TaeBo is Dangerous

I have to admit that I was never a fan of workout tapes; in fact I was kind of cynical about the idea of following a bunch of people working out in a different physical location than where I am. I have been trying to lose weight since the beginning of the year. I started by doing DDR, even thought I have not been doing it lately, and a couple of months ago I joined a Kung Fu school. I also TiVoed a workout show from FitTV.

I was skeptical of the capability of a TV show to be able to get me to truly work out, but I was either super lucky or this Gilad guy is the best because the workout not only felt good, it really made me sweat in 30 minutes and not by jumping like a bunny from the first second. This made me think that TaeBo would be a good idea. The premise that a workout tape can mix martial arts and dancing intrigued me.

I have been hearing about how cool TaeBo is for quite some time. Mostly from their advertising machine. I felt that since I did practice TaeKwonDo for a couple of years before it would be something that I can jump right into. So I went and rented the new Boot Camp video and man was I disappointed. I tried it for the first time this morning and after 20 minutes I was disgusted. I cannot believe that a professional fitness trainer can truly sleep at night putting a product that I deem dangerous.
I gave it the benefit of the doubt and went to check out the website. I thought, hey maybe they have warning, or an introductory tape. I was surprised to see that the first thing they advertise is their new Boot Camp series and besides the warning to contact your doctor before you start a workout program there is nothing telling you, warning we are about to punish your back in such a was that a disk might just come flying out.

The tape starts at a rate that is unsafe without warming up… but I said ok, I can keep up. I did a couple of the initial exercise when Billy all of a sudden spread his legs and ask the viewer to bend down to touch the ground. I said OUCH and stopped to watch what he would do next. No warm-up, no stretching and this guy break into exercises that can seriously hurt someone, not just their muscles but also joints. I was just amazed that there is not a more of a warning before you start this program.

Stretching and warm-up is very important to every exercise routine. When starting to exercise, please consult a professional or a friend that does it in a regular basis. I see now why people get discouraged about exercising so easily. If TaeBo was my only resource or the first one I chose to look it, I would just give up working out and hit McDonalds on the way to work.

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  1. Yes, TaeBo is dangerous. And if you really start doing it regularly, you’ll quickly figure out that you’ll be beating the shit out of everyone because it’s fun! And Billy Banks told you so! My husband made me stop doing it because he had too many bruises.

  2. I’m not a fan of workout tapes at all. The ‘quit’ factor is far too strong for me. I have to be in a gym of some kind (I’m with Curves right now), or I’ll just punk out and not do it consistently. Plus, there is always someone there to ‘spot’ you and make sure you are doing all of the routines correctly.

  3. Melissa

    I have done the earlier tapes with success. I agree it helps if you have someone to do them as well. Otherwise you cheat yourself. I now go to a gym where they have classes. Forces me to participate to my fullest.

  4. LOL @ TaeBo! Double for Banks! The only training I need is banging my head against a brick wall for an hour, three times a week.


    Oh, and an interview with me!? I’m honored! Really, I am! Gimme a holler at bobi@ersatzgeeks.com and we’ll set something up!
    I must warn you that I’m not very creative on the spot, so factor that into your questions. Ask things like, “Llamas or Midgets: who would survive a forest fire?” That I can deal with.

  5. ahhhh yes, TaeBo. been there, done that. I also thought it looked fun – and I taught step aerobics so was in excellent shape. Turned on the tape and was alarmed to have such a high heart rate in 2.6 seconds. Yeah. Not fun.

    Maybe if you tried playing it on sllllooooooowwwww moooooootttttioooon….LOL.

    All in moderation. Seriously – eat well and walk. It’s all you really need to do unless you want a cut body.

  6. Haven’t tried Tae Bo…looked kinda scary for me and after reading this I’m glad I didn’t! lol

  7. Alright.
    Mrs. Devil’s advocate, here..
    Did you use the billy bands or something??
    I own the billy’s bootcamp… And while I admit to a quit factor, it seems pretty effective to me…
    Of course, as a young, careless youth, I don’t really give a crap about contacting my lack of physician; hence, warnings mean nothing to me.
    On the other hand, I saw results fairly quickly and it came easy (despite the 1/2 a pack a day smoking)
    On the other hand, I’m pretty active in the first place.
    I don’t know…
    Maybe it depends on the individual.

