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    16 Reviews
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      09.04.2010 14:51
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      Fun, inspirational, quick, and burns hundreds of calories in thirty minutes alone.

      Four years ago I decided to start getting fit. At 200lbs (I'm 5 ft 2), I could barely work out for a few minutes. After conquering my exercise machine, I saw a Tae bo box set and decided to jump right in. A month later I had lost an inch off my waist, and was ready for more.

      Tae bo is basically martial arts with a hint of dance. Sometimes you do the moves in time with the music. In many of the videos each exercise is performed in sets of eight. This means that you can count how many repetitions and/or sets left before the next movement. The class is led by Billy Blanks, a successful martial arts instructor and competitor. He is always accompanied by his daughter Shelly, who keeps track of the sets, leads the counting, and keeps the class pumped.

      THE GOOD...

      -Real people
      Instead of involving fitness instructors and models, Tae bo features 'real' people. Mothers who have had six children, people who lost weight doing Tae bo, Billy's daughter Shelly. The older Tae bo videos feature an even greater range of people: overweight, young, old, short, tall, advanced, basic, black, white, biracial, etc. Everyone looks different and it is comforting to see them struggling when you are. They are all human, not just fitness models with six packs and pretty faces.

      -100 calories in ten minutes
      Tae bo burns a massive amount of calories. Running and jump rope also burn approx 100 calories in ten minutes, but if you want an exercise that is more varied then Tae bo is for you. I will put Tae bo's calorie burn into perspective based on calorie burns using my height and weight (5 ft 2 and 150lbs, yes I'm overweight). Yoga burns approx one hundred calories in thirty minutes. High impact (lots of jumping around) aerobics burns around one hundred and fifty in thirty minutes. Tae bo burns three to four hundred calories in the same time. Yes, three to four times more!

      -Whole body workout
      You work EVERYTHING with Tae bo: arms, legs, abs, bum, back, calves, etc. Even when you focus on one area you are still working another. This means that you burn more calories than if you worked one area of your body at once.

      -Good music
      The music is not great or brilliant, but it's not something I would mute. In the older DVDs, it's 90s chart music but no songs that I recognise- I think I was around five when the first videos were shot, so maybe that's why. Sometimes the songs have motivational words like 'You can do it!' and 'Victory!'.

      -Fun
      Some of the DVDs are purely bootcamp style- you are there to feel the burn and push yourself to the max. Other Tae bo workouts have a more dance-like feeling behind them. You punch, kick, etc in time with the music. This means that you can work out depending on how you feel on the day.

      -Quick pace
      Often Tae bo's warm up feels like the main workout. After briefly walking on the spot, you start punching, kicking, etc. Then you do some stretches and then the main workout begins. The cool down is also fast. You walk on the spot, stretch, and then walk while Billy gives you a motivational pep talk. I like that there is no dilly dallying. If I am sore, I do more stretches while Billy is speaking at the end.

      -8 minute workout
      Some DVDs include an 8 min workout. The entire workout usually lasts from twelve to fifteen minutes, but the main segment is 8 minutes. Don't let the short time fool you. I doubt that you will EVER work as hard in eight minutes as you do during these workouts. I thought they would be easy, but sweat will dripping down in bucket loads. They are like the usual Tae bo workouts but faster and with one or two brief moments to catch your breath. One woman did these workouts once or twice a day for three months and lost thirty pounds. If you are a busy person, these workouts will suit you perfectly.

      THE BAD...

      -Unbalanced
      There are times when Billy says that we have one more set of eight to go, but then he starts talking...and talking...and talking, so you end up doing three or four more sets. This means that you get to burn more calories, which is obviously great, but one side of your body will be worked more than the other. I would say that both sides of my body are equally as strong, but when you work one side more than the other, it's sorer the next day.

      -Too fast for some
      I have been doing Tae bo for almost four years, but at times I still need to move slower than the participants do. I have spoken to other Tae bo lovers who do the same thing, so it's not just me. If you can go as fast as the people on the workouts then good for you, but if not then don't injure yourself trying to keep up with them.

      -Similar
      I have eleven Tae bo DVDs, and many of them have three workouts each. I LOVE Tae bo, but I will not be buying any more. Why? Because the workouts are starting to look too similar to the others. Eventually you will notice that you are doing the same moves but with a different background, participants, and music. The Tae bo team have tried to combat this by providing extras like inflatable Contacts, boxing and weighted gloves, resistance bands, and exercise balls. I only have the resistance bands but that has not stopped me from losing almost fifty pounds.

      I highly recommend Tae bo. If you are worried that this workout will be too hard, remember that most Advanced workouts come with a Basic on the same DVD. The basic will prepare you for what is to come, so you can work up to your best slowly and safely. When times get tough, Billy will keep talking you through the burn and always reminds you of correct form. If you want to practice martial arts' moves in a fun way then Tae bo is for you.

