Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! THREE group classes a week!

    Tues, and Wed 9 am

    Thurs 8:45 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia and/or Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘Turbo Jam’

What IS PiYo?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2013

I am very shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I have had this blog for over four years and I have never written a post explaining PiYo™.  PiYo is a combination of Pilates (Pi) and Yoga (Yo), brought to us by Chalene Johnson.  Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam®, Turbo Kick®, TurboFire®, Hip Hop Hustle®, and ChaLEAN Extreme®.  These programs are put out by either Beachbody or her company, Powder Blue Productions.  With PiYo the idea is to combine the two mind/body practices in order to appeal to a large audience.  Pilates and yoga are somewhat similar to begin with, both have a component of connecting the mind and the body in conscious movement.  Both have ideals on breathing and breath.  Both are a way to improve flexibility, stability, strength, and balance.  Depending on which type of yoga practice there could be agility and mobility involved as in Pilates.  Now this might sound familiar if you know about Nia.  In Nia we have the five sensations flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability (FAMSS) which we play with in our dance.  In PiYo the same sensations can be experienced.  The manual states:  “PiYo is considered a ‘Western’ approach to the practices of mind/body fitness.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia   workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYoI believe that many people think yoga has been “Westernized”.  Since there are so many types of yoga there might not always be a spirituality in the yoga class or chanting, meditating, or even the Sanskrit terminology.  That is true with a PiYo class.  It is more about the physical with an awareness.

PiYo combines yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  In general a yoga pose is done with yoga breathing and a Pilates exercise is done with Pilates breathing.  Of course, students are encouraged to breath in a way that is comfortable to them and that works with their individual body, the aforementioned is just a general guide.

The PiYo class follows the tried and true module of a typical exercise class.  There is a section for warming up, a section for general strength and balance, a section with more of a focus specific area of the body (say a core, upper body, or lower body), then a cool down and relaxation section.  While yoga poses could meet all the requirement of each section and Pilates exercises could also, it is often the case that each section will have a majority of one or the other.  Although, you might be like me and think that there is such a huge cross over it is difficult with some moves to claim it is only a yoga move or only a Pilates move.  While I am certain the move did originate from one or the other practice specifically it seems as though currently there is a huge cross over.  That is one reason why I think Pilates and yoga marry ups so well.  They can be considered very similar.

So throughout the class there will be yoga poses and Pilates exercises.  It is up to the instructor and the make-up of the class as to whether the yoga poses will be held for a measured amount of time or done in a flow.  No matter which is chosen it will be a sequences of poses.  Whereas the Pilates exercises are done in repetition.  Generally sequences of repetitions.

A PiYo class is allowed the freedom of design.  As mentioned there is a class format, but then the way it is carried out is dependent on the instructor and students.  The consistence of a PiYo class is that it is for the body and the mind using both yoga poses and Pilates moves.

Do you practice yoga?  Do you practice Pilates?

Posted in PiYo/Pilates/Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

DVDs Nia Teachers Learn From

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2013

Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs (Part 2)

Three years ago I posted about Nia Routines and I stated in that post that I would describe what the training DVD is like.  Here I am with that information.  Also, I want to share about the whole routine teacher training package that a Nia teacher receives.  It is turning out to be three (sort of four) posts long.  This is the second post.  That is how much we get in our Nia continued education Routine Teacher Training package.  I am just sharing briefly about it.  These posts are to give you an idea of what you would receive.  As a reminder you receive a CD, DVD, and pamphlet.  The CD and DVD are shipped to you and the pamphlet you can view online, save to your computer, and/or print.

