Flashback Review: Billy Blanks TAEBO AMPED

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You can only hit refresh on Beachbody’s homepage for so long before you need to look at reviewing other workouts.  I indeed have a list of programs to go through, but decided to first check if there were any old ones that got missed.  As such, I dug through the war chest to see if I had any old…

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Oh dear Lord no…

I’ve never actually done a Billy Blanks workout before so I’m both curious and a little terrified as to what is going to hit my retinas for the next few days.  Nevertheless, I soldier on.

Keep in mind, the entire TaeBo franchise hearkens back to the grand old time of 1999.  A time when the twin towers stood tall, America was mounting Iraq like the broken horse she was and we all knew which bathroom to use.  Truly, the golden age of enlightenment has since passed us by.  So because of this I’m not going to be too hard on this workout for not having modern perks like HD video.  While AMPED came out later in 2007, it appears to remain true to its pedigree.

What you get:

One TaeBo Amped Billy Blanks DVD that my brother in law loaned me about three years ago.  Sorry dude.  On an unrelated note, can I borrow your chainsaw for a few days?

JUMP START CARDIO

Time: 41 minutes

Prior to 1999, Billy Blanks was just a name I gave my cousin after his vasectomy.  But by the time 2007 was around Mr. Blanks was at the peak of his TaeBo career.  To put it in perspective, this was the same time Beachbody was putting out Hip Hop Abs, although P90X had come out much earlier in 2003.  When one compares to other programs at the time, the production levels of Amped are quite substandard…especially the seizure inducing intro.

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Clearly a more colorful era.

Your main enemy will be a rather ostentatious array of colors worn by Billy and the cast.  I get it…this was a sign of the times.  As a child of the eighties, I certainly am not one to claim superiority for garish fashion choices.

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Still waiting for the mullet to resurface though

Another thing I see is that I’m going to need a heavy stick.  I almost forgot the time when weighted sticks were all the thing before you meddling kids started your Tweeting and Snapchatting.  In a pinch I grab an oak dowel and duct tape some 2×4 pieces on the end. It’s about as ghetto as one can possible ask but it gets the job done.

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My equipment gets the Hacksaw Jim Duggan seal of approval.

FAT BURN ACCELERATOR

Time: 52 minutes

There’s not a lot of difference between this and Jump Start cardio except for a difference of moves and additional time.  You are constantly in motion and the stick does indeed add some fight to the moves that might otherwise be too basic.

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FULL THROTTLE

Time: 55 minutes

Full Throttle take many of the moves in the previous workouts and adds a level of complexity.  Instead of focusing on the top or bottom, both seem to be more engaged simultaneously.  Punches and kicks are performed with sliding a hopping movements so the whole thing really keeps your whole body moving.  The last quarter of the workout seems to slow down but overall it was good time spent.

CORE EXPRESS

Time: 30 minutes

Lots of side knee lifts ands basic core movements.  No crunches.  While a decent cardio workout, the abdominals feel like they could have used more attention.

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Were there not two people standing next to him a second ago?

LIVE IN LA

Time: 43 minutes

The only time a live event is worth watching is if you are there.  Live in LA is no exception.

hate to say it, but this is one of those “shoot me now” moments I occasionally get in fitness videos.  Live workouts are why I hate Turbofire so damn much.  The occasional “HEEEEEEYY!!!!!!” from one of the screech-owl cast is somewhat irritating as well.

This one is more or less a rehash of moves you’ve done throughout the program, only with a would-be mosh-pit.  Nothing wrong with the workout itself, just the crowd of soccer moms doesn’t make me want to come back.

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Yay. Fun.

CONCLUSION

For a time Billy Blanks was riding the wave of fitness popularity and was king of the hill in home fitness workouts.  I think eventually guys like Tony Horton got popular enough that people decided they wanted something with more teeth and TaeBo faded into home fitness history.  To be honest, even by 2007 standards this looks pretty dated.

If you’ve done any of the modern workouts like P90X, Insanity, Tapout XT or the like, this is probably not going to feel terribly intense in comparison.  The weights are very light so keep expectations of smashing though a brick wall like a Body Beast Kool-Aid Man in check.  The cardio is also relatively moderate so don’t think this will go toe to toe with Shaun T.

Billy himself is a pretty good motivator and I can see how the entire franchise did well under his charismatic personality and training style.  He’s also built with considerable muscle so understand that while he indeed does the whole TaeBo thing, I guarantee he’s lifting serious weight at the gym too.

TaeBo AMPED, while interesting, is probably not going to make a dramatic resurgence any time soon.  With splashy colors and music straight out of Garageband ’06, it lacks modern appeal but seemed to do fairly good during its time.  Still, if you crave the 90’s look for some godforsaken reason I don’t even want to know, then be sure to run down to your local thrift store and grab a slightly used copy.

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Impress Mom and get a couple nice shirts while you're there.

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About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.