Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise

Group Exercise vs Gym Membership – An easier way

The CDC states emphatically that exercise reduces the risk of heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, and also helps with weight control, to relieve arthritis pain and even reduce symptoms of depression. Despite this clear statement, it is estimated that 50% of all Americans exercise at intervals below recommended levels, and an astonishing 24% of Americans don’t exercise at all.

The number one reason given by working Americans – no time. Between commutes, work hours and family time (oh, and also sleep) Americans have difficulty carving out additional hours to visit their nearby gyms. This makes home exercise the ideal answer.

Web MD lists the five essential components of a good home exercise program. They  include cardio, strength, balance, flexibility and guidance. This would imply that an investment of $300 to $2,000+ (low tech at $300 vs. gym grade equipment at $2,000+) would take away the number one reason for inactivity by providing a suitable home exercise set-up.

I disagree. On top of the above,  Livestrong adds an important dimension to the argument for better exercise percentages in America. They state that group exercise coupled with accountability to a trainer are the necessary final additions to a successful and long-term commitment to exercise.

This, above all other reasons, is why I have so strongly advocated programs such as Tapout XT. For a minimal investment  ($120) Tapout covers cardio, strength, balance and flexibility and couples it with expert instruction in a ‘near group’ environment (the socialization aspect os obviously missing during the workout, however Tapout XT offers a robust online support community of users).

If you haven’t yet purchased your treadmill, weight machine and other home exercise equipment, consider the value of home-instruction programs like Tapout XT. If, […]

By |October 29th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|2 Comments

Exercise Your Body and Protect your Brain!

The results of on-going studies continue to further reinforce the many benefits of regular exercise. Here’s an excerpt from the latest…

“The participants reported a range of physical activity, from household chores to heavy exercise or playing competitive sports several times a week. Over the three years, those who exercised the most had the largest brains, and showed the least shrinkage in white matter compared to those who were the least active, suggesting regular exercise in old age could protect the brain from age-related decline. Those who reported engaging in more intellectual pursuits didn’t show the same benefit.”

Enough said.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/23/exercise-trumps-brain-games-in-keeping-our-minds-intact/#ixzz2AVWybO4J




By |October 27th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

What is Disability?

In 2003, Matt Standridge reached the basecamp of Mt. Everest as a member of the Team Everest group – the largest cross-disability team to ever reach basecamp.

Matt says this about disability, “I kind of think that we are all disabled in our own ways. As to being in a wheelchair – yes, I am disabled. As to doing the things that I want to do in my life – no, I am not disabled.”

I believe that there is something to be learned from Matt’s statement.

Perhaps we should look first at people for what they can and have accomplished before we place a label upon them?

Perhaps that which we allow to keep us from doing the things we want to do is the true disability, and not  the physical traits society currently assigns?

Matt seems to think so, and I agree!

By |October 15th, 2012|Blog, Mindsets, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

My Email to Tapout XT Upon Completion

Dear Tapout XT crew,

My 20’s and 30’s afforded me a lot of latitude with regard to my healthy lifestyle choices, less so in my 40’s. The 50’s – foggettaboutit. 


When I turned 50 I began noticing that a new group of commercials were targeting me. All were health related. They talked about the increased risks of high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks after the age of 50. Couple these with the knowledge that muscle and bone loss both occur beginning at age 40 (which create increased risk of falls and injuries, loss of mobility and general decreases in ADLs) and the need for a commitment to healthy living becomes a no-brainer. It was time to take these commercials more seriously.


There are two common sense core elements to good health – exercise and diet.  I have always maintained a regular exercise regimen, however have not always been consistent in the intensity level of these workouts. This holds especially true for cardio and legs, both of which I never found to be fun. I love to push weights, and most of all to bang on a heavy bag. Over the years (having neglected my legs) I grew a frame not unlike Johnny Bravo. My diet consisted of carbs, cheese, hot sauce and more carbs. Johnny Bravo eventually become the StayPuff Marshmallow man.


It was clear to me that my exercise routines needed to become more cardio intense and well rounded. This, along with a commitment to improve my diet, was my birthday gift to myself.


Having heard a lot about P90X over the years I decided to try it. I am however an avid MMA guy. Fortunately  (and quite accidentally) I discovered Tapout XT just before ordering P90X. I […]

By |October 2nd, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

I Completed Tapout XT! What Comes Next?

It has been an incredible journey. When I began the Tapout XT program I weighed in at a hefty 203. I thought I was in decent cardio shape, and as I was active in at the gym I also thought my core and upper body strength was up to XT par. Wrong!

The first two weeks weren’t easy. Describing them as ‘Hell weeks’ would be an exaggeration, but describing them simply as ‘tough’ would be an understatement. Somewhere  leaning closer to Hell than tough is probably right.

Survive the two weeks and I predict you will begin to feel (and see) some differences, I sure did. My energy level began to rise as my weight began to lessen. While the workouts were still challenging, and always will be, I was able to improve my exercise completion rate from 70-80% to above 90% for all sessions. Having injuries to my lower back and shoulders still necessitated modification to some.

Upon reaching the end of the program I am the leanest and most muscularly defined that I have been in nearly 10 years. My cardio, VO2 Max and overall health have all improved. Remembering that I began the program at the youthful age of 50, I was on regular doses of a blood pressure medication one Day One. My doctor informed me last week that my blood pressure has reached ‘normal’ levels, and I can stop taking BP meds whenever I want. This is very telling.

