Tae Bo Live Series (4 workout set)Billy Blanks
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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I own the Basic and 8-Minute workout videos from the original Tae Bo Live VHS set. I started with the 8-Minute tape, thinking that the shorter length would make it easier, but that is NOT the case! Instructor Billy Blanks jumps right into this workout with a very short (2 1/2 minutes) and fast-moving warmup; he moves much more quickly than his usual warmup pace here. As the title suggests, the main part of the workout is about 8 minutes long. Billy covers only a few types of punches (jabs and uppercuts) and includes only one kick sequence at the very end. However, there are a lot of standing moves to target the abdominal area, such as knee lifts and heel touches. Billy then leads you through about 2 minutes of static holds for more core work as well as balance, and the workout ends with approximately 1 1/2 minutes of Tai Chi type cooldown moves. Thus the entire workout lasts about 14 minutes.
The Basic workout is the toughest basic Tae Bo I've encountered so far, but it is also the most interesting, as Billy includes a greater variety of punches and kicks as well as more punch-kick combinations. This workout begins with a 4-minute warmup and then moves right into punches, placing an emphasis on your waist during the moves. At one point, there is a particularly tough arms segment requiring you to hold up your arms for what seems like forever--my shoulders were screaming! The legwork is also challenging, as you will perform several different types of kicks--including front kicks, side kicks, back kicks, and roundhouse kicks--in several different combinations. Although a few of the combinations were a bit hard to follow, I really enjoyed the variations that Billy included in this workout. This workout also contains some static holds (about 1 minute), and it ends with an extremely quick 1-minute stretch; the entire program clocks in at 31 minutes.
These Tae Bo videos are perfect for anyone looking for an interesting, varied kickboxing workout with a nice balance of punches, kicks, and combinations.
As always, Billy's counting is uneven, and his cuing is sometimes hard to follow. However, you can't help but to get drawn in by his enthusiasm and to enjoy these workouts.
The instructional tape is much more thorough than the original. It is a class of I think all instructors who show good form, I would definitely recommend this tape over the original hands down. You can do this as a workout as well.
The Basic tape is fun and tough. There are some moves which are in the new Live series like when you are standing on one leg bringing the opposite in and out without ever touching the ground, really works those abs! It is about 25 minutes of cardio and no floorwork. For me it seemed more advanced than the Original Library's Advanced.
The Advanced tape is odd. It does about 20 minutes of aerobics, then you go down to the ground for floorwork for about 20 minutes, and back up for about 10-15 minutes of another aerobic section. I am not too fond of this, but it sure makes for muscle confusion.
The 8 Minute Sprint is hard! IMO it is tougher than the original one, unfortunately the cooldown is minimal--it's just stop basically and Tai Chi-type moves.
All in all the new series is 110% better than the original library, more energetic, better music, and Billy gets in your face which really motivates me.
Billy is full of energy in all the tapes and takes much more time to explain the moves in a nearly hour long instructional video.