Should Children Do TapouT XT?

Your child's been asking if they can do TapouT XT with you.  Should you let them do it?  Is doing an exercise program like that going to hurt their growth or make them look like little body builders?  How young is too young?

If you do let them do the workout program what type of benefits would they get from doing it?  Why is TapouT XT a good fit for kids?

Myths About Children and Strength Training

Strength Training will Make Your Child Short
The idea that kids should not do strength training has become a popular myth.  It all stems from a study done in the 1970s done on child laborers.  Among other things these children were unusually short, and it was concluded that hours of moving heavy weight had stunted their growth.  Many experts now believe there were other variables not accounted for.

Dr. Faigenbaum, , of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s 2009 position paper about children and resistance training, says. “It will not stunt growth or lead to growth-plate injuries. That doesn’t mean young people should be allowed to go down into the basement and lift Dad’s weights by themselves. That’s when you see accidents.”

You Don't Want Your Kid Looking Like a Body Builder
A more recent review published in Pediatrics reviewed more than 60 years of children and weightlifting studies from the Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany.  These studies covered both boys and girls ranging from age 6 to 18.

What they found was that the children of all ages got stronger.  The increase in strength was linear based on the age of the child.  This means that older children got stronger than younger ones. 

As these children got stronger they rarely bulked up.  "Adults, particularly men but also women, typically add muscle mass when they start weight training, a process known as muscular hypertrophy (or, less technically, getting buff). Youths do not add as much or sometimes any obvious muscle mass as a result of strength training"

What Age Should Youths Start Strength Training?

Dr. Faigenbaum said,“Any age is a good age. But there does seem to be something special about the time from about age 7 to 12. The nervous system is very plastic. The kids are very eager. It seems to be an ideal time to hard-wire strength gains and movement patterns.”

Benefits of Children Doing Strength Training

According to the Mayo Clinic, children who strength train see a variety of benefits.
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • It helps protect your child's joints and muscles from sports related injuries
  • Stronger bones
  • Helps promote a healthy blood pressure and cholestoral
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Improved self esteem and confidence
Also, findings presented recently at the American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Convention found that kids who are more fit do better on math and reading tests.  The study was conducted on 1,211 middle school children in Texas.  According to co-author Trent A. Petrie, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas, "Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys' and girls' grades on reading and math tests." 3

Children Gain Strength and Confidence Through Exercise

Why TapouT XT is Great for Kids

Strength training doesn't mean weightlifting, bodybuilding or power lifting.  "These activities are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than those of other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven't yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight."2

TapouT XT is great because the focus of the workouts and exercises is to create an athletic level of fitness by creating
  • Increased cardiovascular endurance through most of the workouts but especially Plyo XT and Cardio XT
  • Building strength and muscular endurance through high repetitions resistance band and body weight, like push-ups, exercises. 
When properly supervised TapouT XT is safer than traditional gyms.  There are no heavy weights that could drop on to toes or cable machines that their fingers could get caught in.

You will have to help your child by
  • Showing them the techniques for using resistance bands
  • Go over the Strike DVD so they have the basic moves down.  Pause the DVD and do the strikes a couple of times
  • Be supportive, patient and positive so they don't get frustrated and quit

Make It Something the Family Does Together


Make TapouT XT something you do together.  Besides it being something you have in common, you can supervise the workouts and make sure they are done safely.  Proper technique over wildly doing the exercises is critical so no one gets hurt.

If you have a younger child that thinks doing TapouT XT will make them "ripped" or "huge" like the adults in the video, then you need to explain to that physiologically it will mostly likely not be possible until they get older.  Be supportive in their new found interest in being physically fit but keep their expectations realistic. Explain how they will get stronger and be in shape but until they are older their muscles are not designed to be like that.

Most of all have fun.  Exercise and an active lifestyle should be seen as something enjoyable.  Help make your children fit for life.

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(1) Physically Fit Boys And Girls Score Higher On Reading And Math - Medical News Today
(2) Strength training: OK for kids? - Mayo Clinic
Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. - Department of Health and Exercise Science
Phys Ed: The Benefits of Weight Training for Children  - New York Times
Effects of Resistance Training in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis - Pediatrics
Fitter Kids, Better Grades? - WebMD Health News

TapouT XT 90 Day Review

90 Days is up and it has been a fun and challenging journey doing the TapouT XT workout program.  What types of physical changes happen when you do TapouT XT?  What are the real obstacles when you do this program, and how can you get past them?  Lastly, if you're not doing TapouT XT already, why should you start?

Physical Changes

 I started at 159 pounds and weighed in at 152 pounds on Day 90 for a loss of 4.4% body weight. It may not seem like that much, but losing those 7 pounds required dedication to the workout and diet.  That will be explained more in the overcoming obstacles below.