  8. Kat

    Well, Im not sure if we are all doing the same Taebo workouts or what, but at the beginning of everyone of his workouts he tells you how important it is to stretch and how important it is for to take things at your own pace, as long as you continue moving you are okay, and they show you each of the routines slow first, then go into cardio mode(jam). No you cannot pick up one of the in the middle tapes and just start doing it without some knowledge of what is goin on. He doesnt off you a miracle, to just stand there and watch the tapes and you are just all the sudden fit, you have to put your heart into it. And if you are not going to stand at home and do it, why are you going to get your butt up and go to the gym? You will not hurt your back or any part of your body unless you are not paying attention to the techniques they plainly show you how to do. And yes your body will be sore the first time, its suppose to be. These are muscles you have not been using. Maybe its not right for everyone. But, I guess you just have to want to do it. If you dont want to then yes you are going to find excuses like these ones to get out of any excercise routine! I like Billy, very inspirational, gives you many tools to use, mainly, yourself…you just have to be open to it!

  9. Edward

    I have never used the Taebo program, but I have a relative that did. The boot camp tapes are not the first in the series. When it first came out, it had an introductory tape. As you mastered the tapes you progressed through a series of tapes. I am figuring, the boot camp is just another level of the program and with that, common knowledge is that you consult a doctor before doing it. Heck, you almost have to contact a doctor to just about anything.

  10. missy

    I have been doing taebo for 2 yrs. and everyone knows thats done it before that
    he stretches at the begining of every tape and inthe middle of the tape tells you
    to get a drink of water,or to walk if u feel u cant finish what he is doing.you have to
    watch the easy tapes for beginers before u start the bootcamp series.
    it tells you on the back of everyone of his dvds to consult with a doctor before
    begginning this or anyother exercise program..taebo is fun and for all ages,
    Billy even has a taebo for kids out. i got my daughter one she hasnt hurt herself!
    maybe taebo isnt for everyone some people need to stick to yoga…

  11. Jenny

    Its sort of common sense to contact your Dr. ahead of time. And the bootcamp tapes are the HARDEST of the tapes. You can’t just jump in and expect to do it. Tae bo II serise has a nice basic and intro tape. Get thoughs first.

    Also, you don’t have to put as fast as him. Its common sense again. If your weazing and dying, do half the reps. DO WHAT YOU CAN AND WORK YOUR WAY UP.

    Also, I go to Tae Bo classes, and before the stretching in the class, we have to spend five minutes on the treadmill to warm up. Again, common sense says “if you don’t think the stretching is enough, do a little prewarming for yourself.”

    And of course, common sense screams, “Don’t start with a middle BOOTCAMP tape! Those ones were created to kill those of us stupid enough to have already tortured ourselves for months with this!”

  12. Ok.. well being that I have been doing tae-bo since the tapes have been coming out, and being a RN.. I’d have to say that billy’s tapes are wonderful. Anyone with a brain would know not to do the ultimate bootcamp tape first (which i’m guessing that you are referring to because that is the only tape in which he asks you to squat and touch the floor with your hands/fingers) first of all, the only way you could mess up your joint is if you were not doing the squat the right way. also, working my way up to the ultimate bootcamp (which was not easy) .. it has built up my posture and and also helped my shoulder which has been having problems for years. obviously, putting in the “ultimate” DVD in while using the bands the first time will make you feel like you got a hell of a workout, and FYI he does stretch you well.. if you don’t feel like he does stretch you enough, do IT YOURSELF.. drink water throughout.. if you need to STOP .. WALK IT OUT…. i don’t know about ya’ll but i feel that billy’s tapes are FAR better than going into a gym and walking on a boring treadmill for a half hour.. i don’t even know the time is going by when im doing the tapes, and i can proudly say that i have got the best obliques/abs/inner thigh (which i thought was impossible while going to the gym) all thanks to billy and his workouts… i could also probably defend myself if needed which is an absolute plus for a female also a male.. take CARE!!

  13. Jolie

    I thought it was common knowledge to stretch before a workout? Billy Blanks has always been good at showing you all the moves first, and then starting with a easier passed workout, then of course harder, then usually a really hard one. Its not his fault if you just collect $200 and pass go, going straight to one of the hardest ones. I have never done a exercise program that you notice a difference by just looking at your body after only a week of doing the program. With his workouts I do!He is hard but thats the challenge and I want a challenge when I work out. He does say move at your own pace, but I guess if your not listening in the first place, you won’t hear that part. If you want traditional blah workouts, stick with FitTV, but for those that want fun and something really different try Billy Blanks workouts. Oh, and please remember to stretch first(even though he does stretch in the beginning).

  14. Sidney M.

    Tae Bo isn’t dangerous if you do it right. If you don’t feel that the tapes are enough, buy his book, The Tae-Bo Way. It explains each move in detail, and shows you pictures with all the common mistakes. There’s also a chart of pain and what you may be doing wrong to cause it.

