REVIEW: TAPOUT XT – Part 1 of 2

In a world ruled by P90X and Insanity, a true contender finally arises.

By Jean Paul Fender

 

Finally available in Canada, it is time for me to review the new home fitness system in town, TAPOUT XT with trainer Mike Karpenko.  Yours truly is fresh off doing P90X2 and by request, Tapout XT is the next victim to fall under my watchful eye of scrutiny!  What will follow is a two-part review which will conclude with my ultimate findings and recommendations.  Is this better than P90X or X2?  Insanity?  Asylum?  As usual I review things myself instead of repeating the same old crap for no other reason than my passionate, un-natural and deviantly sociopathic love for all of you out there.

Like P90X, Tapout XT is a series of DVD’s each around 40-50 minutes long and follows a 90 day schedule that mixes up every 30 days.  The workouts follow a martial arts/MMA theme and there are several high profile guest stars in the crowd of people doing the routine.  At least they say so.  I don’t know who is who in MMA at all so they could be either world champions or total hacks for all I know!   As an added feature, each workout also has the dreaded last “Killer Move” which is alone is a serious goal to achieve.

I also must apologize for the many references to P90X, but it is unavoidable as most people want to know.  Ok, I’m ready.  Let’s get to it…

CROSS CORE COMBAT

Time : 45 minutes

Day 1 wastes no time.  This is high core and high speed.  Things move fast so you won’t have a lot of time to get bored as you focus on explosive core strength with various versions of “Supermans” and punches with resistance bands.  CCC has a fantastic lower back and ab focus which means old farts like myself should look forward to less lower back pain as time goes by.  The cardio is not as hard as Insanity ( no max heart rate type stuff ), but the sweat on my floor seemed to think otherwise.  Just goes to show that a little more resistance and a little less downtime can make a huge difference.

KILLER MOVE: GRINDERS – 10 pushups, 10 knee tucks, 9 pushups, 9 knee tucks…all the way down to 1.  Son of a #@$!

STRENGTH & FORCE UPPER

Time: 53 minutes

Bands, pushups, strikes and speed.  Although you get a “pro-grade” resistance band with this package, I recommend going to your local fitness store and getting a couple more of various strengths.  For example, I had to use a 42-60lb band for the bicep curls ( I use Ripcords ) if I wanted to get anything out of the motion.  Yet when I had to do the strikes I dropped to a much lighter band.

There’s a fair amount of pushups here, but you’re not really getting enough time to do max-reps like you would in P90X.  Probably just as well considering how trashed you’ll be when it’s over due to most of them involving explosive movement instead of being slow and steady.

KILLER MOVE: KARPENKO CURLS – various bicep curls with band while lying on back.

PLYO XT

Time: 51 minutes

Plyometrics and martial arts are a natural fit, so it should come as little surprise how effective this one is.  In all fairness you really cannot compare this to P90X or Insanity because Plyo XT follows its own rules.  First of all, even though you get a few water breaks there are no ( and I mean no ) breaks in between them.  That means you go straight from one quad busting move to the next with little chance to gain your composure.  Most moves are also a combo, such as frog jumps adding in strikes, or speed skaters with kicks.  But these serve mainly to distract you from the agony of the situation.

In short, it’s like the non-stop Insanity Pure Cardio combined with RushFit.

KILLER MOVE: KNEE TUCKS for 1 minute.

YOGA XT

Time: 51 minutes

Yoga is a hard sell for any program because it’s outside the regular cardio/resistance training we’re accustomed to.  But need it we do and Tapout XT has this as part of your weekly schedule.

I’m no yoga expert, so maybe there really is only one style of yoga to do.   This is upward/downward dogs, warrior/chair poses and some stretches.  You hold the positions a bit longer than X2, so I appreciate that.  I can’t say much more about Yoga XT as it is just about verbatim the same as Yoga MC2 from Tony’s One on One series.  Even right down to when Mike says “Xsssssss…” and then quickly says “T!!”.  Nice save.

