Insanity Reviews: Cardio Abs

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With this Insanity Review, I’m finishing up my second complete week with the Insanity Workout. I think this program is working both my physical conditioning and my mental perseverance. Maybe I should put mental perseverance first before physical conditioning. Without having your mind right, you can’t accomplish the physical conditioning that we all so badly want to have. As Shaun T says throughout his workouts, he’s pushing us. He’s not trying to hurt us, but push us past our current level of conditioning, and beyond into something more, something better. It’s during these Insane workouts, that we really get to dig deep and find out what we are really made of. Now, that doesn’t mean we have failed because we can’t finish the workout, or that we have to take extra breaks. It’s because we don’t quit, we get right back in the workout as quickly as possible, and we strive, we push, to get better. Alright, alright, I’ll get into the review. :)

Insanity Reviews: Cardio Abs

Insanity Cardio Abs is just under 17 minutes in length, and begins with a warm up. Now if you go straight from Pure Cardio into Cardio Abs, like the schedule shows, you are already warmed up! But if not, you get a nice little warm up. The warm up is approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Starting with a Jog, then High Knees, High Knees w/ a Twist, Jump Rope, and finally Tuck Jumps (jumping straight up, tucking the knees into the body).

At this point, you take a short water break of about 30 seconds. With about 13 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock, you move quickly from the water break into Wide Tuck Jumps. Same as before, but your knees are out wide.

At the completion of this move, you go to your mat in what Shaun T calls a C-Sit position. (Shown below).

From this position, you work several different moves. Starting with Twists (taking your hands from side to side). You then add a knee, where you bring one knee in with each twist. Next is the A Frame Ab Twists. You raise your hands up over your head, forming an A. Then you move your hands up and over to each side. Then again you add the knees, bringing your knee in, one to each side. Finally, the last move in the C-Sit position, you simply hold steady in the center. (as shown above). This whole segment last about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

You take a 30 second break, and then get right back into the C-Sit position. From this position you will do single leg raises. Pulling your knee straight in, and back out, then raising straight up. You’ll repeat this for the other side. You complete a total of 30 seconds for each leg. Now you get another 30 second break. Then you’ll repeat the same move as before, but this time using both legs.  This move lasts for one minute. After this move, you are done with the C-Sit position, and move to plank position.

For the next approximate 2 minutes and 30 seconds, you’ll be in a high plank position. You’ll keep your body straight, and alternate legs, moving your knee to your arms on each side, working your obliques. About half way through, you’ll pick up your pace and start to go faster to finish out the set. You get a chance to take a quick break, and then you go into the low plank position. Instead of being on your hands, you’ll be on your elbows. Again, you’ll move your knees up to your arms, alternating each leg, working the obliques. Then you get another water break.  I wasn’t taking in water, I was completely content to just sit on the mat.  :)

For the last exercise, you’ll alternate between low and high plank. At each plank position, you’ll do 8 hip tucks. So you’ll start in low plank, do 8 hip tucks, then raise up to high plank, for 8 more hip tucks. This will continue for 1 minute. Now you’ll spend the last two minutes doing a stretch, and cool down.  The hip tuck from the plank position essentially means that you are contracting your abs as you pull your hips downward.  It’ll make more sense when you see it live.

I really enjoyed this ab workout. There are no traditional sit ups or crunches, but don’t think you won’t work your abs. I really enjoy variety in my ab workouts, and this is a nice workout. 17 minutes total. I think you will enjoy it too! Thanks again for reading my Insanity Reviews. As always, feel free to provide comments, or your own thoughts, and feel free to email as always.

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  1. Doug

    Thanks for the awesome review friend. Now I know what to expect tomorrow!

  2. Patricia

    I am on day 3 and hurting already. I love it though because I know it is working. Thanks for your reviews. They are helpful.

  3. Robert Harden

    Patricia, Keep up the great work, thanks for visiting and please come back and let us know how you’re doing. :)

  4. Martin

    Ok, Robert. I’ve got a ? for you. I’m seeing that toward the end of the second week, we are to combine Pure Cardio with Cardio Abs. My question is, after finishing the killer Pure Cardio and “cooling down” and stretching, should I go straight into the Cardio Ab workout, or should I do the Cardio Ab warm up as well? As you stated in this review, you are already warmed up, so I’m curious. Thanks!

  5. Robert Harden

    Martin, I think you can do this either way, I know I did. If I just finished the workout, I would get right to the abs. If I was doing abs in the AM or PM, opposite of my workout, I would do the warm up. Good luck!

  6. Jacqueline

    I think the Insanity Fit Test was VERY challenging and I cannot wait to start my first workout tomorrow!!

  7. tk

    I am on wk 2 day 3 of insantity its pretty tough but i feel like i can already go farther and push longer than i could when i initially took the fit test im not doing the nutrition plan but am doing portion control and eating healthy. I feel like i can already see results cant wait to see my ending results. This workout program is amazing!!! Plyo cardio circuit tonight!!!

  8. Jenny

    Hey Robert.. I’m halfway through my second week of INSANITY. When I do the in and out ab workout, my back pops. It’s not painful, but I’m wondering if it’s something I should be concerned about??
    I realize I probably should be consulting a doctor (haha), but I figured I’d ask around first. Maybe someone else had a smilar problem??

  9. Robert Harden

    Jenny, I’m not sure my advice would be as good as a doctor. If it’s painful, stop, and ask one. If it’s not, just be careful, and certainly watch out for actual injury. Wish I could help more!

