Insanity Reviews: Pure Cardio

insanity-pure-cardio-smAs promised, here is another Insanity Review. I have previously reviewed Plyo Cardio Circuit, and Pure Cardio (like Plyo Cardio) is a monster. I just completed this workout this morning, so the workout is fresh on my mind. My Insanity Review will be based on my personal thoughts, and break down the workout for you to see. I promise you this, you can not fully appreciate this program, unless you try it. I can tell you about it, it is hard…. but until you try it for yourself, you can never fully appreciate the hard work. When starting the Insanity Workout: Pure Cardio workout dvd, the disclaimer states plainly…its an intense program, that you should take breaks, get your doctors approval, and that its an advanced program. There might be some other items in there too, but I admit, I paid little attention. What’s a workout without a little pain and suffering. :)

So the overall workout length is 38 minutes, 16 seconds. I know there might be some die hard P90X fans out there saying, “WHAT, only 38 minutes?” I can relate, we’re used to longer workouts pushing 60 minutes. However, after 38 minutes of Insanity, you’re thankful for the cool down and stretch.

The Insanity Pure Cardio workout begins with a warm up (cough cough), if you call that a warm up. It’s just over 10 minutes, but if you started the warm up, and someone walked into the room, they would swear you were right in the middle of the cardio portion. Don’t think you’re going to take a nice walk, or a little jog, maybe throw your arms around a little. By the time you finish the warm up, you’re already sweating like crazy, or at least I was. So the warm up is 3 rounds of about 3 minutes and 30 seconds each. There is no break between the rounds. Each round is slightly faster than the last, and the last round is “as fast as you can go” pace. I know, Insane. The warm up is very similar to the one in Plyo Cardio. Each round you move from a Jog, Jumping jacks, Heisman (jumping side to side), 123 Heisman (moving side to side with 3 fast small steps), Butt Kicks, High Knees (running in place, with high knees), and Mummy Kicks. When that’s over, you get your first water break, a whole 20 seconds, of which each second is precious and dear. Then the stretch. Which leads me to another thought. In what other workout program or cardio dvd have you actually worked so hard during the warm up, that you NEEDED a water break after it was over? This fitness program is being stated to be the hardest fitness program on dvd. And I think they mean it!

The stretch is more like a “Power” stretch. A lot of times when you stretch, you use your hands on the floor as you stretch your legs. Spread your feet apart, rest your hands on the floor. Runner stretch, hands on the floor, etc. With Insanity, you stretch your legs and lower body, while your hands are straight out or up. Which means your legs are working, and your upper body is not taking any of the weight. So Power stretch seems to work for me. However, I really like the stretch, it’s thorough, and does what its supposed to do, gets you ready for the workout. The stretch lasts about 5 minutes and 50 seconds. Nice. Then guess what. A water break. I felt like I needed it. If nothing else, I needed to get myself prepped for the rest of the workout, and if the warm up is an indication, I know its going to be intense.

So 21 minutes are left on the clock. Now if I hadn’t already seen what Shaun T can do to a man or woman in that span of time, I might of thought, NO PROBLEM, PIECE OF CAKE. Don’t be fooled. The main part of the workout is 15 minutes. 15 moves, 1 minute each.

Sounds easy. The hard part is, you’ve seen your last water break until all 15 moves are completed. The moves are not easy either, they require plenty of effort, and once completed, you’re completely exhausted. Even Shaun T rolls out on the floor! The 15 moves are:

  • Suicide (side to side touching the floor)
  • Switch kicks (exhausting)
  • Wide football sprints
  • Stance Jacks
  • Pedal (two lunges, then sprint, followed by 2 more lunges, etc)
  • Hooks and Jump rope (8 hook punches, several high jumps, 8 punches etc)
  • Power jacks (like jumping jacks, but you go deep in a wide lunge)
  • Level 2 drills (these get me every time. 8 push ups followed by 8 run lunges, repeat)
  • Frog Jumps
  • Power Knees (switch every 30 seconds)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Ski Down (jump side to side as if skiing)
  • Scissor Runs
  • Suicide Jumps (squat down, jump back to a push up, stand up again)
  • Push up jacks (push ups with wide feet)

Some of those may be hard to imagine, and are a little difficult to explain. But my hope is not that you can get through the workout on what I write, but get an idea of the workout itself.

Throughout the 15 drills, many of the cast members are taking breaks. I took breaks. It’s tough, mentally challenging, physically challenging. Shaun T would walk around the room, and often tell a cast member to take a break. It’s ok. But my personal goal is to complete each workout from start to finish and take breaks at the designated break times. Like I said, at the end, everyone is exhausted. Many are on their knees, and some just roll out on the floor. I got the biggest kick from the little text prompts that says “Never stop moving”. Shaun T is lying on the floor, and then you see “Never stop moving”. It’s comical. :)

You finish with a 1 minute water break, then you take about 4 minutes or so to cool down and stretch.

From reading this Insanity Review, you might think… Sounds too tough for me. It may be. It’s an advanced program. As said by Beachbody. Insanity is to cardio training, like P90X is to resistance training. But if you have done P90X or Chalean Extreme, I think Insanity is within your reach, and can push you into another level of fitness. As always, I’m here to help you, answer your questions, etc, just drop me a line. Feel free to comment and post your thoughts. Until the next Insanity Review…

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