How to Throw a Cross Punch

Whether you have experience in some fighting style or not, TapouT XT is a great chance to practice the fundamental striking moves that are common to most styles.  When done correct, the cross punch can deliver a lot of force to your opponent.

Power of the Cross Punch

The power for your cross punch comes from the rotation of your hips, core and back foot.  The video below does a pretty good job of explaining the technique.

TapouT XT Review - Day 10 Progress

TapouT XT Day 10 Review

How much can you actually change in 10 days?  It's not about losing a pound a day.  Each person is different, and loses weight differently.  It's about measuring progress.  When you see my day 1 and day 10 comparison below, you'll see the changes are minimal.

Six Great Things About TapouT XT So Far

  1. The only equipment is resistance bands.  This makes the program portable if you're going on a trip or have limited space.  Also, buying a bunch of equipment to do a exercise program you paid over $100 for is coming close to paying for a year's gym membership.
  2. Variety. There is a good amount of variety during the workout and the number of workouts.  Looking ahead in the weeks to come, the mix of types of workouts during the week is refreshing.
  3. Thank you Mike for not being annoying.  Your level of enthusiasm is enough to keep me going, but not annoying.
  4. The workouts don't leave you feeling ravenous.  When finishing a TapouT XT workout you feel some sore muscles and a little exhausted from the Killer Move at the end.  You feel like you finished a good workout.  There are some workout programs that when you're done you feel like you barely survived and you need to eat immediately to fight the exhaustion.
  5. You don't need a lot of space.  My workout area is 8 feet by 6 feet and I have no problems with lack of space to do the exercises.  I'm not saying I'm doing these exercises with any grace, just there is enough room .
  6. The Killer Move at the end of the workouts.  There is one last move at the end of each workout called the Killer Move.  The idea is to make you push yourself as hard as you can for a minute at the end.  This is more of a will power exercise because you're already tired.

Day 1 and Day 10 Comparison

Day 1

Day 10
Day 1 and day 10 may look the same but I went from 159 lbs to 157 lbs, a less than 2% body weight change.  The hardest thing for me is to stay on the diet plan.  There are so many opportunities to go to lunch with coworkers, have that drink, eat that birthday cake.

Goal for the Next 10 Days

I want to be able to go through the entire Strength and Force Upper workout without having to rest on the shoulder portions of the workout.  It's going to be hard and will most likely come down to the will power to keep moving.

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TapouT XT Review Format Change

This is the beginning of the 4 day workout repetition.  The first 8 workouts, plus the day 12 Cardio XT + Ultimate Abs will be used to form the workouts from weeks 1 - 3.  It is common to have a rotational workout format, but because of this, there will be some changes.

  • A weekly workout recap instead of a daily one.
  • Diet and eating tips will still be published regularly
  • As new workouts are done in the programs, They will be reviewed.

TapouT XT Day 8 Competition Core

What is great about TapouT XT is that its the start of a new week of working out and you're not doing Day 1's workout.  So far I've really enjoyed the variety of workouts.  Competition Core incorporates a lot of exercises that have you doing the knee motion, either standing or in plank position.

Awkward Exercise

I found the Sledgehammer a little weird to do.  When bending over, the band would slip off my back to one side.  At least I'm not alone, I saw a bunch of the people on the video having issues too.


Favorite Competition Core Exercise

Side Burpee Punch is the winner this week.  Side burpees are great by themselves, but to add the punch forces you to maintain your balance to give you that extra little bit of core pain.

Start with a Side Burpee

Two more days and I'll post my Day 10 photos.


100 Calorie Sandwich Bread

When you first start looking at what your eating and how many calories you consume, you quickly learn that your old sandwich usually started out with 200 - 300 calories in bread. Now, that bread would account for a large majority if not all of the calories you have for a meal / snack.

