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on September 16, 2007
I can't rave enough about Tae Bo! Billy Blanks whips you into shape with this high energy workout. Let me tell you a little about my workout history: I have tried so many workouts, from ballet, to walking, to yoga. I have NEVER stuck with any of them. Walking was probably the one I did the longest, but I never felt as though I was getting my heart rate up, and I never felt any smaller/fitter. The first time I tried Billy Blanks' Tae Bo, I was sweating, my heart rate was up, and frankly, I felt like I was going to die. Haha, now that might not be the feeling you are looking for, but the results of this workout are immediate. It is something I hope to do for the rest of my life.

Now, I've never tried any of his other Tae Bo workouts, so I can't comment as to how this one differs from those, but I'll tell you the amped bar really heats things up. I mean, I didn't use it for the first week, and I still felt the burn. However, once I added it in, I seriously felt amazing. In the two weeks, I have gone from a size 12 back to a size 10. I'm on week 3, and I feel great! Hopefully, I'll get into my dream size 6 in a few months!

I would say that this workout is not good for someone totally out of shape; I mean, I am probably 20 lbs. bigger than I should be (150 lbs at 5'9"), and I thought I would die the first couple of times I did this. However, if you are dedicated, and stick with it--even if it's just for a couple of minutes at a time, or a couple of times a week--you will feel a difference. I wish I had tried Tae Bo years ago! Like Billy says, "If there's a will, there's a way." Tae Bo is the way for me! Good luck with your weightloss goals!
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on February 9, 2008
5 years ago I got a taebo DVD, popped in and started laughing when I saw the fast-paced seemingly impossible exercises. I turned it off without even lifting a foot or burning a single calorie. I knew it wasn't for me.

5 years later, still out of shape and overweight, I wanted to give tae bo another shot as I needed something to boost metabolism more than a cardio walk could do. I LOVE this amped series. I LOVE the amplifier bar!

I cannot keep up all the time, but because the amped up cardio workout starts you slow, I have a chance to learn the moves and feel comfortable with them before amping it up. And if I'm not comfortable, I don't amp it up. I've been doing the program for almost 4 weeks (the first 3 without the bar) and I could see results within the first week. My husband even noticed :)

I'm quite overweight and very out of shape, but I can do this!!! And I feel so good afterwards. Thanks Billy Blanks for creating a beginners DVD series that I can progress with. I've not made it past the first video, yet but I look forward to what my body is going to look like in a couple of months.
0Comment44 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
"Billy Blanks Tae Bo Amped" DVD and Amp Bar Fitness set (2007) adds a three pound cushioned bar (approximately 25 inches that extends to its maximum length of approximately 31 inches) to 5 workouts on 4 separate DVDs that run on average about 44 minutes each. For the price, the value certainly is there; the bar alone is probably worth $20. However, the overall content of each of the workouts is not only repetitive and boring, but also at times undoable because of Billy's reliance on the bar.

The idea behind the bar is to stabilize each move from the core. As Blanks teaches and performs each move, he constantly explains that the bar is meant to prevent the arms from "flopping all over the place." It does accomplish this mission, however, attempting to perform some of the moves--like the upper cut or some of the combination punches which are trademark Tae Bo moves--requires some tossing of the bar from one hand to the other at a fairly fast speed which can be difficult to achieve while keeping true to form and performing the move with timing and coordination. To add insult to injury, the bar, at times, refuses to click into place with a smooth degree of regularity that again, makes accomplishing the moves quickly a bit impossible. Some of the exercises, in particular, Billy's `baseball' move where the bar is fully extended and handled as a baseball bat seems almost impossible to do at the same uber pace attained by the Tae Bo team. While performing the `helicopter' where both hands are twisting the bar overhead at rapid speed or the hammer that imitates a blacksmith's banging on an anvil, I feel as if the bar may break and fling out of my hands to destroy who knows what in my living room. Not cool and definitely not something I want to test with maximum effort.

As a long-term user of Tae Bo that has employed Billy Blanks' system of kickboxing aerobics for over 10 years, I find the Amped workouts semi-difficult--Billy's demand for three fast-paced sets with the bar waving frantically during calisthenics can be taxing. However, the actual routines are ultimately boring. Billy attempts to adapt his traditional moves and combinations to moves using the bar; the transition is not smooth--the bar restricts rather than actually acts as an amplifier. Simply weighted boxing gloves or Velcro cuffs would work better. From the get-go, my ennui built to a point where I went through the motions, but could not wait for the video to go into the cool-down. The `Fat Burning Accelerator' workout, in particular, is not one I would do again anytime soon.