    Like he says on the tapes, go at your own pace. YOUR PACE, even if its only three kicks at a time. Start with basic tapes. You can’t assume that you are in good enough shape to jump to the Bootcamp tape. Start low and move up.

    Also, listen to your body. If something hurts, the odds are you are doing it wrong. Sit down and just watch the tape, looking for something their doing that you are not. You’ll be surprised.

    As others have said, with Tae-Bo, you can see a physical difference in just a few weeks. Honestly, after the first class you wil notice something different.

    I have been doing Tae-Bo basic for three months now, and I have not only lost a total of thirty five inches and twenty four pounds, but I have MUSCLE. The muscle in my calves is now very defined and shapely, and you can see them flexing and moveing. My forearms have definition, my abs are getting hard!

    Tae-Bo is awesome.

    PS. If the stretchin’ ain’t good enough for you, do jumping jacks or run in place for awhile. Generally you are considered adequately warmed up when you have a thin sheen of perspiration on your brow.

  15. Julie

    “…besides the warning to contact your doctor before you start a workout program there is nothing telling you, warning we are about to punish your back in such a was that a disk might just come flying out.”

    Funny. Cigarette packs only give a little warning, don’t go into detail of the color your lungs will turn and the horrible wheezing sound you’ll make one day. I bet you don’t complain about that.

    You state that you are trying to lose weight. Incase you did not notice, no one in the BootCamp DVD is overweight. This is because by the time you reach the point of being able to do this tape, you will be fit. Start with the basics, dude.

    “I felt that since I did practice TaeKwonDo for a couple of years before it would be something that I can jump right into.”

    Wrong! Just as you can’t expect to walk into a dojo and start with hard stuff because you’ve kicked before, you can’t expect to pop in TaeBo and start with the hard stuff.

    TaeBo is unique and independant of other forms of exercise. You must start as a beginner. You must imagine the instructional tape are your white belt and the bootcamp as your black. Its going to take a lot of pain [the good kind, not the kind that results from over-exerting oneself], sweat [tons of sweat], pratice to get to that black belt.

  16. Jimbob

    i cant believe how youre all just sitting there and dissing taebo! (those of you that are, appologies for the rest of you). any numbnut would know to do a bit of light stretching before exercising, do you really want the whole dve filled with warm ups? and as a matter of fact billy blanks DOES have a warm up session on his dvd. it is a good and effective way of keeping fit. no one says you have to do the entire work out, even billy says to stop when you cant take anymore and to have a drink. cant go through life saying everythings dangerous and that pros dont know what theyre talking about. keep up the good work billy!

  17. jeff

    IF you are too fat to handle the bootcamp start with the basics…they are out there and you need them to keep up with the bootcamp series…i practice taebo daily, ab bootcamp in the morning and the power workout at night and my body has changed remarkably and i love doing it…but you are not very smart to just jump into the bootcamp series DUH! and yes there are warnings…at least in the power workout billy emphasizes the importance of the foundations video, so pooh on you for your ignorance!!!!

  18. You guys really miss my point. I can keep up with the program, I am sure it is an excellent program for some people… but even someone with experience could get hurt by doing those exercise without proper stretching and warm up. Those exercises are dangerous and I believe that you can get really hurt by them.

  19. vicki

    Wow!!! I’m reading all these comments and i’m floored. Someone who hasn’t done Taebo before is really ignorant and did not give it a try. Billy always starts with a warm-up. I actually think in his Bootcamp, his warm-ups are actually too long for me… You get soo addicted to Taebo that you want to get going and working out than to do 20 minutes of warm-up which Logtar thinks people should do.. Sure warm-ups are good for you.. but my god…. get with the program …love Taebo!!!!!

  20. rhonda

    I can’t believe you just rented the basic book camp. This set comes with an introductory tape (that you are told to use in the beginning of the bc video). In that introductory tape you are taught how to perform all of the moves and how to sequence the kicks. It sort of sounds like the video was a little too difficult for you and you might have been looking for an “excuse” not to do it. It really isn’t for everyone although most people who are into physically demanding sports really like it.

  21. claude brehon

    taebo is great! people looking for a great change try it its all worth it and dont listen too the negative energy and thats a wrap!

  22. Heather

    TAEBO is awesome. If you cant follow the tapes I laugh at you. My nine yr old does it with me and he loves it. My 18 month is already starting the kicking. If you follow what he says YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. You have to do this it is SOOOO FUN and his daughter Shelly is so fun and energetic. I absolutely love these tapes and do them twice a day because they make me feel so good inside and out. DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Laura

    I love Tae Bo. It isn’t dangerous! I lost 25 pounds so far, and have went from a size 12 to a size 6 (160 lbs. to 130 lbs.) I am living proof that his bootcamp WORKS if you have the STAMINA and will power to keep up with it!. you just have to be committed to doing it! If anything, I am more dangerous from doing it… 🙂
    I still do it 3 times a week to keep my body. my body is getting toner & firmer by the day….. my goal is to lose 10 more pounds…
    I feel confident that I can defend myself now if anyone was to attack me in an alley. lol.

  24. ernest

    I have been practicing taebo for years (at least 6) and I have never had a problem, I love it and with each new program it just gets better, right now I love the resistance bands that come with boot camp, in 8 weeks I will order the balance stick, with this program I lost 130 pounds and I have never had a sprained/slipped/sore back ever. I am not a flexible person, I never have been, if I see a move that I am not fast enough for or it looks way to complicated I walk in place until the next move comes and I get right back into the program. Billy even says if you feel tired or dont think you can just get some water and come right back into it!
    if you dont like taebo, try the firm, its very cut and dry and will get your butt in shape just as well as Billy will

  25. belina

    I think tae bo is a great way to shed the pounds fast. And Billy does sterch with every tape and tells you to stop and get water or take a break if your tired you know your body do what you can and stop use your brain.(ANOTHER MUSCLE)

  26. Reem

    it is the third time I play Taebo! I used to work out at the gym but I really didnt get good results. Machines are boring and u dont get a work out for all ur body. Taebo is great and it is a stress-relief too!

  27. brittany

    it’s best to start with the basic tae-bo first. not only that but ALWAYS stretch before exercising so that you don’t injure yourself. i’m just gettin started on the tae-bo and my favorite is This is Tae Bo

  28. Lisa Shavers

    I started slowly on Tae Bo.After having 5 kids I needed something that would get the weight off quick and give me energy. I was 5 weeks postpartum and i did bootcamp. No I did not do it at the speed of the DVD. I did it at a pace that was comfortable. After about 3 weeks I was up to 1 hour of Tae Bo a day 4-5 times a week. I lost 60 pounds 4 years ago,and have kept the weight off. Not everybody can do it. Just like not everybody can do P90X. Find what works. I have no complaints!!

  29. Bangladesh Butler

    It is safe. It’s hard at first, but the only way it’s unsafe is if you’re pregnant or under 13 years old.

  30. Crystal

    I’ve been doing the Tae Bo:Cardio workout, and he does get you warmed up and stretched first. And gives you alternatives if you can’t quite kick high enough yet, or whatever. I have fun doing this workout, but it is tiring!

  31. Brittany

    I’m just goin to add my 2 cents:

    1.Tae-bo really does work if you do it consistently and eat right

    2.You should already know to stretch before exercising and playing sports. Not only that but he does warm-ups at the beginning

    3.If you can’t punch fast enough or bend down all the way or do the moves exactly like Billy YOU CAN MODIFY IT TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU AND STILL GET AN EFFECTIVE WORKOUT.

  32. Jesse

    taebo works for me! Sure my back was hurting the first week but that’s because I was out of shape! After you work out and get your muscles “going”, you’ll be fine! If you’re still hurting by two or three weeks after, it’s because you’re not doing it correctly. He does motivate you and does encourage you to work hard while at the same time allowing you to work at your own pace. it’s not for everyone but it works for me! i lost 5lbs the first week. everyone has a different opinion about something, and this one is no different. it just obviously didn’t work for the person who wrote this review. i recommend taebo if you’re a serious individual who really wants to get their life together and back into shape. good luck. =)

  33. Vincent

    You must be an idiot to not warm up before every time you exercise. I know for a fact that if you get one of Billys BEGINNER dvd’s he will have you stretch first and warm up. You got an advanced dvd that is just another set of others. You cant just jump into Tae Bo…. Do you go to the gym place 200lb’s on the bench press and start trying to lift it??! Heck no! This is the most ridiculous blog post about fitness that I have ever seen. Go to the gym and take a cycle class if you cant handle a real workout.

  34. Aida Cruz

    I have been doing tae-bo for 12 years. It is the best workout! Every time I do anything else, I just walk out disappointed because it never compares to tae bo. You can be a swimmer, gymnast, soccer player, martial artist, ect…but you can never just start this program and say it’s easy. As a martial artist for over 20 yrs, I can honestly say that saying Tae Bo is dangerous has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Anyone that days that, clearly has no knoledge of what working out really means. Maybe those people should stick to power walking and such. Tae bo is for people that truly like the challenge and aren’t afraid to get drenched. It’s suitable for every level and as you go along, you can do it stronger and with better form. It truly works! Take it from a person that has taken these classes for quite some time with Billy, Michael, and Irene Blanks. No other work out compares!

  35. Dee

    I just tried the Bootcamp series for the first time today and I survived. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, and trust me, I am not in the best shape. As far as not warming up, I thought it was basic knowledge that you need to warm up before doing any workout. I walked/jogged on my treadmill for 15 minutes before turning on the DVD. I was fine. I only got tired about halfway through so I just stepped from side to side, just like he says to do, until I was ready to jump back in. The workout was fun, despite the obnoxious cheering and hooting by his crew after every set. I don’t see anything dangerous about these videos… Unless you have a bad back or an injury, in which case you probably shouldn’t be doing this anyway.

  36. Scott

    Obviously this is an old post, but just as an update: There have been numerous studies in the past year that have shown that stretching before a workout is actually both detrimental to your workout (you lose 8-10% of muscle strength after stretching it), but also bad for your joins (stretching tendons causes your muscles to contract to ‘protect’ the joint, leading to a significantly higher chance of strains and sprains). Yes, a warmup is a good idea, but not the MUST HAVE that it used to be billed as.

  37. Jane

    Taebo is the best workout I have ever come across. My DVD has stretching exercises at the beginning. If you cant keep up with what you have, buy taebo basic exercises.Then when your body becomes stronger you get an advanced taebo.I like the high speed one.

  38. Carrie Craig

    I have been doing Taebo since 1996 I was 18yrs old and I have 4 kids and still don’t look like I have one kid. Taebo is my go to for weight loss. I am now 36yrs old and I have no problem doing Taebo. If you feel tired take a break get some water do it so your comfortable. I have lost 25 to 35 pounds doing Taebo. I got lazy and stopped now I need 15 pounds plus dieting and in 90 days I will be there.

  39. rache lrawley

    Ive been tae bo for about 3 weeks now im 23 from England and i Love it and so Addicted. I had a baby 10 months ago and before that was always fluttering between 9/half to ten stone at time maybe more.I used to dance inside alot but my stamina was awful and got worse while pregnant and after.I jumped straight in to the body shape work out with weights and this is tae bo and Ripped extreme .. there are very hard for a beginner but i have watched tutorials on how to get it right and also have just bought billy blanks book and im getting better every day so proud of my self and i love his teams and billy blanks is fab I highly recommend watching on you tube till you have picked your favs =) I’m sure if I stick with it because i love dripping with sweat ill get to my target weight hopefully for Christmas i will try and update than….
    Have fun Tae bo people x


    Logtar you realy need to stop being a cry baby,every work out is dangerous unless you do it right,taebo is fun and it requires you and sonme space

  41. Ashley

    Well, to bash someone’s creation such as you bashed Billy Blanks creation of tae bojust simply by doing 20 mins of a tape is very closed minded indeed. Tae bo is all about technique. They always have tutorials on the moves which if your not advanced level you need to watch and learn, that’s what gives you the foundation you will need to concur this workout. He also always states work at your own pace adjust exercise individually. If something does not feel right dont do that move, we all have different anatomy. I also should state that I am a tae bo instructor. Those bend your knees and touch the floor are stretches warming up thr muscle abd getting the blood pumping. Plus you could always add you own warm up , once you put the tape in you are aware you will be exercising correct? ?? With your background in karate and what have you. So basically what have you created and become a house hold name. Helping people gain confidence and strength and healthier lifestyle, changing lives. I mean sometimes it is best if will see the whole picture ni t just a 20 minute segment before we judge.

  42. Angela carpenter

    I have been doing taebo for twenty years I lost a lot of weight and love it it is hard but it is fun and you will see results I started doing Jillian micheals DVDs three years ago and also Zumba I have seen results but not like taebo I started ultimate taebo yesterday and love it billy blanks will get you fit and he does tell you to walk in place or grab some water when you are tired also he does do a warm up with taebo I never had an injury

  43. Jenny

    Maybe there wasn’t a warning to warm up because most people know its important by what they were taught in school or sports or if not at the very least if they’re doing things to lose weight they would have spoken to their doctor whom in turn would have told them to start with warm ups. Lol I did Tar Bo for years and never had any issues, but to each their own everyone is different but good luck on ur fitness journey

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