 Luckily about 2 years back bread companies, like Oroweat, started making whole grain sandwich thins.  These are the same diameter of a hamburger bun but only about the thickness of a slice of bread.  Being only 100 calories each they are great for sandwiches, mini pizzas and burgers.

Oroweat Sandwich Thin Panini

Looking for More Recipes? 

There are some really delicious free recipes with nutritional breakdowns using the sandwich thins at Oroweat that range in calories from under 200 - 550 calories.  Recipes like

  • Blackened Salmon Chicken - 333 calories
  • Egg and Prosciutto Sandwich - 310 calories
  • Orchard Grilled Cheese - 259 calories
  • Mini's Margherita Pizza - 159 calories

There is a Lower Calorie Hot Dog?

Just because you're changing the way you eat doesn't mean you need to give up fun foods like hot dogs.  Instead of using a beef or turkey hot dog, try chicken sausage.  The sausage is bun length and is thicker than a normal hot dog.

Most of the time the chicken sausage will come precooked so all you have to do is heat them up a little in the microwave, grill or skillet.  You can buy brands like Bistro Sensations and a couple others at stores like Walmart for around $4.
Bistro Sensations Chicken Sausage


Calories for the chicken sausage will range from 110 - 140 per link.  Pair that with a 100 - 120 calorie whole grain hot dog bun and you still have room in a 300 calorie meal for all kinds of toppings or a serving of baby carrots.

TapouT XT Day 6 Sprawl and Brawl

You probably started or are wondering about this program because, like me, you want a good workout that incorporates some fighting moves.  Almost every exercise in the Sprawl and Brawl workout incorporates some type or combination of punching, kicking, knee, elbow strike.

There are even some basic self defense / fighting combos like the Jab / Cross / Knee.  You start out in a fighting stance, throw a jab then a cross punch and knee with your back leg.



The only exercise you might find a little awkward was the incorporation of the side lunge in the 3D Lunge Knee Strike.  This is especially true if your not coordinated like me.

Favorite Sprawl and Brawl Exercise

You do the Fighter Burpee Knee Strike earlier on in the Sprawl and Brawl workout. The Fighter Burpee Knee Strike is an explosive move that pretty much incorporates all major muscle groups.  You start with two knee strikes, explode up into fight stance and then do a jab and cross.

First Knee Strike

Second Knee Strike

Explode Up to Fight Stance

Jab / Cross

To get regular workout advice, tips and diet help, join our email list.  I can't wait for tomorrow's workout [Rest Day :) ].  

You can do this workout program.  You don't need to be in a certain shape or a fighter.

TapouT XT Day 5 Legs and Back

Legs and Back incorporate a lot of exercises you've done already using resistance bands on your feet to make it harder to do the leg movements.  Here are a couple things to think of when doing the exercises.

Engage Your Abs

When you do these lower body exercises make sure to support your back by engaging your abs otherwise known as keeping your core tight.  How do you do this?

This is an excerpt from a forum posting that does the best job I've seen explaining this concept,

"I teach Pilates, and keeping the core tight is what we focus on in class ALL THE TIME. If you can keep your core contracted throughout every exercise you do, you'll be working your abs 24/7. You should feel as if you're pulling your belly button back and into your spine...but don't hunch, roll or suck the shoulders down. Your shoulders won't move at all. It's almost the feeling as if someone was to poke you in your belly button to push it want the contraction low.

Practice this: put one hand flat on your stomach above your belly button and one hand flat on your stomach below your belly button. The contraction will happen in btw your hands. Now take a deep breath in through your nose. When you exhale, pull your belly button back to your spine without involving your shoulders or sucking're exhaling here. As you exhale and pull your abs in (belly button back) your stomach should separate from your hands and actually pull away/back from your hands. Don't move your hands...keep them in the same position they were...resting on your abs. But when you exhale and contract, the contraction should pull the abdominals away from the hands.

Practice this a few times and then try holding the contraction while you take an inhale while keeping the abs tight."

