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REVIEW: TAPOUT XT – Part 2 of 2



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?


In my humble opinion, you really have to respect any workout that makes a Kryptonian sweat.

KILLER MOVE:  QUEEN BEE ( plyo jumps from side to side )


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.  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.

Tapout XT uses bands instead of good old iron 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 many workouts currently available.

Where Tapout XT differs from the pack is that it 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 means high core, high speed, high cardio.  I bestow upon Tapout XT the rating of 4 Feathers out of 5.

TAPOUT XT2 REVIEW now available!

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. Jason

    February 2, 2021 at

    The gloves are for weight and not to protect you from a hard floor!,

  2. Jesse

    July 12, 2016 at

    I love the MMA theme of these workouts, but I also want to build some muscle.
    If I use ultra heavy tension bands and get in my good caloric intake will I realistically gain some muscle?
    I am looking for 10lbs after I finish the program.

  3. Karena

    June 30, 2016 at

    Hi, just a heads up. When they suggest wearing the gloves, they are not just gym gloves… they’re weighted gloves.. I think that would make a much difference!

    Thanks for the review!!! :)

  4. John

    January 5, 2016 at

    What’s ur take on the following.
    1 day Body Beast Total Body, another Lucky 7.
    Alternate those with 1 day Tapout XT Muay Thai, the others Cardio XT.
    Yoga X one day, 2 rest.
    What type results will I get from 60-90 days of the above?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 5, 2016 at

      If you do your best, probably pretty darn good results. As with any of these programs, none of them hold the magic formula for fitness. I rarely stick to one program and often mix 3-4 different types throughout my week just to keep things interesting. The ticket is to avoid overworking a body part so I try to alternate cardio/resistance training to allow myself to rest. Looks like you’re planning much the same.

  5. Casi

    December 1, 2015 at

    I am looking to combine some programs to train for a half-distance triathlon. How would you recommend incorporating TapOut XT? Would this sacrifice for my cross training days? I did Insanity once and I completed P90X once. This time when I start, it will be as if I’m starting from scratch. I definitely need some recommendations. Should I do this to get back into shape then make this my cross fit days?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      December 6, 2015 at

      Tapout XT is indeed a good cross-fit style for training and would surely help your endurance. I think it would be a good fit, assuming you like an MMA theme to your workouts.

  6. John

    October 20, 2015 at

    Replace all the p90x CARDIO with Tapoutxt muay thai, cardio xt, will that build me up while giving me cardio benefits?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      October 20, 2015 at

      Absolutely. I have never been a big fan of the P90X cardio options as they are pretty weak. T25, Max 30 and yes, Tapout XT cardio options are excellent drop-in replacements.

  7. John

    August 20, 2015 at

    What do you think of a hybrid that would consist of doing the body beast bulk routine after the scheduled Tapout XT workout for that day?
    Following this throughout the entire 90 days of tapout.
    Since beast bulk is only 30 minutes the tapout workouts would also be an excellent “warmup” before beast bulk.
    Lastly, provided you approve do you think this might cause any over training issues.
    If you look at this hybrid, time wise it’s no worse than XT 2.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 21, 2015 at

      I’m a huge fan of infinite mixes of hybrids! As long as you allow worked over body parts a rest period then I think a BB/Tapout hybrid would actually be very interesting! Both would certainly fill the shortcomings of the other.

      You should be ok when it comes to overtraining. Just be sure to have enough food intake and the proper nutrition and I wouldn’t foresee any problems. Have fun!

  8. John

    July 30, 2015 at

    Here I am Parrot going to THE SOURCE.
    Tapout XT vs. UFC Fit which is the one people will most likely stick to and do it for several rounds?
    Also, on Tapout XT no recovery weeks.
    Think it’s ok to stick in an X3 recovery week after 3 weeks of XT?
    May take longer to finish, but it gives time to recoup.
    Tried the first week and I found it harder than Rushfit, P90X, and X3.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 6, 2015 at

      For several rounds? I’d have to give Tapout XT the edge if you’re male. UFC Fit if you’re female. It has a lot to do with how each is presented.

      I think mixing X3 would be no problem at all. One thing I’m noticing these days is that so many of these programs borrow similar philosophies from each other that making hybrid schedules is a breeze.

