What Is The Difference Between TurboFIRE and ChaLEAN Extreme?

Are you trying to figure out whether you should choose TurboFIRE or ChaLEAN Extreme for your next workout program? As a Beachbody coach this is probably the #1 question I am asked. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but hopefully I can explain the two in a way that you can see which one is a better fit for what you are looking for.

The quickest way to describe the two programs is that TurboFIRE is fun cardio with strength training on the side and ChaLEAN Extreme is weights with cardio on the side. The cardio in TurboFIRE is more choreographed than the cardio in ChaLEAN Extreme. (But don’t be afraid, I have NO rhythm and can do TurboFIRE.) TurboFIRE also comes with HIIT workouts which stands for High Intensity Interval Training- this will help kick up your metabolism throughout the whole day. ChaLEAN Extreme also does some interval training in the cardio, workouts but what I love most about it is that it’s like I have a personal trainer at home.

How are they the same?

  • Both come with strength training, cardio, core workouts, and stretching workouts.
  • Both come with a guide book (including schedule) and a nutrition guide.
  • Both are very practical for a busy woman. Workouts in TurboFIRE range from 15 to 60 minutes. In ChaLEAN Extreme they are 20 to 45 minutes. This doesn’t include the ab workouts which are 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Chalene Johnson is the trainer for both programs. (She also created TurboJam which is like TurboFIRE’s little sister. At the gym her programs are Turbokick, PiYo, and Hip Hop Hustle.)

How are they different?

  • TurboFIRE is going to come with everything you need, with ChaLEAN Extreme you will need to buy weights or extra bands. (When I first started ChaLEAN Extreme I used 5, 7, 10, 12 pound weights. I could have used heavier but still got good results, now I have much heavier weights to use.)
  • TurboFIRE comes with a six day per week schedule. You will have to cut things out to get it to five days if you want. (Six days was too much for me so when I was just doing TurboFIRE so I cut one day out each week.) ChaLEAN Extreme is a five day a week program.

How are you motivated?

If you are someone who is glued to the scale and gets discouraged easily, I would recommend you go with TurboFIRE first. Due to the high amount of cardio work you will see pounds drop faster than you will with ChaLEAN Extreme. (Generally speaking.) You will be losing inches on both programs but it’s usually not until month three with ChaLEAN Extreme that you see your weight drop.

If you are stuck in a plateau they both are good as well, if you are really close to your goal weight or already have a cardio program (like running or something similar) that you enjoy then ChaLEAN Extreme would be a great choice. You can combine it with your current cardio program very easily. Also adding muscle to your body with ChaLEAN Extreme is going to help you increase your metabolism.

How to purchase?

ChaLEAN Extreme and TurboFIRE are both available in Beachbody’s Challenge Packs. To maximize your results, this is your best option. As you know, being healthy is more than just working out–nutrition and support are crucial as well. Purchasing a Challenge Pack ensures great results by combining the workout program with proper nutrition through Shakeology and support from me as your coach. They can also be purchased separately and coaches save 25% off all products, contact me if you want details about that.

What people think…please add your comments below!

These are my two favorite workout programs of all time! I have been doing various versions of a hybrid for three years now. Yes, three years later and I still get an intense workout from these programs.

If you have done one of these programs I would love for you to share your thoughts on it below for others to read. If you have done both, please share which one you would start with and why! Thank you!

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25 Comments. Leave new

Chris Failla
May 14, 2012 10:08 pm

I can't say much about TurboFIRE (besides that it's not my style) but I can say that I've tried both ChaLEAN Extreme and P90X, and I'm a big fan of ChaLEAN Extreme. Chalene is an incredible trainer, explains things clearly yet never comes across as patronizing or annoying, and the best part is that each workout only about 30-40 minutes. I'd honestly recommend it to girls OR guys.


I have both, I love both. Fire for cardio and Chalean for strength. You do get a good workout from both, You may sweat more with Fire. You are more active with Fire, Chalean is perfect for me in the mornings when I am slow to wake up, or need to feel strong! Fire gets your heart rate going strong and my kids love to help me out too. I have done both as well and love the extra weight loss bonus as well as variety! You have to decide what your goals are and what will benefit or motivate you the most!

May 15, 2012 11:03 am

Shannon- I didn’t even think about that! I agree though, ChaLEAN Extreme is more my pace really early in the mornings! Doing a HIIT right after waking up was crazy for me, if I’m up early to workout I will usually do CLX first just to let my body wake up. Good point.

Beth Koehler
May 15, 2012 4:30 pm

I have both and love them both for different reasons. Like Shannon, I really love the cardio in FIRE, but love seeing how strong I am becoming due to CLX. As someone who plays a competitive sport with a local league, I have seen my endurance, strength, and balance improve drastically while following a hybrid schedule of these programs. My husband works out with me and he likes them as well (though he prefers CLX over FIRE). I do recommend that if you are able to afford the Bowflex SelectTech 552s to get them. We invested in two sets and I'm really glad I did since I'm now doing squats (in the PUSH phase) with 40 lb weights and need to go up. We may end up investing in the 1090s as well. However, even if you can't afford these, just get what you can and use your own strength to make the lifting more difficult. 


I have a question for you guys. I love the Turbo Fire, life changing.Everyday I look forward to it. It is the hardest thing I have accomplished in a long time. As hard as I worked,I can see the results..but not as hard as I worked out. I need to tweek ,y eating,and my stress levels are high. I don’t think I consume over 1500 calories a day.I may not enough enough times a day,I dunno. However, I am at a crossroad and need to have suggestions. Should I do turbo again or continue to Charlene hybrid schedule in the turbo fire plan

April 1, 2013 1:13 pm

I would track what you are eating for a week and see how it looks, then I would try and eliminate some of the stress you are feeling. It can also cause you to not lose weight. When it comes to figuring out which program to do next, I would ask which one you want to do. If your life is already stressful then the last thing you want is to be doing a program that you aren’t super excited about! Does that help? Also, ask your Beachbody Coach to get you into a group for accountability and support!


I just came accross your website and thought I would join in and get your opinion. I have done 8 weeks of p90x, then stopped due to discovering I have thyroid disease. My weight jumped 20lb's on top of what I still had to lose from delivering my twins. FAst forward 2 years.. I just completed Insanity and I still have 20lbs to drop. Which program would you recomend for dropping the most weight. Should I do insanity again or try ChaLEAN, or any other recommendations would be great. Thank you.


My first question would be how is your eating? And also are you on medication for your thyroid, as far as knowing how that may hinder your weight loss? When it comes to the programs I say go with what you think would be fun for you. Which would you WANT to finish? Insanity is a great program that mixes in cardio and uses your body for toning, ChaLEAN Extreme you use free weights. I happen to LOVE ChaLEAN Extreme, I also just did Les Mills Pump and it was a great new fun workout. Send me a message and we can connect more about your goals!


Hmmm, this is a lot to think about! I’m ready to order one of them ASAP. Will I sound like a chicken if I ask which is easiest? ; )

April 1, 2013 1:10 pm

They are challenging in different ways so really it’s about what you would be most excited for: if more weights- then go with ChaLEAN Extreme. If cario, then go with TurboFIRE. (You don’t sound like a chicken!!! I was scared to do ChaLEAN Extreme at first because I thought it would be too crazy but now I love it! You will do great!)


I just came across your site and personally I’m doomed between that two workouts. I wanted to be active and i’ll start by picking the right program. I’m 18 years old, weighing 210 lbs, 5’5 of height. I know those two workouts have different great benefits but as a novice I don’t know what to choose. Thank you. 🙂

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