TENNESSEAN – WILLIAMSON A.M. – Article by: Josh Adams

Tae Bo comes to Franklin thanks to founder’s daughter

Daughter of Tae Bo founder opens studio in Franklin

FRANKLIN — During the 1990s, most of the country was familiar with the business built by Shellie Blanks Cimarosti’s father, Billy Blanks.

Tae Bo. The punching, kicking, martial-arts based calorie-burning workout was a fitness sensation, and Cimarosti was in the thick of it. She appeared in workout videos, taught classes and helped her father build what has become an enduring brand.

In the years after the craze subsided, Cimarosti continued to teach what her father created, and every year certifies dozens of new trainers. Only now — more than a decade removed from its pop-culture heyday — are Cimarosti and her husband making Tae Bo the center of their livelihood. On Nov. 10, the couple marked the grand opening of their first Tae Bo studio and invited, who else, but the man himself.

“It’s been really neat to build this on our own, but also carry on the legacy of my dad and my mom,” Cimarosti said.
Famous father leads classes

Billy Blanks led several Tae Bo classes to help his daughter open the new gym in Franklin, and had a good crowd thanks to the following Cimarosti built in recent years teaching at a nearby health club.

She and her husband, Mark, moved to Franklin about three years ago from Los Angeles for his job in medical sales. For the past two years, Cimarosti taught Tae Bo classes at the Franklin Athletic Club where, she said, it grew to six sessions a week. When her husband recently lost his job, said Cimarosti, they decided to open the gym. Mark Cimarosti is also a certified instructor.

Team Tae Bo Fitness, the name of their gym on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin, also offers weight lifting, kickboxing and cable training, and has child care services.

The popularity of Tae Bo may not be what it was when she lived in L.A. and worked for her dad, but Cimarosti said the program works and delivers results.

“People think sometimes that because they don’t see it on TV that it’s gone,” she said. “The reason why, I believe, people come back to Tae Bo is it is challenging. It’s real, it tells you what it needs. It takes work to do, and it’s fun.”

Article by: Josh Adams at 615-771-5417 or jadams@tennessean.com.