The DVD consists of the Focus, Move the Move, Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.  In post one I talked about the Focus and the Move the Move section.  Here you’ll learn a bit about Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the music.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaIn the Learn the Move section they explain the move.  The way they did this morphed over the years.  I have some DVDs where they stood facing the camera and talked about the moves.  Showing you the move and going into detail about each move.  I also have some DVDs where the teacher is just dubbed over the actual class as shown in the Move the Move portion.  So you are seeing the same thing over again and the creator is talking about the moves as the routine plays.  The explanation includes both the physical description and little tips.  Sometimes they might explain alternatives even if they have not done them in the Move the Move portion of the DVD.  They also sometimes explain why we are doing a move.  “‘Holding a ball’ allows a body to move systemically, connecting the upper body with the lower body.” This portion at times can help with figuring out how to do a move if it is a little challenging to you or your students.

With Energize the Move the creator explains the energy involved.  For example “the energy at this part of the routine is meant to be focused and very intentional.”  And, “the energy of connecting to your body and space around.”  This section can help provide pearls and additional verbiage that you can use to get your class moving.

The last section of the DVD is the Move the Move with just the music.  There is no teacher instruction.  This is where you do the Nia Class without being told what to do.  You get to watch and just listen to the music.

The music portion of the DVD always makes me remember I have always wanted an option in the Move the Move portion to be able to turn up the music.  I have an exercise DVD (Turbo Jam) where you can “pump up” the music.  You can still here Chalene Johnson giving you instructions but you can make the music much louder.  I think it would be of great help to me if I could turn the music up on my Nia Routine DVDs but still listen to the teacher talking.  I have yet to suggest that to Nia HQ.  It would really be nice for me to hear the music louder so I could practice my listening to the cues, yet still get the benefit of the instruction.  I’ve tried to time the music say from my iPod to the DVD so I COULD turn up the music myself, but I can never get it synchronized.  :-)

In my post Continuing Education – Nia White Belt Principle #12, I talk about the three stages of learning a routine.  I mention there are steps in each stage.  The Learn the Move and Energize the Move are couple of the additional steps.  Watching and learning the information contained in each of these sections of the DVD can be very beneficial to leading a routine.

In my next post I share some information about the pamphlets and you’ll see how there is even MORE information to learn!

Are you getting a clearer picture of what is contained in a Nia Teacher’s Routine DVD?  Can you somewhat understand that there is a lot of good information?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Changing Up my Turbo Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on October 8, 2011

I teach NiaNia is a cardio dance workout done in bare feet.  It is no impact (or very low – I tend to hop a bit because I am having so much fun!) but allows for high intensity.  Impact and intensity are different.  I love Nia, but I also love other types of workouts.  When I do other types of workouts they usually require shoes because often times the workouts get their intensity from impact.  You might already know all of this because I have shared it before.  You might also know — because I have shared this before — that I also love Turbo Jam.  That is the exercise program designed for home use, as in DVDs, by the incredibly cute and bubbly Chalene Johnson.  You have probably read me say before, “No matter how many times I do Chalene’s DVDs she makes me smile.”  Her energy is infectious.  Well, I’ve done the DVDs I have a lot over the years so today I decided to do them a little different.  I decided to combine two things I love.  I wore my MBTs while doing Turbo Jam.

dance exercise, Turbo Jam workout, Nia Teacher, MBTs, Nia Class, Nia workout, Nia San Jose, San Jose NiaBecause of my toe/foot situation I had not been doing Turbo Jam a lot, but I am starting to do it again.  I do it regular tennis shoes, just some cross trainers, and I sometimes have to think a lot to not move my foot in a toe position that hurts.  When you do any type of workout in which you wear shoes you have to think about it a bit more when you are on carpet.  Carpet tends to make it a little more difficult to twist on your toes and things, so sometimes it is better to not do that so much in order to 1) save the carpet and 2) save your knees.  Even though I have always wanted to do a Turbo Jam workout in my MBTs I thought it would be more strenuous on my recovering foot.  But it wasn’t really.  It was fine.  It was fun.  MBTs really have the body using different muscles because the way the sole is engineered.  So it was really fun to do a workout I have done at least a hundred times and have it feel different.