Day1 - 159 pounds, Day 90 - 152 pounds

Shredded Shoulders, Chest and Triceps
In the beginning my shoulders, chest and triceps were OK from doing some traditional gym exercises.  My shoulders are now slightly larger and more shredded.  My chest and triceps did not increase in size but like my shoulders you start seeing the muscle fibers.  This is all thanks to TapouT XT exercises.
  • Pretty much all the Strength & Force Upper workout
  • All the explosive push ups in workouts like in Ripped Conditioning
  • Throwing punches with the weighted gloves in Cardio XT and Sprawl & Brawl

Shredded Shoulders

Increase in Tricep and Chest Definition

Core Strength
My core strength and definition is the thing that has increased the most in doing TapouT XT.  Not just the usual abdominal and oblique muscles near your hips, but also lower back muscles and the external obliques that cover your ribs (see the Day 30 post).  To say there is a lot of core integration in all the workouts is an understatement.
  • You do Ultimate Abs twice a week
  • The punching and elbows forces you to keep your core tight as you twist into the strikes
  • Kicking and knees engage your lower abs and a gamete of other muscles that support those moves
  • All the variations of the Superman exercise works you lower back and glutes
  • There are specific oblique moves, some use resistance bands and some don't

Increased Full Body Endurance
This is one of the more drastic changes from the 60 Day mark.  For the last 30 Days I've been really trying to increase the intensity of the workouts.  Because of this I've noticed my endurance has gotten better.

I tested this in Week 11 by doing interval sprints of 1 minute on and 30 seconds rest on the treadmill.  The incline was set to 3.0 with the sprint speed of a 6 minute mile and 10 minute mile for the rest time.  I was able to keep this up for 8 minutes before I had to modify the sprint speed.  I know I could only do this for 4 - 5 minutes before I started TapouT XT.

Overcoming Obstacles to get to the Finish


Making it to the Finish

Doing 90 Days of TapouT XT wasn't easy.  It all comes down to how bad you want something.  The struggles weren't the workouts.  That was the fun part.  It was the diet / nutrition and staying motivated that were the obstacles.

Staying On the Diet / Nutrition
THIS IS THE HARDEST PART!  You can workout as hard as you want, but if you over eat and fuel your body with crap it will do you no good.  Tracking what you eat and preparing your snacks and meals takes a lot of effort.

I'm just like you.  There were times when I truly craved things like half a box of donuts, eating a whole pizza, throwing down a couple beers while eating fried chicken.  So much so I would start to salivate.  I got through it by
  • Putting forth effort to make meals that taste good.  Use fresh herbs to punch up the flavor.
  • Add variety to your meals by finding new recipes to try
  • Eat fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables (eating seasonal foods forces you to change what you eat)

Staying Motivated
The internet is full of posting of people who have started a workout program and not finished.  You probably know someone that fits into this category, I know a couple.  12 weeks can be a long time.  Following the nutrition and getting your butt in front of the workout when you're supposed to can be just as hard as doing the workouts themselves. 

Staying motivated was so hard I wrote a post about how I didn't feel like working out today and how to overcome it.  Here are a couple quick ideas to help you.
  • Change up the exercises.  Don't be afraid to get creative and change up the exercise a little.
  • Realize you're talking yourself out of it.  Stop Thinking and Just Do It!
  • Workout with someone else.  Studies have shown that working out with someone drastically increases your chance of regularly doing the workouts.
  • Get yourself in a daily routine.  It sounds boring but it helps to know that you need to workout at a certain time on a specific day.

Top Reasons Why You Should Do TapouT XT


These are some of the reasons I'm going to keep doing TapouT XT after 90 days.  If you are thinking of doing the workout program, hopefully this will give you some insight.  TapouT XT how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways. 
  1. There are a variety of workouts and there is little repetition.  A lot of exercise programs will follow a circuit training pattern.  You do 5-6 exercises, take a little break and repeat.  For the most part TapouT XT workouts don't do this.  If an exercise is done again, a variation is added do it doesn't feel like you're just doing the same thing over and over.
  2. The workouts are challenging for a range of people from beginners to crazy gym rats.  There are a couple different people who do TapouT XT with me at lunch.  They're all at different physical level, but all of us leave the workout sweating buckets.
  3. All the equipment fits in a small bag.  Unlike other workout programs where it you feel like you're buying a small gym to do it, the resistance bands, loop band and (optionally) the weighted gloves all fit in a 12 inch bag.
  4. The workouts don't require a lot of space so you can easily do them on the road.  I've done these workouts at home, in a hotel room, a small corner in the gym, the office area of shared crew quarters in rural Nevada and my garage.  The average amount of space I use for doing TapouT XT is 6 feet by 8 feet.
  5. The diet plan has some good recipes.  The diet / nutrition plan that comes with TapouT XT does a good job of getting you on the road to eating right.  There are some workout systems that provide only a rudimentary diet / nutrition plan.
  6. You're punching, kicking, elbowing and kneeing all the time.  This is why you are even thinking of doing TapouT XT.  I know because it's why I started doing it.  There is striking, kneeing or some combination of the two in at least 80% of the workouts.  It doesn't matter if you have a martial arts background or not, there is something fun and satisfying about doing these workouts.  I have a coworker, who had never done martial arts, that did the Muay Thai workout with me.  She still says, "Jab Cross Knee" when I see her.
  7. It's easier on the joints than other workouts.  My knees kill me sometimes.  TapouT XT is easier on my joints than other workout systems I've done.  I've only had to modify the lunges a little bit so my knee doesn't touch the ground for certain exercises.
  8. The workout tempo is upbeat.  Mike does a good job of making sure you're moving and is enthusiastic but not annoying.
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TapouT XT Review Week 12 Recap

Week 12 is OVER!  Doing TapouT XT has been challenging and fun.  You may be coming close to finishing the program.  Just make sure you don't cheat yourself by not finishing all the workouts.

