This is Tae Bo
Reviewed by Gavin Simmons
Tutorial option gives a good insight and explanation of basic technique and form before the user starts the main workout. Each technique is broken down into manageable steps to make sure that the user can perform them as easily as is possible. Each technique throughout the tutorial is given a number, which to some of us with basic boxing and martial arts experience is a bit like going back to a beginner’s class. Jab is number 1, cross is number 2 and so on. This leads right up to number 8 which may take some getting used to for complete beginners.
The main workout gets you straight into the action with a good simple warm up to get the blood pumping. I would like to have seen a little more in the way of stretching before such a workout as this is something that should most certainly not be ignored or just brushed over lightly, especially from a beginner’s point of view.
From the very start Billy Blanks is right there at the forefront of this workout giving lots of encouragement and motivation. The fast paced music and the aerobic style counting from the other participants on the DVD gives a good incentive to keep up and maintain rhythm as well as providing you with a little psychological edge to push yourself just that bit more.
Some users, beginner or advanced, may start to struggle right after the warm up and basic blood pumping techniques. This is because people may get confused with the routines, and then as a result struggle with the transitions between moves in a set of exercises, or between the sets of exercises themselves as there is minimal ‘down time’. I know from experience that this is supposed to keep the user working hard and the heart rate up, however, certainly for beginners, some people may end up getting ‘lost’ which will surely end in frustration and then ultimately pressing stop instead of pressing on through it.
For those users who are willing and have the determination this workout offers a good combination of boxing and martial arts techniques twinned with an aerobic style workout. There is a big emphasis on rhythm and maintaining movement which almost gives it a dance or choreography feel. There is a good variation of sets and moves all the way through this workout which will be sure to keep the viewer on their toes, muscles working hard as well as giving your brain something to think about trying to process the next routine you’re about to be thrown into.
I found this session to be more of an aerobics workout. Tae Bo is essentially martial arts techniques incorporated into a cardio style workout, which may work well for users who have minimal or no experience in martial arts. I believe that consumers who are more grounded in this area would be disappointed and wouldn’t gain what they wanted.
I don’t believe that this workout DVD would be a good choice for a complete beginner or anybody with a minimal fitness level. Billy Blanks all the way through tries to keep you going with lots of positivity but one factor that is missing from this setup is the option for people to break should they need to. People new to any fitness regime will ultimately struggle to push themselves through the entirety of this workout without taking a break to either grab a little bit of water or just towel off should they need to. Yes, it’s a DVD and the pause button is there should you need it but I think it’s better if this has been considered in production. This would show a little more consideration to the end users who will ultimately be using this product.
The end of the workout seemed to be a little bit of an afterthought. The point that I made at the beginning of this review about the warm up, well it would seem to be the same with the warm down at the end too. After such a workout a good warm down is essential to ensure not only prevention of injury but also minimises the ‘ache’ that will surely ensue over the coming hours and days. I would like to have seen a little more work in this area and I couldn’t quite understand why after putting such a workout together the warm down did not seem comprehensive enough. Beginners need to understand the importance of these things.
Another thing that I noticed after watching this all the way through is that Billy Blanks at no point, despite this being what I would call a high impact workout twinned with other techniques, does he give an explanation of joint care and maintenance. A lot of us out there already know that you shouldn’t ‘bang’ your joints and that we should be careful and listen to our bodies when conducting such activities. On the flipside of that coin, there are a lot of people that don’t know about these things and such matters should certainly get at least a mention somewhere along the line.
After all the action is done, Billy gives a really good speech. The little portion about change and the go get it attitude that we all need to have if we are to succeed when undertaking such tasks. The man speaks from experience, which we know. I couldn’t help but feel that this may have been better off being put at the beginning of the workout rather than the end. To my ears it sounded more like a motivational speech rather than a closing speech.
If you’re somebody that’s new to fitness and getting in shape I would leave this DVD on the shelf in the store until after you’ve come out of the starting blocks. This is not the DVD of choice for beginners. That being said it is not the choice for someone looking for a boxing or martial arts workout either. It is not comprehensive enough in this area which will leave fighters and martial artists disappointed.
If you want a workout that’s good for maintaining your cardio fitness then I would recommend this workout. It will surely take some getting used to for anybody but once you get the hang of the routines and the techniques being used I can see that it would be an enjoyable entire body cardio workout.
Buy from Amazon here.