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Tae Bo Live Advanced Vol. 1

Well, I finally got around to doing the new Tae Bo Advanced last night and let me just tell you, this tape ROCKS. Mandy Lee is not kidding when she says this tape gives you a great rush. Everyone is probably right that there are a few less kicks in this one than in the original tape, but there is some KILLER standing leg work (including a soon-to-be-infamous plie squat where you just hold and then go lower and lower and lower-- OWWWW!) and some floor work as well. I love the camera movement in this tape . . . Billy really gets up close to it and puts his hands up so you can punch toward them, and you really feel like he's motivating you along with everyone else. He talks directly to the camera as well as to the background exercisers.

Almost all of your old favorite participants are there, and let me just tell you, if you thought they were buff on the original, you should see them now. Shellie, Billy's daughter, had great abs before but now the woman is nothing but lean muscle with such serious definition in her abs, legs and arms it is almost unreal, but get this: no bulk!!!! I know people say Cathe's abs are almost concave they're so tight-- well, guess what? Shellie's actually ARE concave (check out the side view on the sidekick-and-step-back segment. WOO, that girl is buff). If Tae Bo can give me that, I am even more hooked on it than I was before! Also of note-- remember the beautiful short haired black woman in the beige outfit in the initial advanced tape who also had great abs then but some trouble finishing the floor work (who didn't? :0) )? Well, she looks like she's lost about 12 inches off her hips since then, and she is one lean, mean kickboxing machine. Plus, there is an Angela Bassett look-alike (took me about three shots of her to decide it wasn't actually Angela Bassett! :0)), a number of participants from the original tape who are even leaner than before, and the Michael Jordan look-alike is also back. Everyone who's seen the infomercial will also recognize a number of the students who gave comments who are now background exercisers.

As for the actual tape itself, it has a nice warmup (still fast, I was sweating before the stretches), and then some good stretches. There are a number of new kicking combos, as well as some new punches which are really tough for the shoulders and back (yes, I'm talking about those new, high uppercut punches that are KILLER on the delts). The standing leg work is really tough, and good, and is followed by brief floor work which is mostly a condensed version of the floor work in the original advanced tape. Let me just tell you, my bum is SORE today like it hasn't been in quite a while, as are my hamstrings from all those static plie squats. Finally there's some abs and a nice cooldown/stretch. The whole tape is 60 minutes long, and you know when you're half way through because Billy stops the music and talks right to the camera and gives you a little pep talk which is essentially "anybody can do the first thirty minutes of a workout. Now's when you have to push yourself." He is so great with the timing-- that moment got me through the rest of the tape.

My only complaints: I second whoever it was who observed that the abs section is too short. It occurred to me, though, that this would be a perfect tape to do the day after Bodymax or MIS where you've already worked your abs pretty hard the day before. I also had one slightly upsetting objection to the tape, which was actually something Mandy mentioned: I felt that Billy going to the guy in the wheelchair was insulting to him, especially all the comments during the floorwork about how "he wishes he had legs so he could be doing what you're doing right now." Billy does this twice in the tape, and the first time is more of a "look at all the motivation people in this room have, including this guy over here." The second time, though, felt a little smarmy and exploitative to me. I mean, who knows whether the guy in the wheelchair wishes he could do floorwork or not, and at the very least, do you really want to slam home the fact that he doesn't have working legs on a tape that's going to be distributed to millions worldwide? Depite all of the clear accomplishments of this guy, I really thought Billy's last little bit was humiliating to the guy and unnecessary. It would have been better to include him as a part of the many many people in that room who clearly work SO

HARD for the bodies they now have, however differently abled those bodies might be. On the other hand, I suppose Billy does deserve kudos for even including a differently abled person in his exercise video-- NOT something you see ever in mass market videos. Somehow, I can't imagine someone like the FIRM, for instance, would ever even consider putting a wheelchair user in one of their videos.

All in all, I give this tape an A. It doesn't get an A+ only because I was a bit irritated by the above, but in every other respect this tape is AWESOME. It's been a while since I've been really excited about a new tape, and this one did it. WOO. Straight into the regular rotation for me!

Instructor comments: Billy is his usual, effusive self. He (thankfully) goes easier on the religious stuff than in the first set of tapes (although his daughter Shellie does appear to actually PRAY at one point during the static plie squats!). All in all, he is a great motivator, and more even in this tape than in the previous four-pack. Kudos to Billy for another great tape!

Elizabeth
04/01/99

I have not done the basic tapes. Since I am a student in Taekwondo, I felt as though I knew the moves well enough and in good enough shape to move into the advanced. I find the warm up very fast paced... you may want to do some good stretching before you put in the tape.

