Tae Bo Cardio

Billy Blanks
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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Iím reviewing this after doing it several times a while ago.

General workout breakdown: 27 minutes of cardio with 7 minutes of warm-up and 8 minutes of stretch for a total of 42 minutes

Level: I would recommend this to a low to mid-intermediate exerciser. Prior experience with TaeBo, kickboxing, or martial arts is necessary as there is little explanation of technique beyond a few form pointers. Iíd call this mid-impact: there are some jumps and shuffles, but no jump kicks or things like that.
This workout is a good bridge between the TaeBo Basic series (often 20-30 minutes long and without combinations) and the Advanced (50 minutes or more). Itís not as intense as any of the Advanced series or the Ultimates.

Class: about a dozen women and 2 men of various ages and sizes. Shelli counts out by 8 and serves as Billyís model for several moves.

Music / Set / Production Notes: The non-descript instrumental music consists of a repetitive beat. The interior set has blue carpet and brightly colored walls and painted. The routine is slightly better designed and the production is slightly better than earlier TaeBo.

Equipment needed: sneakers

Comments: You will need a bit of space for this workout. You should be able to take a small step and kick to each side as well as to the front plus take a step or two to the back.

DVD Notes: This GoodTimes special has NO chapters. Zip. Nada. Zilch. You might as well have a VHS.

Conclusion: Eh, I traded this away. I tried three different TaeBo workouts and never fell in love with Billy. I needed more of a warm-up than Billy provides, and his Tai Chi-based cool downs never did much for me. The movements felt too fast for me, particularly since I was doing these when I was still relatively new to kickboxing. (Yes, I could skip the double time, but I could also find other workouts that donít have these nearly out of control movements.) As a perfectionist, I go nuts when things arenít even, so Billyís 6 cycles on one side and 3 on another drove me crazy. And Billyís just too much for me.
That said, I do recommend this to TaeBo fans ready to move on from the Basics but intimidated by the Advanceds at this time.

Instructor Comments:
Billy is very enthusiastic and encouraging--a bit much for me. His cueing is improved in this video over the previous one I had (the original TaeBo 4-pack), but he still does not work each side equally or give you enough warning of his intention to change moves. (I know this just isnít me because Shelli stops a couple of times to see exactly what Billy is doing.) It seems you either love Billy and his motivational speeches or they do nothing for you; I happen to be in the latter camp.



Taebo Cardio is a good beginner/intermediate kickboxing workout for someone who wants a quick, fun workout that has simple choreography. Taebo Cardio is my first (and so far only) experience with Billy Blanks. In this video, Billy comes across as a caring and motivating instructor (although I think he does prattle on too long at the end of the video). I like how he occasionally talks directly into the camera as if he's talking directly to you. Throughout the entire video, a background exerciser is counting out the moves. Some may find this irritating and some may find it motivating. Personally, I kind of like it.

The one thing that bothers me about this video is that the moves are not mirrored. So when Billy says to kick with your left foot, you really need to kick with your right (if you want to be facing the same direction he is facing in the video). After a few workouts, you get used to it. But I just don't understand why instructors don't mirror their videos.

Overall, I'd say this is a good video. If I were to lose it, I'd probably buy it again.



This is the companion video to Tae Bo Flex and is a straight cardio workout with about half an hour of cardio plus about 6 minutes each of warm up and cooldown. Those who have done Tae Bo before will find many familiar moves. Billy spends some time building the punches and kicks and then you do several combos in the second half of the workout. Between combos he introduces a \"butterfly\" arm movement which keeps the heartrate up better than just marching in place. There\'s a lot of kicking and not so many speedbags, both of which I appreciated. Billy throws in a little bit of toning with some wide squats and side crunches but the emphasis is on cardio.

This is an excellent introduction to Tae Bo for anyone who hasn\'t tried it before or did one of the older Basic workouts and found it too uneven and awkward (or too short). I\'m a little ambivalent about the music but mostly I don\'t really pay attention to it. I like this video better than the Energy workout in the 2004 Capture the Power set and use it far more often for straight cardio days.

Instructor Comments:
Billy\'s cueing is better but he will still bug those who like consistency and mirror cueing. He is definitely one of the most motivating instructors out there and you get the feeling that he genuinely cares about you.



The only Tae Bo I had ever done previous to this one was a Get Ripped Advanced workout. I gave up on it, because it was just too fast for me. I could see there was something there that I would like, however.
The pace of this workout is slower and more controlled. For those used to the faster pace, it may be too slow-- at least that is what I am hearing.
I felt I got a good workout with it, however. I substituted a few higher impact moves at a few points, but I did not have to modify it too much to keep my heart rate up. It wasn't killer, but I don't really even consider Cathe "killer" (except a few intervals in the Imax workouts.)
The choreography is simple-- there are some combinations, but mostly just a series of kicks and punches. He does not stay with anything too long so it does not get boring. The last couple of drills were quite difficult. Who thought that stationary movements could be so intense!
I think if you are looking for a workout with low impact, basic choreography that uses a small amount of space, this workout is worth a look.
Some will not be too pleased with the music-- it is really just to keep the beat, nothing fancy. I had no problem with it. The DVD has no chaptering which is kind of disappointing.

Instructor Comments:
Billy is encouraging and exhibits a real love of leading others in exercise.



I got the Tae Bo Cardio/Flex 2-workout set last week and tried the Cardio tape first, which I enjoyed, but it is not very intense. I think this one is even less intense. There are the usual movements found in the Tae Bo series and then on the last rep in an 8-count series, you "flex" and hold the pose for 8 counts. I could feel it in some of the poses - mainly when we were working the legs - not so much when we would hold a punch position. The only problem is that the reps leading up to the "flex" and hold are done so slowly, that I don't think you are getting much cardio benefit from them, although Billy keeps saying you are doing cardio. Billy does some demonstrating at the end of the workout, so the workout is shorter than I thought it would be, too - it ends up being about 38 minutes. I would recommend this workout for beginners, but more advanced exercisers will not find this workout nearly challenging enough.