You Are Not Tired! --- Turbo Fire --- Completing the 12 weeks
Feel the burn!
Health Nuts Apply Here
After completing two rounds of Tony Horton's P90X, it was time for something different. It was time to change things up. When I found Turbo Fire, created by fitness expert Chalene Johnson, I was stoked. This looked like fun and it would definitely give me the boost in cardio I was looking for. It was already apparent that I had become a true health nut and I couldn't wait to start the next challenge.
So I started talking about my new fitness adventure and started making plans. It was going to be a difficult task to take on as it was going to be happening throughout the summer. Not only was this going to be difficult because Turbo Fire was already an extreme workout, but my children were going to be home from school and would probably be a distraction as well.
However, I had my mind set and I had even convinced my husband to go along for the ride. We set a plan and we started May 22, 2012. By the end of summer, we were hoping to be a BeachBody success story.
The First Month
Getting through the first month wasn't too bad, but it was challenging. Turbo Fire is a high intensity cardio kickboxing class. It is a step up from the original Turbo Jam created by Chalene Johnson, and while some of the moves may be the same, it is still a very choreographed program. Therefore, having coordination does help. For me, I take pride that I am pretty coordinated when it comes to workout videos. That is, until they change sides. Then I forget what I am doing and lose it. Turbo Fire is a learning process. And for some reason, the more tired you become, the more challenging it is to stay coordinated.
The good news is, it does get easier. After a few sessions of practice, you suddenly start concentrating on increasing your intensity and not so much on your moves. That is when the major calorie burn starts kicking in and your metabolism will be on fire.
The first month also consists of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. This is where you push it for as hard as you can for about a minute and then recover. This is another technique used to ramp up your body's ability to burn the fat. Add in some strength training and you have a complete month of training that keeps changing so you never get bored.
For the first month, my husband was my workout buddy. Having a workout buddy can be beneficial. If you are competitive in nature, this will make you push harder just to keep up or surpass the person training with you. This is also one of the reasons behind Chalene Johnson's classroom setting. If you try to match the energy to the person next to you, chances are good you will not fail.
Having a workout buddy can also be a negative. After all, suddenly you are relying on someone else to have the same dedication as you do. Therefore, your results can be much better, or much worse. It really depends on who is the motivator and who is the demotivator. For my husband and I, I am the motivator. This made it beneficial for him, but not always beneficial for me!
Get the equipment you need
This stretch band will add resistance to your workout. If you want toned legs this is a must have tool to add to your workout gear. It is also one of the few tools needed to do Turbo Fire!
Aylio Basic Resistance Bands Exercise Set
Resistance bands are an amazing piece of fitness equipment which allow you to move up with out killing your budget on free weights. Turbo Fire uses resistance bands in several of the workout DVDs to strengthen the entire body!
The Second Month
The second month was a welcome switch-up. Both my husband and I were relieved to see the HIIT classes toned down. Instead, this month focuses on cardio and sculpting. While I prefer the shortness of the HIIT classes, I also found they were harder on my joints. So, while this month was still challenging, I found the changes welcoming. With the added strength classes, I could really tell the difference in my muscle tone.
However, things started to go downhill from here. My husband is my workout buddy and his motivation was starting to lack. Or maybe he was getting tired! All I know is the motivator can only push so much before they get frustrated.
Some people prefer to workout in the mornings and some prefer to workout in the afternoons and others prefer to workout at night. Personally, I rather get my workout done and out of the way. My husband would rather sleep in. This meant most of the workouts got pushed to night. This also messed up our eating habits as it pushed back our dinner to later at night. (We both prefer to workout on an empty stomach!) Sometimes, this left us canceling the workout all together.
This caused a bad domino effect. I was pushing toward reaching my final goal and skipping workouts was not going to get me there. This meant I started doubling up on days that I missed. I felt like I was always playing catch up with my workouts.
Then it happened. I got sick again. After being sick for the better part of this year, I knew I couldn't mess around with this. I was forced to slow down my workouts and take a break. I took a full week off and then I picked up where I left off, making this journey end one week later than I originally planned. My body wasn't able to recover and I was having rebounds of walking pneumonia over and over again. Working out was not an option - doctors orders. This also meant more medications which come with side effects - one side effect which was also weight gain. Just another set back, but I continued to stay positive.
Around the same time, I also injured myself - twice. I slipped on a rug and twisted my knee. Then, while helping a friend move, I tripped and twisted it worse. I ended up going to the Urgent Care only to find out that all the cartilage in my knee was pretty much gone. The doctor even told me I had the knees of a marathon runner. Another set-back!
To make matters even worse, I also ended up hurting my shoulder. I jammed the corner of a door right into it. Some days are better and some days are worse. The doctor didn't think I did any damage to it, but unfortunately didn't do anything to fix it either. Chances are good, not only did it hurt my intensity in the program, but I will probably end up going back to the doctor to get it fixed if it continues to bother me. Unfortunately, this hurts the Turbo Fire workout since using your shoulders are a big part of it with all the punching.
So, the second month was nothing to brag about. Not only were there several workouts skipped due to sickness and injury, but I also ended up on medication that causes weight gain.
Luckily for me, I sought Chalene Johnson's motivation through both facebook and twitter. Her tips to succeed and positivity kept me going, even when I felt like a huge failure. I knew I was still doing more than those who might have given up. I also vowed for this to be a lifestyle change and I wasn't doing this just for the final goal. I was doing it so I could be an overall healthier and better person. I was doing it for me!
Are medications the culprit?
The Third Month
By the time the third month came around, I was pretty disappointed. Not with the program itself, but with myself. I had been sick and I was injured. To top it off I was busy as the summer went into full swing. We found ourselves always hanging out with friends. While this activity isn't a bad thing, I will admit, it meant I lost control over my food and might have drank more calories than I usually do. My willpower isn't as strong in groups as it is when I am just by myself.
