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Tae Bo Ultimate by Billy Blanks

Reviewed by Carol Kurtz

"This is a test, not a daily workout. It's a test of our willpower and of our physical endurance."

For those who live in L A , there used to be something special happening on Sundays. It was a ninety minute test of physical and mental strength, taught personally by Billy Blanks. It was a chance to see what you could really do if you pushed yourself beyond your limits, and it was called TAEBO Ultimate. Now we can all take that same class right in our own living rooms with this new DVD in a silver slipcase, Ultimate TAEBO.

Billy is a great coach, leading us through consistent TAEBO moves, encouraging us to stick with it and not give up. He checks on us regularly, like he would if we were in his studio. He reminds us to dig deep. The music is funky and easy to move to, making the dance aspect of TAEBO feel natural. There is no amplifier bar, no Billy bands, no equipment other than your body and your mind.

The most daunting element of this DVD is knowing ahead of time how long it is. If you’ve worked out to any of Blanks' TAEBO DVDs you know they usually range in length from 25 minutes to an hour. You can’t imagine yourself kicking and punching for an hour and a half, as the shorter DVDs already push you as far as you think you can go. Billy reminds us that this one requires us to “Pull in your faith and push out you fear.” And once I got past the daunting length, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, mostly because it’s well paced. You’re not going full throttle the entire time. You’re moving, kicking, and punching, but you’re mentally and physically pacing for the long haul. Billy sees to that.

Right in the middle of the DVD Blanks breaks into freestyle, a really fun dance/funk interlude. This guy can get his groove on better than anyone else on the stage. It’s a fun break while keeping your heart rate from slowing down too much. And at 58 minutes, when we’re usually done with most of the TAEBO DVDs, everyone runs off stage to get water, so you can too. He suggests we regularly stop and drink through this one.

Once you’ve completed Ultimate, the euphoria is more about the fact that you did something you never thought you could. The psychological obstacle is gone. And suddenly, other things you might not have thought you could do in life seem possible. That’s what TAEBO is about as much as getting a strong, lean body. It can change your life, breaking the glass walls we’ve placed around ourselves.

Billy doesn’t expect us to do this one every day, only once a week. This a test, not a daily workout. It’s a test of our willpower and of our physical endurance. And each week you’ll find it just a little bit easier to do.

Included on this DVD is a bonus workout, Turbo Charged Fat Burner, 23 minutes of amped up, high energy moves. Since you know it’s a shortie, you come out of the gate full speed. If you have one, you can use the optional amplifier bar to add resistance to the moves. The TAEBO moves are “amped up”, doubled in speed. You may have to shorten the range of each move to keep up, but since your muscles never fully relax in between, you get a fat burning experience.

TAEBO Ultimate is an emotional experience, and you can see that on the faces of Billy’s team. They’re giving it all they’ve got, just like you are. You’ll actually feel like you’re more than a conqueror, as Billy tells us we are, when you finish this one.

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.