... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Staying in shape thanks to Billy Blanks

That's right, the 90's Tae Bo phenom. When I don't have dance classes to take, a gym to go to or it's too friggin' cold outside to want to do anything out there, I rely on my good ol' Tae Bo videos, circa 1999. Before there was Zumba, before there was Jillian Michaels' Shred, there was Billy Blanks' Tae Bo!

(an original video cover)

I remember Tae Bo classes being offered at a local Tae Kwon Do dojo (dojo? is that the right word??) back in the day. I religiously attended. I loved the total ass-kicking. All good things must come to an end, though, so once I didn't have the funds to keep paying my membership dues, I quit the classes. But I couldn't quit Billy, so I bought the videos.

Tae Bo will rock your socks. It still rocks mine, every time I dust of the ol' VHS (yes, I still own a VCR). I use my "newer" DVD (circa 2003) for cardio, but go back to the 1999 VHS for the ab and butt conditioning. Holy shiz-zam! Nothing has transformed my body like dance has, but Tae Bo is a very, very close second. And my dance teachers always tell us to cross-train, so this is my cross-training of choice.

I even have Billy's book...

(awwww, I just love him)

Billy isn't just about chiseled abs, even though you will be well on your way to getting them with his workouts... he uses a holistic approach, constantly mentioning your "heart" and "spirit" in his videos. On his website, he describes Tae Bo as a "combination of self-awareness and control of martial arts, the focus and strength of boxing, and the grace and rhythm of dance." Some might think his holistic focus weird, but I'm totally on board. Because, really, if you aren't fully engaged mind, body and spirit with transforming your life to a healthier place, it ain't gonna work.

Once upon a time I was a certified aerobics instructor, and I remember dreaming about going out to Cali someday to get Tae Bo certified and meeting Billy. I don't think you can get certified anymore, but I could still meet him! Who knows, maybe I will someday?

If Zumba or Shred is your thang, more power to you... seriously, I'm not dissin' either one. You have to find your groove and I've always been a HUGE proponent of physical fitness and health, so whatever gets you moving, do it, no excuses. But my loyalties always have been and always will be with Billy.



  1. Wow really? Im a die hard Shred head but I always wanted to try Tae Bo. I might have to hit up amazon and give Jillian Michaels a rest!! A little variety right!

  2. I tried Tae Bo years ago. Maybe I was doing it wrong or something because I felt like I wasn't even working out - I just kind of stood there and kicked my legs up awkwardly. Of course, this is before I really got into working out - now I use a Denise Austin video. Perhaps I should give Billy another try!! :)

  3. Honestly I've always wanted to try Tae Bo. But I was too scared of the classes. I can picture me doing it for 5 minutes then totally gasping for air & leaving! hehe. I see his tapes tho everywhere....hmmmm.....I might be swayed to do this. I like punching air too!! =)

  4. I bought the shred 2 months ago and was desperately awaiting for it in the mail. I finally got it.

    It has been sitting on my dvd player collecting dust - LOL!

    I would rather dance like you do any day than do a DVD!

    Darling - I hope you have an super fabulous New Year's in CO (ps the guy I just started talking to is in Telluride right now) wonder if you are close? LOL!

    love you -

  5. Oh dude. YES! This takes me back. I used to rock out to the Tae Bo in college!

  6. haha, this is awesome. Billy ROCKS my socks off :-)

    Cute blog lady! I'm following!

  7. It has been sitting on my dvd player collecting dust -

    lise charmel