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      17.02.2010 00:29
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      A great way to get fit and have fun at the same time

      Oh My God how much do I love Tae Bo? This truly is the best way to lose weight and get fit without spending a fortune on gym memberships and diet foods.

      I found Tae Bo many years ago when I was still and school and it still came on a VHS tape. After the first go, I was hooked.
      Tae Bo was founded by Billy Blanks, who is a martial arts expert, and he takes you through a tough but fun workout that will have you sweating and fit in no time.

      The DVD's have different levels of workouts, so you can easily fit right into a workout without feeling like you have been thrown into the deep end.
      The workouts consist of rythmical punches, kicks, martial arts moves, speed bag and knee raises. It will have you working hard, but you have fun whilst doing it, so you don't really notice how much work you are putting into it. Every move and sequence is counted out to you, helping you to keep the rythm going and keeping your form going too.

      I find that Billy has a great natural, happy energy and this just flows to me through the DVD and helps to keep me motivated, especially when I am having a lazy day and I need a little bit more of a push to finish my workout instead of pressing the stop button and just watching TV.


      Billy talks you through the whole workout, making you feel at ease, no matter what level you are at, and its not just him and a few others showing you what to do, its a whole class of people. This to me is great as it shows you people at all different levels, and you can easily relate to many of the people in the class as they are on the same level as you.

      The DVD shows us a great mixture of people in the class, from the young to the old, the big to the small, men and women a like, proving that anyone from anywhere can do Tae Bo and enjoy themselves while improving their body and fitness.

      The best bit of Tae Bo being on DVD is that if you do feel like you need to take a break, you can pause the DVD and then just come back right where you left off when you feel that you are ready and able to. Its also great as it isn't all hardcore back to back moves, there are slower parts where you can catch your breath and have a drink of water.

      I recommend that anyone who wants to improve their fitness, lose weight, or just to keep themselves active and healthy has a try at Tae Bo. No matter what your age or size, I am sure you will enjoy this, even at the starting level and you will see results very quickly too.

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        15.09.2009 21:54
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        A great martial arts workout

        Want to get fit then taebo is the way to do it. Taebo is a martial arts form of fitness with fitness instructor Billy Blank as the instructor. These aren't the easiest of workouts but as you can see from the photo above this form of fitness burns fat and increases muscle tone so if you want a workout DVD that motivates you and is challenging then I recommend Tae bo.

        I've been doing tae bo for a few years now and unlike many other fitness DVDs I have bought I still enjoy getting this one out and having fun. I have the taebo 2 fitness DVD and there are three sections
        Beginners - 20 minutes
        Intermediate - 30 minutes
        Advanced - 40 minutes

        This size of these sections are great because they are short but intense so it's easy to fit it into a busy schedule.

        If you are new to tae bo then you may want to start with the beginners but if your a regular exerciser then go for the intermediate. I wouldn't do the advanced straight away as it is a much bigger jump to this, wait until you know the steps and are performing them correctly. When I first did this DVD I woke up the next morning and felt like I had been punched in the ribs and stomach it's absolutely fabulous for toning these areas.

        As with any fitness DVD you can get board of doing the same routine over and over. There are many DVDs to choose from and you can buy for about £5 - £10 from internet sites and shops. Billy Blank also has his own tae bo website www.billyblanks.com where you can get DVD sets and fitness accessories from.

        If you want to see some of his work before you buy the DVD and try it out then visit youtube and type in tae bo and it comes up with sections of his dvd. I do this and link it up to my TV and do the cardio workout and then the ab boot camp, then you get the workout for free.

        There is one disadvantage to this type of workout and that is you need plenty of room to be able to kick your legs up and move sideways but for me I just make sure I kick my leg higher than the table.

        Billy Blank motivates you as you exercise by coming up to the camera and says "come just one more", he also gets the whole class to count and you have to count along too (it helps your breathing). There are so many different people in the class on the DVD and they all look like they're having fun.

        It's hard work but worth all the sweat and pain. Give it a go.

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          27.08.2009 16:24
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          The easy way to get fit, fast!

          I'm going to be honest: I am not a big fan of Fitness DVDs. In the past I have found them to be dull and repetitive...I've found making it through one session tedious enough, yet alone facing the prospect of repeating it 3 times a week! But Billy Blanks Tae Bo is different, I've been working out to his DVDs now for five years on and off. I mainly use them when I can't make it to the gym/can't afford the gym! And the results are the same, if not, better.

          I've never enjoyed yoga and pilates and much prefer a high temp workout with fast results, if you're the same you should definitely give this one a try.

          The workouts are a mix of aerobics, dance, boxing and tae-chi. They're upbeat, energetic and exciting. And, after time, you'll look forward to working out. If you do tend to get bored during workouts, try making your own soundtrack on itunes and playing it while you work out (the sound tracks on the DVDs tend to be a little bit outdated!).