I know that the moves in the tape are great lower body work and that is the area that other videos just don't get too involved in and that it why I like Taebo. I find the tape holds my interest as well. I agree with someone else in another review that says since Billy sometimes gets off track and both sides may not be evenly worked, switch off each time you work out with the tape, starting off on a different side each time.

I like that the workout is 1 hour long. 1/2 hour is not enough for me. I need all the help I can get! Time goes by relatively fast. And hey, I enjoy the leg workout on "all fours". I have an old Firm tape which used some of this and for me, it does help trim my problem areas. I do modify the workout if it seems like it may hurt. And Billy does remind everyone to make your workout safe and modify it if you need to. Another thing I like about this tape is that it is not intimidating.

I did not find myself sweating as they do in the tape. Maye their workout room is warm to begin with. And I may not be working to my fullest potential. Some of the kicks he does too fast and I can not do correct form. Again I modify, slow them down. My TKD instructor would kill me if I slacked off on my form to keep up with Billy's class. That defeats the purpose.

Anyway, I bought this tape directly from College Video for $24 something. I never would have bought the set for $$$. I heard there may be a Taebo tape of the month club where you could get a new workout each month. That could be a good thing as long as there was variety. There are a lot of good combinations that Billy could work into a few more videos. Hope they will be "live"

I'd like to hear from some of you that are doing the tapes and find out how long it is taking to see actual results in the way of slimming down. Andhow many of us can actually hold our one leg up for that length of time and not fall over as on the tape! I still hold on to a chair, door, etc. to maintain good form and get just as good a workout.

Instructor comments: I foud him motivating and "real". I enjoy feeling as though I am part of the class. He says in the video that it is not choreographed so I found no reason to pick it apart

Chris Janssen
Zelda7784@aol.com
4-13-99

My background: I am a mid-level advanced exercisor who really loves Power Kicks as an intense low-impact workout. Thanks to Janet W. who lent me this Tae Bo tape and saved me over $30.00. I was very, very disappointed. I had done the original Basic about 10 times, mostly as an add-on to other tapes, and found it to be a nice addition. Nothing all that special, but still a decent work-out. So I was hoping that this new Advanced Live workout would be a kick-butt winner, something I could use instead of Power Kicks. Not even close IMHO. Thank God I watched part of this tape first, because I figured out that the warm-up was going to be really aerobic. That made me eager to do the rest of the tape, but I also realized that "warm-up" was too intense to be a warm-up for me. My 46 year old body needs to warm-up gradually at 6 am- not immediately by going into twisting punches. So I stuck a different tape in for my warm-up and stretches and then figured the start of the Tae Bo/Live warm-up as being more the start of the aerobic section. Actually, in my opinion, this seems to be the most intense aerobics of the entire tape! My heart rate really got to the high end of my THRZ with this "warm-up" and I was happy to jog while I fast-forwarded through the stretches. Plus, I didn't like the bouncy quality of the stretches anyway, didn't those go out of favor 10 years ago? Well, after the warm-up, it was all down hill. I was giving it my all, but my heart rate plunged. And if it did happen to creep upwards, then all of sudden that section would end and we would be jogging in place again while my heartrate spiraled down and down again. The cuing was very bad and the punch-kick combos were not very interesting. What there were of them! Not even close to as many as there were in Power Kicks. What was with that strange "walk forward-walk forward, turn, walk-back-walk back" move? It did nothing. And half-way through when he gives that motivational speech that goes on and on. Enough already, I wanted to get back to the work-out! It never really got any better, and then when Billy went into that insensitive spiel about the exercisor in the wheel chair, I thought it was too much. How can anybody listen to that over and over? I was surprised at the number of people who were sweating up a storm in this video- I was damp, but not soaking like I am with Power Kicks, Cathe and Core Cardio. Then I remembered Liz's report on doing the work-out and how warm that room was. I figured a lot of that sweat was from the heat of that room and the film lights. The lunges and plie work was effective, but the leg/glute floorwork was at too fast a tempo and the abs were too short. But I did get a nice burn in my legs once I slowed everything down. My final decision? It was a good workout, but not a great work-out. The kick-boxing combos were very disappointing. I was glad to do it once, but can't see doing it on a regular basis. As Sikal and Ebert would have said, "Good Try, but Thumbs down!".

Instructor comments: Well, I can certainly see how some people would find him motivating, but in general I find him annoying. If a person were only going to do the workout once, that would be different. But to listen to his brand of faith/motivation over and over, I would think it would drive you slighly bonkers after a while. I was also very disturbed with the comments he made at the end about the exerciser in the wheel chair. Very poor choice of words, no matter what his intent was.

