Fad-Tastic! Tae Bo

    November 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

    There is a reason they are called fads. It’s because they disappeared just as quickly as they blew up in popularity.

    Today’s Subject: Tae Bo

    Tae Bo is an aerobic exercise routine developed by taekwondo practitioner Billy Blanks and was one of the first “cardio-boxing” programs to enjoy commercial success. The program uses the motions of martial arts at a rapid pace and the name Tae Bo is a portmanteau of tae kwon do and boxing. Blanks, a martial artist and actor, developed the routine in 1976 by combining dance with elements from his martial arts and boxing training to form a workout regimen.

    Here are some things you probably didn’t know about Tae Bo:

    Blanks opened a fitness center in Los Angeles to teach his Tae Bo workout. He later attracted some celebrity clients such as Paula Abdul. Imagine working out with a young Paula Abdul. My gym shorts would be Straight Up.

    During the 1990s, a series of videos were mass-marketed to the public; by 1999 an estimated 1.5 million sets of videos had been sold on the back of a frequently aired television infomercial. God bless infomercials emma right!

    Gyms began offering kickboxing-based fitness classes similar to Tae Bo. Since Blanks had taken out a trademark on the name they were not allowed to use the term Tae Bo without paying a licensing fee. Bo Tie classes sprung up all over.

    Tae Bo videos and DVDs continue to rank among the top sellers in the fitness genre and derivative classes are still offered at many gyms. Because people are still fat.

    Tae Bo includes many of the same punches and kicks as karate, but is not intended for fighting—it was not meant for any combat or self-defense applications.

    An hour long Tae Bo workout will burn 500 to 800 calories, compared with the 300 to 400 calories burned with a more conventional aerobics class. So go ahead and have one more donut!

    Blanks was born with an anomaly in his hip joints that impaired his movement, and a clumsiness that earned him the taunts of his siblings and caused his coaches to believe he’d never accomplish much. Blanks was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, the fourth of fifteen children. Poor guy had to learn to fight just to get a lunch.

    Tae Bo can also help with developing a positive sense of self-esteem. All the self-esteem lost from buying those DVDs.

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