with trainer Billy Blanks
You will love it if:
The basic premise of TaeBo is that by punching, kicking, and doing other self-defense type moves with music, you can get a great cardio workout while learning some self-defense at the same time. Billy’s target audience is females who might not otherwise workout or those who want to supplement other self-defense training with cardio workouts. TaeBo is great for people who are in okay shape and want to kick things up a notch but don’t want something long, boring, complicated, or super intense. (By okay shape I mean you usually stick to light cardio exercise like walking, biking, or elliptical training.) The videos are fun but still moderately challenging.
This video includes a lot fewer breaks and slower sections than some of the other TaeBo videos I’ve done. You pretty much keep moving the entire time, and maintain a moderate level of aerobic activity throughout the video. Most of the moves are pretty straight forward, so it’s a great workout for those who have trouble coordinating their movements with the person on the screen. (Though there were a few moves I had a bit of trouble with my first time through the workout.) If you need your workouts to be fun because you hate working out, but you aren’t coordinated enough to follow along with dance workouts, TaeBo is probably your best option.
I usually feel that Billy does some moves too quickly and my form is compromised making the moves unsafe, but all of the moves in this workout felt safe to me. The models count to 8 throughout, as they do many of the other videos of his I have done, but they don’t say yes sir or make yelling noises during the routine like they do in some of his other workout videos.
The studio and outfits are a bit more up to date than many other TaeBo DVDs on the market (if you care). Billy uses models from a variety of different fitness levels and ages, which I liked. They just look like regular people trying to get a workout, not super athletes.
As long as you can throw kicks in all directions, you’ll have enough space for this workout. There are some traveling moves, but you can easily modify them to fit in a tight space if you need to.
You should be able to walk briskly or do other light cardio (vacuuming, elliptical, biking, etc.) for about 45 minutes before trying the TaeBo Cardio workout. You’ll also need enough balance and strength to kick your legs, preferably up to waist height, but it’s fine if you can’t get them that high. You’ll work up to it.
What NOT to Expect
All of the kicks and twisting motions will definitely work your legs and abs a bit, and you may even feel a little bit of a burn while doing some of the moves near the end of the video, but it won’t be enough to really fatigue your muscles (in a painful sort of way). Using weighted hand gloves could also help tone your arms a bit. But again, it won’t fatigue your muscles enough that they’ll be burning in a painful, I-can’t-possibly-do-any-more-of-this sort of way. Basically, do not expect bulging biceps or ripped up quads from doing this video.
Also, do not expect a super advanced cardio workout—your heartrate will probably stay in the heart health or weight loss zones throughout the workout. There are some short bursts of heavier cardio, but they are not long enough to get you winded or anything like that.
How does TaeBo Cardio compare to other similar programs?
Of all the TaeBo videos I’ve done, I enjoy this one the most. The moves are more straight-forward and there is less downtime. It’s also just long enough that I feel like I’m getting a workout without being so long that I find myself getting bored (which often happens with other TaeBo workouts!). If you are in love with TaeBo but want to add some strength training to your workout routine (specifically arm toning work), TaeBo Ripped Extreme might be a good alternative. Ultimate TaeBo would be another good choice if you are looking for workouts with a variety of lengths because you can choose from 30 minute, 60 minute, or 90 minute workouts.
If you think you’re a little too busy for a 30 plus minute workout or want something that has more cardio, core, and strength training mixed in, Jillian Michaels Kickbox FastFix is a great alternative. It is one of the more enjoyable kickboxing DVDs I’ve tried, and it fits nicely into a busy schedule since it includes three 20 minute workouts. Or, if you want some super short and easy kickboxing workouts, 10 Minute Solution Kickbox Boot Camp might be a good choice. If you want something harder than TaeBo, you pretty much have to pick a different type of workout. When it comes to kickboxing, TaeBo is about as challenging as it gets.