It has been years since I have done a Tae Bo workout. My mom actually purchased Tae Bo workouts from an infomercial when I was a kid–so I did some early Tae Bo on VHS when I was a teenager. As an adult I purchased Tae Bo workouts on DVD. I was especially fond of Tae Bo II: Get Ripped Advanced and used to do the two workouts on that DVD all the time. Recently, we have been doing a lot of home improvement and that includes my workout room. One of the things we did was hang a rack on one wall where I could hang all of my resistance bands (and I have a lot of resistance bands). This has caused me to go through the bin where all of my bands were stored. I found the Billy Bands that came with Billy’s Boot Camp Elite and remembered why I decided to purchase them a million years ago (it looks like this program was created in 2006). They are so cool. They are resistance tubing with weighted handles (one pound) and loops for your feet. So I looked for the workouts that came with these bands and sure enough, they were still shrink wrapped. I decided it was time to finally give these a try.
**Update: I just discovered some bands that are compatible with the bands that came with these bootcamp workouts on Amazon.
Mission One includes a 41 minute workout and a 9 minute bonus called Billy One-on-One. It is a tutorial in which Billy Blanks teaches you proper form for all of the moves that you will be doing in the Mission One workout; that is the first 5:45 minutes. Then he teaches you how to use the Billy Bands. The last 2 minutes is Billy’s inspirational message.
Mission One is the actual workout. Billy says several times that this is an intro to the program. So even though you have the Billy One-on-One tutorial, he teaches you everything again in this workout. But it is done drill/interval fashion. You do each move slowly then fast. The workout has a 45 second video intro. As soon as the intro is over, it opens with the class already doing jumping jacks. Billy is just standing there talking while the class behind him keeps jacking. He joins them doing jumping jacks at about the 1:20 mark.
Over all this is a low impact workout. Other than the jumping jacks during the warm up, Billy doesn’t do any high impact moves. A few times during the workout you do a jump rope move and some of the class members actually jump but Billy’s jump rope move is low impact. So if you follow Billy, and modify your jumping jacks to low impact jacks, this workout can be entirely low impact. This workout does have squat thrusts which I guess is an impact move but you could modify that by stepping out rather than jumping.
Now for the Billy Bands. Still pretty cool but I expected them to be stronger. However, Billy’s daughter Shelly (who is in all of his workouts), quickly shows how to remedy that. No one is pointing it out btw–you just learn it by watching her. She loops the band around her hand to increase tension/resistance. Once I started doing that, it made the workout more effective. Still, this workout was not super intense. But it is Mission One. I still have Mission Two and Ultimate Bootcamp to try. I have previewed them both and they both look much tougher than this one. So this is a good intro to using the Bill Bands. The Billy Bands are very cool when he uses them for boxing, which is probably what inspired me to purchase the program. What a great way to increase the intensity of your punches! I expected more resistance with the kicks–even looping the band didn’t add that much resistance. But looping the band to increase the tension works well for the upper body strength work. BTW–I would not consider this workout to be a strength workout. Just cardio kickboxing with some conditioning. That is mostly due to the amount of reps you do. I think he has you do 16 reps of everything. Double that if he has you do it slow then fast. I know by previewing the other two bootcamp workouts that you do a lot more reps in those. So the other two might actually give you some high rep/endurance level strength work (we’ll see!).
One thing I noted in all 3 of these bootcamp workouts is there is little to no stretch. This one has a longer stretch than the other 2 and it is only 1:15 minutes. I added on one of Cathe‘s long stretches from her Total Body Stretching. I considered adding on a short rebounder workout as a finisher but I had a rough night last night–one of my dogs was sick. She’s okay this morning but she was puking all night. So an easier workout and a long stretch was more appropriate this morning.
Mission One is 41 minutes (it is 43 minutes but the last 2 minutes is Billy’s inspirational message); 45 second intro; 4 minute warm up, 20 minutes of cardio kickboxing drills, 15:30 minutes of metabolic strength work using the bands and 1:15 minute stretch. Equipment: Billy’s weighted bands. I also held one pound weights during the 20 minutes of cardio kickboxing drills. The first 12 minutes of the workout after the warm up is basic cardio boxing drills in which Billy teaches then drills you through all of the basic punches plus speed bags and some basic combos. Next Billy moves to lower body, drilling you through knee raises and basic kicks for about 4:30 minutes. Then, for the next 2 minutes you do a simple kickbox combo. Finally, 24 minutes into the workout, you start using the weighted bands. All of the exercises below are done using the weighted bands.
- Military press (overhead press, standing with legs wide and knees bent), slow then fast
- Simulate jumping rope
- Bicep curls; hold at top of bicep curl and from this starting position, push weights/band overhead
- Repeat #2
- Upright rows; hold isometrically at top of row
- Stand with legs wide, knees bent, elbows bent and held close to waist, arms bent with hands held next to shoulders, agitate torso side to side
- Alternating cross punches
- Single arm speed bag holding the arm in guard
- Side kicks, slow then fast
- Single arm bent over tricep kickbacks; changes to pulses at top of kickback
- 3 single arm side punches while stepping to side + one cross punch, slow then fast
- Set the weighted handles on the floor (loops are still on feet), squat placing hands on floor, jump feet back to plank, jump feet back in and stand (squat thrusts)
- (hold weighted handles again) Low impact half jacks