          If you're looking to lose weight, you'll achieve fast results with Tae Bo. But what you put in is what you get out, make sure you watch the training programme first so you know you're working out the right way (some moves an be tricky to perfect) and don't strain yourself. I've lent the DVD to friends who've spent ages trying to lose excess weight and then have done it in 3 weeks with these work outs.

          I tend to do Tae-Bo every other day or 3 times a week, although I've noticed 2 times a week is enough to keep up results.

          My only words of warning: girls, don't over do it! I went through a phase of working out every day and, while Billy Blank's arms look great on him, they're not for everyone!

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            08.08.2009 13:49
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            good fitness dvd if your ok working out in front of TV

            Oh no not another fitness DVD I hear you scream. Most people buy these DVD's and intend to carry on with them but soon they are only used to store dust on.
            Well is TAE BO any different from the rest? Well yes if you stick at this one then you will see the difference after a few weeks. In a 30 min workout you do burn loads of calories and if you're doing the exercises properly you will be toning your body.
            You have to make sure that you learn all the moves before you start the main routine as if you don't you won't feel the effect and worse of all you could hurt yourself.
            You start off with a good warm up before moving in to the routine and on screen you see Billy Blanks and the rest of his class of various ages doing the routine with you. A word of warning you will require a good space around you as you do these exercises as when your kicking and hitting you don't want to knock anything over or bumping into anything. It does not take long till you start to sweat so make sure you have a drink close by.
            As I said before TAE BO does work but as with all fitness DVD's you have to stick with it more than 1 week. If you have the room then it could be a good idea to train with a friend to keep motivated. If you planning on getting fit then TAE BO will be loads cheaper than a gym membership.
            Anyone who decides to take up TAE BO then I wish you all best in your fitness goals

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            24.04.2008 20:34
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            A Great, Power Packed Workout Systems

            Tae-Bo is an at home fitness system mixing kick boxing, dance, resistance training, tae kwon do and stretching which promises to promote general cardio strength, muscle endurance and flexibility. In the late 90's Tae Bo burst into people's home as one of the first (and most enduring) cardio boxing classes and has continued to sell well ever since. It has seen many transformations; from purely cardio, to boot-camp style and from Christian based (with prayer and praising galore!) to the newest Amped series using a weighted bar for resistance. But in whatever guise, it proves to be one of the most comprehensive, sweat inducing, fat burning, muscle toning and laughter inducing (although not always intentionally) way of staying fit within your home. It's compelling mix of high kicks and heart pumping cardio always leaves me energised, stronger and more able to cope with the day ahead, plus the huge range of DVD's and styles makes it easy to spice up your workout routine which stops you from getting too bored. Tae-Bo offers DVD's for all abilities (although it could never be described as low impact) and when you reach the advanced levels then you will be treated to some of the most challenging and effective workouts available.

            Tae-Bo is helmed by the cheesier than cheddar fitness guru, Billy Blanks; a seven time world karate champion, seventh degree black belt tae kwon do holding former 'athlete of the year'. He reeks of American 'you can do anything!' syndrome, but he is an undeniably amazing motivator, keeping you on track with his ridiculous chants 'fit to fight, to have a good life' and annoyingly inaccurate counting with a sort of shoutie tone that keeps you on track and kicking when your legs are screaming out for mercy. He developed Tae-Bo as a means to develop his cardiovascular strength (he was a karate champion, yet found than dancing for ten minutes wore him out) and in developing his fusion met a ballet trainer who taught him the importance of posture, stretch and controlled movement. Technically he isn't the greatest instructor; his counting is all over the place, he tends to do more repetitions on the right side of the body (leaving you stronger on one side) and I feel that sometimes there is too much attention given to the lower body and not enough on the upper, but he has so much frantic energy that it's really easily to get caught up in his chanting and movement.

            Tae Bo first high kicked its way into the public consciousness when Paula Abdul adopted it as a way to stay in shape - she raved about it in the media and frenzy hit America with kickboxing classes becoming the most popular in gyms around the country. Since then cardio kickboxing has been replaced by newer fitness regimes but it still a great choice for all over body toning and fat burning and Tae-Bo has constantly adapted to suit different people's needs and fitness fashions. This means that there are hundreds of DVDs out in charity shops and retail stores - making it fairly easy and cheap to get hold of new and exciting workouts. I often find cassettes in charity shops that I haven't even heard of, and there is often a great variety of combos and new moves, so not many videos are too similar to each other (although they do all contain kicking, punches, squats and push ups).

            ====================Billy Blank's Tae Bo: The Ultimate Collection====================

            This is where I started on my Tae-Bo practise, and I would highly recommend it to new practitioners (people who have been working out with Billy for a while will most probably already have most of these in other sets or volumes.) It's a box set with 4 of Billy's most successful and comprehensive early DVD and span about 5 years of releases with workouts that cover all bases, beginner, intermediate and advanced with an extra toning DVD. The set includes 'Tae-Bo 4: Abs and Glutes' & 'Tae-Bo: Active' & 'Tae-Bo: Get Ripped' & 'Tae-Bo Energise.' It's a cheap way to get hold of a set, retailing at £5.97 for all workouts on Amazon, and contains many of Blank's signature moves, combinations and strengthening technique. These have slightly lower production values than the later disks produced by Gaiam but they are still well very well made.