  9. HaunterM

    September 23, 2014 at

    When i finished the tapout XT, i ws SHOCKED, I got the results and the body i always wanted, and no… i’m not doing any promo, But god that was the best program i ever made in my life, now i’m doing the TX2, wish me luck

  10. Downtown Oliver

    January 29, 2014 at

    DP, Did you do 84 days or 90 of Tapout XT? What did you do? I am puzzled as to why they advertise 90 days, but the schedule has only 12 weeks on the calendar. For some reason I feel slighted by this. I am starting on Monday, March 31, and based on you review I think I should have some fun with it!

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      January 30, 2014 at

      Thinking back I probably only did about 40 days due to having to move on to reviewing another workout series. I’m looking into getting UFC Fit sometime in the near future and seeing how that turns out!

      • Downtown Oliver

        April 30, 2014 at

        D. Parrot, I am on Day 31 today and I am starting to get bored. This is unlike me as I did 11 rounds of X, X+, and X2 and I hardly missed any days (mostly due to traveling, illness, and camping). Monday, I substituted plyo X for plyo XT because I think it’s a better workout. Yesterday, I did Ripped for the first time and wasn’t very impressed. Seems like Force, but with a different tempo and order. I think the boredom reflects the quality of TapouT as a program, and also you seem to agree with me based on the 3.5 feathers. Today I have Muay Thai. It’s just “meh.” Barely an upgrade from Ken po X. What do you do to cure boredom? Turn off the sound and crank up the tunes? Switch programs mid-flight??

        • Dysfunctional Parrot

          April 30, 2014 at

          I solve the boredom problem by mostly incorporating a ton of variety. I have about a half dozen of my favorite series that I put on a weekly rotation so I don’t have to look at any one person too long.

          Sometimes I just use a treadmill or go outside. Other times I practice some karate katas. My karate background is probably why I dislike MMA workouts so much as they are rather silly compared to the real thing!

  11. East Boy

    June 27, 2013 at

    I like Tapout more than Insanity and P90X.

    Why over insanity? Insanity was tough, challenging, but not that fun. It wasn’t one of those workouts I was excited to do.

    Why over P90x? I think I like Mike over Tony. Plus, I agree — the cardio in P90X is a joke. I haven’t tried P90X2 though…

    However, adding some extra resistance when doing Abs XT or other workouts in Tapout XT gives me a really good hybrid. I’m looking forward to Tapout 2 as I hear it’s just as fun, if not more, than the OG Tapout.

    Last comment: Tapout has the 90-day test group with real people. That’ll keep you motivated to keep going. It’s good to know that those go-getters like Eric, Monet, etc. are doing the workouts really well

  12. Cheryl

    April 11, 2013 at

    Great reviews. I just finished Rushfit. I must admit I tired of the same warm up and cool down six days a week. I’m a big GSP fan though. I’m loving Tapout and have P90x2 lined up for my next workout. I will have to check back and compare my experience to yours. It is nice to read reviews without a click here to purchase tab! I like Beachbody products but the coach thing really irritates me. Any interest in reviewing body combat or pump?

  13. Thibs543

    September 23, 2012 at

    I just wanted to add that I believe he wants to add the workout gloves not because you need them for the ground or holding on to anything but because they are weighted and adds intensity to the strikes and combos.

  14. lisaspups

    August 23, 2012 at

    I have started using Tapout XT because I am really into martial arts and, so far, it is kicking my butt. All of these workouts, though, are rip offs of Crossfit, which is the toughest workouts I have ever done in my life.

  15. Dysfunctional Parrot

    July 28, 2012 at

    That tears it…it looks like I’ll have to do a Supreme 90 review soon!

  16. Brandon

    July 19, 2012 at

    DP – love your review…used them to pick and choose which one on ones to purchase…great site…any interest in trying the supreme 90 day workout? i’d love to hear an unbiased opinion on it as it seems to have the same principles as p90x but $80 cheaper.

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      July 19, 2012 at

      Considering the price, I may give it a look sometime soon ( Body Beast on deck ). Hard to complain about it only being $20. From what I see it looks like the poor-man’s P90X!

      • Brandon

        July 19, 2012 at

        I might go ahead and give it a try…finishing p90x2 in two weeks and for $20 why not. I have read that the chest and back uses dumbbell presses instead of pushups which I think I’d enjoy and the tabata is supposed to be a killer

  17. Max the Wonder Pug

    July 8, 2012 at

    I’m a 2x Insanity, 1 time P90x and Supreme 90 graduate (46 yrs. old). I’m currently on day 60 of this program, and it’s scary how much I agree with your reviews, especially “Legs & Back” and your suggestion to pick up different bands!
    Looks like about the only things we may part ways on are (1) the pace, which I think is rushed and takes away from the resistance routines. If you need to switch bands between moves, you’re basically screwed out of 1/2 the next move. Pause, and good luck restarting after getting set up! (2) I can’t stand Mike. He’s a blow hard, and as far as the Yoga routine goes, I doubt he’s ever even watched a Yoga workout before committing this one to memory (almost). I swap it out for Yoga X or something similar, as I have a few in my collection. (3) Last but not least, I find the production quality on the DVD’s cheap. The audio is obviously dubbed in at times, and when he “counts down” on a move, it’s never in sync! I could handle that from Supreme 90, which cost $20, but for $130 I expected better.
    Keep up the good work!

