The review continues!By Jean Paul Fender
In Part 1 we got introduced to the new fitness program Tapout XT and what it’s all about. Thus the review continues in the long awaited sequel and we now find out if Tapout XT lives up to the hype. And as always the test subject is myself because I’m having a hard time finding any review out there that isn’t trying to sell it to you. But kids, that’s always been the Dysfunctional Parrot’s mission: To make the internet suck less.
Time: 47 minutes
This is like Cross Core Combat but with more focus on cardio and balance. There’s also some seriously good abdominal/obliques action going on with planks and crunches. CC is its own thing and I cannot compare it to that other program I keep mentioning so at least you get something new here.
Some moves will take time, such as the “Plank Rotator” ( hard to describe! ). Let’s just say this was not my moment to shine. But if you can get through this, your abs/core will have had a good day, guaranteed.
HIGH POINT: One of the participants is a dead ringer for General Zod. Was he always there?
You really have to respect any workout that makes a Kryptonian sweat.
KILLER MOVE: QUEEN BEE ( plyo jumps from side to side )
BUNS and GUNS
Time: 31 minutes
Hey, it’s just 30 minutes so it’s going to be easy right? Ow.
You’ll need the loop band again or this won’t cut it. But WITH it you will absolutely get what you’re looking for. Buns and Guns is like three Ten Minute Trainers in a row. The layout for this is 10 min of buns, 10 of guns, then a final 10 of buns again. This is more of a maintenance workout as you can’t expect to make gun progress with only ten minutes. But keep in mind you’ll have just done Competition Core or Muay Thai the day before.
KILLER MOVE: BUN BLASTER ( Plank leg raises with the loop band around ankles )
Time: 40 minutes
Finish this and you’ll be qualified to yell “GIVE ME TONG PO!!!!”! Whereas Sprawl and Brawl was lots of ground work, this is mainly knee strikes, kicks and elbow strikes in Muay Thai style. That’s why you can pretty much ignore the recommendation for gloves as 90% of this is standing up anyway. Be sure to tighten the gut during this as many moves won’t have an impact otherwise. Do that and your abs will be on fire by the time this is over.
Some participants have bare feet and if you have a solid floor then that would be the way to go to get that authentic martial arts feel. But if you’re on carpet you’ll need shoes for sure to prevent sliding all over the place.
KILLER MOVE: 4x 4x 4x 4x ( knee strikes, punches, kicks, squat strikes )
Time: 46 minutes
Despite everything good about P90X, if it’s one thing that was a raging pile of suck it was Cardio X. When compared to Insanity, it’s a crime to even use the word “cardio” for that workout. So how does Cardio XT fare against these guys? I’m glad to say there’s good news!
It’s clear Mike is aiming for the max heart rate levels of Insanity on this yet the workouts are quite different. Insanity is primarily plyometrics. Here there’s a lot of punches, crouching, moving around…everything you’d expect from a MMA style cardio workout. You get a few water breaks and you’ll need them. Cardio XT does not let up so you’ll have no problem getting to your max heart rate.
The set is different in this than the other DVD’s with only Mike and 3 others doing this. An afterthought workout perhaps? No matter as the flow is still there.
KILLER MOVE: K-90 ( sprints, mountain climbers, side-jacks, repeat until you puke. )
Time: 41 minutes
This is a workout that can best be described as a total body attack with resistance bands. High reps with bands and sinister pushups are the tools to go after the biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and gut. And it’s not just simple curls or presses either. There’s lots of explosive action in many moves that make the burn go that much deeper.
I’ll admit, I was surprised by this one. I was seriously burned out when the the end came and spent most of my cool-down time making peace with my maker.
KILLER MOVE: I’s Y’s T’s ( shoulder assault. Use a band that works )
Time: 15 minutes
Ab Ripper X Ultimate Abs is crunches. Really…agonizing…crunches. And in that there is good news to be told: Mike takes care of the obliques better than Tony ( Ab Ripper X has maybe 2 oblique moves tops ) so expect some progress even if you’re a seasoned P90X grad.
Even though the name is close, in my opinion Ultimate Abs XT is a better use of your 15 minutes than Ab Ripper X due to the broader abs focus.
KILLER MOVE: GFO’s ( grap, forearm with a turn, other side…for what seems like an eternity!! )
BONUS DISK: Strike Training
Time: 5 minutes
This technically is not a workout at all, but it came with the package so I thought it was worth mentioning. With the help of some MMA fighters ( one of whom is bare chested and wearing a cowboy hat. Wait…WTF??? ), you get a quick tutorial on basic stances, punches, jabs and kicks. It’s interesting, but really of no value unless you know who the Hell these people are. Which I don’t.
So is Tapout XT the P90X killer? Well the answer is sort of complicated. In a sense, it can be. I feel you might enjoy this as much as the original P90X, but not P90X2. Tapout XT is more of a RUSHFIT killer. Given a choice between the two any rational person would take Tapout XT over Rushfit any day of the week as this is far better made ( no reused warmup footage like RushFit ), the instructor more likeable ( and understandable ), and the workouts much harder and diverse. However, Rushfit, unlike this, is it’s own thing and not a clone of anyone else.
Another question that pops up is “Is this as tough as Insanity?”. In terms of cardio difficulty, no. Not much is because the only place to go after your max heart rate is the emergency room. But that’s not a slap against Tapout XT either because it is still an intense cardio program nonetheless. Plus Insanity has practically no resistance focus at all whereas this does.
And of course everyone wants to know, is this as tough as P90X or X2? For me it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park! Tapout XT indeed has a high core focus but P90X has much more core+resistance training with weights so you’ll get better results with it if that’s what you’re looking for. Tapout XT uses bands which can be difficult to measure progress and often do not push you to your limits like weights and a chin-up bar can. But in terms of moving fast and being light on your feet, it is here that Tapout XT gets a win over P90X.
It is obvious from the schedule, diet plan, and heck…even some DVD’s in general that this program is heavily influenced from P90X ( and often completely ripped off from ). In fact you could swap many workouts with each other ( Plyo, Yoga, Abs ) and not skip a beat. Where Tapout XT differs is that is has a more speed cardio/resistance aspect to its training. That means you won’t necessarily get huge guns ( not to say you won’t get them though! ), but you’ll be as fast and durable as all freaking Hell. If you just happen to also be a martial arts enthusiast then this will be tailor made to your fitness needs.
Think of Tapout XT as a pseudo-hybrid of P90X and Insanity but with it’s own flavor of MMA that unfortunately doesn’t reach the height of either of the fore-mentioned programs. That means high core, high speed, high cardio. But at the end of the day, it is still a lower quality copy of P90X. Therefore I bestow upon Tapout XT the rating of 3.5 Feathers out of 5.
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