            Tae-Bo: Get Ripped This one is bizarre because the instruction workout (which highlights proper technique, safety issues and correct alignment) is at the end of the VHS tape and separated on the DVD main menu. I would highly recommend looking at this first because it makes it so much easier to perform the more fast paced combos and will provide you with more confidence. Once that is mastered the Get Ripped videos is a good one; it is split into two workouts, beginners (although I would say it was all that easy!) and advanced. Both have a lot of emphasise on toning and sculpting as opposed to cardio (although there are some killer fast feet combos in the advanced) and are both relatively easy to pick up. The advanced is really sweat inducing and burns a lot of calories (although I feel that some of the exercises are performed a little extremely). There are plenty of high kicks and punch combinations and there is some good hip/lower body floor work. I have a slight problem with the abdominal routines on both disks as they don't really hit the places which I need, but that is only a slight grievance. There is also an 8 minute routine added which is good for a quick burst; but be prepared, it is very high intensity and fast, so I don't really recommend it for beginners and it doesn't match the toning power of the more comprehensive routines on the disk. It's a good cardio kick though.

            The Beginner's Workout: Averaged about 2500 steps per workout with a emphasise of toning (squats, lunges etc)

            The Advanced Workout: Averaged about 2750 steps per workout due to fast step combos, but again mainly toning

            8 Minute Workout: Averaged about 300-350 steps per workout which is good for a short time due to heavy cardio

            Running Time: 167 minutes

            Abs and Glutes: As I said above I am not the biggest fan of Tae-Bo ab work because I find it works bizarre muscles and lacks a good burn for your oblique's but I know that some people find it the most effective for of stomach work. This DVD is VERY fast, infact probably unhealthily fast, but it definitely works alot of the muscles in the abs and your butt will start to ache by the end of the workout. You don't build up any steps and there is only minimal amount of cardio, but for those who want to focus completely on lower body toning this is a reasonable choice.

            Tae-Bo Energize: Again this follows the same set-up as the Get Ripped; An instructional segment, a beginners segment, advanced segment and 8 minute power routine. The Energize DVD is a lot of fun as it is filled with intense bursts of cardio which really get your heart pumping and new moves which are a laugh to try and complete at first. It's a very upbeat workout with fewer toning sections (although the lower body gets a pounding) and a bunch of jumps, kicks and jogging on the spot type sequences. It isn't low impact (although hardly any of the Tae-Bo routines are) but it will easily build a sweat and some of the ab work is more successful than any of the other Tae-Bo routines. Again Billy Blanks puts a lot of emphasis on correct alignment and safety and the moves all seem to complement each other. Every major muscle group seems to be hit with this one and because of a nice stretching sequences (although throughout the whole Tae-Bo collection Blanks shows a lack of knowledge when it comes o flexibility work, taking on stretching without a lot of thought) and his continual motivational speaking keeps you going even when your butt is screaming. The only downside to this is Billy's rubbish counting and mis-shouts - he often makes you do more repetitions on one side of the body (which can cause misalignment) and he doesn't count each move out well.

            The Beginner's Workout: Averaged about 2600 steps per workout due to alot of cardio

            The Advanced Workout: Averaged about 3000 steps per workout with added toning

            8 Minute Workout: Averaged about 350 steps (similar to the get ripped 8 minute workout)

            ================================Billy's Bootcamp=============================

            I think this is my favourite Tae-Bo series as it includes a bunch of toning, cardio, weight work, flexibility and is hard enough to challenge all participants. The idea was born out of Billy and Shellie Blank's work with the U.S military, they designed these routines to simulate the work that the soldiers went through to stay in shape and so offers a strenuous and exciting routine for all. There is a lot more emphasise of the upper body and the lower body work is more routine squats and lunges; all the moves will be familiar to you (as they are probably used in all forms of exercise) but they are usually formed in a dynamic way to keep things flowing nicely. They have better production values than the earlier tae-Bo DVDs and are filmed in a stylish studio. It also incorporates the Billy Bands, tubes which strap around your feet and hands and make movement harder, which add extra resistant and effectively carve lean, strong muscles as opposed to the bulky look that weights provide.

            Basic Bootcamp: This is a great workout with a lot of toning and cardio with some tai-chi like stretching work. This is my favourite form of routine as it includes all forms of exercise with a wicked inbuilt pace, some killer butt work and a fun heart-pounding soundtrack. There are alot of convention fitness moves (star jumps, push ups, and squats abound) but they really work all of the major muscle groups, this is the Tae-Bo routine with which I get the best results. The basic Bootcamp is still fairly hard going, there isn't a minute of rest and the lower body work is enough to get the blood flowing. There are some unusual but effective lower ab moves that really spice things up and this routine introduces the Billy Bands (weighted bands that strap around your feet and hands) which offers a great amount of resistance for extra-added muscle building/toning. I enjoy the flowing nature of the exercises and I think that the Bootcamp is one of the best ways to keep fit and build endurance. I am still not sure about Blank's stretches, they add some variation and I have heard wonderful things about Tai-Chi's benefits, but after such a strenuous workout this is not enough of a cool down or stretch out.

