Have you ever heard of Turbo Jam?
I first saw an infomercial for Turbo Jam the last week of my freshman year of college. During my senior year of high school I had lost about 15 pounds, but during that first year of college I had gained about 25. To say I wasn't happy is the most ridiculous understatement in the world.
You know what's worse than gaining weight? Gaining weight that you've already lost. Believe me. It is most definitely worse.
Anyway, I distinctly remember I was sitting on the floor in front of the couch stretching after I had come back from the gym. Yes, I excercised several times a week and still gained 25 pounds. I ate about 7 times a day. I'm pretty sure I was waiting for one of two things to start on TV.
1. A Wedding Story
2. A Baby Story
It was either one of those or Dr. Phil, and since Dr. Phil is on in the afternoon, I'm thinking it wasn't him. But I digress.
I was right smack-dab in the middle of a calf stretch when this woman comes on TV and starts jumping around like a maniac. Now, I hate those exercise videos where the people are all super bubbly and thin as sticks. It's even worse when they don't even breathe hard or sweat during workouts. I mean, here I am busting my butt and they look like they stepped off the cover of Fit Magazine. It's not fair, and it's only depressing to watch them.
These people were different. They had your typical real-life stories of fat people who got skinny. And I always cry during those, because hey, that's how my life is too. But then Chalene came on. She is the founder and owner of Turbo Jam, and when she started crying while talking about making a difference in people's lives, I was sold. (Pathetic, I know, but I'm so glad I did it.)
If you've ever done Tae Bo with Billy Blanks...think the exact opposite. Where Billy is all super-hard-core and intense ("And FREEZE, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight"...remember those days, Sarah?) Chalene is fun and has a "do what works for you" attitude. And I like it. I always viewed Tae Bo as a workout. Always. But sometimes I view Turbo Jam as something fun. I said sometimes.
Don't get me wrong, there are always days where I think, ugh, Turbo Jam. And there are even some days where I hate Chalene's guts. Especially when she makes me do the plank position with leg lifts and knee pulls. But Turbo Jam is just so different from anything else I've ever tried. And believe me, I've tried a lot.
Where Walk Away the Pounds was boring and designed for older people, Turbo Jam is fun and energetic and for people of all ages.
Where Cardio Boot Camp was too intense (literally, boot camp), Turbo Jam exhibits a laid-back attitude.
Where Crunch's Dance Studio was too dance-y, Turbo Jam is the perfect mix of dance and aerobics.
Where Tae Bo (many different versions) were too...blah, Turbo Jam bumps it up and makes exercise more fun. Seriously. The most fun I've ever had exercising.
Yes, there are a lot of thin people on Turbo Jam, but there are several normal-looking people, too. And no, they don't sweat as much as I do, but to tell you the truth I don't think anyone sweats as much as I do.
I have several different Turbo Jam DVDs, designed for different exercises. For cardio I have Learn & Burn (which really isn't very much cardio), 20 Minute Workout, Cardio Party 1, Cardio Party 2, Cardio Party 3 (my favorite, super-fun workout), and Fat Blaster (my daily workout). For strength training I have Turbo Sculpt, Ab Jam, Lower Body Workout, and 3T (which stands for Totally Tubular Turbo, strength training using tubing or resistance bands). I have a pair of weighted gloves I use with my cardio workouts and I can definitely tell my shoulders, biceps, and triceps are getting stronger. It feels weird now when I don't use the gloves.
Chalene has a new product line called ChaLEAN Extreme, which is more focused on strength training over cardio. Hopefully I can get it soon. I love cardio, but I feel like I need to be doing more strength training. When I was with Snap I did quite a bit but have slacked off recently. And I know building muscle is the best way to lose weight for good. While I haven't gained too much weight since Christmas (only about five pounds) I feel WAY flabbier. I can tell my muscles aren't what they were a six months ago. Bummer.
In any case, I have really enjoyed my Turbo Jam experience. If you're looking for a fun workout, this is it. And that is why tonight, when I get home, I'm going to put on my workout clothes and enjoy all 50 fun-filled minutes of Cardio Party 3.