Staying strict with the diet has been one of the hardest things to do.  That's why almost all these weekly recaps have a diet section.  This week you'll get some tips on a problem I have, figuring out if you're hungry or thirsty.

Push to the End of the 90 Days

Don't cheat yourself.  Do all the workouts during the last week.  I know it is easy to skip out on those last one or two workouts.

Do them.

After that last Cardio XT and Ultimate Abs, you'll have that feeling of 100% completion of the TapouT XT program .  Otherwise every time someone asks you, "Did you finish that Tapout program?"  You will answer yes but know in the back of your mind you only did 98.6%.

Push Through All the Workouts

Strict on the Diet

That initial weight you lost at the start of the program is something that will happen just by increasing the number of times you exercise and starting to watch what you eat.  If you are serious about weight loss you need to know what and how much you're eating.  It does you no good to do the workouts but unintentionally eat more because you're keeping track of what you've eaten in your head.  Using a tool like will really help you lose those last pounds by helping you track everything you've eaten. 

Don't Count On Fitness App Workouts to be Correct
It's nice to track what your workouts for the Fitness portion of MyFitnessPal, but don't get trapped into thinking these are accurate representations of calories burned in your workouts.  These are just averages.  Each person burns calories different and works out at a different intensity.  Therefore you could be burning more or less calories than what's in the app.

Calorie tracking tools are good for
  • Tracking what you eat
  • See how many calories you've eaten
  • Helping you figure out the balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein you eat
Use the daily calorie consumption that you know works for you.  If you have been tracking your nutrition for a while, you know what you should eat and how much of it you should consume each day.  For me it's a mix of 15% fat, 30% protein, 45% carbs and between 1900 -2000 calories a day if I'm working out regularly and want to lose weight.

Are You Thirsty, Hungry or Just Bored?

Do you eat your snack or meal and still feel hungry?  You might be thirsty and not hungry.  The hypothalamus controls both hunger and thirst, it sends the same signal whether you are hungry or thirsty.

Next time you feel those hunger pains and you know you've recently had your meal or snack drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes.  If you still feel hungry, try to work in a smaller snack.

A big problem I have is eating while I'm bored.  Nothing else to do?  Maybe I'll walk over to that candy jar and have just one piece (I promise, just one piece.  Right..)  Eating at specific times is a way to help you fight this.  For example, I know that my morning snack is at 9 AM.  It's easier to force myself to wait (more like a count down sometimes) knowing I'll eat in 15 or 20 minutes.

Are You Hungry or just Thirsty?

Make Your Workout Time a No Cell Zone

  • That text can wait
  • You don't need to post that your on your second water break of the Plyo XT workout
  • Unless your child is being born or your a doctor, they'll leave a message and you can get to them when your finish in 45 minutes
I mention this because I caught myself answering a text during a workout.  Don't be part of some statistic that says you can't go 10 minutes without checking your phone.

Your Phone Doesn't Exist in TapouT XT


You finished the program!!  You need to reward yourself for making it all the way through TapouT XT.  It is no small thing to have the perseverance to finish a 90 Day program.  There are mental and physical struggles that you go through when you have to change  the way you eat and workout.

Rewarding yourself doesn't always have to be food.
  • Buy some new clothes that fit your new body. 
  • Go someplace for the weekend
  • Get tickets for that concert / show you want to see

You Finished TapouT XT!! Celebrate!

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TapouT XT Review Week 11 Recap - Are You Bringing It?

It is really easy to turn on the TapouT XT workout and just do what Mike tells you to.  This robot mode is not what's going to get you where you want to be.

Motivating yourself to get in front of the workout video is half of the workout equation.  The other half is making sure you are pushing yourself to improve.  You should be asking yourself.
  • Can I change my reps?
  • Can I use a stronger resistance band?


 How Can I Change My Reps?

Change the Rhythm
During the Cross Core Combat workout this last Saturday morning I caught myself doing punches at a steady rhythm.


Really there is nothing wrong with this.  I was following the video, but it's Week 11 and these are not new moves to us.  Try changing the rhythm of the combinations.  Instead of doing the above do

Strike [pause] Strike  Kick
Strike Strike [pause]  Kick

Not only does this keep things fresh and forces you to stay engaged with the workout, it is applicable to fighting.  You don't want to train your body to keep a certain rhythm.  It makes you predictable when you spar or fight.

Marines Practicing Punching

Change the Speed
You need to throw those punches like you mean it.  You don't build shoulder muscles and increase your endurance by throwing half ass punches, knees and kicks.
  • Rotate your body in your punches
  • Pull your strikes back quicker.  This helps you transition to the next move faster.
  • Imagine fighting someone in front of you.  Do your Jab / Cross to that person's face level.  Knee and Kick them stomach and below.

Are You Using Stronger Resistance Bands?