            Advanced Bootcamp: This is without doubt one of the most strenuous, powerful, fat blasting, muscle building and fun home workouts available. Its sweat inducing to the maximum; filled with squats, push ups, lunges jumps, kicks, punches and weight work. Every muscle is worked, but never to the point of complete exhaustion, and Billy Blanks screamy, frantic style is more than enough to keep you motivated and punching away at the air. However, he mis-counts all of the way through which can make the whole thing kind of disorientating. There is never a boring moment in the advanced class; you are forced to constantly move from one kick to the next (with some wicked and painful combinations) and the mix of cardio and weight work makes for a very satisfying and comprehensive routine. There is quite a lot of arm work with push ups, arm curls, triceps curls and overhead tricep extensions which are very effective when you are using the Billy Bands and there is a wicked roll/push up segment. There are some fast paced moves to get your cardio in and every muscle in the leg and butt are pounded constantly with squats (lots and lots and lots of squats!) and variations on the standard lunge. Again the stretching and cool-down segments are Tai-Chi based, however in the Advances programme they are more comprehensive and effective, leaving you feeling refreshed and long/lean (I would still like some more stretching work though.)

            Ab Bootcamp/Tae-Bo Live In LA: I do not regularly participate in these classes as i have never been able to enjoy the Tae-Bo ab work, however this has moves for every part of the stomach with a nice balance of slimming and toning exercises. It is presented in the same room as the main systems and it has a good pace all the way through. The Live in L.A disk is a lot of fun but is fairly throw away as a serious workout; it is faster than most other Tae-BO workouts (which fits in with its cardio theme) and last 35 minutes, but there is a lack of structure to the whole thing and the participants seem a little disorientated at times. There are some fun new moves and a cool stomach section - but overall the thing is only good for those days when you are feeling tired.

            Beginner's Bootcamp: This workout averaged about 2650 on my pedometer because of a lot of combinations

            Advanced Bootcamp: This workout averaged about 2700 -more emphasis on toning and shaping than other advanced classes

            Live In L.A: This workout averaged about 1300 steps on my pedometer - quite good for a short programme.

            ================================Celebrity Fit================================

            These two DVDs are Billy Blank's most recent Tae-Bo offerings which are an amalgamation of moves from various other Tae-Bo workouts which promise to tone long lean muscles and provide some effective cardio. Hitting all of the important muscle groups to give you a thin, fit 'celebrity' look; they burn calories, strengthen the body, build endurance and relieve stress. They have the best production values of any Tae-Bo series and are relatively comprehensive with some fun new movements and a higher emphasise on safety and good form. Billy Blanks is his usual self (part annoying, part highly motivating) and there are some cool standing stomach crunches. Most of the exercises are highly effective and time efficient and overall it is a varied, exciting and successful regime.

            Get Celebrity Fit - Cardio: This is purely cardio with a lot of fast movements, sequences and compound short bursts of activity. This racked up around 3000 steps on my pedometer, this is very good and the programme seems to give the muscles a lean, streamline look whilst burning quite a lot of calories.

            Get Celebrity Fit - Tone: This is a programme which I really enjoy; it is fast enough to keep me going, yet has a great amount of muscle toning exercises to build a strong yet lean look. It doesn't follow as hard a line as the Bootcamp workouts, but still has a nice amount of leg, arm, stomach, chest, shoulder and butt movements. I racked up about 2000 steps on my pedometer as this is a toning regime with only fits of cardio.
            Other routines in the Tae-Bo library:

            * The Tae-Bo Amped series: A set of four DVD, a set which includes a weighted bar to supercharge the workout. Amped refers to the very fast, short, sharp movements that increase calorie and carbohydrate burn, for increased cardio output. The bar adds resistance to tone and shape the muscles. This is only released on Region One - but if you have a region free DVD player it is well worth buying this system because it is super fun and very effective.

            * T3: a whole mind-body system which sees Billy for the first and only time accessing the power to help you burn 1000 calories an hour (quite a feat, but it is very strenuous and fast!) with a greater focus on how your mental state affects your confidence, esteem and physical strength. There are three disks included in this along with two very comfortable hand weight (which are ergonomically designed to clutch to your fists like a glove) to add muscle building power.