    • brandon

      July 19, 2012 at

      What were your thoughts on supreme 90 compared to p90x?

      • Max the Wonder Pug

        July 28, 2012 at

        Hey Brandon;
        I LOVED Supreme 90! The format is very similar to P90x, but the workouts are actually more along the lines of P90x2. A lot of combination moves, mostly involving a stability ball. (curls on a ball, etc.). Also, there is no stand alone “Ab” workout. You will do abs to start every resistance workout as their own set, and there is ab and core work in almost every workout.
        There is a Core workout included, but it’s not quite as difficult as either “Core Synergistics” or the 2 in TapouT. The Cardio, in my opinion, is actually better than anything in P90x. It’s a “Tabata” workout (you can look that up online if you need to), and it’s an absolute killer!
        The one negative I found was that the pace of the workouts makes it difficult to keep up. My solution to this was to write out the resistance workouts, then just do them as fast as I could.
        All in all, for the price it is a GREAT system. I made great gains in Core strength and I definitely learned some new “keeper” moves, and I found Tom Holland a breath of fresh air after Tony Horton’s non-stop ramblings!

        • Mike Cather

          August 25, 2012 at

          I like Supreme 90 more than P90X. I agree cardio and core fitness-wise it is superior. Tabata Inferno is the toughest workout within in either set. The speed of the strength routines is frustrating, though. I get Mr. Holland’s instruction and hit the pause button until I am ready for the next set. I would swap out S90 dvd for a P90X workout once in while when I just felt like taking my time for a change. I would tell anyone who is interested in P90X to save $120 and go with Supreme 90.

        • John

          July 19, 2015 at

          I just add kick, punches , and sprawls when doing Supreme 90 Tabata or Cardio Challenge and get the same benefits as Tapout XT.

  18. Misty Dawn

    July 2, 2012 at

    I just want to add…. Keep in mind, if this is your first introduction to a 60-90 day program – IT MAY BE MUCH TOUGHER!! For me, being an Insanity grad (many times over – and having done many P90X videos) Tapout XT has its moments of being difficult (rarely cardio wise (max heart rate); although I haven’t done Cardio XT yet) and challenging – and I LOVE the martial arts aspect!). When I first did Insanity (and I was in good condition before beginning it) I was in major shock!! and pain!! BUT, Insanity has made this program soooo much easier; although it still is challenging. If I had done this program first, before Insanity, I would be in agony (especially the cardio and strength moves) – and be swearing it the hardest workout ever… Since it is post Insanity, well, I don’t feel it is the hardest workout ever, BUT, is still an extremely effective, difficult, and fun workout (imho). I am extremely happy with it, as I feel it is attacking areas I thought were really strong and improving them (although, for some of the workouts that are less cardio intensive, I will do Insanity warm up and stretch before hand – just to maintain the amazing cardio level). Great plateau buster for me, and those repeating many cycles of Insanity….

    I guess what I am trying to say is: If this is your first program YOU WILL BE CHALLENGED AMAZINGLY!!! If a P90X, Insanity, Asylum grad – YOU WILL STILL HAVE CHALLENGES…just be better capable of pushing through and succeeding with less agony ;-) As with all programs, how hard you choose to push is how much you will get out of the program…. Hard to compare this programs difficulty after getting into shape by another program – you are well equipped to meet the demands asked…thus, the question of how difficult it is becomes relative to how good a shape you are in.

    Great article though!! Love your perspective, honest answers and opinions. Very good review.

    God Bless!

  19. Deadbolt

    June 29, 2012 at

    DP — I’m playing around with Tapout within my X/X2/Asylum Hybrids — agree with all you said — it’s a little of everything the Beachbody crew is familiar with, but with a little MMA flair (which, for me, is a fun addition). I will say that I have been very surprised by the workouts in Tapout — they look pretty (relatively?) easy when scanning thru them, but they have all surprised me when I actually did them!

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