Bottom Line? `Tae Bo Amped' is a mediocre series of 5 workouts on 4 DVDs that contain traditional Tae Bo moves (with a concentration on arm exercises and a decidedly lesser amount of kicks and lower body routines than usual) that employ a weighted bar to `amp up' the action. Unfortunately, none of the DVDs match the workout level of older Tae Bo series like "TaeBo II: Get Ripped Advanced Workout", "Tae-Bo Workout (4 Pack)(tae bo live)" or "Billy Blanks - All New Tae Bo Boot Camp Elite." When Billy changed his exercise philosophy with regard to the music he used during workouts--opting for lyric less pieces instead of pop radio hits, he lost some of the exhilaration that comes with getting into the groove, doing some beloved moves and working up a sweat. Billy, some better music, please. Recommended for die-hard Tae Bo-ers.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
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on February 1, 2008
If you are a beginner this is the workout for you. I just purchased the Taebo Amped for Christmas and started the day after with the Jump Start Cardio and I couldn't believe how I felt the next day. I was a big supporter of Leslie Sansone's Walk away the pounds and even recently purchased the Walk Slim Series but she talks to much and I get irritated during the workouts (which I shouldn't since workouts are stress relievers). I've never had a workout like this before, I'm getting toned and I'm losing inches not so much fat though because I am gaining muscle. Something that I've always wanted. Billy Blanks is a very good motivator and he keeps you on your toes.
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on December 4, 2007
This workout is definitely "amped" up. Right now I'm on my start to weight loss and no its not a typical 20 or 30 lbs, its more so I definitely have a ways. I decided to get this since I used older videos of Taebo in the past and I did see results. So far I've been trying to do this for a week 1/2 now with a couple missed days in between. Just after the first few days I felt energized and I slept great. Also I wasn't so shortbreathed anymore walking at my job. A few of the moves he does in his tape though are hard to do (maybe if I didn't have a tummy I could do them) so of course I have to improvise. Overall this workout does get you sweating and you do see some sort of results whether it be physically or mentally. I think its great and I plan on continuing.
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on March 28, 2008
I tried TaeBo about 8 years ago, and did not like it at all. I was a little reluctant to try it again, but after reading the reviews, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I tried it. I have been doing the different videos for a month now, and I can definitely see the difference. I am noticing my arms are becoming more toned, and my legs are thining out. I have a lot of weight to lose, and I am able to keep up with the workouts. I love the fact that if I am slacking off Billy tells me to keep going (it is almost like he is watching :)

With that said, I would say the videos primarily focus on upper body. I found if I squat lower, I feel like I have worked my legs a little harder. I also have to stretch before and after because I don't feel the videos cover stretching enough.

Overall very good workouts and I would definitely recommend!
0Comment9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I have been a big fan of the Billy Blanks Tae Bo workouts for some time due to the amount of calories they burn and how they sculpt your abs without floor work.

This set kicks it up a notch with an even greater arm workout to add to the full-body work you typically get.

I wear a bodybugg to measure my daily caloric burn. I mention this only so you know that my calorie measurement was based upon scientific data rather than perceived exertion...

Calorie Burn: A+. I burn more when doing these even in the first 10 minutes than the ones that are made to amp your caloric burn in a short amount of time. So doing the whole DVD with the bar is a massive fat burner due to the moves. You move fast with cardio steps, but you build muscle with the bar, and he works ALL areas of the body with the moves...the punches and kicks equal a higher burn as well so, combined, you don't feel wiped out but you burn twice as much as many DVDs

Even his DVDs without the bar have always been big calorie burners for me.

Do you need to use the bar? can even build up to using it. Many of the background trainers aren't using it so you can decide which way you prefer.

Energy: That's my favorite part about these. Even on days when I have small motivation, in the first 5 minutes my energy is through the roof. The best part about them. Both he and his backup team are just amazing for dishing out the energy! There are days when I REALLY need that to keep going when I don't want to at all. The counting keeps it up and helps you move in perfect unison, even if you look away.

Cueing: I have two left feet but follow along all moves, no matter how fast, easily. Great cueing, easy to follow though it's fast paced for max burn.

Set: a very large studio with a large amount of back up team behind him.

Music: Another thing that's different: not the boring electronica like most fitness DVDs. Really cool upbeat tunes.

Muscles Worked: All. Even your core will be well worked by the twists without having to get on the floor for crunches ever again if you don't want to. You don't think about it working the core, but you will feel it later!

Level: Don't use the bar if you are a beginner. Some of those in the DVD don't. As you progress, you add the bar, and if you still want more, you can always add weighted gloves, wrist weights, or ankle weights, but I doubt you'll need to!

Negatives: I loved the bar, it gave my arms an incredible workout BUT the darn thing wouldn't stay open when it needed to be locked into position at times. Though cumbersome, I loved the workouts enough to deal with it. Also, you'll notice in the DVD they have a longer bar. I have noticed in many of his DVDs that come with a prop, the ones you get a slightly different than what they use...their length would have been more comfortable but this probably fit better in the box for sales.

That said, playing with the bar made it fun and, though I thought it would be WAY too light at just a few pounds, using it coupled with the Tae Bo moves REALLY worked great. My caloric burn was not only very high when I worked out, but my metabolism remained high long after the workout was over when measured by the bodybugg. So for that, my bar that didn't work quite as well as I wanted it to was overlooked.