The MBTs really made me concentrate on what I was doing.  When I do my Turbo Jam DVDs I have a tendency to think about other things.  I just follow the moves and think or sing, I am not always concentrating on what I am doing.  The Masai Barefoot Technology footwear really had me thinking about balancing properly and not just throwing my limb out.  When I threw it out too far without being aware then I somewhat got off balance.  Not just off balance in a way that the shoe is designed to make you be unbalanced, but my foot was positioned incorrectly in the MBT so I had to be aware of how I was extending.  It was really nice.  As I said it was nice to experience the workout in a very new way even though I have done it at least a hundred times.  It was nice to have to really think about the muscles that enable balance.  It was nice to have to think about balance in order to make certain my alignment was not off.

Now that my foot is so much better and I have confirmed that using my MBTs to do my cardio workouts that require shoes will not bother my foot, I plan to use them all the time.  That is really one of the reasons I bought them.  But I was not ready until now  because I thought it would challenge my foot too much.  It actually made toe movements easier because of the curve of the sole.  The curve allows for easy almost automatic ball of foot or on the toe movements.

Yay!  Newness in an old-but-beloved workout!  Do you workout to DVDs?  If you do, what is your favorite?  Have you done them enough that you are ready to change ‘em up a bit?

Posted in Just stuff, Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

How I Found Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 15, 2010

People always ask me how I found Nia. Here is my story: I had just begun exercising. I had found Turbo Jam and I liked it. I did the DVDs in my living room before work. At the time I worked in San Jose not too from where I lived so I would get up early in the morning and do it before work. The women I worked with always told me that they loved to dance, but they couldn’t get their partners to dance with them. They also would tell me that they wished they could find a dance exercise.

I was also seeing a lot of people — at that time — that were my age or even younger that couldn’t walk up the stairs or sit on the floor and get up again. Plus there were some young people around me that were going on High Blood Pressure Meds and experiencing other health issues.

So I started looking online for an exercise that was dancey. I thought maybe I could find something that I could learn to teach others. I found trance dance, but from what I saw and what I read, it said that you closed your eyes and just danced. It didn’t sound like there was ANY rhyme or reason. I sounded as if you were in a trance and you danced. The information talked of having people watch so the people dancing didn’t run into or hit each other. So that didn’t sound like what I would be interested in.

Somehow I stumbled . . . . literally, I don’t know how, just clicking on this link and that link . . . .I found Nia. I checked out the main site and it sounded interesting. I found a class that wasn’t too far. I went. I liked it. I bought the book. I went to another class. Then months later, I found another class at a different time and I tried that. Then months later, I talked my friend into going with me one more time*.

In between the second and third class I was thinking about taking the training that would enable me to teach. But I wasn’t sure. Nia sounded a bit “woo-woo” to me. So I kept reading. I really focused on the fact that it is based on science. It is based on research. The movements are movements that our bodies were designed to do. The movements tie into the way it is taught. Some of the words that are used might give the impression that it is really “woo-woo”, but it is not. There are also some elements of Nia that are like ancient practices. I kept thinking that some of these practices have been around for hundreds of years and they really have a basis in health and wellness. It was all very intriguing.

*My fourth class I attended was my “deciding” class. I went to make a final decision. I decided to do it. I decided to get sign up for the intensive that would allow me to teach. It took me so long to decide I was signing up within 30 days of the training.

I had NO idea what the training would entail. And that my friends is what another post is made of.

