Male Home Fitness Stars: Kendell Hogan and Billy Blanks
The term "home fitness star" often calls to mind a stereotypical persona -- a spandex-clad blonde bouncing her perky way through a home fitness DVD, her instructions annoying and often ineffective. Thankfully, not all creators and stars of home workout videos fit into this mold. Tough ladies like Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner defy this generalization and whip fitness enthusiasts into shape via at-home workout titles. And while the home fitness genre is dominated by women, there are many notable men who stand out with their products as well. Two such males are Kendell Hogan and Billy Blanks. Their challenging, high-quality home workouts prove that the world of fitness videos has a place for some serious testosterone.
Own Kendell Hogan's DVDs
Kendell Hogan has been an elite member of the fitness profession for years, yet somehow he has retained a low profile. Hogan has contributed to many home fitness videos and DVDs in a diverse range of roles including director, consultant, actor, and producer. Although Hogan seems to prefer to work behind the scenes of workout productions, he delivers a number of titles that should not be missed. His contributions to the Star Trainers DVD series are exemplary, and Hogan's segments also appear in numerous Exercise TV videos. In addition, Hogan has created a handful of videos for Crunch! Fitness.
Hogan's best work -- in my opinion -- is available for free download on the Exercise TV website. In this videos Hogan really seems to let his personality shine -- he is clearly enjoying the movement and as a result is encouraging and enjoyable to follow. The following routines are guaranteed to generate some sweat, and can be downloaded in free streaming or to any computer desktop for a small fee:
- Bootcamp Calorie Burn: 30 minutes of intense cardio bootcamp moves, including plyometrics (jump training), burpees, and push-ups.
- Slim Down Cardio Burn: While this 30 minute routine is less intense than Hogan's Bootcamp Calorie Burn, it still delivers a great aerobic workout with its dance-like choreography.
- Cardio Sculpt and Burn: This quick 10 minute workout combines cardio moves with light hand weights, making the shoulders burn.
- Rock Solid Abs: 10 minutes of abdominal strength challenges.
Stream Kendell Hogan's Free Workouts
Own Billy Blanks' DVDs
If Kendell Hogan is not a household name, Billy Blanks is the complete opposite. Blanks is the genius behind the hugely popular Tae Bo workout system, which combines Tae Kwon Do, dance, and strength moves to deliver intense, effective workouts. Not only is Blanks the creator and star of the Tae Bo series, but he is an acclaimed martial artist, an author, and has appeared as both a stunt artist and actor in many films and television programs. Often with his daughter, Shellie, at his side, Blanks shares his training with deployed U.S. military units and works to equip needy individuals with life skills via The Billy Blanks Foundation. As with Hogan, Blanks' spirit and enthusiasm is infectious and his workouts are challenging but rewarding. The Tae Bo series continues to grow, but these are some of my favorite titles:
- Fat Blasting Cardio: This 45 minute workout has it all -- cardio kickboxing, weight training, and standing abdominal work. Blanks uses his signature "Billy Bands" for the strength segment, but you can easily swap in light hand weights.
- AMPED series: I cannot choose one title from Blanks' AMPED series because they are all excellent. This time, Blanks uses a special weighted bar, but again hand weights are an easy and effective stand-in. All of the AMPED workouts combine cardio with light weight work and standing abs.
- Get Celebrity Fit Cardio: This DVD delivers 40 minutes of pure kickboxing cardio, followed by a brief cool-down. This is one of my favorite cardio routines because Blanks keeps the workout interesting and engaging, and the intensity is high for its entirety. To add even more challenge, strap on some light wrist and ankle weights.