Especially because of how cheap the price was (I got it at TJ Maxx for a few dollars less than here, but I had to pay tax so it wound up about equal.) for this many DVDs and the weight stick--it's a bargain.

Note: the weight stick is coated so it's easy to hold on to and use.

Here's what you get; it's a 5 DVD set plus the bar and some weight loss tips:
Jump start cardio 41 minutes
Fat burn accelorator 52 minutes
Full throttle 55 minutes
Core express 31 minutes
Live in LA 43 minutes

I consider that lots of workouts for a pretty low price! (You might find this at TJ Maxx too; it's where I pick up many of his DVDs)

Conclusion: Loved the workout, am overlooking the design flaw in the stick but fixing that would have made it perfect me...and maybe I just got a bad stick?
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on August 24, 2008
I enjoyed the workout DVD's very well, if you can get over (as others have stated) Billy's inability to keep an accurate count on the reps then it is no problem, and at times humorous. For example there are times when he says one last set yet continues 3 or 4 more sets, there is another time where he tells everybody that's enough, but then leads them on another set of jumping jacks that completely looses his group. If you can get over these minor quibbles they will get you sweat flowing.

On to the AMPED bar. Initially I thought it was pretty cool even if it was a little light weight. However, as I got into the workouts I noticed that it began to feel like it was going to come apart, and eventually (after about 2 months of using it) would not remain locked open. Also on one of his exercises he tells you to swing it like a baseball bat, I do not advise doing this routine, or at least 'choke up' on the AMP bar to prevent from damaging it, I do not think it is sturdy enough for this kind of use.

Eventually I decided to make my own "AMPED" bar, and though I do not suggest anybody else do this (since our nation is plagued with lawyers and I do not want to be sued) I went to Home Depot, and bought a 36" threaded (at both ends) steel pipe. I also purchased two caps to place on the threaded ends as a little more weight. This pipe obviously does not telescope in on its self but weighs approximately 5LBS where Billys weighs aprox 3LBS. The use of the threaded pipe with the end caps is that you can in the future fill the inside of your pipe with either sand or I suppose liquid to increase the weight of the bar. I suppose you could even get some lead and melt it into the center of the pipe, once again see my comment above about lawyers, I do not suggest ever using lead which is easily found on another Home Depot shelf (though they will tell you they don't sell it). It is disguised as one of those pipes that sticks out of your roof that the squirrel's continually chew to sharpen their teeth. All said and done the cost of a steel pipe with 2 screw on ends will run you about $15, and I am currently looking for something to wrap the ends of the pipe in to soften where I grip the pipe (i am thinking tennis racket wraps). Note: though you could use the pipe without the ends and lighten it by I would guess 1/2 a lbs, the caps add a little lip that could possibly prevent you from dropping or launching a pipe across your living room or apartment floor.

Now what I did with Billy Bar was collapsed the bar (since I could not figure out how to open it and tighten it where it had become loose) and roll back the foam handels, I then took some electric tape and taped the 2 ends together in the center where they join when collapsed, and rolled the foam back over the center line. This allows me to use the Billy Bar when billy does an exercise, and I switch to my "Jimmy Pipe" TM (just kidding) for the exercises where he opens the Billy Bar.

Once again I cannot stress enough that you do not follow my lead and make your own. I cannot be held responsible for your homemade pipe being launched through your sliding glass window or flat panel television quite simply because I am very poor and have no money.
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on June 22, 2008
That is exactly what I thought when I opened the package and saw this little 3 pound bar. What is that thing going to do for me. Well, the best was to come. I put the DVD in to see what the exercise drills were like and once again (except this time in a state of awe and disbelief) Yeah Right went through my head except this time I'm thinking how in the world would I ever be able to keep up with this? Well, one must atleast make an attempt before bringing any type of judgement on any product. I soon realized I wasn't completely helpless and I needed all the encouragement I could get after all these years of smoking cigarettes and destroying my body. It didn't take long to see that although I was only able to keep up in bits and pieces in the beginning that with a little persistance I was able to catch up with the class and it didn't take as long as I was afraid it would. I took 2 inches off my waiste line in the first week and that was just getting the hang of things. I'm in the middle of the 2nd week now and looking forward to more positive results coming my way not to mention how much better I feel. If you don't believe me go [...] and look under Videos on the menu and try out some of the samples. YOU WILL BE CONVINCED !!!
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on January 30, 2008
There is no detailed instruction on how to perform the moves. The "amped up" segments are done way to fast to use proper form. You can see this even in the people on the videos. I am an advanced exerciser, but I do these exercises at about half the speed of the video to maintain form and not throw out a shoulder. Billy's students count one thru eight constantly through every disc. This is a bit monotonous and annoying. Also, some exercises are not repeated equally on both sides, like he loses track of what he's doing.
That being said, I enjoy working out with the amplifier bar. The workout is intense, lots of reps for the most part. I'm sure anyone would get results doing it routinely. I use the bar on my own without the dvds. After a few weeks, I found Billy's workout boring.
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