2003, $.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: “The world’s hottest fitness sensation just got hotter!”

Second Impression: Seriously, Billy Blanks, do you need a copywriter? LMK

Well hello there, Loyal Readers! My favorite Goodwill is finally open, and I found some little gems to review for you. This week we’ll be spending 20 quality minutes with Billy Blanks.

Billy reassures us that we’re going to start off with a “nice light stretch.” It’s as if he knows we’ve been hiding under a blanket for three months and doesn’t want to scare us off. He’s accompanied by an appropriately socially-distanced,  smaller group than normal.

As always, stepdaughter Shellie is on Billy’s left, chanting out the counts of eight and showing off how flexible she is:

Billy, not so much:

However, the “Flex” part of the title is not shorthand for “flexible.” It means doing this:

Yes, periodically throughout the workout, whenever Billy yells “Flex!” we hold a pose and mug for the camera:

For example:

And for this one, you have to grit your teeth:

Weird flex but ok.

This workout feels familiar and comforting, like a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Flexing aside, Billy mixes in all his tried-and true Tae Bo moves. He adds a couple new ones for some fun variety, though. We do a Jumping Jack into a Roundhouse Kick, and a Slide Step into an Uppercut. These are perfect moves to help shake off the day, when it’s your first day back at work and no one knows what’s going on, and you’ve forgotten everyone’s name, and it doesn’t matter anyway, because you can’t really see anyone’s face. Just me? 

Our time together goes by too quickly. During the gentle stretch at the end, Billy instructs us to put each of our hands on the opposite shoulder.  “That’s a hug,” he explains. Awwwww!


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