Difficulty level:Rating: Very challenging
Sweat-o-meter: Rating: Dripping
Overall rating: Rating: Highly recommend
Length of workout: 43 minutes
Equipment needed: “Billy Bands” or resistance bands (optional)
This workout was part of a 4-DVD set, which I will shamelessly admit I purchased from a TV infomercial. The following year I saw it on sale at Walmart for half the price. I guess that’s the price you pay for being an early adopter. But I digress.
Billy Blanks is the original founder of Tae Bo Fitness, a workout that has its roots in the martial arts. The Boot Camp Elite set came with a pair of “Billy Bands,” which are basically resistance bands with a 1 lb. weight for the handle. However, they are not necessary, especially if you’re a beginner. The workout is brutal enough without adding the bands.
Billy starts the workout with a 5-minute warm-up with jumping jacks, a few boxing moves, squats, lunges, speed bag, and stretches.
The first half of the workout is done without the bands. Billy uses a lot of boxing and Tae Bo moves — punches, jabs, uppercuts, hooks, and kicks. In between these moves he gives everyone a break with the back-and-forth neutral move; a move that keeps you in motion while transitioning to the next move. It’s a good way of “resting” between each move.
All throughout the workout Billy talks to you, keeping you focused on doing the moves the correct way. His daughter Shellie is part of the boot camp team, and Billy uses her as an example of how to do a particular move the right way.
The second 20-minutes of the workout incorporates the resistance bands into boxing moves, bicep, and tricep extensions, squat thrusts, and jumping jacks. If you’re new to this workout, I would recommend not using the bands the first time. At this point you’ve already worked up a huge sweat. The bands add an extra challenge to an already tough workout.
By the end of the workout you are dripping. For me, that’s an indicator of a successful workout. Billy winds up the workout with some arm stretches and some motivational words of encouragement.
There is also an 8-minute bonus workout with Billy, as he shows proper techniques of various moves. I would suggest doing this workout first in order to get the moves down correctly.
Have you worked out to any of Billy Blanks’ DVDs? I would love to hear your opinions. If you’ve tried this boot camp workout, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.