TapouT XT Resistance Band Set Review and Comparison"

In TapouT XT, the resistance band is used for at least 50 percent of the exercises.  It is important to be informed when you want to buy more resistance bands than the one that came with the program.  There are a couple of things you need to think about when you're looking to buy resistance bands for TapouT XT.  It helps to know what the different styles of resistance bands are out there.  Later in the article I review the 2 styles I've used for TapouT XT.  Lastly, you'll need to know how to take care of your resistance bands once you've purchased them.

Tips for Buying Resistance Bands for TapouT XT

Resistance Band Handle
The resistance band handle should have cloth or nylon strap material that links the band and the handle portion.  It should not be a solid piece of plastic.

Tapout XT Nylon Strap and Hard Plastic Resistance Band Handle Comparison
Nylon Strap and Hard Plastic Handle Comparison

In testing different resistance bands, the ones with a hard plastic bit into my forearm and wrist for some exercises.  I actually had some bruising the next day from using the hard plastic handle.

Variety of Resistance
You are naturally stronger in some exercises than others.  A variety of bands weights will give you a better workout by allowing you to gradually work your way up in weaker exercises and really activate your muscles on stronger ones.

For example, when you do a leg intense exercise, like the Power Lift in the Legs & Back workout, you use a heavier resistance band weight because your legs are larger stronger muscles.

Get the Most from Leg Exercises by using
Heavier Resistance Bands

In comparison, when you do the Reverse Fly in the Ripped Conditioning workout you're focusing on the smaller rear shoulder and upper back muscle.  For this exercise you would use a lighter resistance band than the one for your legs.

Use a Lighter Resistance Band
For Smaller Muscle Groups

Different Styles of Resistance Bands

There are three primary types of resistance bands you might consider purchasing for TapouT XT.

  • Standard fixed weight single band
  • "Stackable" variable weight band
  • Braided fixed weight band

Standard Fixed Weight Single Resistance Band
This is the type of resistance band you get when you buy the TapouT XT program.  When you purchase a set, like the Black Mountain one shown later, the bands are color coded to signify the different weight.

Fixed Weight Single Band

"Stackable" Variable Weight Resistance Band
The variable part of this type of resistance band comes from your ability to clip on additional bands.  Sets will start with 5 or 6 bands that clip on to the handle, the Bodylastics reviewed below has 6 bands.  This will let you combine bands to make a heavier resistance band to use.

"Stackable" Variable Weight Resistance Band

Braided Fixed Weight Resistance Band
This is fairly new from companies like Reebok and SPRI.  The claims for this product is that the braided band will enhance the tubing lifespan and integrity.  The cost on these is a little more, $15 - $30 each depending on resistance and manufacturer.  I've worked out with these in the gym before and it is just like using a single band resistance band.

Braided Fixed Weight Resistance Band

What Should You Buy?

There are a couple of factors that you need to take into consideration when purchasing your resistance bands.

  • What is your current level of physical strength and endurance?
  • What are your long term goals with TapouT XT

What is your current level of physical strength and endurance?
The idea is to figure out your current fitness level, and what set of resistance bands will start you in the lower to mid band weight.  This makes sure you don't out grow your resistance band set too fast.  The diagram below is based on not so much how strong you are but how you compare to the style of workout that TapouT XT is.

Tapout XT Choose Resistance Band Based on Fitness Level
Band Set Based On Fitness Level

What are Your Long Term Goals with TapouT XT?
How long do you plan on doing TapouT XT?  You spent the money on TapouT XT, you might as well get repeat benefits by doing the program multiple times.  With that in mind, your resistance band purchase should keep that in mind.  The diagram below is based on starting at the lowest weight and going up a band per month.

How Many Time You Plan on Doing TapouT XT

Equipment Recommendations

These recommendations are based on my own personal experiences with the equipment and other research.  I will only recommend equipment I've used myself.

Black Mountain Products New Strong Man Set of 6 Resistance Bands
These are fixed weight single band resistance band set.  If you're just starting out don't let the "Strong Man" description dissuade you.  The Black Mountain 6 Band Set comes with the following weights, 2-4 pounds, 4-6 pounds, 10-12 pounds, 15-20 pounds, 25-30 pounds, 35-40 pounds.