Personally, I have always had a thing for food. I love it. I love the taste of it and I love to eat. I guess it should come to no surprise when I also say I have ridden the weight gain and loss roller coaster more than I care to admit.
Since I was kept getting sick, I was put on a steroid to help get rid of the infection. This steroid really messed with my system. It can cause weight gain - in three different ways. That means I am in a ring fighting by myself against three.
Prednisone causes the body to retain sodium and lose potassium. This means your body will retain water. The fluid retention will cause you to feel bloated and cause the number on the scale to jump.
Prednisone will also cause your appetite to go crazy. This means you are going to constantly feel hungry and you are probably going to eat more calories than you are used to. An increase in calories can also mean an increase on the scale.
Prednisone can also affect the distribution of fat. This can cause weight gain, particularly in the areas of the face, neck and abdomen. (No wonder why my last trouble spot wouldn't go away!)
So with all the negatives put behind me, I decided I was going to stop paying too close attention to the scale or the tape measure. In fact, I completely stopped measuring myself. I paid attention to my body and ate when I was hungry. (Thanks prednisone for making me always feel like I am starving!) I decided to workout and finish the program, but I also decided to ignore the results in the numbers. After all, the numbers would show me to be a failure!
That is when the workout got fun again. I eased up on myself and I finished the third month by myself. My husband, in support of me getting better, stopped working out, assuming that if he stopped working out, I would stop as well. He was wrong. I still tease him about it. However, I can proudly say, regardless of all the obstacles, I made it through the final month.
In the final four weeks of Turbo Fire, the HIIT classes came back, the workouts got longer and the intensity was through the roof. I made it through. I survived. I made not have done the whole 12 weeks perfectly, but I made a mental commitment to finish regardless of what the results would say at the end of the month. If that isn't success, I don't know what is!
Measuring your success and failures - The Results
After I decided I was no longer going to pay attention to the numbers, I really contemplated whether or not I should even do the final review. I have had a lot of set backs over the summer - some not circumstances I could help (like medications) and some I could (like drinking my calories!) That being said, I have to measure my results somehow to see how successful Turbo Fire is as a program and whether or not I would encourage others to do it as well.
When it comes to weight loss - that didn't happen during this round of Turbo Fire. In fact, I actually gained 8 pounds. That big of a weight gain would probably make others think this program is a failure and too much hard work for so little results. However, I did lose about 8 inches overall, so I am going to say the steroids made me gain muscle instead of just fat and water retention. (See - everything has a positive light!)
On a positive note, overall I feel much stronger! My arms have never looked this toned before and my legs have definition that I never knew was possible. I even am starting to see definition in my abdominal area, and that is something I have never ever been able to obtain.
I can also tell how much more athletic I have become. Instead of struggling to do half-assed squats, I am seeing how much farther I can push myself down into the squat. When it comes to doing long cardio sessions, I find my energy picks up almost immediately after I finish. My recovery time has never been this fast. It is as if I can go another round.
As far as failures go, I can't really think of any that I can not spin into something positive. After all, we are looking for a total package here. Even though I may not have gotten the results I was hoping for, and I didn't hit my final goal by the end of summer,I know the reason behind why those results didn't happen. This has been a learning experience overall.
Welcome to the Gun Show
Work hard and eat right - The winning combination
What I have learned
Chalene Johnson has been a big influence over me this entire summer. Most people who are seeing a lack of results, or the scale going in the wrong direction, would have most likely given up. However, she motivated me to keep going. The reality is, size doesn't matter. It is how you feel, and after doing this program, I feel strong. I can see changes in my muscle definition and I can do things I used to struggle with.
I have also learned how important nutrition is when you are trying to lose those last few pounds. I have always been the person who would rather workout much harder so I can eat my cake and ice cream. Yet, the reality is, reaching the final goal is much harder with cake on your plate, regardless of how hard you work out.
I have read plenty of times that nutrition is 80% of your weight loss, while exercise only accounts for 20% of hitting your goal. I have tried harder than I care to admit to prove this wrong. Yet it doesn't work that way. I am more successful when I am paying attention to calories and portion sizes than when I rely on my bad judgement skills! This summer proved that.
While I was on a medication that assisted in weight gain, I wasn't careful about my food and drink either. I didn't measure out exact portions and I ate and drank until I was rolling. Sometimes bad habits are hard to break. However, because of my intense workouts, I didn't put on as much weight as I could have. After some research I have read about some who have put on 15 to 20 pounds (with intense workouts) and others that have put on almost 50 pounds. I guess I got away easy.
Now that Turbo Fire is over, I have decided to do round three of P90X. I am attempting to get my nutrition back under control (although this is difficult as my appetite is still increased from the medications!) and I am also adding Ab Ripper to the program, which I originally skipped the first two times I completed P90X. It is amazing how much stronger I feel after I have completed Turbo Fire. My abs and core are finally strong enough to actually do Ab Ripper. While both programs - Turbo Fire and P90X - are completely different, I can see how each one is beneficial in different ways.
I have set my goals and I am looking forward to a new adventure.For me, this is the way of life. I get up and I workout every single day. I keep pushing play. This is the new me and the journey will never stop!
So, what is your new fitness adventure?
About the author
Barbergirl28 is a wife of 12 years and a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls and one handsome little boy. After high school, she joined the Army to become a photojournalist. To this day, she continues to have a passion for writing and photography. After leaving the military, she obtained a license in Cosmetology and also studied Massage Therapy. Her passions include writing, photography, cooking, crafts, health, and fitness. Currently, she is working on a book and freelancing at Hubpages.
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