Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage


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Tae Bo AMPED by Billy Blanks

Reviewed by Carol Kurtz

"Tae Bo will give you vibrant health, a great body, and strength. You'll lose the weight you need to lose, and it's fun."

Growing up in the projects of Erie, PA with fourteen brothers and sisters, no one would have predicted that a learning disabled and physically impaired boy named Billy Blanks would become a 7 time world karate champion and Golden Gloves champion boxer. Later Billy developed Tae Bo in his basement, becoming known for encouraging phrases like: “In order to reach your goals in life you have to give it all you’ve got. Don’t give up. Keep going ‘til you reach the finish line.”. With the discipline of karate and the fun of dance Tae Bo took off and has become a nationwide phenomenon. But it’s Billy’s faith in Jesus Christ that fulfills him, not the millions of dollars he’s made with Tae Bo. He feels privileged to be our coach, he often says. And he doesn’t shy away from gently sharing his faith and using it to inspire us to reach our goals, too.

Tae Bo will give you vibrant health, a great body, and strength. You’ll lose the weight you need to lose, and it’s fun. After years of making Tae Bo DVDs Billy brought us the Billy bands, which gave us resistance with the Tae Bo moves. Then he brought us the Boot Camp series, combining calisthenics and the bands with more basic Tae Bo moves. Now he’s telling us to “Get Amped!”, and when you see the enthusiasm of Billy, daughter Shellie, and the team on these latest DVDs you’ll want to do just that.

Getting “amped” means using the “amplifier”, a three pound bar that expands to three different lengths. You wouldn’t think three pounds would do all that much, but with the Tae Bo moves, Billy has created a real accelerator program. The bands brought us resistance; now the weight of the amplifier bar raises Tae Bo to a whole new level.

Just released is the All New Tae Bo Amped System, a package well worth the $39.95. Included in the package is the Amplifier sculpting bar, 5 complete work out sessions, a 7 day supply of Billy’s energy formula vitamins, Billy Blanks’ Weight Loss Success Guide, and 30 days of free VIP access to Billy’s online club. The Weight Loss guide book is a booklet that explains in detail the new Tae Bo Amped moves with photos of Billy demonstrating the moves in the pose guide. It also shares his 7 day meal plan and fun facts about Billy and Shellie. Shellie appears with him in all his DVDs, and she has a fan base all her own.

The Amped workouts incorporate Tae Bo moves with the amplifier bar, which adds weight. You can feel the difference in your core, especially in the abs. Billy takes each move and amplifies it in cardio bursts, doubling the speed briefly while we all count and end with the shout “Get Amped!” Sometimes the cardio bursts sacrifice form for speed. It’s hard to maintain the correct poses going that fast, although the group on the DVD doesn’t seem to have much trouble. You feel like you’re part of the group of people working out with Billy on the DVD, and you’ll find yourself shouting and grunting along with them. Billy talks to the camera in all 5 workouts as if you’re right there with him. He looks right at us asking, “How you feeling? You doing alright? Don’t give up on me now! Step on the pedal and gimme some gas!” You almost believe he’d see you if you quit, so you don’t.

The first DVD is the 41 minute Jump Start Cardio, which is easy to follow and heavy on the upper body. Fat Burn Accelerator is slightly more strength training and longer at 52 minutes. Tae Bo Amped Core Express is an intense 30 minutes (it’s surprising how that bar can work your abs and core) with a bonus Live LA workout, which is a lot of fun, even when Shellie’s counting gets a little out of sync with the music for a few minutes. After the best warm up of the 5 workouts, Full Throttle is fast and furious at 55 minutes. The catchy beat pushes you to your limit, and this is exactly what Billy wants. He wants us to take it to failure, and Full Throttle truly does. After each workout, Billy gives a short pep talk, reminding us that we have the power within us to do anything, if we’ll just stick with it and give it our best.

Billy promises you’ll see results in 7 days. Even as an avid Tae Bo student, I saw results in two. I could actually see a difference in the mirror. I can hold my own with the bands and with boot camp, but I was sore after two days with the amplifier. And although I know the soreness will fade, my enthusiasm for Billy’s latest craze will not.

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Good Times Entertainment

Carol Kurtz Darlington is a certified personal trainer and a certified group fitness instructor who works with people who want to lose weight as well as those who just want to enjoy better health. She enjoys empowering and encouraging others to reach their health and fitness goals, feel better about themselves in the process, and enjoy more energy to stay active in all areas of their lives. She is the founder of Totally Fit With Carol, a Christian weight loss website featuring workout videos, health tips, exercise advice, and more. She loves her morning cappuccino and her beloved grand-dog. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and haunting Starbucks.