Another trap of robot mode is just grabbing the same resistance band.  You need to increase resistance otherwise your body will get used to doing the exercise.  Staying stagnant like this won't help you improve your muscular endurance and strength.  If you're concerned about getting huge, remember TapouT XT is setup to create lean muscle mass not bulk.  Also, according to the Mayo Clinic strength training has these benefits.
  • Develop strong bones. "By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis."
  • Weight Control. "As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger "engine" to burn calories more efficiently"
  • Reduce injury. "Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age."
  • Boost your stamina.
  • Help manage chronic conditions. "Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis."
  • Sharper focus. "Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults."
If you need information about what type of resistance bands to purchase, the TapouT XT resistance band review is a good place to start.

The things I write about each week usually stem from my own person struggles.  My hope is that when you read these weekly recaps you will possibly find something that helps you.

If you found this content helpful, please sign up for the email list to get TapouT XT workout content like exercises, fighting techniques, diet help and equipment reviews.  Also, join me on Google+ and like me on Facebook.

Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier - Mayo Clinic Staff

How to Do TapouT XT to Your Own Music

Whether it's classic rock, hardcore rock, banda, hip hop, dance, pop or dub step, we all have certain music that motivates to us.  That's what you should be listening to when you're doing TapoutT XT!  You'll find out how to configure your DVD and get a couple ideas on how to setup your music.

Listening to your own music while doing TapouT XT is pretty easy to setup. The trick with any of these setups is finding the right balance of volume on your music so you can still hear the exercise transitions from Mike.

DVD Setup

Doing TapouT XT to your own music is pretty easy to setup.  All you need to do is choose MUSIC OFF on the DVD menu.

tapout xt review choose music off
Choose Music OFF

Different Ways to Listen to Your Music

Radio or Stereo Tuner
If you have a radio (satellite or FM) that you can put near the TV or tuner for your home theater system you might have a couple of options
  • Tune in your favorite radio station.  While you probably won't use a Philco PT44 Vacuum Tube radio, but you get the idea.
  • Most radios have an incorporated CD player.  Throw in your favorite CD or make a workout CD.  Here is a quick tutorial on using Beatscanner to help you.

TapouT XT Review Vacuum Tube Radio?
TapouT XT Vacuum Tube Radio?

The only down side to listening to a radio station is the extended blocks of commercials.

Laptop / Home Theater PC
A laptop or some type of home theater PC, like a Mac Mini, gives you a variety of sources for your music. 
  • A playlist of songs using a program like Windows Media Player, VLC or Itunes
  • Streaming online radio on your internet browser from sites like Live 365 or Pandora
  • Play a workout CD if your laptop has a cd / dvd player
In the case of a laptop you can either run both your video and music through it to the TV or have it play on the side.

Running both the video and music to my TV is my favorite way to do TapouT XT at home.  I use the laptop to play the DVD (using Windows Media Player) and stream music via a HDMI cable to the TV.  The Pandora volume is usually set to 30%.

Laptop Hooked to TV
Playing DVD and Streaming Pandora

A tablet is similar to the radio setup.  Tablets are usually single function when it comes to playing media.  So if you watch the TapouT XT video on your tablet, you probably won't be able to listen to music at the same time.

Streaming Music on the Side with a Tablet

MP3 / Media Player
This could be anything from your phone to a dedicated media player, like an Apple iPod or Sony Walkman.
  • A speaker dock for the device it makes it easy to play your music
  • Alternatively, put the device in an arm band and use only one of the ear buds
Ipod Speaker Dock

When doing TapouT XT in a little corner of the gym I use the second method above.  The laptop is in front of me playing the DVD and my music is on the Sony Walkman on my arm.  Using only one of the ear buds lets me hear the change up queues from Mike.

One Earbud In While Watching TapouT XT on a Laptop

No matter what method you use to listen to your music while doing TapouT XT, do it!  Doing something small like this will help keep you motivated to finish the 90 Day program.

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TapouT XT Loop Band Review

Do you need more resistance than the loop band that comes with your TapouT XT program?  Maybe you're doing TapouT XT with someone who needs a set.

If you're looking for a durable set of loop bands that will give you room to grow as you get stronger, the Aylio 3 Loop Band set is a good choice.

The set comes with three 10" x 2" rubber loop bands.
  • Low strength blue band
  • Medium strength green band
  • Heavy strength red band
These bands are just right for the Legs & Back and Buns & Guns workouts.

Tapout XT Review Aylio 3 Loop Band Set
Aylio 3 Loop Band Set

Are They Durable?

I've used these bands in a variety of surfaces.
  • Industrial carpet
  • Low and medium pile carpet
  • Wood floors
  • Rubber gym floors
In the almost 11 weeks of use there hasn't been any problems with breaking or major stretching of the bands.  The difference between a out of the package band and one that has been used for almost 2 months is a little over 1/8 ", 3/16" to be exact if you count the original band is under the specified 10".

Small Stretching after 2 Months of Use

 Actual Use

I used the low resistance band for the first month.  From there through the end of Week 11 I've used the medium resistance loop band.  For Week 12 I plan on using the heavy resistance band to torture myself.

Doing Legs & Back with Medium Loop Band

Loop Band Tips

Mark your bands with a permanent marker to take the guess work out of the resistance level of the loop band.

