"Success is the peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction
John Wooden, Coach
The Hottest Class in the U.S. Is Now on Video By Steve Edwards
Meet Chalene Johnson, Turbo Jam's creator.
Last week, Beachbody launched our new series of workouts,
Steve Edwards: First off, what is it? Where did it come from?
SE: Cool music in a home workout?
SE: Where did this mixture come from?
CJ: Like most young girls, I grew up taking dance. I also dabbled in martial arts, which came from my parents because they were into it. In college I was taking tae kwon do and teaching fitness. I loved how this combo made me feel, so I began searching for a way to tie it all together. I also was working in a music store and was a closet DJ. Those three things were my life, and to put them all together was my dream.
SE: So what'd you do?
CJ: The exercise part was pretty easy, but the music had to make you want to move. It was like developing a film soundtrack. I got a lot of inspiration from cheerleading comps and, strangely enough, bad martial arts films. They use these sound effects that make you want to do stuff, like kick people and fly through the air. It makes you feel like a superhero. So I began putting music tracks and sound effects together.
SE: That's certainly not the average fitness trainer approach. What made you think it would work?
CJ: You just have to look around. When you go to weddings, you'll see the most out-of-shape women out there dancingfor hours on endbecause they don't consider it exercise. It's just fun. So, applying that principle, I wanted to create something so fun that it doesn't feel like exercise.
SE: Funny, when Jon [Congdon, President of Beachbody] and I were previewing one of your workouts, we said that exactly. It felt like being in a club. We had it on in the background during a meeting and it was hard to sit still. It really does make you want to get up and move. So when did you get it going?
CJ: Officially, we say 1997, but it's been a lot longer. It wasn't in the form it is now until '97, but it's something I've been doing forever. The desire to choreograph moves to music has always been in my head. I made something to Herbie Hancock back when I was 18. I knew it worked for me. But it just took a while to find something that I knew would work for everyone.SE: How much has it changed over time?
CJ: A lot, of course. Since becoming a mom, my free time has been limited, making me more concerned with efficient workouts. So I'm always working on ways to do this. For example, I don't have time to do a bunch of separate ab work, so I began to study athletic forms that work your abs. Look at volleyball players. They've all got these ripped stomachs. But many of them I've talked to don't even work their abs. The movements of their sport do it for them. So I do the same thing: I work core movements into my routines. So you don't even know you've done an ab workout, but your abs will be sore.
A lot of my marital arts now come from Brazilian capoeira, which is a mix of dancing and martial arts. They've been doing it for hundreds of years. When I found it, I was like, "It's a perfect fit!"
SE: It sounds girly, but your husband's a big fan, and he's an ex-NFL quarterback. How'd you convince him?
CJ: It's not dancy in a sashay kinda way. It's not, "a-one and a-two . . . " It's a vibe, a groove. It's boppin'. So we've got tons of men who do it. The hardest part is to get them into class. Men have been conditioned to think it's weird to walk into a dance exercise room at the gym. It's really off limits to men, that room. They've got to be pretty secure with their masculinity. But once they walk through the door, we've got 'em! They keep coming back.
SE: How about your kids? Do they join you, or are they too young?
CJ: They sure do! I teach it to first gradersreally all age groupsbut a first grade class specifically. It's at a slightly lesser scale, but they love it. I teach PE at a few schools, but they call the other instructors' classes PE and mine they call dance. It's fun, like playtime. And the kids are dripping with sweat.
We've got a couple of boys with serious weight problems, and their teacher commented to me, "I can't get those kids to exercise. But when you come those boys go crazy because they don't think of it as exercise."
SE: So how does your Beachbody program differ from what we can find down at the gym?
CJ: At the gym, it's sink or swim. You either keep up or you can't. There's really nothing we can do about that. At home, we can slow it down. We've got an intro workout, where you learn the moves. And in all of the workouts we've got people doing easier variations. The girls we use have been there. One lost 40-some pounds and the other 70. So they're giving you the moves they used when they started.
Another thing is that we've separated some things. We have an ab tape and a sculpt tape, so you can break things up. These are things that aren't part of Turbo Jam. I teach them, but not in Turbo classes. So they're a bonus.
SE: How is it for people already in good shape?
CJ: Even for those in great shape it's going to be completely different, maybe more of a very fun outlet. But it'll still be a workout. And when you hit a plateau, something completely new is what you need, so you'll get results that way.
SE: Thanks, Chalene. Do you have any final words for your future customers?
CJ: I want to, again, put an emphasis on the music. It's truly different, and Beachbody has become a pioneer by spending all this money on music. You just don't see that in home fitness, and it's totally killer! We spent a ton of time on music, getting it right, the sound effects at the right time. It's like getting a shot of adrenaline.
Get VIP access to Chalene Johnson at TeamBeachbody.com,
Try, Try Again By Steve Edwards
Every success story has a background of stumbles and missteps. Truly, the only difference between success and failure is how you respond to those stumbles, because they happen to everyone. So whether you slipped up for a day, a week, a month, or your entire life, you can still revamp your life and get back to it. You've only lost when you've given up. And every time you don't quit, you win.
Customer Recipe: Quick Summer Sorbet Fake-Out
As summer blazes on, Beachbody member Dawn B. has come to the party with a confoundingly simple recipe that'll keep your guests cooland healthy.Ingredients
1 frozen banana, broken in pieces
10-12 medium frozen strawberries
1/3-1/2 cup orange juice
Allow frozen fruit to sit one to two minutes. Do not defrost. Place fruit in blender or food processor, adding orange juice as needed to control consistency. Blend well until smooth, careful not to over-blend. Serve immediately. Optional garnish is a drizzle of plain or vanilla yogurt.
Dawn says this serves two and . . . wait a minute! Hey everyone, Dawn actually provided us with some nutrition facts! Yeah!
105 calories each, 0.5 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 25 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 mg sodium, 1.5 g protein, good source of potassium, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin C.
Nice work, Dawn. Enjoy your T-shirt.
Visit Chalene's Corner at TeamBeachbody.com