Friday, April 26, 2013

Old School Billy Blanks

I have somewhat been keeping up with my workouts.  However, it pains me to say that I’ve put on about 8 pounds since last fall due to all of the eating and drinking I’ve been doing with CTF.  The wine flights at Bin 36 and Webster Wine Bar are killing me, as is CTF’s constant need to share dessert with me.  I love a good wine flight.  There is something very fun about having four cute glasses of wine in front of you on top of a placemat.  It brings more excitement into the whole drinking experience. 

The good news is that I’m still wearing the same size clothing as last fall.  My clothes are admittedly a bit tighter, but somehow despite the weight gain I haven’t moved up in size.  I have been working out on average three times a week since December.  I think it’s possible that I’ve put on some muscle, as I was doing Chalean Extreme with some heavier weights.  (I can’t believe how much stronger I am.)  I also kept up with my running about once a week, and ran the Shamrock Shuffle (8k) a few weeks ago.  It has been very, very hard to stay motivated, though.  It’s honestly been raining for the entire month of April here in Chicago.  Finally this week we are getting some sun and warmer temperatures.  Now that spring is finally hitting, I’m feeling a lot more motivated to up my workouts to six days a week, as I was doing last spring and summer.  I know I can drop the weight I’ve gained fairly quickly if I just put my mind to it.  (And really I’d be happy to lose about five pounds; I had gotten borderline too thin toward the end.)

Anyway, this morning I was feeling nostalgic, so I popped in a 1998 Billy Blanks Tae Bo DVD.  (I think maybe I’ve written about this one before, but I can’t remember and I don’t feel like searching.)  I bought this DVD when I lived in Los Angeles back in 1998.  That was when Tae Bo was brand new and huge.  Billy Blanks was the man.  I loved this DVD because it includes a short Basic workout, a longer Advanced workout, and an 8 minute workout for when you are really rushed on time.  This morning I did the Advanced.  I did this video so many times back in 1998, and it's amazing how even doing it now takes me back to my little apartment in Brentwood, where I would do this in the living room.  I can’t describe this workout without first showing you a portion of it.  Here is Part 1 on You Tube:

 (If you are so inclined, the rest of it is available on You Tube also.)

The red carpet!

The circus curtains!

Billy’s red tights!

The music!

The two short haired girls on the left!  (One of whom kicks higher than a Rockette.)

The Justine Bateman lookalike on the back left!

The blonde Priscilla Barnes lookalike with the abs on the right!

Oh my God, the hilarity of this video.

Now, despite how dated it is, this is a phenomenal workout.  I was dripping with sweat by the end of it.  He does floor exercises for the butt and legs at the end that are among the best I've ever done.  But during the entire workout I found myself wondering what had happened to these people.  Obviously Billy Blanks is still releasing DVDs (and dressing much, much better), but what about all the people in the background?  What are they doing now?  How does one become a background exerciser in a workout video?  Are they in other videos?  Are they still in great shape?  And wouldn’t it be fun if there was a reunion? 

God, the things I think about when I work out. 

Have a great weekend! 


  1. I bought a Billy Blanks DVD last year and I liked the work out okay, but he got super preachy at the end of the video and I wasn't prepared for Jesus to be a part of my workout and it really threw me for a loop. Has he always been that way?

  2. No Jesus stuff in the old videos! That's really disappointing...