Similarities aside, you need yoga anyway.  Really.

KILLER MOVE:  none

LEGS and BACK

Time: 40 minutes

You’ll be using that loop band for this a lot, otherwise a good portion of this won’t really feel like much.   With resistance followed quickly by explosive movements, this is almost a form of Post Activation Potentiation.  While there is a lot of legs here, where’s the back?  True, there are a few row movements here and there but in between a leg set you often do push ups instead.  I’d say the back gets a good stretch, but not much more.

There are a lot of fast motions with resistance bands here so go slow at first if you want to avoid pulling something.  That is unless you’re a young punk in which case get off my lawn and go for it!

KILLER MOVE: SUPERMAN/KNEE STRIKE ( like Plyo pushups with teeth )

SPRAWL and BRAWL

Time: 46 minutes

Think of this as a non-sissy version of Kenpo X ( which I hate ).  There’s lots of getting up and down, being on your back, doing strikes and explosive ground work.  Speed, core and co-ordination will be the goals to achieve here.

Mike also recommends workout gloves for this, but in all fairness you probably won’t need them unless your floor is sandpaper.

One complaint: He named a move “Jersey Shore”.  I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.  Sure Mike, we understand that you know the producers of the show.  But like my shameful past of working as a pig castrator ( no joke ), I keep that distasteful fact to myself.  Then again, the move is a floor punch, so just imagine you’re pounding “The Situation’s” face into hamburger.

KILLER MOVE: FALL PUSH-UP MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Tapout XT Review PART 2 of 2

The Dysfunctional Parrot trains hard with a music montage playing in the background and prepares to take on the Kobra Kai at the All-Valley Karate Championship with the help of TAPOUT XT!

ALSO NOW AVAILABLE:  REVIEW OF TAPOUT XT2

  

© 2012 – 2014, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

Jean Paul Fender

Jean Paul Fender

Supreme Overlord at DysfunctionalParrot.com
Jean Paul Fender ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects. Jean Paul is also the author of the ongoing comedy apocalyptic novel, LOOPBACK.
Jean Paul Fender
 
 
  • Deadbolt

    Good work as usual in your recaps! I’ve already pulled the trigger and am awaiting delivery…looking for a mix-it-up to the Tony/Tony/Tony/Shawn T workouts that I still love and continue to use…

  • Pugs

    Love this review!! Looking forward to seeing how the All Valley Karate Championships went.

  • zoon_ii

    I would not recommend tapout xt at all.

    My wife and I have finished P90X and Insanity.

    We bought xt to try something different, and were excited and intrigued by the MMA twist to it.

    Let us tell you to start, you’ll know this guy, Mike, behaves as though he is not a certified personal trainer. He doesn’t use correct anatomical terminology.

    I would highly recommend you compare the workout titles of xt to p90x and notice the obvious similarities in the title names. particularly with plyo, yoga, and the different martial arts programs. I’m not saying that the martial arts aspect is a copy, but lets face it, p90x was first, and this is an imitation that pales in comparison.

    the warmups and stretches are really a joke. you perform movements for stretches so quickly that one with some degree of history with physical education would call out the move as bogus on the spot. he really runs through the whole aspect of stretching.

    the actual workouts, while intense, are insanely hard to follow. if you bought the program, you would be better off one weekend to just sit and WATCH, not perform, just watch the workouts. there is no instruction time. there is no example of how to modify the movements for those that are either not in great shape, or have a physical limitation.

    Let’s also emphasize that while variety is great, the speed at which you blast through the different movements is ridiculous. Like I said, it’s hard to follow, and a lot of the time, the movements mike demonstrates for you to do can sometimes be a pathway to injury. There were many times that I decided to not follow through a movement because of the undue strain on a shoulder or knee joint. The workouts appear to be made up by someone who doesn’t know proper body mechanics or basic kinesiology.