Nia. It is awesome. It IS an exercise. It IS a cardio workout. But I will not lie to you to try to keep you interested, it IS so much more. For some reason I cannot (nor can anyone else I talk to) put my finger on, it makes you happy. Try it and see for yourself. Try MY classes, or try someone else’s. Get a DVD, I don’t care. Just try it and then let me know what you think.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Wearing Weights During Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on February 2, 2010

Weighted Hand Gloves from Beachbody

I have heard people ask about this a few times.  Sometimes people want to wear ankle weights or wrist weights while in a Nia class.  I personally would strongly recommend against this.  Nia is not like other types of movement forms, where you can wear weights.  In Turbo Jam for example, Chalene Johnson is wearing weights in one of the workouts.  And her crew is wearing them in other workouts but the movements in the Turbo Jam workouts are different.  They are very linear. When you move in lines the chance of injury is less.  Chalene’s workouts are designed to be done with weights and even then she cautions on using the correct weight and using them carefully.  In Nia we move in spirals, circles, we bend, we stretch, we practice falling off balance in order to practice catching ourselves.  With weights added to that it could be dangerous.

In Nia we do have punches and kicks which are linear and could possibly be done with weights, but in our routines right after a punching sequence we might have a spiral spinal movement where we use our hands to help activate our spine and this is the type of movement that could easily lead to injury if there were extra weight on our hands/wrists.

I also think since Nia is so body centered weights would interfere with the connection to the body.  While you could sense the sensation of weight on your wrist it does not seem the same as connecting to your own body without the added weight.  I believe one of the purposes of Nia or one of the exciting aspects of Nia is that we strive to learn to sense what our body’s messages are.  What does our body FEEL like . . . not our feelings, but our sensations.  And if we add weights to that is could be distracting.  It could keep us from being able to truly sense the different energies that we are bringing into the workout.

As an example, and I have stated something like this before, if you move your arm gently you could say it is energize with Duncan Dance or Modern Dance.  If you do the same movement, but apply the energies from one of the Martial Arts the sensation would be entirely different.  Yet with a weight attached to your wrist it might be difficult to go back and forth between the gentle and the strong. The message being transmitted from the limb would be very different with a weight attached.  To me it would seem as if the connection was to the weight and not my body.

So, my conclusion and recommendation when it comes to using weights and Nia is: don’t do it.  The risk of injury is too great, plus, I believe you would miss out on one of the fundamentals of Nia and that is connecting to the body . . . . YOUR body.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ab Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on December 8, 2009

With the Turbo Jam DVD set you get five workouts.  Learn and Burn, 20 Minute, Turbo Sculpt, Cardio Party, and Ab Jam.

With the Ab Jam you get the jacket saying the workout is 20 minutes.  Timer starts it out at 18:53.

Chalene Johnson says it is 10 minutes standing and 10 minutes on the ground.  First there is a tiny warm up then the exercise consist of ab movements.  Basically you are bending from side to side and bending forward.  But if you are just doing the motion and not actually putting the effort of contracting your abs then it is just movement and you won’t get any contraction type of benefit.  As Chalene says it is not “leaning to the side, it is crunching”.  So you have to bend but make sure you are getting in the isometric contraction.

The movement includes some of the moves that Chalene calls her “Elite Eleven”.  The Turbo Tuck and the row are examples.  She also gets some squats and balance exercises in there.

I originally purchased this set of DVDs because it claimed to have standing ab work and it does!

With 9:20 left you’re on the floor.  She moves the first exercise from standing to the floor, so you are doing the tuck, then traditional crunches.  Here you can clearly see the different intensity levels.

The music has changed from dance music to a more middle-eastern flair.  Even though the style has changed Chalene manages to get some grooving in there.  I am convinced she loves to dance.

Some on the advanced ab work is done with your feet off the floor.  Legs straight in the air or legs in “tabletop” (bent at the knee) as they call it in Pilates.

At the 4:00 minutes mark the routine changes and she has the punches included with the crunch.

When the routine has the ol’ hands-behind-your-head-elbows-out-to-the side cross over crunches she reminds you that you are actually leading with your shoulder and NOT your elbow because that is how you really work the abs.

With a little over a minute and a half left you are sitting up and working your abs with your feet off the ground and your knees going to one side then the other.

At about 20 seconds left you do down dog and child pose.

That is the Ab Jam routine in the five workout series of Turbo Jam.