Don't Be Afraid to Change the Resistance Band

The movements you do should be a little hard to do.  By making it harder you're only helping yourself.  The idea is not to easily get through these exercises.

You need to challenge yourself.  You're the only one who can make the changes you want to see.

Favorite Legs and Back Exercise

The XT Tire Flip is a really cool explosive move that works your
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Shoulders
You start standing on the resistance bands in a squat position with palms facing forward then stand up fast, throwing your hands above your head.  The correct tension will be hard to finish the move at the top without hindering the complete movement.

Start in a Squat Position

Explode Up With Your Hands Above Your Head

TapouT XT Day 4 Yoga XT

How is doing Yoga working out?  You would be surprised the amount of effort it takes to hold a series of poses for a 50 minute routine.  The TapouT XT Yoga program is meant to help you with your

  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Strength (by holding poses)
Before you get started there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.  Be mindful of how your body feels when doing the poses.  Make sure not to overstretch or strain your
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Knees
  • Leg muscles
Don't feel you need to look like the people on the video.  If you need to bend your knees or modify the stretches / moves so you are not hurting yourself please make those modifications.  Better to eventually get better at the moves over the 90 days than have to take some time off because you pulled something.

Review and Comment

It is nice to be able to spend some time stretching because I really don't get much of a stretch from the warm up  and cool down in the normal workouts.

One negative, how many downward dog and upward dog positions are we going to have to do?  Really?  I know it is a transition move but I swear we have to do 50 of those.

Favorite Yoga XT Move

Not really sure what this one is called but it did a really good job of stretching my core, hips and chest.  
  • You start with one foot forward in a lunge
  • opposite hand from the forward leg goes about 6 inches parallel with the forward leg
  • Same arm as the forward leg goes up
  • Look up at your hand
  • Hold that for 15 - 20 seconds
  • The arm that is up wraps around to the back, stretching your chest

First Half of the Movement

Wrap the Arm that was Up Around Your Back

TapouT XT Day 3 Plyo

Plyometrics, also known as “plyo” is a type of exercise designed to produce fast and powerful movements.  Most workout programs try to incorporate some type of plyometrics and TapouT XT is no different.

Before You Start

You might want to warm up your hips more than what he does in the video.  Here is a pretty good resource for a couple of hip flexor stretches. I just did the warm up and the Plank Step Ins at the beginning of the workout were killing my hips.  I had to pause and stretch my hip flexors a little more.

Workout Review

This plyo workout is a really good one to start out with if you're getting back into working out or you're looking for "not so many crazy ass jumps."  I've done some plyo workouts, like Phase 2 Insanity, and sometimes you feel like screaming to summon the ancestors just to finish.

Favorite TapouT XT Plyo Exercise

The Low Squat Elbow or Punch is a great way to incorporate plyometrics with the low squat jump,and working your core with the 2 elbows or punch combo.

Low Squat Jump

2 Punch or Elbow Combo at the Bottom

TapouT XT Day 2 Strength Force Upper Body and Ultimate Abs Workout

Strength Force Upper Body Workout

Just like what the name says, Strength Force Upper is about building upper body strength and endurance.  The muscles that you focus on during the 55 minute workout are

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Some back
This workout really leaves you with some sore shoulders with the amount of push ups and shoulder band work you do.

Favorite Exercise for the Strength Force Upper Workout

The push-up upper elbow strike forces you to keep your core tight to keep your balance with an explosive upper elbow strike.  You do both sides in one set one after the other.
Start with a Push-Up

Do a Upper Elbow Strike at the Top

Ultimate Abs

Ultimate Abs is a 15 minute continuous ab workout.  There is a little bit of lower back emphasis in the form of bridging.  A lot of the workout is a variation of crunches.

Favorite Exercise for Ultimate Abs

The Crunch Elbow is a combination of doing a crunch with 2 elbow strikes on the way to the top and 2 elbow strikes on the way back down.

