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Workout Review: Turbo Jam

I had done all of Chalene Johnson's workout programs... PiYo, Chalean Extreme, and TurboFire... everything except for Turbo Jam. It was time.

I decided to give Turbo Jam a try this spring as part of a throwback hybrid workout calendar involving several of Beachbody's older workout programs. Quite honestly, I was expecting the Turbo Jam sessions to be cheesy and awful... but I actually loved them!

The program is really quite similar to TurboFire. It felt dated, but not that bad. The main difference is that unlike TurboFire, Turbo Jam doesn't use popular songs that you would recognize. The music for TurboJam is instrumental/synthesizer, but because of that, it can't be pegged to a specific time period and the program didn't feel as 90s-tastic as I was expecting.

If you've done TurboFire or taken TurboKick live classes, the moves will be familiar and you'll have no trouble mastering this. If you're new to Chalene's kickboxing programs, she does have her own unique vocabulary that she uses, and it takes a bit to learn. She doesn't always explain the moves fully, but her demonstrations are clear and she repeats the same moves enough that if you don't get it the first time, you'll get another chance to try it soon enough.

The structure of the Turbo Jam sessions is a little looser than for TurboFire—Chalene worked in some dance and capoeira bits and I enjoyed that—but most of the sessions contain some element of cardio kickboxing. If you're looking for some peppy, poppy workouts with Chalene, this program won't disappoint.

Program length: 4 week base calendar and 4 week advanced calendar

Workout length: 30 to 60 minutes

What equipment is needed? Some of the sessions use no equipment at all (though as you get stronger, you may wish to wear weighted gloves to increase the intensity of your workouts). For other sessions, you'll need some free weights (modifications with resistance bands are shown) and a thigh toning band. Two of the bonus workouts use a stability ball as well.

How is it structured? In general, Chalene uses kickboxing combos, teaching a simple one first and then adding on or layering on top once you master the basic moves. However, there is quite a bit of variety in this program—some strength-based sessions with weights, some toning sessions using bands or the stability ball—so it's difficult to sum up.

What kinds of moves are involved? Standard punches and kicks from kickboxing, but this program also draws from dance, capoeira, and strength training. There are same drill-style moves such as fast feet and jumping jacks, but these are usually for short spurts, rather than the majority of a workout.

Low-impact? No, but there is a low-impact modifier to follow in the videos

Are modifications shown? Yes

Interested in trying this program? Learn more in my video review or email me at to find out when my next challenge group starts! I can also guide you to my recommended sources for the equipment mentioned here, or get you set up with a different workout program if this one isn't up your alley. I'm only an email away... Let's chat!

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