up. I try to ignore the other rampant and crazy joy and concentrate on nailing the circuits.

  • holyguy7

    This workout series is the one I used to get me back into working out. I did the full 20 weeks and by the end, I was burned out of Turbofire. In my opinion, the music is the BEST and, yes, I am a guy. However, I have graduated now to more intense shorter workouts so the only value left are the HIIT workouts as I now do not want to workout for and hour a day. 1/2 hour is enough for me and done correctly, it will make you sweat. Great workout for the ladies but for me there was not enough upper body. I will say this, it is the only workout that I ever lost weight in.I dropped 20 pounds in the 20 weeks of this and after that, I have worked out with different systems 6 days a week for the last 3 years and no movement to my weight. Now I am trying to lose my last 20 pounds and my body does not want to let it go.

  • twittador

    Hello! First of all thanks a lot for the amazing reviews. I’ve been following your site for a few years not and I love both the humor and also the information contained in all of the reviews. One question I have is about the RSS feed. Seems like it hasn’t been updated in the past few months, even though new content has been added to the site. Any plans to fix this?

    • I haven’t looked at the rss feed in a while so sadly I didn’t notice until you mentioned it now. Working on a resolution in the next few days. Thanks for letting me know!

  • melissa halby

    You crack me up. I love your review I just scored this workout on Craigslist and am going to start up. It is definitely for us chicks. haha! I am surprised by how many calories I burn doing Turbo Jam so I will have to see how it goes. So funny about the you holding the dumbbells haha

  • Rachel

    I have to say, I really enjoyed TurboFire. It’s so far the only program I’ve done where I’ve felt like I’ve been able to push hard – and, truthfully, this is partly because it is not TOO difficult. I’ve done PiYo, T25, Max 30, TurboFire, and now I’m giving P90X3 a go. I think TurboFire was the most satisfying for me because of how much I could really do everything well but at the same time I was pushing so hard that I actually had to take a break from it because I’d destroyed my legs from all those squats and jumping. In P90X3, for example, I kick ass in MMX and nail all the moves in X Yoga but it’s just too difficult for me to do any of the pull-up/chin-up moves in the Challenge and so I feel as though I only get half a workout despite attempts to modify. And in Max 30, I can push to the end of an entire workout with modifications but I’d be trashed the next day but then I would never know whether a max-out would have been out of laziness or protection because my muscles sometimes don’t hurt/burn/get sore during the workout itself. Etc. TL;DR – is this a problem that anyone else here has ever had to deal with, feeling frustrated for being able to do the more advanced programs but not as well as you could do easier ones but then accidentally hurting yourself?

  • Sarah

    Thank you for this review! Although I am a woman, I don’t enjoy the peppy cheerleader stuff…prefer straightforward instruction and tough, intense workouts. Thanks for offering some suggestions as an alternative! I will look into those instead of Turbofire.

  • Mer

    I think you’re far too harsh with Chalene workouts in general. TurboFire does burn a ton of calories, and for those of us who like choreographed cardio it is a lot of fun too! I was doing 9 Round (a kickboxing gym) and had to leave for financial reasons and time constraints. TurboFire is the first at home workout I have religiously stuck to because it matches 9 Round’s energy and the kickboxing style. Don’t be so tough on the cheerleaders….some of us need that!

  • Jamie Elizabeth Rinaldi

    You gave Turbofire cardio a 7 and Country Heat cardio an 8????????

    • A lot of these change over time. I remember when P90X Plyo X was considered a ‘ten’ back before the Max 30/Insanity days. Now I would probably place it as a 7 at best. Also, after I’ve done a program I tend to forget about it. Turbofire was probably harder cardio-wise so I guess the grading system has its flaws! Best to take it as an approximation.

  • Lizzy

    I really like your reviews, but I have to echo that I think you are a bit too harsh on Chalene workouts in general (and a bit too nice for Autumn’s workouts – just my opinion, but I am not an Autumn fan).

    I really love this (Turbofire) workout, basically because it works for me, and I look forward to doing it every day (now I will admit that I am their targeted audience). I have been using Turbofire for about 6 weeks now, and have dropped a full size, lost 2 inches from my hips, and my stomach. I recently added the kickboxing gloves (I bought mine from Dicks for $15, plus free shipping – not a bad deal at all) and the workouts definitely have some grit to it.

    I will agree with you that the classroom schedule doesn’t work at first (however, if you do it for a few times, it actually makes it a bit more fun). I also agree that it is a bit dancie (dancy) but again, I am the target audience and love the dancy (we will go w/ dancy it looks better – i think) parts.

    Chalene can talk a bit in the warm up and a lot in the cool down, but it’s not too bad. She does the actual workout with you, so she doesn’t have time chat too much during that, just give verbal queue (which considering how out of breath this program makes you, is pretty impressive).

    Just my thoughts. Thanks again for your reviews. BTW I am not a Beachbody coach