Mark Your Loop Band Resistance Level

To keep your bands from sticking together
  • Make sure they are dry and don't have any water or sweat on them when you put them away.
  • Apply baby powder or corn starch to the exercise band. This will keep the band from sticking together. Reapply powder as needed.

If you are looking for a durable set of resistance loop bands that will grow with you, I would suggest the Aylio 3 Loop Band Set.  It has been a very dependable loop band set for me.

TapouT XT Review Week 10 Recap

Do you need that little bit extra motivation to keep turning on that TapouT XT workout?  Find out the 6 rules for success and how they apply to doing TapouT XT.  Put a self defense spin on the Muay Thai workout in Week 10.  The Week 10 picture gives you a little hint about that. If you're not eating quinoa already, you should try to work it into your regular meals.  Get the scoop on why quinoa is a great addition to your TapouT XT diet and some recipes to start you off.

6 Rules for Success

Sometimes you need that little bit of extra to stay motivated.  The video below is an exerpt of Arnold Scwarzenegger's now legendary "Life's 6 Rules" speech, originally used during the Governor's 2009 USC Commencement Address.

Even if you don't agree with the ex governor politically or like him personally, you should give this a listen.  There are some videos that affect you so much you can't help but watch them a couple of times.

Now that you're motivated how does this apply to doing TapouT XT?
  1. Trust Yourself.  Who do you want to be?  You started or want to start doing TapouT XT because you want to change yourself in some way.  What is going to make you happy?  We all know what we don't like about ourselves, but have you figured out what is going to make you happy?
  2. Break the rules.  Think outside the box.  Have you plateaued with your weight loss?  Try some other way of eating besides what's in the TapouT XT diet plan.  Everyone is different and what works for some people might not be right for you.
  3. Don't be afraid to fail.  Keep pushing yourself.  "When I'm in better shape, that's when I'll do TapouT XT."  NOW is the time.  You can't do regular push ups?  Do them on your knees till you can.  You do TapouT XT at home.  No one is there to judge you but yourself.
  4. Don't listen to the naysayers.  "You'll never fit into those pants."  "You're just not built to move that way."  Pay no attention to them.  This is about what you want to be
  5. Work your butt off.  The TapouT XT slogan is "Earned with Sweat!" for a reason.  Always try to do better, workout harder, punch faster, do more reps than last time.  No pain no gain. 
  6. Always give something back.  Encourage other people online and around you.  Helping people gives you more satisfaction then anything else.  We're all trying to be that person we want to be.

Self Defense Muay Thai Exercise Remix

This is a self defense mix up of the Jab / Cross / Jump Switch / Knee at the 24 minutes left mark in the Muay Thai workout.  When you talk about self defense the idea is to get away alive from a bad situation.  Unlike in the ring, there are no rules on the street.  It's OK to kick or strike someone repeatedly in the groin.

The Jab / Cross / Jump Switch / Knee is changed to Groin Kick / Jab / Cross / Knee.  Doing a Groin Kick is similar to a front snap kick but a little lower.  The first 2 minutes of the video below will go into more details.  The move goes like this.

  • Left leg in front fight stance
  • Groin Kick with right leg
  • Jab / Cross
  • Right Knee

Even if your assailant keeps you from kicking him in the groin, most likely his hands are down protecting his groin and not his face.  Leaving you to attack him with the Jab / Cross / Knee combination.  If you mess up, keep going.  There's no time outs on the streets for you to get your moves right.  You'll get it on the next rep.  Just do this on one side.

Why Quinoa is a Great Addition to Your TapouT XT Diet

High in protein and fiber, quinoa [KEEN-wah] is not only versatile, it has a slightly nutty taste and has a nice crunch.  It is a gluten free complete protein grain, containing all the essential amino acids for our nutrition, and is a good source of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and copper.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.  The Incas held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or 'mother of all grains'.  It was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season.

Cooking Quinoa
To cook quinoa you use the ratio of one cup rinsed quinoa to two cups water or broth
bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the seeds become translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little "tail."   For more flavor make sure to use broth instead of water.  If you need some more details, Our Best Bites has a great tutorial.

Recipes to Get You Started
Just because you eat healthy doesn't mean it has to be bland.  

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TapouT XT Review Week 9 Recap

TapouT XT Week 9 helps you look good for that 60 Day progress photo with a good mix of full body cardio and resistance band work to get those muscles ripped.  Find out how the move you've been doing could help you in a self defense situation.  Do you love desserts?  Contrary to popular belief there are delicious healthy desserts out there.  This week's diet tip shows you where to get them.

TapouT XT 60 Day Progress

In 60 days there have been some significant muscular changes such as
  • Better back definition
  • More defined chest
  • Stronger abdominal muscles
  • More endurance with doing the workouts
So far I've gone from 159 to 154 pounds.  This may not seem like much, but as you see in the Day 1 and Day 60 comparison there is more muscle definition.

TapouT XT Day 1 and Day 60 Comparison

How the TapouT XT Bridge Exercise Becomes a Self Defense Move

You may think the TapouT XT Bridge is just an exercise for your lower back, but it also is part of some self defense moves. 