            * Tae-Bo Extreme: Billy Blanks developed the extreme programme for those who had practised Tae-Bo for over 2 years and had mastered the entire advanced DVD programme. It is a butt busting, exhilarating, push-it-to-the-limit workout filled with surprises, squats, lunges, kicks, punches, push ups and leaps. It burns a lot of calories and shows the most steps counted on my pedometer (at an extremely impressive 4000) while adding lean muscle mass and improving flexibility. However, some of the moves are performed too extremely and there isn't an appropriate cool-down or stretch out for such an aggressive routine. You have the option of including weighted gloves, you can only purchase this in region one.

            * Tae-Bo Flex: Many consider Tae-Bo Flex as the pilates of the kickboxing world; with a huge emphasise on the core muscles and slowly toning the muscles with slow, controlled movements. It is designed to build strength and flexibility using much more condensed actions than the typical Tae-Bo workout. It is a dynamic and exciting addition to the Tae-Bo library.

            Tae-Bo is one of the most comprehensive and impressive at home workout systems. Yes, it is high impact, cheesey, badly produced (on occasion) and is lead by a frustrating teacher, but it most definitely works, helps shape, tone and slim your body and makes you feel stronger, leaner and more flexible. There is a reason that it is one of the most successful weight loss programmes of all time; the movements are powerful, dynamic and time efficient.

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              27.06.2005 14:01
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              It was summer time again and my big sister had fallen into her usual summer time routine of manically trying to get washboard abs just in time for slipping into her bikini (not that she ever accomplished the task, mind you)! It wasn't long before she popped down the shops and proudly entered the house with a shiny, new workout video, but for once I actually found myself interested in it.

              It had an eye-catching yellow cover with red text and the image of a rather formidable looking instructor on the front. She slipped it into the VCR and we were bombarded with upbeat music and cheery looking people energetically punching and kicking in time. Now, this looked far more interesting than her usual workouts and before long I found myself joining in.

              The first thing I noticed was that my TV screen was not filled only with ultra-fit, ripped males and super skinny females who did everything perfectly and neglected to shed even a drop of sweat, but there was a mix of all sorts of people. I spotted an elderly woman, a little girl who must've only been about 8 and quite a few ordinary looking men and women who were clearly not ultra fit and who occassionally made mistakes. This certainly made me feel a lot better about myself, rather than watching a screen full of picture perfect fit people whilst I was puffing and panting like an old horse!

              I soon discovered that the instructor was called Billy Blanks and after a little research learned that he was a martial artist who had combined Tae Kwon Do (a Korean martial art) and dance moves and had unintentionally hit upon the idea of Tae Bo. I also learned that he's not as formidable as he looks, either, but encourages the people on the video and the people at home in an energetic and unpatronising way.

              The Tae Bo workouts are high energy, but are far from boring. I can't stand doing exercise videos when you're confined to doing constant repitions of sit-ups or some other boring exercise, but when I was doing the Tae Bo workouts, I was so distracted by perfecting my kicking and punching that I forgot I was exercising half the time! I was knackered afterwards and really felt like I'd burned off a fair few calories by the time I'd finished!

              The video I use is called Tae Bo Active and has a basic workout and an advanced work out. I also had a Tae Bo Advanced video and that really took it out me! I've seen Abs and Glutes videos, too, and I'm sure there's others in the series that I've not noticed. Tae Bo has become extremely popular and it certainly seems to work. I don't use it regularly because I'm a lazy hound, but I've seen the results of friends who use it day in and day out and they have not only lost weight, but have brilliantly toned muscle and are a lot fitter!

              Because these workouts have grown so popular it is really easy to get your hands on Tae Bo videos or DVDs. Most shops that stock even a small amount of fitness videos/DVDs will have at least one of the Tae Bo series available and of course, they're easy to obtain on the internet.

              Considering how little a DVD costs, I think Tae Bo is well worth a try if you're looking for a way to get fit without going to the gym and feeling like a Mr. or Mrs. Blobby among all the well-toned, fit people. It will keep you engaged and entertained as well as get you fit. What have you got to lose?

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                11.10.2003 20:25

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                Although Taebo seems to be part of the new 'Combat' fitness craze and is a good cardiovascular workout, it can be a little dangerous to the novice exerciser: 1) The moves are a little too fast for correct alignment 2) the video still seems to encourage 'ballistic' stretching (bouncing whilst holding a stretch) 3) Many of the moves, especially during warm up, are classed by exercise professionals as old fashioned and can cause injury, eg. head rolls. 4) It involves a lot of jumping and impact which is not recommended for many individuals -too much stress on the joints. If you have experience with exercise, especially of this type, then just take care! If you are a complete novice to exercise.... steer clear and choose another 'combat' video (eg. Keli Roberts, Kathy Smith)

