Looks like Mike Karpenko and the gang is back with a sequel to the original Tapout XT and that means your favorite feathered reviewer has been sent back into the testing war room for the sake of informing you, the ever curious consumer with exceedingly high taste in websites. My previous review of the original Tapout XT gave the first program a relatively good score so I was curious to see if there would be any improvements with Tapout XT2. So let’s get to it shall we?
What you get:
For $120 ( + around $25 shipping ) you get 10 DVD’s, jump-rope, food plan, resistance band ( fairly light strength ) and an option for either a 4 or 6lb medicine ball with convenient handles. My advice…get the 6lb. Don’t be a wuss. The option to get a t-shirt is also available. And if you know me, you know I love to get free swag.
The program length is 60 days because everyone these days is trying to jump on the 60/90 day bandwagon. Must be some weird blood oath between fitness trainers or something.
Time: 57 Minutes
Legs Extreme is a tale of two cities. On one hand it is a seriously painful workout that is evident as I write this a day after the fact. My gluteus are killing me and I’m sore all over in ways I haven’t been since I jumped into this workout review schtick. This is no doubt due to the countless squats and rapid body motions, many of which involve the use of a medicine ball. So top score in that department. But of course, you didn’t come here for just the good news did you?
What is clear right from the onset is confusing production value. For example, the set is great but the music is sort of “meh”. Plus the cast looks genuinely confused with most of what Mike is saying. This leads me to believe they were not part of any test group at all, but were randomly picked from a gym based on their assets. One dude sticks out more than any as Fabio has the worst time it seems as being able to keep up with the sequence.
Another thing that might hit the wrong chord is the gratuitous camera angles on the fairer gender. My wife counted six crotch shots before we both agreed it was getting awkward counting them and that the point was already made. Combine that with the ‘one size too small’ sports bras and I was starting to wonder if they hired sex-offenders for the production team.
Finishing Move: 10 Windmills-10 Fast Feet
Pros: Tough as nails leg workout that combines speed, co-ordination and strength.
Cons: Many of the cast clearly have no idea what the Hell they are doing.
Cross Core Combat 2
Time: 65 Minutes
Burn Kenpo X ( you’ve already done that anyway right? ) and pop this in the player if you want to get a real martial arts core workout. Yes, although I like P90X I am forced to admit that the cardio options are just plain terrible and should always be switched out with another program. Also, Fabio returns and I’m extremely grateful because it’s hard to find fresh comedy material these days.
As the title suggests, CCC2 is a core routine that gets the job done by means of kicks and punches. But it doesn’t stop there. Throw in lots of squats and an almost constant use of the medicine ball and it won’t take long to see why this is a top class core workout. There is absolutely nothing easy about CCC2. But don’t sweat it if you have difficulty doing this as half the cast looks lost too.
My personal opinion is that this was better than many martial arts classes I’ve been to in terms of working your butt off. I know this because I spent fifteen years in karate as well as travelling across America helping people with the power of Kung Fu. At least I think I did that last part. The 80’s were a weird time for me. Nonetheless, if you have any genuine training then it wouldn’t take much to plug it in here and be a quick musical montage away from winning the All-Valley Championship.
Finishing “Killer” Move: Grave Digger. These were really easy…at first. They end with you having one foot in the grave. Ow.
Pros: A cardio muscle killer that will have you spent. If you’ve got any gas after this then I don’t know what you’re made of.
Cons: Music is just awful, but substituting the Karate Kid soundtrack should suffice.
Mobility and Recovery
Time: 52 Minutes
Switching the words around does not technically mean this isn’t lifted from P90X2, but whatever.
Thankfully there are no Wookies or cowboy hats. Just normal people doing a normal stretch workout. This one in many ways incorporates Yoga-esque moves to add a broader range of flexibility training and it is entirely do-able. Mike also cools it with the “ain’t my cast awesome attitude”. And thankfully there are no confusing 10-move combos made up on the fly…just stuff that straight up works.
Pros: Feels more natural. Music fits here much better.
Cons: Dare I say, this one is a keeper.
Time: 61 Minutes
I’m getting to really hate the cast intros at the start because it really primes the poor dopes for failure. This weeks sacrificial lamb is Leonard who will demonstrate during the warmup how not to jump rope.