    I would like to make one direct comparison: Yoga.

    p90x has, albeit long, a great yoga workout. it’s rhythmic, it’s instructional, and the terminology for the poses are correct. it also incorporates some of the meditative aspects, which is important to what yoga is about. breathing, focus, etc. after you’re finished with p90x yoga, you feel refreshed, good and lifted.

    xt: there is no rhythmic instruction. it’s planking, and up and downward dog a majority of the time. and FAST too. there is no instruction on the proper time to inhale or exhale, which is a critical aspect of yoga.

    let me just say this in closing. i don’t know mike, but the dude acts like he’s coked out of his mind while he going through these workouts. he may be really really lean and in shape, but personally, as someone who appreciates a good MOTIVATOR and INSTRUCTOR such as tony or shaun t, mike pales miserably in comparison. he simply is not a motivator. I didn’t feel motivated at all during the workouts.

    insanity was….insane. i hated the intensity, but i finished them nonetheless because i was motivated. plus the movements didn’t make me feel as though I would injure myself.

    tapout xt will be returned for a full refund very soon. it’s a polished ripoff of very successful workout programs. but if you have any semblance of critical thinking, you’ll recognize this quickly when you open the box. i would also recommend you take a look at the fact that 90×2 was released late 2011, and xt was released mid this year. there movements performed in each are IDENTICAL. after finishing the plyo xt workout, i was surfing some demo videos for 90×2, and the the movements for “explode and pound the ground” were the same. i felt ripped off. i felt some shock because, like i said, the movements are the same. now, i realize the body can only move in so many ways, and it takes some creativity to create entirely new workouts, but come on. really? exact duplication? let me also point out that i would feel safer from following the 90×2 program, and i haven’t tried it yet, because i know from the original 90x program, there is proper instruction about not only how to perform the movements, but how to NOT perform the movement to avoid injury.

    not only that, but the nutrition plan is abhorrent. there’s a 10 day slim down guide that basically gives you 2 meals/day. that’s a starvation diet, and no duh, you will lose weight on it, but also start to shred your own muscle tissue to maintain blood sugar levels and produce the energy you need to complete your day to day routines + the workouts. it’s ignorant, and isn’t a recommended way to lose weight. think hollywood fad.

    so, xt….it’s intense, but not scientifically sound. it’s very possible i would say to injury yourself on this plan.

    but if you insist on trying something different, by all means, try. it’s does have the 90 day money back guarantee. but don’t forget that I said, “Look out, it’s a polished rip-off.”

    • http://twitter.com/xPRETTYiiNPINKx ♥*~sweetiepie~*♥,

      p90x2 is NOTHING like p90x btw
      p90x is bodybuilder style routines with 8-12 or 12-15 reps for the most

      p90x2 is basically the same as tapout xt with density training, how many reps in a certain amnt of time

      • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

        Respectfully must disagree. Tapout XT and P90X2 are hardly the same at all. P90X2 has no martial arts component whatsoever and is broken into 3 distinct phases: Core, Strength and PAP. After having done both programs, I fail to see much in common except perhaps the schedule and obvious idea lifting from P90X.

  • Dan Lanning

    I’ve been doing Tapout XT for about 6 weeks and I’ve hit my plateau. What should I do?

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Plateau after only 6 weeks? Are you Wolverine?

      All humor aside, if I had to make a choice, I’d say mix it up and do one of 2 things…Asylum or Body Beast. Both are two extremes so choose your weapon!

  • Murphy Kins

    I actually have completed P90X, Insanity and Tapout XT. I got great results from all of them. But my favorite would be Tapout XT. I was never bored and I loved the MMA moves.

    I actually did a review on it at http://www.squidoo.com/tapout-xt-review-and-results-will-you-shred

  • Bob

    I was wondering if you knew where I can get meal plan got my tapout from a friend who lost the meal plan please email me if so joshtif06@gmail.com thank you

 
 
 
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