First Elbow Strike on the Way Up
Second Elbow Strike on the Way Up

First Elbow Strike on the Way Down

Second Elbow Strike on the Way Down

Low Calorie Cereal for Breakfast

Are you looking for a 315 calorie breakfast that gives you a lot to eat in the morning?  You should try Kashi Go Lean cereal.  I have this breakfast usually twice a week.

Here are the stats:

2 cups of Kashi Go Lean cereal = 280 calories
1 cup Unsweetened Silk Almond Milk = 35 calories
dash of cinnamon for extra flavor

The 2 cups of cereal has 26 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber.  This really helps you feel full after eating it.  The dash of cinnamon adds a little more flavor but that is optional if you don't like cinnamon.

Doing the First TapouT XT Workout

The very first workout you'll do is the Cross Core Workout.  Obviously by the name, this TapouT XT workout focus is on the core muscle group, the body minus the arms and legs.  The focus is on the

  • Lower and Upper back
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
[low pile carpet, forearms rug burn,

Favorite Exercise from Cross Core Workout

I like the good mix of on the ground movements, punching, kicking and using resistance bands.  So far my favorite move is called the Bob Weave Upper Upper.

Bob Weave Upper Upper
This is where using the resistance band on your feet, you bob and weave in a squat position a couple of times and the do an upper cut on both sides.

How Hard was the Workout?

On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being Insanity phase 2 (pain), it was a 5.  This is a really good workout to start with.  I was definitely sweating by the end, but didn't feel like I went through some fight to stay alive.

The Killer Move at the end was a really good way to push yourself at the end of the workout, and get that good and tired feeling.

Workout Take Aways

I'm doing the TapouT XT program in my living room which has a low pile carpet.  Judging on how my elbows and forearms feel, I know I have some rug burn from the moves that have you moving around in the low plan position.  I'll have to figure out how to remedy that.

Getting the correct resistance on the bands is going to take some time getting used to, but I know this will come with using them over the 90 days.

What to Expect from TapouT XT

I'm starting the program this afternoon so please subscribe to our RSS feed and check back then to see how things are progressing.

What to Expect from TapouT XT

I'm not going to talk like an infomercial and tout this exercise program as the cure for everything that you see wrong with yourself.  Just by looking over the videos and information that comes with it here are some things I feel you can realistically get from doing the program.

  • You will probably lose some weight.  Your weight loss is really dependent on diet.  Don't be fooled by special cases, this applies to all workout programs.  You need to have realistic goals for weight loss.  I recommend that you look at the meal plan as a chance to realize how you eat now and incorporate things like eat smaller meals more often and understand how many calories there are in the foods you eat.
  • You will get tone and increase your lean muscle, but not put on a lot of muscle mass you would traditionally get from doing heavy weight and low reps in a gym.  This program relies on body weight,  resistance bands and a combination of aerobic type of exercise.
  • TapouT XT will be challenging, even if you've done other programs, and incorporates a lot of punching and some modified ground fighting moves.
Here is something you won't get from TapouT XT.
  • The body of a model.  There are a few cases out there that will be the exception, but even then once you stop working out 6 times a week and go off a strict calorie counting regime you're bound to gain a little weight back. I know this because a year and a half ago I did Insanity and gained back some weight after I stopped strictly following the program. Again, realistic goals.

Set a Reachable and Measurable Goal

WebMD has a great quick article on planning, setting and achieving weight loss goals.  Some of the things they talk about are

  • Resolve to lose weight slowly
  • Set short term goals
  • Track your progress
  • Thinking about long term goals

Weight Loss

People are different in the way they lose weight.  It may seem that one person may lose weight easily while others struggle.  If you get a chance read this informative article by the Mayo Clinic to help you understand metabolism and weight loss.  What it comes down to is there is no magic bullet for weight loss.  It all comes down to diet and physical activity.

I start the program today!  Check back to see what TapouT XT is really about.