Workout Review: Turbo Kick

Turbo Kick is an hour long kick in the ass class, but damn, the endorphins.

I took Turbo Kick pretty religiously in college, but then I graduated from the magical University of Illinois and took a leave of absence from group fitness. When I came back to my first Turbo Kick class in 9 months, I walked out half way through and was fighting back tears. I felt like I was dying, like I was a worthless slob and like I must have been crazy to ever have done this in the past. Luckily, the class schedule only had one time I could make, so I didn’t have to come back and show my red, blotchy face for a week.

It didn’t get easier for a long time, but I did get my Turbo Kick groove back. This class is no joke. Here’s how it works:

Turbo Kick is fairly danced based, but not in a Zumba way. It’s choreographed, but it’s not dancing – it’s heart-pumping cardio interrupted by TURBOS.

The warmup is dynamic and the same every single time.  You will feel like you are such a lame newb because you will absolutely mess it up for your first several classes and you will almost always miss the clap that everyone else will.nail. (Spoiler alert: There are two clapping sections in the warmup and you will miss both of them, even though you should see the second one coming.) There’s zero downtime and you jump right into the workout, which is high-intensity cardio with occasional body weight exercises. You’re mostly doing things like high knees, punches, kicks, squats, agility moves, and any other form of cardio you can think of, set to very loud music. There are also some cool moves that I’m pretty sure are specific to Turbo Kick such as “Roger Rabbit”, “Clock Work”, and “Mud Run.” And then there’s things like “The Heisman” which you should know how to do but have probably never done.


Halfway through the class you hit TURBO, where you average about 3 moves per second because you are moving so quickly. There’s very little explanation and you will be totally lost for the first 2 out of 3 and then the third time you will kind of get it, but not really, and then you’ll go back to the normal routine and forget it all by your next class. It’s awesome. But if you’re a dedicated Turbo Kicker, you will eventually memorize the routines, which is a good and bad thing because knowing what you’re doing in Turbo Kick means working twice as hard and it’s already hard to begin with…

The turbos usually involve moves you’ve been doing in the first half of the class and then also throw in some fun, crowd-pleasing moves like burpees, air jacks, tuck jumps, squat jumps, and combinations of all four of those. It will make you want to lie down and die but you have to do it 3 times in a row with 20 seconds of rest in between each round and then you have to do 27 more minutes of cardio after that. Best of luck.

This class is not for the weak. BUT THE ENDORPHINS. You can either leave this class trying not to cry or trying not to smile. Cheesy, but true. What’s really crazy, is when I did this class in college, my instructor always did 3 turbos in the middle and 2 more at the end. TWO EXTRA TURBOS. Imagine how relieved I was when my post-college class only had 3 turbos instead of 5. The endorphins were just as good so I was definitely not complaining.

This is the kind of class where the instructor kindly asks you to take your towel and wipe down the area where you working because the pilates class that comes in after complains there’s too much sweat on the floor for them to….pilate. But, if you’re looking for a semi-fun, semi-miserable way to “BLAST FAT,” Turbo Kick can help with that. The high-intensity will get your heart rate way up and help you burn fat. Plus, it will keep your metabolism running on high for a long time after you finish the class.

If your body doesn’t get angry when you jump, punch, sweat profusely and have trouble breathing, I definitely recommend Turbo Kick. If your body does get angry when you do any of those things, or if you are particularly bad at picking up and/or remembering new choreography, you should stay far away from Turbo Kick. And if you go to the University of Illinois, just know that you are working harder than everyone else by getting in 5 turbos per class when the rest of the world is just doing 3. Sorry.

Turbo Kick is a program from Beachbody that you can access from anywhere with Beachbody OnDemand!

This post was updated to reflect that Turbo Kick is a Beachbody program. The post originally said it was a Les Mills program.

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