TapouT XT Bridge Exercise

If you're pinned on the ground by an attacker, one of the first things you want to do is get them off balance.  This is where an explosive version of the TapouT XT Bridge comes in.

In the videos below pay attention to how the hip thrusting movement is key to turning the tables on your attacker.  The first 5 minutes of the video below demonstrates a defense against someone choking you on the ground.

The next video will show you how the TapouT XT Bridge is part of escaping a situation where your hands are being pinned down.

Delicious Healthy Summer Desserts

There should be a support group for those of us that love desserts.  The entry test should go like this, "When you ate at that Las Vegas buffet, did you grab a couple dessert plates?"

If you answered yes, then maybe this support group isn't for you.

The correct answer is, "No, I went and got a large dinner plate and proceeded to fill that."

Don't fret my friend.  There are healthy, lower calorie desserts that will help you satisfy that craving.

26 Healthy Desserts

Here are 26 delicious recipes for flavorful healthy desserts that won't break your TapouT XT diet.  Recipes like

  • Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet
  • Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction 
  • Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches 
  • Lemon Curd with Berries 

If you found this content helpful, please sign up for the email list to get TapouT XT workout content like exercises, fighting techniques, diet help and equipment reviews.  Also, join me on Google+ and like me on Facebook.

TapouT XT Review - 60 Day Progress

What are some of the physical changes can you expect to happen when you've done TapouT XT for 60 Days?  You'll see my Day 1 and Day 60 photos show some potential muscular changes.   If you're on a schedule similar to mine, you have 30 Days left in this cycle.  Find out how to make the most of your next / last 30 Days doing TapouT XT.

Physical Changes

Better Back Definition
Your back is such an important part of being well rounded physically, but everyone seems to focus on the front of your torso.  One thing I noticed right away with TapouT XT is that it tries to balance out the emphasis on your back (lower and upper) and the rest of your body.

Back Muscle Diagram

During the past 60 Days I've noticed more definition in my lower and upper back as you'll see in my Day 1 and Day 60 comparison photo section.

Leaner, Meaner Chest
At the start I was doing a combination of lifting weights with a sprinkling of Crossfit so I had some mass in my chest to start out with.  What's happened from doing TapouT XT is my chest has gotten more chiseled from exercises like Tapout Push Ups.

Abdominal Strength Keeps Coming
My abdominal muscles are still continuing to get stronger and more defined.  The strength comes from TapouT XT and the definition is from doing a better job of tracking what I eat.  You be the judge, but I think I have more rib meat from the 30 Day mark.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Exercises like squats and lunges are deeper now, and I'm able to push myself harder.  Now there's no stopping in the Tuck Jumps.  To make the most of using resistance bands,  I need a better way to track resistance band weight.

Day 1 and Day 60 Comparison

I started Day 1 at 159 pounds and weighed in at 154 pounds at Day 60.  That's a 3.1% drop in body weight.  I really don't think it would be healthy for me to get any lower than 151 pounds given my height, age and frame build.

Day 1 and Day 60 Comparison

Day 60 Back Muscles
As I mentioned above, my back muscles are more defined now.  Yeah, I also know the farmer's tans is also strong. :)

How to Succeed with TapouT XT

How can you make these next 30 days count the most?  That's what you should be asking yourself every time you do a 30 day progress report.  Come up with a list of stuff that worked and didn't work for you.  Get rid of the junk that's not working.  Here is what I came up with for stuff that works.

Track what you eat.  Find an app to help you or even a piece of paper.  Try not to keep a running total in your head.  That's what I was doing up till Week 7 when I started to use My Fitness Pal to track what I'm eating during the week.  I'm not going to lie to you.  I switch to keeping a running total in my head on the weekends.  It's not the perfect method, but at least I'm tracking 70% of my diet.

Make it easier for you to put together meals during the week.  Making a meal should not be a major task.  Here are some quick tips to help you.  The Week 8 Recap  has more details if you're interested.
  • Precook some basic components
  • Make one large dish ahead of time that can be used through the week
  • Chop some extra vegetables
  • Make it a seafood night

"Variety is the soul of pleasure." - Aphra Behn.  If you keep eating the same thing day in and day out you'll really start hating the diet portion of TapouT XT.  Try a couple of new recipes a week.  Expand out from the TapouT XT nutrition guide.

Keep Variety in Your Nutrition

Get your ass in front of the workout.  You don't have to tell me it's hard to motivate yourself to do TapouT XT workouts 6 days a week.  I struggle with it on a regular basis.  Keep going by
  • Changing the exercises up.  Starting with Week 7 there are some modified exercises.
  • Stop thinking, just do it.  Don't talk yourself out of doing the workout.
  • Get yourself a partner in crime.  Doing TapouT XT with a friend dramatically increases your chances of doing the workout.
  • Get in a routine.  Have a set time when you do your TapouT XT workout.
It's 60 Days in, you know the exercises already so get started immediately.  Don't wait for Mike to tell you to start.  If you've forgotten the move, watch it once and start.  You'll burn more calories because you've increased the time you're working out.

