Billy Blanks kickboxing-esque Advanced workout DVD has 3 workouts on it (2 technically). 2 full workouts and one “8 Minute” workout. Interesting story behind this DVD. It is a step in my fitness journey. I remember many, many years ago doing the original Tae Bo (on VHS) and finding it challenging. Then, of course, it stopped being challenging as my fitness level improved and I moved on to The Firm. Then I saw this “Advanced” workout and was psyched. I owned no real kickboxing workout DVDs and I remembered enjoying the original Tae Bo. The one truly advanced cardio-only workout The Firm makes really isn’t fun—so I ordered Tae Bo II: Get Ripped Advanced. I remember those early days thinking this was SERIOUSLY difficult. Very advanced. Wiped me out—Workout #1 especially. Back to the present. I haven’t done these workouts in years. I popped the DVD in today…. Not so advanced as I remembered. I will concede that Tae Bo/Billy Blank-wise it is advanced. In comparison to what is out there now (by other instructors)—not so much. They are good workouts, tho. Intermediate level perhaps. I still like them and will still throw them back into the rotation every so often. Billy’s cueing however has never been the best. He works the body unevenly and sometimes he even confuses his exercisers that are on the DVD with him! But even with the confusion you can follow along and get a good workout.
Workout #1: 57 minutes long; 5 minute warm up, 47 minute training period and 5 minute cool down. This one is my favorite of the two full length workouts on this disk. It is a better cardio workout and a better workout overall. Billy does mostly drills as opposed to combos. When he does do combos they are short and uncomplicated. The first time he shows a drill or combo he does it slow, then does it at a faster pace, so this gives you a chance to learn the move. The first 2/3 of the workout are kickboxing-focused with punches, kicks, some callisthenic moves to keep the heart rate up (like jumping jacks). The second half mixes in some standing ab and lower body work—and a lot of balance work. It all comes in the form of kicks and knee raises, but you do a lot of reps and much of the time you are balanced on one leg. Billy has a lot of energy and runs around the room checking the other exercisers’ form and challenging them (he primarily challenges his daughter and another woman at the front of the room—Michelle is her name). In addition, the majority of the exercisers have horrible form. Horrible. Billy, obviously has excellent form, and so does his daughter of course (tiny, muscular blond woman in the front). There are a few others. Michelle’s form is usually decent. But primarily these seem like normal every day people who came to Billy’s class. And that is fine—just don’t look to these people for proper form. Again, this is my favorite on the disk and the one I do most frequently.
Workout #2: 55 minutes long; 6 minute warm up, 47 minute training period and 1:30 cool down. It didn’t take long after I started to do this work out to remember why I’ve always preferred workout #1. This one, in my opinion, is something of a mess. First, overall, it is a decent intermediate level workout, but Billy’s cuing is worse than ever in this one. Sometimes he says “Two more sets!” and only does one more. Sometimes he says “One more set!” and does two more. One move is front lunge then a front push kick with the opposite leg. You do a bunch on one side, move to the other side, do two sets, then he stops everyone because apparently they are “off count.” He starts over—but back on the original leg! So unless you are paying attention and stay with the correct leg, you are working one side a lot more than the other. Standing ab/glute/leg work is interspersed throughout this workout and you are balancing on one leg again, though not as much as you do in workout #1. Some of the combos he puts together are awkward and don’t flow. Near the end, you get down on all fours and do leg kicks/lifts. I felt those burning in my glutes and hips, so I didn’t really mind that. He still runs around the room to check the other exercisers’ form, but for the most part he uses his daughter like a maniquin to show form. It’s kind of weird. At the end he does some “power move.” There is no instruction whatsoever—he just jumps right into it full speed. This is clearly for the exercisers in the room with him (on the DVD) because they all know exactly what to do. It is about 45 seconds of moves—leg pulls, push ups, crunches, etc. done very quickly. It is impossible to follow unless you do this workout a lot and learn by watching it a few times. And finally the “cool down”—1:30 of it. No stretching. This cool down was a real head scratcher to me. See below—the “8-Minute” workout (16:30 really) has a 4 minute cool down! But a 55 minute workout only has 1:30? Really? And then he launches into some long drawn out monologue, but I always turn it off, so I don’t remember what he says. I listened to it once a long time ago, but never again.
8 Minute workout: The title of this workout is deceiving. If you are truly pressed for time and can only fit in 8 minutes, this workout is not for you. Incidentally, I have never bothered with it until I decided to review this DVD on my blog. I’ve done Workouts 1 & 2 plenty of times but never even considered doing the 8-Minute workout. But this morning, after doing an hour long workout, I popped it in—hey, I could fit in 8 extra minutes for some “advanced” exercise. Try 16:30. Yeah. Not that I have a problem with 16 minutes—but don’t call it 8 minutes if it’s not 8 minutes. I did the whole thing (for review purposes) then rushed around getting ready for work to make up time. The 8-Minute workout is actually 16:30; 4:30 warm up/stretch, 8 minute training time and 4 minute cool down/stretch. So, as you can see, the actual training time is 8 minutes. With that little bitch session out of the way, it was a good workout—the training time that is. During the training time it was non-stop and really got your heart rate up. The drills flowed really well, too. But do you seriously need 8:30 of warm up/cool down for 8 minutes of work?!?! If you really want a short add on workout that is true to the title—do a 10 Minute Solution. The workouts are actually 10 minutes, as advertised. If you have a little more time and want something a little more intense? Firm Express—all 20 minute workouts with HIITs built in. If you have time for a 16 minute workout, then you surely have time for a 20 minute workout and The Firm Express utilizes every minute efficiently. I’ll never do the 8-Minute workout again.
Summary: A year ago I bought a bunch more Tae Bo workouts based on reviews. I have done some of them and found them lackluster and too easy (so they will not be reviewed here as I will not waste time on them again), but I haven’t done them all, so there are more Tae Bo reviews coming at some point. I got several workouts from the Bootcamp series, T3 and Amped. I do plan to try all of those eventually. But so far, of the Tae Bo workouts I’ve done, Get Ripped Advanced Workout #1 is the best.