My Opinion of Turbo Fire

This high-energy and high-impact workout is sure to help you burn major calories and tone your muscles along the way, yet as I analyze turbofire clips on youtube, a few things make me cringe.


As a fit mama with a bachelor degree in exercise and sport science, multiple certifications, and 16 years of experience in the fitness industry, I am trained to go beyond the burning of calories and dissect issues that play into posture, alignment, health history, functionality, and how each workout will positively AND negatively affect the demographic that is most likely to buy into said workout. A lot of workouts will make you LOOK good on the outside while hurting you on the inside. Turbofire could be one of them.

1. It is my educated opinion that turbofire is not safe for those with a history of knee issues or lower back pain, because the jumping will exacerbate those issues. 

The high-impact aspect could be modified with no jumping, and I understand that the pre-cursor Turbo Jam is less intense, but as a person who has been through knee-surgery after years of teaching intense group fitness classes, I can say with certainty that the ache and expense of damaged knee tissue is not worth such an intense workout. I can burn just as many calories in my workouts without hurting myself. There are ways to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) without a bunch of jumping and core-damaging motions.

2. I see a lot of leaning forward and hunched shoulders in the clips I reviewed, and that could worsen bad posture and diastasi recti.

If you have a poochy belly, one of the worst things you can do for your gut is a lot of high-impact work in a forward-bent position! So if your belly dangles down when you lean forward, or your tummy makes a v-shape when you sit up, you need to check yourself for a diastasis. We want to train how we want to look. There are ways to burn calories without ruining your posture and pooching the muscles of your belly. Moms are the ones who are flocking to these workouts, because we are so desperate to get our bodies back. We can even ignore the fact that most of these workouts make us pee our pants, thinking that’s just normal… but it’s not, ladies. It’s not. If your workout makes you pee your pants, it’s doing more harm than good.

3. It is also my opinion that the attire of the presenters and participants is not family-friendly and would be unsuitable for me to play with my son present.

I do not believe I need to be half naked to inspire my followers to have good form. What’s wrong with a tank top! I can believe they have great six packs without seeing so much skin and bouncing breasts! But sex sells… sigh. Just watch the video above for yourself! It’s inspiring but also intimidating to the average women with 100 lbs to lose!

4. Last but not least this workout is connected to Shakeology. I’m not a big fan of shakes for losing weight, because you won’t drink shakes forever and then what? 

In short, if you have NO issue of knee issues, lower back pain, diastasis, pregnancy, abdominal surgery, spinal disc issues, and you have time to exercise for an hour at a time, go for it! But why not find something more gentle and more family-friendly? You only have one body. Don’t ruin it just to burn a few extra calories on the outside while rupturing discs on the inside.

Click HERE to learn about diastasis recti and get 3 safe routines!


12 thoughts on “My Opinion of Turbo Fire

  1. Christina says:

    I’m so glad to read your review on Turbo Fire. I bought this program a year ago and it did help me burn calories and lose some weight but it wasn’t worth the pain I was feeling every afternoon in my back. I would workout first thing in the morning and by afternoon my lower back would hurt so bad that I couldn’t hardly move. I thought maybe I was doing the workout wrong and was using bad posture and positioning during the workout but it sounds like that’s not the case. It was very discouraging because I was starting to feel like I needed to be in great shape and look like these girls to be able to do the whole workout without having back pain. And I didn’t want to experience back pain everyday for the rest of my life just to lose weight and be in shape. And I totally agree with their attire. I would do the workout early in the morning before my kids woke up to keep my boys from seeing these women.

  2. BeckyJesse says:

    I was just thinking as I was watching part of the video clip is “I would DIE if i did that”, especially now being pregnant. and the other thing I thought of was “I could never show my husband these workouts so he could see what I was doing!!!” I love being able to have workouts that I can do with my daughter and workouts that I can do while 38+ weeks pregnant… ones that help my back feel better not make it feel worse.

  3. Traci Tyne Hilton says:

    I just read a fascinating book called “buyology” and they touched on the “sex sells” concept. In fact, sex does not sell, fMRI studies of people observing ads with sexual content found that the steamier the ad the less likely the consumer would remember the product–EXCEPT in cases like this! Sad, no?

    These kind of products trigger our mirror-nuerons (those are the ones your coach is having you activate when she says “picture yourself digging in and sending the ball over the net three times tonight when you go to bed.”)

    When women see the large breasts, slim waists and six pack abs it triggers our mirror neurons which makes our brains say, “I will look like this!” and so we buy the potentially dangerous workout videos.

    I think we could say most of us already knew this was going on. We just had it labeled under different things like Keeping up with the Jone’s, or aspirational lifestyle…but it is interesting to note that the effect is powerful enough to show up in an fMRI.

    I think that mirror neuron thing is probably part of why work out videos like this one continue to be made…not only do we as consumers fire up with excitement when we see ourselves this way but other professionals see these videos and THEIR neurons fire up and they say “I can do that! I can do that but MORE hard core!” and “If I do that I will sell thousands of videos too!” and on and on.

    That said, it takes a pretty strong minded woman to buck the trend–to listen to wisdom instead of the instinctive firing of envious neurons!

    Thanks for keeping our health and safety the “core” of your training!

  4. bethanylearn says:

    Traci, thank you for your encouragement. It’s hard to resist the “Jones” and show some skin to make a point. But now that you raise that point, I realize I don’t want other moms trying to be like me! When I try to be like other moms, I just get sad and down on myself. I need to be the woman God made ME to be.