Earn it with sweat.  Bring that intensity!  When you first start, the exercises are unfamiliar.  Now there's no reason not to
  • Throw those strikes like you mean it
  • Focus on form.  Go back to the strike intro dvd and practice and listen to what they're saying.
  • Move your ass faster.  Do more Tuck Jump, 4 punches instead of 3, push yourself in the Groiner.
  • Increase your band resistance.
Practicing What I Preach. Earned with Sweat!!

Share your Earned with Sweat photo on our Facebook page.

Looking Forward to the Next 30 Days

I want my abs to be so defined I scare small children!  This means losing that last amount of weight is the hardest thing to do.  It's going to happen by following my own advise above.  I'm already on track with the workouts, I just need to stay focused on the diet.

What are your next 30 days goals?  You will get the most out of TapouT XT if you
  • Track it
  • Figure out what worked and didn't
  • Set measurable goals
If you found this content helpful, please sign up for the email list to get TapouT XT workout content like exercises, fighting techniques, diet help and equipment reviews.  Also, join me on Google+ and like me on Facebook.

TapouT XT Week 8 Recap

This week was kind of a "recovery" week so I took the opportunity to do a timed circuit to test how TapouT XT prepares you.  The test was to see how well we would do with something that wasn't exactly a TapouT XT exercise.

Sprawl & Brawl was a chance to mix things up a little this week by slightly modifying the Step Back Hook Elbow exercise.

Also, are you looking for ways to save time when you're making your meals?  You'll learn some tips I've been using that cut down on meal preparation during those busy work nights.

TapouT XT Circuit Test

After one of the Yoga XT workouts, I decided to test myself to see how TapouT XT has increased my muscle endurance and strength by doing a timed circuit in the gym.  This circuit is from some Crossfit exercises I've done in the past.  The test circuit was 3 sets of

All the circuit exercises were chosen to match movements in TapouT XT.  

After a grueling 11 minutes 33 seconds I was done and gasping for air.  What killed me were the Wall Balls and Box Jumps during the second and third sets.  These are lower body large muscle movements that eat up your oxygen.

Over all I feel TapouT XT did a great job of making it so I could push myself to finish the test in good time.  I've done something like this in the past with a little slower results so doing TapouT XT has helped me improve.

Preparing Yourself

If you wanted to try this yourself, here are a couple of areas to focus on to help you prepare for the circuit test.

Getting ready to do Wall Balls is a combination of pushing yourself in Plyo XT and Strength & Force Upper.  You'll need to have leg endurance for the squat and shoulder / arm endurance to throw the medicine ball.  The Squat Touch Ground in Plyo XT is a direct movement translation for the Wall Balls.  We get the simulation of the medicine ball throw in over head press exercises like the Arnold Press in Strength & Force Upper.

We do the Plyo XT pretty much every week which is a great preparation for the Box Jumps.  If you want to excel in this movement you should concentrate on doing as many Tuck Jumps at the end of Plyo XT as you can.

The Push Ups and Sit Ups are in a lot of the workouts so you're already focusing on those.

Modified Exercise of the Week

This is a real simple modification to an exercise in the Sprawl & Brawl workout.  After the Water Break at the 20 minute countdown mark is the Step Back Hook Elbow exercise.  Make this into a self defense move by stepping forward into the hook elbows.  You get Step Forward Hook Elbow.

The Step Forward Hook Elbow is simple.  Start in a standing position.  You then step forward quickly into your would be attacker while doing your Hook Elbow.

  1. Start in a standing position.  
  2. Step forward with your left leg while doing the Hook Elbow with your right arm.
  3. Left leg comes back to standing position
  4. Step forward with your right leg while doing the Hook Elbow with your left arm

Step Forward Hook Elbow

  • Your Hook Elbow becomes more effective in a self defense situation because your are able to drive your body forward with your back leg.  
  • Opposite leg and arm are used in Step Forward Hook Elbow because the core rotation is the same as the original Step Back Hook Elbow.
  • You can do a variation on this with the same leg and arm but you won't get the core rotation.

Step Forward Hook Elbow Variation

When you get more comfortable doing the move, start emphasizing thrusting your body forward by pushing on your back leg.  Just don't over think it.  If you raise the speed and intensity, you'll realize you're already using your back leg just fine.

How to Save Time Preparing Your Meals

Do you feel like you're too busy to make meals during the week?  Coming up with a meal doesn't have to be a hassle if you do some preparation ahead of time.  Here a couple of tips to help you put together your meals a little quicker.

Precook some basic components.  When putting together a meal is a matter of heating up some chicken you've already cooked, fresh vegetables and a starch you've got dinner in 15 or 20 minutes instead of an hour.  Some foods that are great to make ahead of time are.

  • Roasted or grilled chicken breasts.  If you do this, make sure you brine your chicken so it stays juicy.
  • Quinoa.  This super food keeps great during the week, and is a good substitute for rice.
  • Turkey sausage.  Turkey sausage, around 160 calories a link, is not just a great substitute for a hot dog, but can be used to create other dishes.  They go great with caramelized onions and peppers.  Only you just have to worry about cooking the onions and pepper.  Throw the chopped sausage in just to heat it up.
  • Roast vegetables,yams and potatoes.  Roasted yams are great sides to a dish.  Set your oven for 400 degrees,  roast 3-4 yams and root vegetables together.  The vegetables will finish first.  Take them out and finish cooking the yams.  You just made a bunch of sides for your meals.  Step it up one more notch and roast a head of garlic at the same time to add heavenly flavor to a dish later in the week. 
Make one large dish ahead of time that can be used through the week.  This is food like Low Calorie Turkey Meatloaf or Spicy Low Fat Turkey Meatballs.  You can serve the dish normally for dinner one night, but most dishes like the previous two make great sandwich material for snacks and lunches.