Clare

4/19/99

I have done this workout about six times now and the more times I do it, the more I like it. Billy Blanks has made several improvements over the advanced video from the original series.

The warm up in this video is quite adequate. It is somewhere around 7 minutes and includes a combination of punches, repeater knees, jumping jacks and step touches. Thankfully , Billy has eliminated the lightning speed neck rolls. The warm up concludes with some lower body stretching and then there is an obvious transition into the workout portion.

This video incorporates several of the moves from the original advanced video, but Billy also throws in some new moves and some new combos. The first part of the aerobic portion is pretty fast paced with quick transitions. At this point, Billy's cueing could use some improvement (as well as his counting). These things don't particularly bother me, but if they annoyed you in the first video, you will be equally bothered here. Again there may be some uneven sets, but Billy does make more of an effort in this video to keep things balanced. As in the original video, you will do several repetitions of each move.

The pace in this video is a little quicker, so there are fewer of the double time movements and they have eliminated the annoying disco-effect. I felt pretty awkward the first few times that I did this workout because the moves are pretty unique. As you get towards the end of the aerobic portion, the pace slows down a bit and there is what seems to be quite a bit of time marching while Billy provides instruction or inspiration. To me this kind of interrupts the workout, but it does allow you to catch your breath.

Some of the new moves require a lot of balance. I have to use a chair to maintain my balance, so that I can stay with the workout. This is an advanced workout and I really work up a sweat.

From the aerobic portion Billy leads directly into some more killer leg work. There are some lunges that will really get your quads burning and a static squat that I thought would never end. The floor work includes the donkey kicks, but at a much quicker pace than the original. You will really want to pay attention to form in order to avoid injuring your back. He also includes some of the other moves from the original video.

The ab section is a little shorter than the original video, but don't worry, you will still feel it. I think it could be a little longer, but it is still quite effective.

The cool down and stretch are much better than in the original advanced video. I think the stretches are quite adequate and do not do any additional stretching after the video ends.

All in all, I think this is a great workout and I am looking forward to the future "Live" workouts. I feel that Billy had made some tremendous improvements in this video. He took the criticisms to heart and each successive video will be better and better. This is one of those videos that when the workout is over, you don't realize that you are already done. It is definitely not boring and Billy is very motivating.

Instructor comments: Once again Billy is very motivating. He gives fewer sermons in this video than in the original. He has improved over the original video and I think he will continue to improve.

Tina
tvan_horn@hotmail.co
4-23-99

This is the only Tae Bo video that I have and that I have done. Although Billy's cuing isn't the greatest all the time, this is a great workout. The workout got my heart rate up and kept it there for the majority of the workout and it's fun! I always have a great time when I do this workout....in fact, when I *don't* feel like working out, I usually pull this tape out and I'm feeling lots better 5 min. into the tape! Billy leads a large class through this workout and it's so great to see all those everyday people working and sweating and whooping and struggling to make it through, just like you. Billy's high energy level is also extremely motivating....and so is the music! I find myself singing along to the songs and I sometimes forget that I'm actually working out. Billy blends different punches and kicks into various combinations and I found all the moves to be fun. I usually bypass the toning section on this tape; it's only about 10 minutes and I'm not sure how effective it really is. Right now, this tape is $29.95 from Collage...to be honest, I don't know if I would have paid that amt for this tape on a regular day, but I bought it as a gift to myself for getting into Yale Med. Now that I have it, I am glad and I'm pleased with the workout. I'm probably the last person on earth to get on the Tae Bo bandwagon, but if there are any other stragglers left =), I do recommend this tape. It's a great change of pace from Cathe and The Firm.

Instructor comments: Billy is very motivational; I can see why a lot of people really warm up to his style. I like his down to earth attitude and his enthusiasm for the workout he's created. His cuing could use some improvement, though, although it's not difficult to follow him. Because of his enthusiasm and his great attitude, he's one of my favorite instructors.

Shannelle
wisdom96@hotmail.com
5/19/99

Great workout! I like this just as much as the original Tae Bo Advanced. If you have one, you will not be duplicating your workouts by getting the other, because they're different. This one has some of the same moves as the original video, but it also has a lot of new moves.

One thing that really made an impression on me is that there is a gentleman in a wheelchair doing the workout. Modified, of course, but doing it nonetheless. Billy talks a little about him and his "spirit," trying to get across the point that you can do anything you want to do. I do NOT think this was done for effect, or to sell more tapes. I think Billy is absolutely sincere in his efforts to motivate and encourage people. And I have the ultimate respect for him because of that! Grade A.