So here in San Jose, where we normally have nice mild weather it has been cold and doing a workout DVD might be an alternative to going out and doing the regular walk, jog, or run.  This DVD was not a cardio workout, but, it still gets your blood pumping and has a variety of ab exercises in it.

Posted in Training and Exercise | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cardio Party

Posted by terrepruitt on December 5, 2009

Cardio Party Mix 1, this is the main workout that is on the Beachbody DVD by Chalene Johnson. Its the Turbo Jam DVD with five workouts on it.

Timer says 43:26 total time and 3:51 for the warm-up

Warm up starts at about 3:24.  And all the warm-ups that I have seen are basically the same.

“Roll them shoulders”.  Then some bobs and weaves and punches and jabs.

Then there is the “Punches & Wheels” section for 7:12 minutes.  Then for 7:28 there are “Squats & Kick”. 

Then the next portion is called “Speedbags” and that is a series of movements, punches, hips, and a variety of things including speedbags for 7:18.

Then the “Turbo” is clocked at 1:30 including 15 seconds of jumping rope.  The Turbo is where you really push it and give it ALL you have.  It is moves that you are familiar with but done at high speed!  The break is 21 seconds.  A break does not mean stop, it just means get water and mop off — but KEEP MOVING.  And Chalene reminds you of that.

The next section, “Recovery Dance Party” is timed at 6:04.  This section goes into the next a bit. 

The timer shows that the “Finale” starts at about 4:44, but, it really doesn’t start until about 3:44.  So at about 3:44 you start the “Finale” which is not anaerobic like Turbo, but it is the final little push before the DVD takes you through the cool down. 

The next to the last bit times at 3:00 Finesse / Cool Down.  Chalene calls it a “stylized way of doing kicks and a few stretches.”  So you do a few steps starting with one leg then you do it on the other side.

The next section is called Tai Chi / Stretch and timed at 1:38. 

So with this DVD you really get about 35 minutes of Cardio if you don’t count the warm up.  To me it is good to know how much cardio or aerobic workout you are going to get so you can plan accordingly.  If you want to get 45 minutes of cardio in and you grab this DVD thinking, “Eh, 43 minutes is close enough.”  Well you are actually only getting about 35.  It is important to warm up and cool down so it is great that these DVDs contain that.  I just like to have a breakdown of how long the warm up and cool down is.

I really enjoy my Turbo Jam DVDs.  I hope my descriptions will allow you to make an informed choice so that you will know what you are getting and enjoy them as much as I do.

Posted in Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Turbo Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on October 27, 2009

I am not aware of how many DVDs there are in the Turbo Jam Library. I have the Five Workout Series, Cardio Party Mix 2, Cardio Party Mix 3, Fat Blaster, and Punch, Kick & Jam.

In this post I am going to give you a breakdown of the workout times for the “Learn & Burn” and the “20 Minute” (Workout).  First let me say that I bought my DVDs a few years ago.  Then, not long after I bought mine, a co-worker bought hers and while I think the workouts are the same hers were arranged differently. She had one DVD where I had two.

1) Learn & Burn

The DVD cover states the “Learn & Burn” portion of the DVD is “approx. 25 min.” It states that in the burn portion you will get a 15 minute workout. So that would be 10 minutes of her explaining the “Elite Eleven”. My computer timer shows the “Burn” portion starting at 12 minutes.

Now learning the moves might not be a cardio workout, but it would be a short toning workout if you are actually participating as Chalene Johnson suggests. Then when you get to the “burn” part the timer on the bottom* (something I LOVE about the Turbo DVDs) shows that there is 16 minutes and 54 seconds (16:54) to the “burn” portion.

There is about 4:40 minutes worth of warm-up.

Then there is 6:00 minutes worth of “Knees and Punches”.

Then there is about 4:50 minutes of “Kicks”.

Lastly there is about 40 seconds of cool down.