  10. stephgob

    I love this ab workout (ok, I love the whole program so far)! I’m halfway through week 3, and though it’s been a rough ride, it feels great. I used to rock climb and had a pretty strong core as a result. About 10 months ago I had major surgery, literally slicing my abdominal muscles down the middle. After months of recovery, I wanted so badly to get back to exercising, but going from being strong to having zero muscle so quickly was discouraging, to say the least. I’m not trying to lose weight so much, but I’d like to get rid of the flab that has replaced my once-strong abdominals. My goal now is to be back to my pre-surgery fitness level by the 1-year post-surgery mark…thanks to Insanity (esp this ab workout), I think this is a totally attainable goal (even as I curse at Shawn T from my living room floor during the workouts)!

    I love the reviews…you definitely helped me convince myself to give it a shot.

  11. Robert Harden

    I’m so glad I could help! Don’t give up, and stay after it, and I know you can reach your goals. I’m also a coach with Beachbody, so if you want to check that out and sign up for a free Beachbody membership, and have me as an assigned coach, that’s be great. EIther way, I’m here to help!, click join, it’s free. :)

  12. Andrea

    Hey Robert. I am also doing the Insanity workouts and am on week three now. However, I don’t see, or feel, any results. I know because muscle in being built the scale may not be tipping, so I’m not too focused on that. But I don’t even see my body changing, nor does anyone around me. Ill admit I’m not following the nutrition guide but I ain’t no pig either. Oatmeal for breakfast, snacks in between meals are small and healthy-ish, meals are not big either. I don’t understand why the problem though. Any help?
    Ps maybe my numbers will help.
    Weight-136 lb

  13. Robert Harden


    I always recommend that people take weight and measurements. Have you taken measurements. Often times your results will show more in the tape than the scales. I’d be curious if you lost inches off your waist, hips, chest, etc. Also, I would take a few days and track all of your calories for a typical day. You’d be surprised how these add up. If you calories are not in that calorie deficit, than you won’t lose weight. Track your calories for a few days and lets see what they are. Then we can take another look at the nutrition guide to see how we might adjust that. I use, etc. Both are great and have a large database of food. Let me know.

  14. Nick

    I am going into my fifth day of Insanity. It has been hard getting up at 5:15 in the morning to complete the workout. However, I am determined to complete this. As crazy as it sounds it looks like I can already see results. I am not following the nutrition guide, but I do need some help on what to eat throughout my day. I do not eat bad throughout the week, but do need some guidance. I am 31 5’6 150lbs. Trying to loose about 5 more pounds, but it just will not come off. Any suggestions?

  15. Robert Harden

    Nick, I’m up at 5am every morning doing some sort of extreme workout. Among those are Insanity, P90X, Asylum, and soon X2. Stay after it. You should have an Insanity nutrition guide, this will be KEY in getting those 5 lbs off. The last 5-10 are the hardest. You are going to need to really dial in your diet, super clean. Lots of water. When I’m trying to get off the last few, I even cut out diary. Also try getting in your carbs before 3 pm or so, then taper off. I try to eat a smaller portion of carbs at dinner, or none at all.

  16. Gerald

    Thanks for the info Robert. The review was helpful. I just completed day 13 and looking forward to a double tomorrow. Stamina has improved from day one and already lost a little weight. Still no change in ab flab but I’m loving it. Working on eating habit and portion sizes. Thanks

  17. Robert Harden

    Gerald, You’re doing great. More and more changes will come with time. Just keep working out as hard as you can, focus on good, clean, healthy food, and make sure you are at the appropriate calorie level to meet your goals. You’re doing great!

  18. N.

    Hi there, i am attempting to do the insanity ab workout but i am having trouble with the C sit position. I feel pain in my lower back, I am not sure if im just sitting the wrong way, i follow the guide on the video, but i am not able to hold that position for long. Especially when it comes to the double leg raise, i cant even attempt that one. Is this mainly because my abs are still weak and im just not there yet????

  19. Robert Harden

    N,I wish I could advise you on this. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know if the pain you are feeling is normal, and weakness in your abs/core/back, or if you have a medical need. My suggestion would be to modify the workouts however you need to make sure you prevent injury, or consult a doctor. Good luck!

  20. SGT Z

    Just started the Insanity workout w/ the first Fit Test with another soldier while on deployment in Afghanistan. A definite smoker of a workout and definite going to be worth the pain and sweat to get back to a great cardio regiment when I come home and do half-marathons again.
    Do any of the workouts require jump-rope(s) or any other additional equipment to do the workouts exactly as seen on the DVDs?

    Looking to get above 50 or more for the final fit test and do about 20 pyramid squats at the end of it all.

  21. Ayanna Poindexter

    I am currently doing my own P90X/Insanity Hybrid. I finished P90X last year and still do those workouts frequently but figured I’d do something structured again, thus a hybrid. I do the Ab Ripper for my ab workouts. Which do you find harder (or has more ab affect), Ab Ripper X or Pure Cardio Abs? I’ve only ever done Ab Ripper X. Wondering now if I should put Insanity Abs into the player. Plus, I’m now going to look up Asylum, as I’ve not heard of that.

  22. Robert Harden

    It’s just my personal opinion, but I like Ab Ripper X better. But I think they are both great workouts. You can alternate too, probably even better than just doing one. Everything regarding Asylum can be found here. We would appreciate your business. Thanks!

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