Instructor comments: Billy knows JUST when you need that extra bit of encouragement!

Annie S.
ann.s@worldnet.att.net
6-12-99

Billy Blanks really picks up the pace in his Advanced Live Tae Bo video's. The music is very very fast compared to the slower beat in his Basic live tape. The workout starts with a warm welcome and then you start warming up with some great energizing music. The warm-up consists of punching side to side with a toe tap, knee ups and knee ups while you do a speedbag with your arms. Then he stretches you out. Stretches for the hip flexor, hamstring, inner thigh and then you sit and do more inner thigh and spine/glute stretch(preztal stretch). After the stretch you jump right into the workout with a horsestance and a side kick. This really gets the heartarte up! Some other moves in this tape include, knee ups as you contract the abs. He does it at 1/2 tempo and then lightning fast double time. This has really toned my abs like none other ab tape! Other moves are a jumping jack with a roundhouse kick, 2 punches with a speedbag, squat with 2 punches, 2 knee ups with a roundhouse and a punch, circular kicks, 4 knee raises and 4 punches, machine gun kicks and much much more. Alot of standing ab and leg work. But even though you are standing, the heartrate is still elevated because you really have to tighten your abs while your work your leg. Balance is tough but as you keep consistant with the workout, you will get better. Billy will give a really tough kicking combination and then let you rest a little with a punching combination. It reminds me of interval training. The moves are constantly changing as well as the camera so it's very entertaining! Billy goes throughout the 50 people in his class encouraging and lifting up his hand for them to punch. He also lifts his hand up to the camera to have you punch at him. It's like you are really their at his L.A. studio. There is all sorts of body types and even a man in a wheel chair doing Tae Bo. The end of the workout finishes with dips and plies which are tough to do after all the standing leg work. Then Billy has you go down to do floorwork. Similiar to his original Tae Bo tape. Lot's of Donkey kicks, roundhouse kicks, side knee lifts, and more. He coaches and also does the floorwork with you. It ends with some ab crunches. The final stretch is good. He does a hamstring stretch, inner thigh stretch and some other stretches for your hips, thighs and buttocks. Then you stand and do just a bit of Tai Chi cooldown. The music is, "I Like It", " Get Ready For This", "Disco Inferno", "Ring My Bell", "Party Train", "Dancing With Myself". I loved this workout. The energy is contagious and Billy is full of enthusiasm. It's the most exciting kickboxing workout I've done. The most enjoyable. I am advanced exerciser and this was a good sweat.

Billy Blanks is a great enthusistic teacher. He has an incredible "on camera" video disposition. He really communicates well and cares for his class. I felt like he really cares about me as I workout to Tae Bo. Billy goes throughout the 50 people in his class encouraging and lifting up his hand for them to punch. He also lifts his hand up to the camera to have you punch at him. It's like you are really their at his L.A. studio.

Mandy Lee
GJamesLee@msn.com
10/27/99

This is a great workout. I did this workout yesterday and i really felt it in my thighs. This one is a little faster than the original advanced. Billy doesn't stop to explain the moves, he expects you to know the moves from the first tape. You don't have to worry that this tape is a duplicate of the first advanced one. It has the same moves but in different combinations so it doesn't get boring. The floorwork is like that in the origianl except there is not much ab work. I give this tape an A+. The standing leg work is fantastic.

Instructor comments: I really like Billy. He's always encouraging and motivating. also, i think he deserves credit for allowing someone in a wheel chair be in the video. Not many instructors would.

patricia griffin

12-11-99

This tape is great, real challenging from even the warm up, your heart rate gets up quickly. I can feel this video working my abs and legs. Tae-bo so far has been the only exercise that has made me fit into my jeans of two summers ago that wouldn't even get pass my hips, I thought it was hopeless until I tried his tapes. I am still an avid fan of Cathe and the Firm but they don't have the energy Billy has to keep my interest. This is great if you want to rotate to keep up with your fitness goals. I look forward to purchasing the other Tae-Bo Advanced tapes.

Instructor comments: Billy has been getting alot of flack since the success of his Tae-Bo tapes and he has handled it with such grace. I think he has done something most instructors and exercise videos couldn't do and that is get America off their butts and exercising. Seen the new infomerical for the new Tae-Bo tapes. I do see the sincerity in Billy and that plus the awesome exciting workouts keeps me coming.

Mitzi Pelle
mp541@columbia.edu
1/25/00

I really like this video, although it is quite a step up from the Original Library's Advanced workout tape. The aerobic section moves fast and the floor work is killer. When I first got it I thought I'd never get the speed, but I did. I think alternating this with the Original tapes would make for a killer rotation.