I’ll use this particular DVD to make a point about production. When you have a seven foot woman in your cast, she should be in the back as not to make the cameraman’s job difficult. Then bring Mary ( the only one who knows what she is doing ) to the front. The cast is simply uber-lost and I’ll wager fifty shekels right now that most have never done this routine before the camera started rolling.
The moves in Drench XT are random with no repeating patterns. Decide for yourself if that suits you.
Finishing “Killer” Move: The Bad Boys. A very hairy man will demonstrate this. 4 jumps, 4 tucks, 4 knee strikes, repeat. Mike does good, but the beard…oh the beard...does better. Leonard looks like he’s going to puke.
Pros: Can’t skip rope? Neither can they. Recommend weighted gloves to up the intensity.
Cons: Feels very random. Rope Slams are a waste of time. Grab a jump rope.
Sprawl and Brawl 2
Time: 60 Minutes
Time to hit the ground and then get pounded into it. This is evident by the diminishing amount of smiling faces as the workout progresses. Unlike many of the other workouts, the cast has been given their morning espressos and are here to do business. I think that might be because they left many of the B-Team home and brought in the better bunch. For example, cardio-bunny Nicole practically hands the entire cast of MMA pros their collective asses by following through with good form. Even “Fabio” Clay who is less than stellar in other workouts manages to smoke the Killer Move.
There is heavy use of the medicine ball here which is the main reason this gets high marks and I must say I was very impressed. This should be thought of as a total body cardio circuit and not so much a martial arts workout. Unique moves such as Upper-to-Wide Spider Pushups are actually rather brilliant, if not cruel. This one gets solid marks for being a great workout.
Finishing “Killer” Move: 10 Squats-10 Planks
Pros: When the dolled up cast members are having a hard time smiling only ten minutes in, you know this is doing it’s job. Heavy use of the ball practically guarantees you’ll be deader than a chicken fried alligator when this is over. Cast seems more in tune.
Cons: I’d mention something about the ladies having more fabric to cover themselves, but I’m starting to sound like my grandmother.
Fight Night XT
Time: 54 Minutes
You’d think this would be a winner but it never really gets any traction, right from the moment “Cowboy” wears his ridiculous Stetson for half the workout. If the cast can’t take this seriously then neither can I.
Again, the cast is relatively inept, fumbling over basic movements such as jump ropes and doing extremely half-hearted squats and punch combos with all the feeling of a child’s TaeKwonDo class. Fabio looks like he’s having a seizure trying to do mock-rope jumps. And yet these people are supposed to be professional MMA fighters? No way they actually put this kind of apathy in their training as I find that impossible to believe. It is truly distracting.
Fight Night XT is much like Cross Core Combat 2, but somehow misses the target the latter managed to hit rather well. I doubt I’ll be coming back to this one anytime soon.
Finishing “Killer” Move: XT Sprawls. The look of confusion on the cast is priceless.
Pros: Dude takes his cowboy hat off half way.
Cons: Dude takes his cowboy hat off half way.
Conclusion thus far…
Thus far it seems that Tapout XT2 is a tale of two stories. When it succeeds it does so brilliantly but you also feel bad when it stumbles over some relatively basic concepts. For many the problems will not be obvious or even a concern at all so I don’t want to state my opinion as gospel. I cannot fault Tapout XT2 thus far for difficulty as it is indeed a monster. So despite my critical insights, I in no way want to compare this to legitimate half-hearted attempts such as Supreme 90. XT2 is a serious workout package that just happens to have a fair share of glaring issues such as substandard music and a cast that could have benefited from being part of a test group rather than just brought on for their fame.
Another gripe is the amount of cast members. There are so many limbs flying around on the set it can often be difficult focusing in on just what is happening…a problem clearly experienced by the often confused cast themselves. It would have been best if they dropped maybe 4 people from the roster.
However, there is more to come. Buns and Guns 2, Flex XT, 8 Pack Abs, and Hurl XT are waiting to be reviewed as well as the final conclusion of the program. Will Tapout XT2 make the grade? Don’t move one iota from your computer until you find out from DysfunctionalParrot.com…the only source you trust and which conveniently enough also holds the lease on your immortal souls.
Reviews of remaining workouts, Mrs. Parrot’s Food Guide Report and the dramatic no holds barred conclusion now available in Part 2!
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