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REVIEW: TAPOUT XT – Part 1 of 2



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.


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 #@$!


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.  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.


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 other popular programs 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.



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.



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 )


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.


PART 2 of Tapout XT review now available as the Parrot trains to a music montage and prepares to take on the Kobra Kai at the All-Valley Karate Championship with the help of TAPOUT XT!

First I'm going to pulverize the lot of you, then I'm going to mess your hair.


John Paul Parrot ( 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.



  1. Pedro Becerril

    September 23, 2016 at

    In “Sprawl and Brawl” the gloves are not for protection, they have some weight (1 lb.) that makes the routines more challenging.

  2. Toi Hershman

    May 5, 2015 at

    Ok, so I never post on social media, but I have to tell you, you are my go to for my next workout. I just tried Tapout xt plyo this morning, but almost didn’t because of your review. So I sampled the plyo since you said it was the most challenging, and I decided to get the streaming download version of both xt and xt2. I have completed insanity (proper) about 4 times, Asylum 1 and 2 about the same and Just did Max 30 – again, “hats off for the review,” and now I am in a quandary where I need something new…Shaun T can only be my boyfriend for so long, and I loathe P90X – mostly cuz I travel for work and it is just not conducive to a 3 x 5 space in a hotel room. Anyway, just wanted to say “thanks” and you are spot on accurate!!!

  3. Sarah

    October 31, 2014 at

    Thank you. I read these when I first started doing Tapout but still find it very useful to remind myself which Tapout is which (how long each workout is, etc). Thanks for putting this together!

  4. Bob

    August 18, 2013 at

    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 thank you

  5. Murphy Kins

    July 29, 2013 at

    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

  6. Dan Lanning

    December 19, 2012 at

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

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 19, 2012 at

      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!

  7. zoon_ii

    August 19, 2012 at

    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.”

    • ♥*~sweetiepie~*♥,

      February 26, 2013 at

      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

      • Dysfunctional Parrot

        February 27, 2013 at

        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.

  8. Pugs

    June 21, 2012 at

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

  9. Deadbolt

    June 20, 2012 at

    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…

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