Instructor comments: Billy is VERY motivating. He is THE most motivating kickboxing instructor I've ever seen on video and I have about ten kickboxing videos. He doesn't mirror cue, but that's ok.

Stephanie_B
stephaniebridges@hotmail.com
03/03/00

This is my FAVORITE of the Live series so far! It has a long aerobic section which IMO goes by fast. I LOVE the music to this tape and the standing ab work is awesome. Also just when you think it's over, it's not you go into a squat/lunge sequence that makes you want to fall to the ground, but Billy knows just the right thing to say at the right time to keep you moving. Even Shelly looks like she has a hard time with that section. The floor work is typical Tae Bo, but the ab work is different. There is a straight leg full sit-up type move which while it doesn't hurt me, I could see where it could aggravate someone's back; but, the rest of the workout is awesome and if you don't want to do that section crunch! I can't wait to receive Volume 3 these just keep getting better!

Instructor comments: Billy has a lot more energy in this video and I really think it shows and makes time fly. Again, no mirror cueing.

Stephanie_B
stephaniebridges@hotmail.com
03/03/00

This tape is roughly 20 minutes of aerobics, 20 minutes of floorwork, and 20 minutes of more aerobics. The first aerobics section includes the warmup and some "lighter" kickboxing. Not easy, but not high intensity either. The floorwork starts with some very fast ab work. It's really too fast, and I don't think I get any benefit from it at all. You then move on to some leg work on your hands and knees, which is okay, but nothing outstanding. Finally, there is another 20 minutes of aerobics which consist of lots of kicks. These get pretty intense, and I think this is the most fun part of the workout. Overall, though, it's rather bland, and I get pretty bored doing it. Grade B.

Annie S.
ann.s@worldnet.att.net
10-28-00

This is the remade Tae Bo Advanced live Volume 1. There is a room filled with tons of Tae Bo Fans from all different shapes and sizes. Both male and female. Young and old. Shellie(Billy's daughter) does the counting behind him. Irene,Billy's sister is in the audience and also blonde Michelle and Tae Bo Queen Michelle who lost alot of weight doing Tae Bo and was a success story for the Tae Bo infomercial.

The Tae Bo choreography is basic so anyone can do it. Billy stays with one kind of punch for a while so if you don't get it at first, then eventually you will. His style of kickboxing starts off with alot of punching at the beginning and then starts the kicks towards the end of the workout.
This is one of my favorite Tae Bo workouts. It has almost every punch and every kick you can imagine. Definately a total body workout!

The warmup is good with standing stretches.
Then the workouts starts:
*Heel Toe high impact
*Alternating jabs into 2 jabs then 4 jabs
*Jumping jack w/jabs
*2 Jabs with in and out stepping
* 1 Arm speedbag
*Upper cuts
*Cross punches
*Knee Strkes slow and then double time
*Jab-cross clap which changes to Jab-cross knee
*Cross punches
*Jab Upper cut combo
*2 Jab,2 Upper cut fast
*2 Knee strikes
*delt lift with leg out(he does this for quite a while)
**alternate legs out
*Knee Pulls
*Upper cuts
*Knee Pulls
*Corner to corner jabs w/fast feet
*Cross punch slow and then double time
*Knee Up then leg front
*Ski feet w/ fast jabs
*3 Jabs to the side with 2 jabs and cross(a new Tae Bo move!)
*Front knee ups
*2 Knees, 2 front kicks and 4 jumping jacks back
*4 Plyo hops forward and roll upper cuts back
*Knee and front kick
*Knee and side kick
*Jack and roundhouse kick
*Cross body punch with knees
*Static Roundhouse kick slow
*Static Roundhouse kick fast
*2 Knees Roundhouse kick and punch
*2 Knees Roundhouse and Roundhouse and punch
*Squat and front kick
*Machine gun kick slow
*Machine Gun Kick fast
*side knee and roundhouse Slow and then double time
*Fast Cross punches
*More Fast Cross punches and then double time
*Side leg lift with iso hold
*25 pushups
Floor stretch(straddle stretches)

This is one tough Tae Bo workout! Its all standing except for the 25 pushups. People are really working hard in the back. This is not for beginners!
The songs switch from generic songs to music with lyrics. The music is awesome! Here are some on the songs. " Heaven Must Have Sent You", "Rio","That Bikini","I'll Be there", "Get Ready For this","Theme from Shaft".

Instructor comments: Billy's sweating right along with you. He is an instructor with lots of energy and you can tell he loves teaching. He goes around the room calling out to his students and helping keep them motivated and not to give up.
The energy of the workout is contagious.

Mandy

3/3/06



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