Are you chopping vegetables?  Chop some extra to be used later during the week.  Just store them in an air tight container.

Make it a seafood night.  It takes considerably less time to cook shrimp, fish and other seafood.  Recipes like this Heavenly Broiled Fish dish takes about 5 - 7 minutes to cook.

Broiled Fish with Soy Sauce

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Dear TapouT XT, I Don't Feel Like Working Out Today

Alarm goes off.  "It's 5AM on another Saturday?  Yeah, I know I need to do my Cardio XT so it doesn't get in the way of regular Saturday junk."  Dog doesn't even bother to stomp on me when the alarm goes off.  "Maybe I can do the workout later."

"You know that's not going to happen."

"What if I switch around this morning's workout with tomorrow's rest day?"

 "You're going to pull the same crap tomorrow.  Get up.  Move your ass in front of the TV!"

Getting Past the "I Don't Feel Like Working Out" Feeling

That intro would be funny if that really wasn't me this last Saturday.  Inevitably you're going to run into days like that too.  You might be stricken with this at the half way point, when there aren't any new workouts or when you need to get up early on a weekend.  The key is to figure out what's going to make you get in front of the TapouT XT workout for that day.

Push Through the Wall, Change Up the Exercises

3 months is a long time to stay on a program, especially if you're not used to working out this much.  If you go out to a lot of community sites you'll read things like, "I did P90x but stopped half way through."

One of the reasons for this is you start repeating the same exercises.  Don't be afraid to get creative and change the exercise a little.  It's what I did in Week 7 when I changed the Rope & Sprawl to Hammer Strike & Sprawl.  Here are a couple of tips for changing the exercises.

  • Try to substitute an exercise with a similar range of movement.  For example, are there big arm movements like in the Rope portion of Rope & Sprawl?  
  • If you have a background in some martial arts or boxing try substituting some of the kicking or punching moves.
  • Change the way you move.  I do Krav Maga.  The philosophy is to move into your attacker.  When I do standing elbows, I burst forward into the elbow to simulate attacking an opponent.

Stop thinking, just do it!

This is the tough love portion for all you that need it.

Have you ever had an internal conversation with yourself about whether you should workout or not?  Stop over thinking things or make dealing with yourself.  "OK, I'll skip today and it'll just push the workouts back a day.  It's only one day."  It'll always be one day the 4 or 5 times you do it.

Don't let you talk you out of doing that TapouT XT workout.  Realize you are talking yourself out of working out.  Sounds obvious, but knowing while it's going on is harder than looking back on it from the next day.

You just get yourself in front of the TV, computer or whatever you're doing TapouT XT on.  Once you start doing it, you will forget all about your list of lame excuses.

Get Yourself a Partner In TapouT XT Crime

Do TapouT XT with someone.  This could be your significant other, a friend, coworkers or even people online.  It's a great motivator knowing someone else is counting on you to do that day's workouts.

Significant Other
Doing TapouT XT with your significant other can be a great bonding experience even if you do the workouts separately.  There's nothing like talking about your favorite exercises.  Besides that you could get these other sweet perks according to

  • More time together. If you have the space, you should try to workout together.  You'll have almost an hour of dedicated time to do something together.
  • More sex. As you tone up and get in shape you have more confidence in and out of the bedroom.
  • More commitment.  Studies have shown that couples increase their chance of sticking with a workout program by 90% if they do it together.

Friends and Coworkers
Pairing up with friends and coworkers to workout gives you that moral support and sometimes a little competition.  If you're lucky you can squeeze a workout in during lunch instead of going out to eat.  Can't make a lunch workout?  Get together after work to do your TapouT XT instead of hitting that bar.

Online Workout Partners
There are a bunch of great communities you can participate in to help you get through those rough spots.

Everyone there will be supportive because they all want what you do, support and encouragement to get that TapouT XT body.

Get In A Routine

It may sound like you're being a robot, but set your workout time and DO IT.  Being in a daily routine can be boring , but it is how you will succeed in getting the body you want with TapouT XT.  For me, I workout Monday - Thursday at lunch time, Fridays at 9AM and Saturdays 5AM.  

There's no guessing when you're supposed to workout, you just figure out what you're doing that day from the calendar and do it.

You're Not Alone, Keep Going

You're not alone if you feel like you don't want to do your workout today.  The difference is I know you'll find a way to do it.  Change things up a little, realize you're talking yourself out of the workout, reach out to other people for help and get yourself in a routine.

If you found this content helpful, please sign up for the email list to get TapouT XT workout content like exercises, fighting techniques, diet help and equipment reviews.  Also, join me on Google+ and Facebook.

3 Benefits of Working Out Together by Jessica Padykula