What comes next? I’m not stopping XT, that is for sure. It is extremely effective, fun and quite addictive. I intend to add it as part of my weekly regimen, with as few as two sessions per week to as many as six. I am […]

By |September 24th, 2012|Blog, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|8 Comments

Tapout XT Personal Progress


The pictures say it all. When I began the program I weighed in at a chubby 203 – the picture on the bottom left was taken on day 1. In the first few weeks I was down to 199 (top left), and as I continued my path to weight loss and muscle tone I was mostly pleased – with the exception of the Plyo XT days (bottom row, middle picture), these days made me sore! After 8 weeks I stepped on the scale at 189 (top right) and took the ‘after’ picture shortly afterwards.

Coupled with proper nutrition this program really works! I still have 2 weeks to complete, and am looking to get down to 185. I will keep you posted!

By |September 10th, 2012|Blog, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

Extreme Workouts and Injuries – How to Stay in the Game

While growing up, my friends and I used to joke about how ‘the old folks’ always talked about their health and how their back hurt. Sweet revenge – I am in my 50’s and my back (and neck) hurt, and I have to be cognizant of my health. (At least I didn’t have to walk uphill in the snow to school both ways, and get an orange for Christmas and be thankful for it!)

I am much more prone to re-injury when I begin a new exercise program then those who enter the same program injury free, or those whose bodies recuperate more quickly (that means you – ‘whipper-snapper’). I therefore take a few additional steps that I have found to help keep me in the game long and minimize the pain and downtime caused by aggravating pre-existing conditions.

1) As lame as this always sounded to me when I was young, having a physical and doing a fitness test before starting a new program provides peace of mind. If you are new to extreme fitness, or haven’t been working out at all, you can gauge your readiness by taking this simple test at home. Grab a timer and see how many sit-ups you can do in one minute (correct form required). For women aged 45+, 15 is considered to be good, 30 to be excellent, for men aged 45+  – 25 is considered good, 40 or more to be excellent. Sit-ups gauge relative strength of your abdomen and core. Next, is the push-up test – as many as you can in one minute (women may modify their position by doing them from their knees rather than plank position). Women 50+ – completing 8 or more is […]

By |August 27th, 2012|Blog, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

Home Exercise vs. Gym Membership – A Dilemma? Not If You Travel

I have been a ‘gym rat’ for many years. 24 Hour Fitness, locally owned gyms, and most recently FIT San Diego (http://fitathletic.com/sd/). Fit is an amazing gym. It offers a ridiculous number of amenities – including the two most important to me; a steam room and heavy bag room. Like most other gyms, it has an excellent personal trainer program too. So why in the world did I buy Tapout XT? And why am I also looking into buying the TRX system and P90X?

The answers are summed up in two words – complexity and continuity.

Complexity – Over the next 6 weeks (42 days) I will be traveling 27 days. This leaves 15 days. When I return from each of the 4 trips (that account for my travel) I will lose nearly a full day to jet-lag, laundry and errands. This leaves me 11 days. 7 of these 11 remaining are work-days – leaving limited evening time to visit the gym. Put it all together, I have 4 ‘non-complex’ days (non-work, non-travel) to visit FIT, and 7 additional ‘complex’ ones. I do my best , but if my schedule at home gets crazy I need alternatives. Home Exercise Programs ensure that no matter how crazy a day gets (when I am not traveling) I can find time for a one hour work-out thanks to the convenience of working out at home.

Continuity – Like many of you, I try to maintain a regular exercise regimen of a minimum 5 days per week. When I am traveling, hotel gyms are sometimes ok – mostly not. Often they feature a treadmill, an elliptical or two, and a weight-stack machine that frequently doesn’t work. That’s it. I am not a jogger, so […]

By |August 14th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|7 Comments

Win a Free Travel Mug by Submitting a Post!

Since I began this site in early April the response has been amazing. We recently celebrated our 20,000th page view, registered 11,561 unique new viewers and have well over 100 direct subscribers!

It is time to turn it up a notch. We want more of YOUR stories, and are willing to bribe you:)

Beginning now thru September 9th, submit a POST and we will send you a Second Starters® travel coffee mug!

To submit a POST, simply choose a topic that is fitting to the categories we feature and send your completed POST to phil@secondstarters.com. I will email you back with any edits and/ or suggestions, or simply post your story under your username in the appropriate category.  Be sure to include your mailing address and the username you would like to be set up under in our system in your email!

Soon after you will receive a branded Second Starters® travel coffee mug in the mail in addition to your unique username/ password for future submissions!

These travel mugs are a $15 value, and are in limited supply – so if you would like one please send your story soon! We will post notification on the site when all the mugs are gone.

Thank you, and I am excited to hear your stories!


<a href=”http://www.hypersmash.com”>Hyper Smash</a>

Is Your Belly Fat Killing You?

The answer, according to recent conclusive research is YES – if it is visceral fat.

Where your body stores fat indeed matters, and those who store visceral fat around their waistlines are faced with greater risk of the following; heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer and postmenopausal cancer. As if these weren’t enough, visceral fat is also linked to poor brain health. Smokers beware – studies show that smoking enhances the body’s likelihood to store fat on your waistlines to an even greater extent than non-smokers.

Now the bad news followed by the good. 50% of men and 70% of women between ages 50 and 79 have waists that fit the definition of “abdominal obesity”, which will certainly include visceral fat. That is of course the bad news. The good news – visceral fat is the first fat you are likely to lose once you begin an exercise/ diet lifestyle change.

A common misconception to clear up on exercise – especially ab-related ones such as crunches – they do not reduce belly fat. They simply build muscle under the fat. A low carb diet, or any other diet emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and reducing sugars and junk foods will do along with a regular exercise regimen. Whatever diet and exercise program you can follow as a life-style change is the one you should adopt.

What is visceral fat? What it’s not is the fat that you can pinch around your waistline. That is called sub-cutaneous fat. This kind of fat isn’t nearly as dangerous. When you see it around your thighs, arms and legs you may not be happy, but the good news is it is unlikely to cause your […]

By |July 24th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments