Us: “Hiii Billy Blanks, fitness legend, karate champion, creator of Tae Bo! We totally love Tae Bo and did all your tapes. We can’t wait to workout with you!!!” Yep, two Tae Bo fangirls over here!
We got to chat with Billy and ask him what his guilty pleasures are (does he even have any?), and a whole lot more…
Is it true you invented Tae Bo while working out to the Rocky theme??
I was in my basement. I had just won the National Championships, and of course, I put on the Rocky theme song (laughs). As soon as the song came on I started moving, kicking, and punching to the beat. Within 2-3 minutes I got cardiovascularly tired. I was one of the best fighters in the United States but I was not in good cardio shape! I started combining karate moves, boxing moves, and calisthenics all together into a routine. I joined a ballet company because I didn’t know how to count music at the time. I had a Russian instructor who taught me ballet and how to count music. Once I learned to count music, I started to create routines.
What’s your advice for people who want to start a workout regimen?
I think one of the most important things about getting into a fitness program is, more than build your body, you need to build your confidence. Confidence will help build your body. Sometimes people won’t know what they’re doing and overdo it. The next day they’re sore and they quit. I can help you develop your confidence while you’re working out at the same time. It’s going to give you a chance to increase your fitness program…and make your fitness program become a lifestyle!
What’s your guilty pleasure? Come on, are you eating chocolate cake at night??
I don’t have a guilty thing! I eat what I want to eat because I train. I workout. Fitness to me is a lifestyle. Because it’s a lifestyle, I don’t have a guilty feeling about eating something. When fitness is not a lifestyle for you, you feel the guilt.
But do I like to eat sweet stuff? Yes. Do I like to eat a hamburger every once in a while? Yes. Do I do it every day? No. I like to drink a Pepsi once a week. And I don’t feel guilty. I just drink it. The thing that I like the most though on a cheat day? I like to eat an Oh Henry! bar (laughs). Or I like to go to Roscoe’s Chicken every 3 months.
Next thing on your bucket list is:
I have a dream that I will one day get the Nobel Peace Prize. That’s my goal.
What motivates you?
Life. I tell people that every day above ground is a blessed day for me. And being around people. I come and teach a class – people motivate me. You never know whose life you’re going to change and by changing somebody else’s life, it changes your life. It gives me a chance to look at myself.
When you’re not in fitness mode, what could we find you doing?
I like to make music! I like to rap !I’ll go in the studio and I’ll make the music and then I’ll get together with my son when he’s in town. We go in the studio and I’ll rap and he’ll sing.
I wanted to make music for my classes but I didn’t know how to put it all together. That’s when we had the vinyl records. He was like 14 years old showing me how to mix!
And here’s a couple of pics Lora took in a mini-photoshoot we had with Billy before we got started!
Interview: Lora + Bev
Photos: Lora Karam + some photos provided by Billy Blanks