Tae Bo Ultimate Upper Lower Body

Billy Blanks
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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Iím reviewing this DVD after doing each video a couple of times a while ago.

General workout breakdown: This DVD has two workouts, one focused on upper body, one on lower body. Each has just under 5 minutes of warm-ups followed by about 35-40 minutes of TaeBo-style kickboxing (intended to be mainly cardiovascular with some toning mixed in) and followed by about 5 minutes of Billyís blend of Tai Chi cool down and stretching. Upper Body focuses on punches and speed bags with some toning (e.g. biceps curls with no weights) for the arms and, of course, push ups. Lower Body focuses almost exclusively on knee raises and kicks, including some rapid fire kicks.

Level: Iíd recommend this to solidly to high intermediate exercisers who have TaeBo or at least kickboxing or martial arts experience. Lower advanced exercisers can pick up light hand weights or used a punching bag to make it appropriately intense. This is NOT for beginners, as Billy offers minimal form instruction and few form pointers. Itís also a fairly intense workout that includes lots of quick move changes. The choreography is fairly basic, but between Billyís quick transitions and the chopped up nature of the videos this can be a little tricky to pick up the first few times through. There are some shuffles, slight pivots (be careful on carpet), and jumping jacks, but the impact here isnít killer. And you can take out the double times if they make you uncomfortable.

Class: mostly women with some men. Various ages and sizes are represented. Classes range from 12 to more than 40 people, changing in size and composition frequently over the course of the videos. Several people toward the front count out by 8s. There is also a projected image in the back of someone doing the moves.

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: Itís hard to get a good sense of the beat-driven instrumental music with all of the quick changes. The set is a large, brightly colored and lit room that is obviously the TaeBo studio. As mentioned, this is a compilation of previous TaeBo tapes (I believe the Lives?) and therefore jumps back and forth between various videos. The editing is all right; sometimes you get the tail end of one segment and sometimes you jump right into the clip. The picture and sound quality are decent.

Equipment: sneakers. More advanced exercisers may want to use weighted gloves or light hand weights; a punching bag could also be used.

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

DVD Notes: The DVD allows you to select your workout (neither of which are chaptered!) and offers brief segments Ultimate Abs / Buns and infomercials for TaeBo Get Ripped series, TaeBo active wear, and Malibu Naturals (nutritional supplements of some kind) as ďbonuses.Ē

Conclusion: I didnít keep this one. I tried several TaeBo videos, but Billyís cueing never worked for me. His warm ups and cool downs never did much for me either. Of the ones I tried, this was the last one I traded away. I used the Upper Body workout more than the Lower Body for two reasons: I got this to add to my paltry collection of upper body workouts, and I personally like punches better than kicks, for whatever reason. That one is a little tedious; Billy only has so many ways to combine jabs, crosses, upper cuts, and speed bag arms. The Lower Body does seem to have a more interesting variety of moves. So Iíd recommend this to a TaeBo fan but Iíd be reserved about recommending it to others.

Instructor Comments:
Billy is very enthusiastic and encouraging, although heís a bit much for me. He does not mirror cue, work each side equally, or always give you enough warning of his intention to change moves. (I know this just isnít me because his assistants even stop a couple of times to see exactly what Billy is doing.) The latter charge is somewhat unfair since this is a ďparts is partsĒ tape (as my family says), but Iím sure there was a way to insert voice over or little titles that announced the upcoming move. Basically, though, if you love Billy, youíll love him here. If you donít, this probably wonít change your mind.



This DVD is a Tae Bo "parts" taken from Tae Bo Get Ripped Advanced 1 and 2 and the Tae Bo Total Advanced 4 workouts. There are some bits of the Tae Bo live!1-12 but its mostly from Tae Bo Get Ripped and TB Total. These two workouts are great to alternate. In Tae Bo Ultimate Upper body, you work your entire upper body with all sorts of great Tae Bo punches and combinations. No kicking. Where in Tae Bo Ultimate Lower body, its all kicking and hardly any punching. In fact, I think the Tae Bo Ult Upper would be a good Tae Bo impact workout to use with your Tae Bo bag(if you have one ,that is). I liked doing Tae Bo Ultimate Upper body. Time went by fast and I was having fun and boy was my upper body getting tired without using weights! Billy ends with killer one arm pushups. I just watched with my mouth open. The workout is about 48 minutes.
The Tae Bo Ultimate Lower body was tougher than the Ult Upper body of course because you do alot of kicking. And NO time to catch your breath with punching. It was very very tough and challenging! There is no floorwork. Just alot of Tae Bo kick variations. Like there will be a squat with a front kick combinations and then move right into another squat roundhouse kick combination. You will not be disappointed with the intensity of this workout. It was also a great cardio workout too. The transition from one Tae Bo move to the next was done well. It was also need to see Billy in all different outfits. And boy is he sweaty! lol! The background people are changing all the time too. The music is all upbeat instrumental.

Instructor Comments:
Billy is very motivated and pumped from start to finish. Its his energy that gets me through the workout. He ends each of the workout with a little encouraging speech about how its your spirit that matters.