Tae Bo Adds Punch to Fitness Quest

Billy Blanks leads Farai Chideya through some punching exercises.

Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks leads Farai Chideya through some punching exercises. Devin Robins, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Devin Robins, NPR
Blanks leads his class through some stretches at his exercise studio in Studio City, Calif. i i

Blanks leads his class through stretches at his exercise studio in Studio City, Calif. Devin Robins, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Devin Robins, NPR
Blanks leads his class through some stretches at his exercise studio in Studio City, Calif.

Blanks leads his class through stretches at his exercise studio in Studio City, Calif.

Devin Robins, NPR

It's been a few weeks since our last fitness challenge, but that doesn't mean I've fallen off the fitness wagon. I'm committed to getting healthy, and continue to try new ways of exercising.

I decided to get serious, and set out to Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, Calif. When I arrived, there were about 50 people of all ages punching, kicking and sweating to loud, frenetic music.

Blanks, a former professional kickboxer, innovated a unique hybrid of martial arts and aerobics that has earned converts across the globe. I admit, it looked pretty intimidating. So before I took the next class, I got some pointers from Blanks, who is as thoughtful and serious about fitness as his classes are high-energy.

We walked downstairs, where Blanks put on a headset to lead and motivate his next class. I took my place in the back of the room, because I'd been dealing with a knee injury and even if I was in tip-top shape, I would have had a hard time keeping up.

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