This is a great little start to learning Turbo Jam, I think. I think that it is one of those workouts that you can do when you want to move, but don’t want to go all out. And you can do it twice to make it about 30 minutes of movement.

2) 20 Minute Workout

Timer shows 19:18, but you start the workout at about 18:50.

You get about 3:25 of warm-up.

About 3:30 of “Upper Cuts & Punches”.

Then 4:00 of “Crosses and Kicks”.

Then you have your “Turbo” which is the anaerobic portion of the DVD. She says it is 1:30, but the timer shows 1:30 and the first 15 seconds is jumping rope while she talks. (About 1:15 of “Turbo”)

After the anaerobic portion there is a 25 second break. So remember that when you want to quit the Turbo portion, just power through it and then you will have a water break after. During the break keep moving, but you made it through the anaerobic part and the rest is a piece of cake.

The next part is 3:55 of “Recovery Dance Party”. Which is Turbo twists, jabs, crosses, knee lifts, punches and kicks.

Then the timer says 1:58 “Finesse / Cool Down”.

I have to say that watching this to get the break down as I type on my computer makes me want to get up and do it. I actually haven’t looked at this DVD for a long time. I seem to gravitate toward Cardio Party Mix 2. But in all of the ones I have, Chalene makes me laugh every time.

Do you have any Turbo Jam DVDs?  If so, which ones?  What is your favorite?

*The DVDs show a timer in the form of a “grow bar” at the bottom of the screen.  It shows you the full time as a count down.  As the video progresses through each section it indicates the time of each section.

P.S. Regarding the photos: It is really difficult to take a photo of a DVD cover because of the plastic.  Without a flash it is blurry, with a flash you get the bright flash spot.  So, these photos are not great, they’re just to let you know what the cover looks like.  :-)

_____________________________________________________________________________
Beachbody is the same company that puts out the P90X workout.

Posted in Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Collage Video

Posted by terrepruitt on October 24, 2009

There is no substitute for going to an exercise class.  The energy and the camaraderie you get from BEING IN a class is uncomparable, but sometimes class schedules don’t mix with yours or you want to just get a quick workout in.

Like me recently, my husband and I were going to go see a play at the last minute at a little theater in downtown San Jose, but before we went I wanted to do a workout.  I pulled out a few of my videos to see the “total workout time” and did a few quick calculations.  I decided on Turbo Jam Cardio Party two.  But it got me thinking about how I love Collage Video because they do a great job of breaking down the “total workout time” on a DVD.

Do you know what I am talking about?  Has something like the following happened to you?  You want an Aerobic workout DVD  because you want to get your cardio done at home, you buy a DVD and that states it is a 60 minute workout. You put it in your machine and what it actuually turns out to be is 15 minutes of warm up and 15 minutes of cool down leaving you really with only 30 minutes of an aerobic workout.  When you were expecting 60 minutes or at least 50 minutes and you only get 30, it doesn’t make for a satisfying purchase (or workout).

Unfortunately you can’t get Turbo Jam from Collage Video so you can’t see a breakdown of workout cycles of those DVDs, but Collage Video has hundreds of other DVDs.  One way you can pick the DVD is by workout type: Aerobics, Muscle Toning, Both (Aerobics & Toning), Stretch/Yoga/Tai Chi, Pilates, Interval training, Dance, Kickboxing, Latin & Salsa, Bootcamp.

Collage, then gives a detailed breakdown of the total workout time, just as I had mentioned before.  Which can be really helpful, when planning your workouts.  If you want to get a combo DVD with Aerobics and toning it is good to know how much you will get of each.  Here is an example.

The above shows you will get 4 minutes of warm-up, 37 minutes of floor aerobics, 11 minutes of standing toning, 6 minutes of toning, and 4 minutes of stretching.  This allows you to plan both your purchases and your workouts better.  You can see exactly how much time you will be spending on each cycle.  I think that is very important.

If you are going to be able to make it to your favorite class, do you have a favorite workout DVD that you do instead?

Posted in Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »