So What about Tae-Bo?

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I did go out and buy Tae_Bo and give it a good try!


For those of you who don't watch infomercials on TV, Tae-Bo was the hottest new trend in aerobics tapes a few years ago. The name is a combination of Tai (from the Korean word for 'foot') and Bo from Boxing.

Billy Blanks, the man who made the Tae-Bo tapes, is a personal trainer from Hollywood. Among the stars he has trained is Sinbad.

What it is, is a combination of kick boxing with some Tae Qhando moves.

There were probably others before Billy Blanks who did kick boxing but Billy was the first to bring it to the mass public through infomercials.

Tae Bo was probably one of the first short and extremely intense workouts for the new generation who is mostly interested in calorie burn.

A Tae Bo aficionado who still does the tapes, told me "I just do it for 20 minutes and I am drenched in sweat!"  She could practically see those calories incinerating her small amounts of bodyfat.

I don't think any of those super intense and short workouts are for those who seriously want to do healthy cardio which should last at least 40 minutes under moderate intensity.

Many who do Tae Bo and look alikes told me that they do NOT do the high kicks Billy and his crew show off in the infomercials.

Now Billy has a new version of Tae Bo which is supposed to be even more intense, called "Bootcamp".

I personally found Tae Bo both boring and a bit too intense to be fun and for most of us, if workouts are not fun, we end up not doing them.  Tae Bo may be only 20 minutes but that ended up being the LONGEST 20 minutes I've spent in a workout.

Best for 20 year old gym rats!

Tae-Bo seems geared towards the 20 year old fitness aficionado -you know the type- who takes a size 4, is at about 5 percent bodyfat and has a difficult timing getting aerobic with a traditional workout.

It works the muscles which young women worry about i.e. the glutes, the inner thighs, the triceps and is very high intensity (some of that intensity coming from the high impact moves). At only 23 minutes long, it fits easily into many folks busy schedules.

In my opinion, other than the young gym rat group, Tae-Bo may not really suit the needs of other age groups. The flexibility to do moves like the 'roundhouse kick' is simply not there in most folks over 40. Older people cannot handle the high impact moves either - neither can those with fuller figures. And most of us over 30 need to think about toning many more muscles than the few groups Tae-Bo works. Finally, Tae-Bo tapes offer very little in the way of flexibility or stretching which is a must for most over 30.

But Billy is so charming...

Billy Blanks is - yet another - charismatic fitness guru whose charm and ingenuity in marketing is helping him go to the bank. According to his webpage, Blanks had ambitious plans for Tae-Bo opening special "Tae-Bo" fitness centers all over the United States - this I think, never happened as Billy went on to something else a few years later.

Unlike some other infomercials which offer ineffective programs with ambitious claims, Tae-Bo is definitely effective at what it claims to do i.e. providing a decent aerobic workout. It might even work in the fitness programs of those over 30 if combined with other cross training activities and if some modifications of the dance moves was made. And if you do it 4 or 5 times a week, you might lose some weight. However if the prospective buyer is over 35, full figured or not fit, she or he might be a whole lot better off purchasing a Richard Simmons 'Sweatin' tape or a Denise Austin tape both of which offer better aerobics and more overall muscle toning as well as a more interesting fun workout.