Video Fitness

Tae Bo Extreme

Billy Blanks

A step and weights spice up the traditional taebo moves in this 45 minute workout. As with the other new videos, the setting now sports a sci-fi futuristic feel and the music, although still instrumental, is much more upbeat and faster than in Capture the Power.

A medley of standard taebo moves, like in-and-out, torso twists, all sorts of knee raises, kicks and punches. There is one new and initially confusing (to me) move that starts as a simple enough two-step (sort of like a V-step) that turns into a fast side-to-side affair with punches.

After about 10 minutes he incorporates the step for such moves as the in-and-out, step-knee-forward punches and side leg lift crunches. The step really adds intensity to the moves!

After 30 minutes he goes into weight work with 1-lb weights. This series is reminiscent of Slim Series--slow then fast reps, moving quickly from one body part to another. After that he does floorwork with the back kicks and roundhouses. Then pushups--Billy makes Shelly lie atop him while he does them! More punches and twists, then he gets cut off by the musical "end" cue and finishes it up belatedly.

While this didn't seem as intense as his hardest videos (AL 1 Original, Get Ripped), it's certainly back up to the level of his old videos in general and should cheer up those fans who were disappointed with Capture the Power.

Instructor comments: Billy Blanks is at his most vibrant here. If you are a fan of his, you'll love it. Especially during the weight section, he sings, raps, rhymes and prances about, doing his motivational thing. He almost sounds like Rev. Jesse Jackson at points! (but stays secular for this video). Then he goes into hip-hop mode, complete with a bad-a$%$ strut that he makes everyone do. He actually made me laugh aloud.

acey

8/12/04

The workout is 53 minutes (as stated on the cover) incoporating step and light weights.
The moves in this workout are similar to all other Tae Bo tapes but I found that the step and weights gave a different dimension to Tae Bo. You will start out doing warm-up and then proceed through several combos without using the step to warm you up even more. Then You will move up to step - no complicated choreography here. After that you will use light weights to tone your body and you will feel the burn even with light weights since Billy uses high reps and pulsing approach. The weight sections include shoulders (upright rows, shoulder press), biceps, triceps, some pushups. Then you will do standing abs and some floorwork (kickback, and sidelifts - TOUGH!).
Overall, I would rate this workout high intermediate/advance. Eventhough the moves are basic, they are not boring and the workout flows well.

Instructor comments: Billy is really encouraging. I feel that he is very sincere and would like to help others. I found him very amusing and playful in this workout(he sang (rap style) while the background exercisers were doing weights).

Tanya

09/28/04

This one is pretty good. I'd say intermediate level. I don't know about the use of the word "extreme" if *I* can get through it. I haven't been able to finish some of his other videos. There are a few warp speed drills. I had trouble following some of the combos.

Pros:

The format is similar to Charles Harris' "Chizel-It", one of my favorite workouts

Billy does some singing and dancing and it is a lot of fun to watch! During the cooldown her teaches you how to strut your stuff. Almost like a model on the catwalk. I kept thinking of the "I'm Too Sexy" song.

There is a nice variety of floor, step and strength moves.

I am so happy he didn't use numbers for the punches like in "Tae Bo 2004". I absolutey HATED that!

There is some standing ab work that I enjoy.

The floor work is brief, but tough.


Cons:

Billy's cueing. It's better, but still could be improved.

Billy kept pulling up his shorts to show his legs. It was ok the first five times, then it became annoying. And, BTW, what's up with those shorts he wears? They are cut funny and the material looks like the bedspread of a cheap motel. (Not that I've ever been in a cheap motel, ahem!)

I'm not crazy about flowing, Tai Chi-like cooldowns. I like basic stretching.

Instructor comments: Please see review.

Alta

11/2/04

By way of explanation, I am not a hard core Tae Bo fan. It was my first foray into video workouts and I enjoy it, but I only have 3-4 of his workouts.

Tae Bo Extreme is different from any other Tae Bo I've encountered. The workout incorporates a step and 1-3 pound dumbbells.

The warmup is a pretty typical Tae Bo warmup--light punches, marching, and stretching. The first ten minutes or so of the actual workout are your typical Tae Bo workout as well. Punching and kicking combos that kind of feel like they're being made up as we go along, but it's Billy so that comes along with the territory.

After the warmup and 10 minute cardio segment there is a 13 minute cardio segment that incorporates the step. I started out with a 6" step in front of me, but the pacing is such that I soon dropped down to 4". (There are also chirons on the video indicating that it is not required to use a step at all, a point Billy reiterates several times throughout the workout.) If I had faster feet, I know I could handle the 6" step.

The last 20 or so minutes of the workout are standing and floor toning. Billy and the cast use 1 pound dumbbells. I started with 3 pound dumbbells and found myself wishing for 1 pounders--he just moves too fast for me to safely wrangle 3 pound dumbbells. I'll be buying 1 pound dumbbells or weighted gloves before I attempt the toning segments again.

Having only done this workout once, I hesitate to give it a grade or otherwise pass final judgment on it. It's a good tough workout and Billy had me smiling and laughing at several points. Given that it's currently pretty easy to find on the used market for less than $10, I think it's worth a look if you're looking for something different to try.

Instructor comments: Billy is absolutely exuberant in this workout. There's rapping, singing, high fiving, strutting, all sorts of stuff. He is his usual encouraging self, and he takes great pains to give form pointers throughout the workout.

Juliekins

10/15/06



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