  5. Sandra says:

    I attended a TurboKick certification. And while I did “keep up” and pass the certification, I felt very out of place, being overweight. One of the things the instructor touched on was dressing modestly. Chalene always wears low-cut sports bras, always showing as much midriff as possible with low-rise bottoms. The hypocrisy really turned me off. In my opinion, Chalene isn’t a fitness professional interested in improving people’s lives, she’s a salesperson . . . a very good one.

  6. Theresa says:

    Ok girls,if you read into the girls bios in these Turbo fire videos, they were all overweight, or out of shape at one point. None of them fitness models, but mommies and regular girls like you and me.They have worked REALLY hard to earn the right to show off their bodies on a work out video. Don’t pretend that if you had a flat, cut, tummy you worked you butt off to achieve, you would not wear a bathing suit, or sports bra. Ultimately, they are promoting health, what is wrong with that? Chalene is giving you the tools to become fit and healthy, unlike models, or celebrities who show us what we “should look like”, and our daughters become bulemic, anorexic because they have no idea how to achieve a fit physique in a healthy way. Face it girls, being fit IS sexy. Who doesn’t want to be healthy and sexy for our husbands/partners? Our culture uses sex to sell everything, even burgers! Don’t like it, move to another country. And, umm, YEAH! I want to look like the girls in the videos!! Isn’t that our inspiration? Being fit is not free, nor easy! What if all the girls on the videos were overweight? Is that really what we would want to see?? We would say ” This workout is OBVIOUSLY not working for them, why is it going to work out for me?” After pregnancy, laughing, sneezing,and coughing makes us pee our pants, lol! Those things aren’t bad for us, last I checked? Listen, if you haven’t personally tried it, felt the energy, had SOO much fun working out to it, read the material and education Chalene put’s in the program to prepare/educate yourself, seen the results on your body,or used the meal plan she lays out for you,then you really can’t judge. I know chubby, overweight girl with close to 100 pounds to lose, who have successfully used this program to achieve AMAZING results. Stop making excuses and do something for your health already. If you can’t do Turbo Fire, there are PLENTY of other programs that are easier and will give you results,IF you really want it…. And FYI, Shakeology is hardly just a shake, it is a small investment into your LIFE! Nutrition is everything. You don’t need Shakeology to achieve results, but you need to educate yourself on what to feed your body.”Let food be thy medicine”….plain and simple…
    Yours Truly,
    Mommy to 2 darling boys with a tummy that is getting tighter and flatter, with every work out I do….Thank you Chalene for creating such a fun work out!!! NO EXCUSES!!

    • Carla says:

      Wow, your post on turbo fire was amazing. I just completed chalenes piyo, and am on day 4 of turbo fire. Love it! Hoping to shed those last 10 pounds and tone up after 2 babies. But I am getting there, working out every day and shakeology. It’s amazing!
      Oh and those girls in the videos , love their energy, their bodies are sexy, fit, healthy, and what I strive to be. Nothing wrong with that!
      It is the best investment I could ever give myself !

  7. Tammy says:

    Exactly what Theresa said!! I have had 3 c-sections…LOVE Turbo!! I can’t explain the feeling when you are done with one of the workouts!! Its what keeps me coming back for more. Of course she is a sales person and yea a very good one cause the stuff works!!! I too frink Shakeology, daily, get the facts!!! Amd heck ya when Im where I wanna be the clothes are coming off me as well!! Why else would we be doing all this?? To continue to dress in baggy clothes?? I think not!! Read Push ny Charlene Johnson. Lot more to this lady than exercise programs for sale.

    • Beth Learn says:

      Good point! There is definitely a time and place for focused weight loss, and if shakes work for you on your journey toward health, then keep at it. I just prefer programs that aren’t such an injury risk for beginners while teaching well-rounded nutritioun patterns and choices. That said, I’ve enjoyed a shake or two in my lifetime 😉 This blog was written quite a while ago, and I know Charlene has come out with more since then and has updated things. Fitness should be more than just getting out of baggy clothes (and some people really do prefer that style) and looking awesome. Looking great is a nice side effect to strength, stamina, flexibility, and extra energy. My main concern with this particular workout is the alignment and hunching forward. If you love it and it works for you, and you don’t have a diastasis recti or incontinence, and it doesn’t bother your knees or lower back, stick with it! More power to you! But if you start to notice any of those symptoms worsening while doing ANY routine, then it’s time to back off and reanalyze 😉

      • Cydney says:

        I know I’m late posting lol. I did Chalene’s Piyo and really enjoyed it. I’m usually bored with workout videos but hers made me stick with it. I used to be a bodybuilder for over 10 years. Now I’m 34 and found out I have arthritis in my spine and multiple bulging discs in my thoracic spine. Now I try to find intense workouts that do not involve heavy weight that will damage my back more. I tried a sample of Turbo Fire and really enjoyed it so I bought the whole set. I’ve also been on a low carb diet since December which really made me shed extra fat. I’ve had two kids. I don’t mind how they are dressed in the videos except for the one girl that needs a more supportive sports bra and her boobs are bouncing all over the place. Looks uncomfortable! I would like to add that some of the women are wearing tank tops. They may want to show how the workout is working your abs by wearing just a sports bra.

        • Beth Learn says:

          I’m glad TurboFire works for you! However, it is abs-olutely not necessary to show skin to demonstrate proper alignment and abdominal function. I’ve proven that 😉

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