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Mike Dolce’s UFC FIT: The Review – Part 1 of 2

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Seems to be all the rage these days with people trying to train like MMA fighters in the comfort of their own living room.  Which brings us to UFC Fit, a product that has had a ton of requests to be reviewed by yours truly.  Because I love you all in ways that are not entirely natural, I have no choice but to surrender to your desires.  But with contenders such as Rushfit, Tapout XT and even non-MMA series such as P90X and Asylum, the big question is how does UFC Fit measure up?  Fear not weary travellers, you have come to the right place.

What’s in the box:

For around $120, you get a large octagon shaped box that includes 12 DVD’s, a twelve week calendar, Lifestyle and Nutrition guide, and an alternate “3 Day Shred” program.

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The program is broken down into 4 three week segments, with each segment seemingly more advanced than the one preceding it.  So without any more delay, let’s see if I can get a title match against Georges St. Pierre after only 90 days of training.

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POWER PUNCH

Time: 44 minutes

Very oddly named as there is very little in the way of any punching going on.  This is 8 rounds, 3 moves per round done twice.  It’s total body core where the weights are light, the cardio light, and the ab work strong.  Power Punch is mostly push ups, squats and abs, but in low reps.  It’s really a core routine and not much in the way of raw intensity as I found this one fairly easy, but a good ab workout all the same.  This workout is positioned in the first three weeks and is phased out in blocks 2 and 3 so it is not surprising it is meant to break you in, not break you down.

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Initial impressions of UFC Fit are good.  Mice Dolce seems like a nice guy and plays it light on the hokey attitude which sometimes got a little thick with Tapout XT and its “Jersey” flavour.  Also, UFC fighters almost always make the worst cast members as once again, Tapout XT2 proved so convincingly well.  Here the cast is obviously aware of the program and nobody is lost.  Plus, all of their faces are intact, so I doubt many of them have actually been in the octagon which is a huge plus, because I honestly don’t give one hoot about what big names are in the cast.

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CROSS CARDIO TRAIN

Time: 42 minutes

Five rounds, five moves per round done twice.  No weights.  You might consider this to be a non-sucky P90X Kenpo X.   There’s a lot of kickboxing style motions such as kicks and squats.

I have to pause to comment on the music.  It is excellent which is not something I can say about a lot of videos.  Beachbody is pretty much the only company that gets post-production right so it is refreshing to see that UFC Fit also pays attention to the small details.

POWER PULL

Time: 43 minutes

This is best put in the category of cardio-core.  Yes, there are weights involved but it’s a mixed bag because although the weight adds an element of intensity to each move, it is not enough to truly get some serious muscle action.  And because many moves involve legs and arms, it is difficult to increase weight for the arms and yet maintain the desired form for legs.  That means it is unlikely the average person would go beyond 15lbs.  You sort of have to take it for what it is.

That all having been said, despite coming up short for arms, Power Pull is a solid workout for legs and abs.  In fact many of the ab moves are refreshingly new and absolutely effective.

PLYO SHRED

Time: 39 minutes

One again, Mike starts the intro telling us we are at the UFC training centre in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Plyo is technically where an MMA style workout should really shine and Mike delivers big here with strength, cardio, and explosive action.  It’s 5 rounds of 4 moves done twice with a good variety to keep things interesting.  With killer moves like short blocks, ninja jumps ( jump -knee tucks ) and walking plyo push-ups, you will not have to worry about getting your moneys worth here.  I have no complaints about Plyo Shred as it lives up to its name very well.

Something to consider: Mike betrays a small fact about what MMA training is truly like during mule kicks.  He says his old instructor got him to do it for 45 minutes.  So while UFC Fit indeed trains like UFC, you would technically have to take each 30 second move and bump it up to 15 minutes or more ( in some cases, much more ) to truly get to UFC training levels.

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FAT FIGHTER

Time:  33 minutes

Pure cardio so no weights.  Again, 5 rounds with 3 moves done twice.  In keeping with the whole MMA theme it is obviously a lot of punches, kicks, squats and jujitsu style ground work.  And like Mike says…it’s just like UFC!!

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This is one of the shorter workouts timed at just over half an hour so in all honesty, it will probably leave you wanting.  And there’s a big reason for that:  being boxed in with the MMA mold.  In trying to maintain an MMA flavour, Mike spends time doing things like floor sprawls which really are not the best use of time if you want to get a cardio sweat going.

If you have the option and still want a half hour workout, try out Focus T25 Core Speed because it kicks the pants off this thing by a mile.

AB ASSASSIN

Time: 20 minutes

Three rounds of 4 exercises each.  The thing with ab workouts is that you inevitably just have your own flavor of crunches.  Ab Assassin is no exception but it nonetheless goes right to the core and does what it intends to do.

I feel kind of bad for Mike in this video because his cast is obviously very well tanned whereas he looks like he fell asleep in the tanning bed given that his skin is noticeably sunburnt.  No, I mean really sunburnt.  That having been said, I doubt anyone would say this to his face so I guess he’s in the clear.

CONCLUSIONS THUS FAR…

Initial impressions are good for UFC Fit.  The production values are excellent with well timed music which is synchronized with the action ( Tapout XT2 music was just plain awful ) and a cast that is very likeable and familiar with the program.  There are a few things that are missing though.  There is no timer bar that so many of us have become used to.  Instead, a small clock pops up when there is only 10 seconds left in a move.  It’s just an observation and not a deal breaker by any means.

Another thing ( and this is just me here ) I appreciate that the ladies are tastefully attired and not squeezed into one-size-too-small tops.  Tapout XT is kind of a workout by people who are a little too into themselves.  UFC Fit seems to have a lot more class with a cast that is not so self-absorbed their egos can barely fit on the set.  But then again, this is only half of the workouts reviewed and there is a lot more to go through before giving UFC Fit the final score.  How does this compare to other fitness programs and can UFC Fit deliver on what it promises?  The answers are one click away…

PROCEED TO PART 2 of 2

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.

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