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                27.06.2002 08:19
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                The DVD I bought was the first basic one with an instructional at the end lasting 35 minutes and the basic workout also lasting 35 minutes. To go with this one there are matching DVD's like Volume 2 and 3, then there?s a Abs and gluteus one, a couple of advanced and one for the older generation. The DVD only cost me £11.99 compared to the RRP of £14.99 but I don know whether I can say where from but if I can let me know in the comments and I will put it there. The advantage of the DVD is that you don't have to fast forward or rewind and you can jump to the different parts of the workout. Anyway onto the content! The instructional bit is very helpful and for some reason you seem to be sweating at the end but not done much. He explains 80% of the moves in the workout in depth and gives you the low down on what to do and what not do. The workout part starts of with quite a lengthy warm up/stretching of about 8 minutes and then progresses from punches, jabs, uppercuts to the harder roundhouse kicks, side kicks and front kicks, with the added bonus of them being mixed together in fast combinations. You may have noticed I said he teaches 80% of the moves, the other 20% are quite a bugger to get your head round when he fly's straight into them with no warning. So it will take a few workouts until you stop standing there gormosly trying to figure out your left from your rights and legs from your arms. But on saying that I like a challenge and don't want to mess around ages on an instructional. This is what I consider one of the best workouts at home out for the people that like fast paced action and don't like to mess around, but is also for people who go at there own pace and gradually build up to a fast pace. The one bad thing about it is the American vibe in it, after nearly every fast kick session or punch session all the Americans do there usual clapping screaming shouting "Oh yeah" "Come on" yes you may think t
                hat is a positive vibe to keep you going but after about the 5th time it really does stat to get a bit annoying. But if you can bear there exaggerated feelings throughout the workout this is one of the best out. Start on this one and work your way up! I will be soon purchasing Volume 2 if that is anything to go buy so I will update you on that.

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                04.09.2001 20:57
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                I am so sore. I cannot tell you how it feels just after three days of working through the video that I got on Tae-Bo. First off. I am not an exercise freak. I don't like exercise at all. But I got this body and it's getting bigger. I am not the one for diets either. I am just a little over weight. It's now at the stage where you just fit into your pants. ;-) I looked around at all the different exercise methods to lose this extra weight and regain a little more stamina. There is a lot of exerciseable things to do but I am not one for classes etc. I saw the Billy Blanks Tae-Bo video messages on the telly a while ago and started looking the other day at the video's in one store. So I made the decision to go for basic workout with the instructional bit on the video as well. I got into into the right gear, moved all the furniture out of the way. Hey I've got a small apartment. And we're off. The basic movements are simple up and down stuff. I can do this no problem. You kick and punch and do faster movements and combinations later on. The video then goes into a more detailed way of how to make the movements. This is not at all difficult. The way Billy Blanks leads you is really excellent. Now with the instructional bit done you move on to the more energetic workout. And there goes your energy. Remember a glass of cool water. The first day I felt okay. The second I felt my muscles I didn't know was there. Today I feel more muscles I didn't know exists. I feel good. The workout is good. The instructional video gives you enough time to do a workout, 35 minutes and the instructional workout is 35 minutes. This is good value for £15.00. I am one happy exercising person.

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                  04.05.2001 04:24

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                  • "Less encouragement than the others"

                  Like many people I got hold of Tae-bo because a friend recommended it to me. I loved the basic videos and was amazed to find that I could sweat like mad feel fit and not wake up the next morning feeling like I'd been hit by a bus! The Tae Bo Advanced Video is something else, it starts at 300mph with no warning and keeps going and going and going! This video is not to be taken lightly, it will be your workout buddy for months to come, (it'll take you that long to get the stamina to complete it). this is mainly a cardio-vascular workout as well as strength building and improvement of Tae boxing techniques. It is very watchable and I have done it every day so far, good luck.

