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Billy Blanks: Tae Bo: Amped Fat Burn Accelerator

My first Tae Bo experience was in high school. My dreamy boyfriend’s mom let me “borrow” her freshly ordered-from-TV advanced Tae Bo VHS tape. I’m sure by lending it to me she expected to get it back, but I just checked and it’s still in my basement. Ahem, 12 years later. Whoops. Forgive me, Mrs. Davis?

Remembering that stellar workout, I recently rekindled my relationship with Billy. After those 12 long years I have to report that BILLY LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME. It’s amazing. His hair is the same, his clothes are the same, and the set design and music are still the same. In fact, his workout posse pretty much looks the same, too, minus a couple of fitness-model blondes who have been traded out for normal-looking brunettes.

The DVD name is quite the mouthful and punctuation tutorial on colons, Billy Blanks:Tae Bo: Amped Fat Burn Accelerator. I guess when you have a fitness empire with loads of DVDs in your name, you have to get creative with the titles. The DVD is about 50 minutes long and features mostly cardio moves with a few strength moves such as squats and tricep kickbacks using the “amplifier.” The amplifier is basically a glorified stick that extends. Unfortunately, the addition of this stick, or schtick if you will, is the only “new” addition to Billy’s moves.

Despite being a spiced-up repeat of the punch-and-kick combos from my stolen 1998 tape, the DVD is a good workout, and it got me and Billy sweating. (Boy, does Mr. Blanks sweat.) However, there’s a lot of counting to eight followed by, “Now everybody jam!” or “Get amped!” When Billy says that,everybody speeds up their movesto a psycho speed that makes it impossible to have correct form. Back in the day he called this “double time,” but I think he’s taken the speed to quadruple heights. And one of the girls is constantly screaming at Billy “yes, sir!” which is just weird. I’m for enthusiasm and all, but girlfriend is a bit too intense for me.

BB is good about giving alignment cues and showing how to makes the moves easier, which is awesome, but toward the end he falters a bit and seems confused. Maybe Billy does age…

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Overall: ★★★
Fit Bottom Line: Tae Bo and Billy’s look haven’t changed over the years, so don’t expect new moves. However, it’s still one amped up sweat fest. —Jenn
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  1. Live Well says:

    I Billy Blanks!! Reminds me of when I had my first apartment and my roommate would attempt to do it with me. I could totally kick her trash at that video (meaning I could walk away a litte sore after doing my best while she’d be passed out for a few hours on the floor). Thanks for the review!

  2. Jenn says:

    Haha, I remember Billy Blanks. He sat on a particularly dusty part of my mom’s shelf. One time I brought him out, but it was back when exercise = huh? for me, so it didn’t last long. I’m digging the new “schtick” though :o)

    Great review!

  3. tfh says:

    I was thinking of Netflixing this, but wasn’t sure it would work without the new “shtick.” Would my resistance band work?

  4. Jenn says:

    Live Well — Oh yea, some of the advanced stuff is tough! And Billy, with his eagerness, is kind of cute in the DVD. Also, on this DVD there’s a get-to-know Billy segment that’s pretty interesting. Apparently he has a learning disorder, and karate helped him gain confidence. Oh, and Paula Abdul helped him get his start! She just randomly went in to pick up her nephew from Blanks’ studio and he showed her some moves. The rest was Tae Bo history…

    Jenn: I think Billy has sat on many a dusty shelf, and somehow keeps finding new ways to continue doing so with new products! 😉

    tfh: Nah, I don’t think it would unfortunately. Actually, most of the moves are fine without weights, and you could easily sub a three- or five-pound dumbbell for the strength moves. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  5. Missicat says:

    I had no idea he was still around! Thought he got lost in infomercial land….May have to give it a try.

  6. every gym's nightmare says:

    Billy looks like Yurtle the Turtle.

    There. I said it.


  7. MizFit says:

    man do you REMEMBER when he was all the rage?!

    I may need to check this out for the very reason.

    (cue montage o’memories)

  8. Alex Costa - www.minimizeme.tv says:

    I’m not a big fan on those videos but if they help you to keep in shape it’s good, I believe that anything that helps to keep you in shape (in a health way) is good and I believe that if Mrs. Davis never ask you back the tape it’s because she would never use 🙂

  9. Jenn says:

    missicat: First of all, your blogger icon with the cat in the scarf is hilarious. It made me giggle with delight. Second, he may still be in infomercial land, but his stuff is also all over amazon and target, and now my basement.

    EGN: Can I acroynm you? Is that okay? And maybe the best question is, why am I using acroynm as a verb? Regardless, Billy looks JUST LIKE YURTLE THE TURTLE. You’re so dead on.

    MizFit: Oh, Billy was the ishness. Yes, he had a massive following. I even had a friend who went as him for Halloween. It was a little awesome.

    Alex: Oh yea, exercise vids are way better than just watching TV. And honestly, some of them are even more entertaining than TV. And yes, Mrs. Davis probably doesn’t even remember me. Or Billy. Sad but true!

  10. Marathon Me says:

    Mrs Davis never asked for it back because she already had extra copies. Billy Blanks was everywhere then.

    I’m impressed he is still in that good of shape. I’d like to think if my job was working out I’d also be in pretty good shape too.

  11. 2bhealthyandhappy says:

    I have some of his DVD’s but like others said.. very dusty.. I almost bought that one with the stick or whatever… would love to know if it works…

  12. Tiffany says:

    I’ve recently rediscovered my Billy Blanks tapes, and have been totally into getting back in shape! The old workouts are fantastic. My mom just gave me this new set of amped vids and I HATE them! )-: Maybe if I had the stick, that would help… But without it, this workout was a complete waste of time. What happened to doing so many reps you felt like falling over, and now do it double time?

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