Dust off those old Billy Blanks workout tapes and DVDs. Tae Bo could be all the rage again after a workout session in South Korea literally left people all shook up.
For the past two weeks, all of Seoul wondered why a 39-story, residential-commercial high-rise shook for 10 minutes. There hadn't been an earthquake, but no one could provide an explanation.
The building's owner told the Korea JoongAng Daily that a Tae Bo class was responsible for the rumblings, which prompted an evacuation. The building, known as the TechnoMart, gets about 50,000 daily visitors and was closed for two days after the Tae Bo Incident.
After zeroing in on a theory, scientists re-created the scene at the Tae Bo class with the same number of participants (23) working out to the beat of the same song ("The Power" by Snap) and it produced the same tremors as the original occurrence.
"The new fitness instructor apparently carried out the exercise twice as hard as usual," Chung Lan, professor of Architectural Engineering at Dankook University, told the Korea Times. "That must have been the reason."
The gym is on the 12th floor, and scientists said that they recorded tremors on the 38th floor during the re-enactment.
Despite the scientists' use of high-tech equipment such as a laser Doppler vibrometer, the Times reported that the public has greeted their conclusion with skepticism. The Times cited a Twitter post that read: "If the real cause of the vibration was the exercise, then shouldn’t the people who built the shoddy building be held accountable?"
Tae Bo is a cardio workout that blends elements of tae kwon do and karate. Blanks, an actor and martial artist, developed Tae Bo in the late 80's, and its popularity skyrocketed in the 90's when stars including Wayne Gretzky, Paula Abdul, Pamela Anderson and Shaquille O'Neal vouched for it.
It even spawned knockoffs and spoofs such as the Cat Bo video below from Ernest (The Cat) Miller, who went on to portray Mickey Rourke's final opponent in the film "The Wrestler."