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                  03.03.2001 18:07
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                  Tae Bo is the latest trend of exercise classes to run through the gyms. A cross between martial art and aerobics, it's popular and lots of women seem to be really enjoying getting a bit of aggression into their workout - throwing a few punches and kicks at their imaginary manager or cheating ex. I think that's great. But, I can't help wondering why all those people who enjoy a bit of martial arts in their workout don't go a step further and find out what a martial arts club has to offer. I suppose the people racking up the blows on their invisible tormenters in the Tae Bo class consist of a mixture of hard-core gym bunnies and the on-again-off-again-I'd-really-like-to-get-fit-but-I-don't-always-stick-wit h-it mob. For gym bunnies going to the gym is probably the core part of the whole experience. It’s their social scene, their element. If you look good in lycra, have made close friends (plural) at the gym and you spend more time there than in the pub you’ve found something that works for you. Stick at it. However, I would like to encourage those people who are trying to convince themselves to get fit quite like Tae Bo (or any other martial arts crossed with aerobics exercise class) to think about considering a move from play martial arts at the gym to a real martial art at a dojo. The great thing about Tae Bo is that it’s accessible and you don't have to commit to it. Signing up at the gym is almost a knee-jerk reaction to a January 1 hangover. It is also the first thing many people think of when they climb up a hill and find themselves out of breath or try on a favourite dress to find it shows more bulges than curves. Gyms might cost a lot but a friendly person greets you and convinces that you’ll be placing yourself into their well-toned care. The leap into going to a Tae Bo class isn’t that great since it’s a variant of an aerobics class - something some of us have been drifting in
                  and out of since the days of leg-warmers. Tae Bo seems new, novel, a lot of fun and a new fad should come along just as it’s starting to bore you. The other way to do Tae Bo is to buy a video and do it at home. I had a look through the DooYoo opinions on this. People liked it because there was a basic section on how to do the punches, it was fun, ‘I’ve a secret yearning to have a go at Kick Boxing’ and because the instructor is cute. So why would I suggest leaving the comfort zone of Tae Bo to venture out into a room of mostly men in white suits with strange rituals? I guess because I believe that a lot of the reason people like Tae Bo is that they do fancy the idea of a martial art but are not confident to have a go as they don’t know how to go about getting started. Well, if you do fall into that category then really give some thought to trying martial arts. It might seem daunting but people at martial arts clubs want you to join. They love their club and they want you to love it. I haven’t met an instructor yet who won’t go out of his way to make you feel at home. If you don’t feel at home pick another club. Take a look through the opinions on martial arts for hints. Give it a go! Martial arts clubs are a great way to make friends, develop confidence, challenge yourself, and maybe even get you out of trouble. Your chances of making friends through a martial arts club are good because of the trust it requires to train with someone and the team spirit. For those of you think the cute Tae Bo instructor is an incentive – martial arts are a male dominated sport – work it out. Because you’re always learning you hardly notice that you’re burning calories and toning up. Losing weight becomes a side-effect rather than the whole point of it. I think that’s a healthier and more sustainable approach. Just as with Tae Bo you have that great post-workout feelin
                  g, and a chance to beat out your aggression but you’re also building up your techniques. You get a great sense of achievement from making yourself able to do things you couldn’t before. I was dead scared the first time I was told to dive head first over a mattress at chest height and roll to my feet afterwards. But I felt amazing after I’d done it! I still don’t know if I could protect myself if attacked and I don’t know that that’s the right reason to do a martial art. But, about a year after doing that break fall over the mattress I was hit by a car – twice. I went onto his bonnet, flew forward when he braked and just rolled onto my feet in time to be hit again and carried along on his bumper before he finished breaking and I flew through the air - again. I flew a total of 7 metres and stretched a ligament in my knee. I often wonder if I would have come off that lightly without my ju-jitsu training. Beat that Tae Bo! (*sorry about omitting blokes in most of this but I have tried to focus on women because in general Tae Bo classes are full of women and martial arts classes are full of men and I think that’s a shame.)

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                    17.01.2001 01:14
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                    I have to say that I enjoy keeping fit, but recently I have got bored of doing the same thing all the time...e.g.going to the gym, or occasionally going swimming. I used to do Tae Kwon Do, so I have always been into martial art type movements. Although I had only recently heard of Tae Bo when I saw some vidoes on it I couldnt resist. I found that the movements were easy to learn, and fun to do. I don't know if the moves are based on Tae Kwon Do but I have to say the moves were very similar. Tae Bo gets your heart pumping by combining kicks and punches as well as some more commercial style exercises. It is suitable for all levels of fitness, and more or less any age group. It is great fun and it is a fitness workout unlike any other. The only problem you may have is finding somewhere that does clssses.

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                      20.08.2000 23:11
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                      Billy Banks' Tae bo I choose this exercise video as it seemed to be something a bit different from the average video and I’ve a secret yearning to have a go at Kick Boxing (This is the closest I’ll get at the moment). This isn’t for beginners as the routines are quite tough & fast though the video shows a wide range of people taking part. Based around a blend of moves from self-defence, dance & boxing, it is quite fun & there is a stomping sound track. The choreography of the moves isn’t that hard to get the hang of but you have to watch how you perform some moves to avoid injury. I’ve been really pleased with this so far – I’ve had it a while now and I’m not bored of it yet.

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                      09.08.2000 00:41
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                      I have done many different exercise vidoes over the years and Billy Blanks' Tae Bo is by miles the best one. It is great for me as I am not terribly well coordinated and have dreadful problems following some of the complicated routines that can be found on othe aerobics tapes. I have also found other tapes boring after a few weeks as usually the first part of the work out is learning the sections and then you put them together into the full routine. Tae Bo is different! YAY! It is a series of different punches and kicks interspersed with a few dance movements. Each move is repeated in sections of 8 and then you move onto a new move so there is not time to get bored with the movements. It is great for general fitness and for toning, especially arms, back and shoulders. As it is the most calorie burning workout tape available if you combine it with a sensible diet it can also help you lose weight! I have actually found this workout quite addictive and for once I feel bad if I miss a day. At first the whole Americaness of the tape had me falling around laughing and I have to say I still giggle at some of the other people in the video but after a while you just get used to it. I would thoroughly recomend this workout tape to anyone who fancies having a go at some martial arts based fitness programme but has no place nearby that offers classes.

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