Billy Blanks Jr. launches new inclusive fitness program on Kibu
The son of Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks launches a workout program inclusive of those with disabilities with the support of his father, Mike Tyson, and more.
The fitness industry has gone through many different phases and trends over the years — and yet has remained largely exclusive to those with full range and control of their mobility. Billy Blanks Jr., son of fitness guru and Tae Bo originator Billy Blanks, hopes to be a part of changing that.
“The fitness industry has catered to one demographic,” Blanks told People magazine, adding, “It has never been inclusive to people with disabilities. I remember people asking me if I had a class for those in wheelchairs or for people with autism. I started incorporating that directly into my classes and saw how it made a difference for the better for everyone.”
Now, the former professional dancer and workout trainer is teaming up with Kibu — an all-in-one online platform offering a variety of resources to those with disabilities — to offer fitness classes to those who may benefit from adapted workouts, including cardio, strength training, yoga, dance, and martial arts.
The demographic for a platform like Kibu, which launched in 2020 with adapted workouts, is vast. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in four adults lives with some form of disability in the United States. Kibu launched during the lockdowns to answer the growing demand for virtual fitness classes for those with disabilities and has expanded to offer recreational, job, and life skills classes.
Blanks explained to People he got involved with Kibu because, after everything he’s experienced to date, including homelessness and divorce, it feels good to give back in this way. Blanks also hasn’t had any trouble getting support in his new endeavor from peers in the industry, his fitness legend father, and even heavyweight champ Mike Tyson.
“Everyone I meet in the wellness industry instantly signs on to get involved,” he told the outlet. “They know the fitness industry has not been as inclusive as it could be and are excited about the opportunity.”
He added, “It means the world to me to have both legends — my dad, Mike Tyson — as well as all of the amazing instructors and coaches on the platform. We want participants to have fun experiencing content with coaches from all walks of life: celebrities, dancers, instructors and more.”
Another reason Blanks seized this unique opportunity to give back is because he knows firsthand how meaningful fitness can be to one’s overall well-being.
He said, “Wellness and fitness [are] emotional; mental and physical health, and inclusion and support are the most important thing.”
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