The Black Mountain resistance bands seem to be over all made well and comfortable to use.

  • They have sturdy connections to the handle.
  • I haven't had a problem with the band breaking, and I've been kind of abusing them when I make the band real tight in the Bent Over Row exercises.
  • The foam handle measures 1 1/8 inches diameter and is comfortable to use.
  • The bag the set comes with is big enough to hold all the bands, a set of loop bands and 2 pound training gloves.  This came in handy when I tested TapouT XT on the road.
This is a solid resistance band set that is perfect for the person just starting out and will provide you a challenge even if you do the TapouT XT program more than once.  It is also affordable at just a little over $5 per band.

Obviously by the name this is a stackable resistance band set that allows you to clip additional bands on to either the grips or heavy duty ankle straps.  This set is a little more expensive, at the time of writing $13 more, than the Black Mountain one.  There are a couple of things you will need to get used to doing that are a little different than using a single fixed weight resistance band.

The Bodylastics resistance band set is really well made, pretty easy to use and comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • It comes with resistance bands in the following weight, 3 pounds, 5 pounds, 8 pounds, 13 pounds, 19 pounds and 23 pounds.  The weights are listed as resistance for each arm.  To compare them to the Black Mountain set, multiply the Bodylastics weight by 2.
  • Having the weight on the clips really takes the guess work out of setting them up.

Resistance Band Weight Engraved on Clips

Some other benefits are
  • 99% snap resistant bands with Failsafe anti-snap technology
  • 33 levels of resistance from 3 to 142 pounds of tension
  • The handle is a heavy duty plastic with a foam grip area.  The grip area measures 1 3/8 inches in diameter
  • The bag is large enough to hold all the resistance band equipment, loop bands and 2 pound training gloves .  The velcro top on the bag isn't as nice as the drawstring one on the Black Mountain set.
The two main differences of using the Bodylastics resistance band set from the Black Mountain one is 
  • Having to switch out bands every once in a while
  • How the bands meet together for exercise like Upright Rows
I got around having to switch out bands on the one set of handles by using the ankle straps too.  Setup your heavy weight on the handles with the grip and a lighter weight on the ankle straps.  This really minimized the need to switch out bands.

Heavy Setup on Handles
Light Setup on Ankle Straps

It was actually more comfortable using the ankle strap on exercises like the Down / Pop / Press in the Ripped Conditioning workout.

Down / Pop / Press Using Ankle Straps

The other real difference from using standard resistance bands is getting used to how the cables connect to the handles.  For the most part you don't notice, but when the bands cross each other like in the Upright Row in Ripped Conditioning the band connections rub over each other.  It's more of just a difference with a standard band than anything.  They weren't catching when I was using them.  Although I found myself making it so they didn't touch.

Resistance Band Connectors Rub
but Don't Catch

So far the Bodylastics 13pcs Stackable Resistance Bands Set has been really good to use.  I kind of workout like a freak sometimes and it is nice to have the option of adding more weight.  

One last thing for the Bodylastics Stackable Set, I'm probably going to buy one more handle so there are three options.  The extra $10 is worth it for me.  Then all I have to worry about is adding and removing weight to the heaviest handle set.

Resistance Band Care

If you've purchased either the Black Mountain or Bodylastic sets, you now own a nice set of resistance bands and probably want to take care of them.

Here are some care and guidelines I've found.

  • Keep your resistance band out of the sunlight when you store them.  Your Mom was right about putting your toys away.  Just use the bag it came with and you'll be fine.
  • If you use your resistance bands in the pool, make sure to wash them off.  Not sure why you're doing TapouT XT underwater but you're more hard core than I am for sure.
  • Cuts and abrasions are not a resistance band's friend.  Try to not do TapouT XT on any surface that could cut the tubes.
Hopefully you've found the information and reviews helpful even if you don't purchase one of the two products above.  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+.


  1. What about the flat different colored flat bands they use? Where can you get them other than Tapout XT

  2. Those are in the loop band review. http://www.tapoutxtreview.info/2012/08/tapout-xt-loop-band-review.html

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