Ok, so after that disappointing last video, I thought Insanity Pure Cardio better be good. And disappoint it did not.
First of all, I have to tell you I didn’t follow my own advice on How to drink like a world class athlete. Yeah, I didn’t do that and consequently I had a massive headache (about 5% dehydration), but did the workout anyway.
I normally don’t work out until the afternoon, but I did this Pure Cardio Workout in the morning. I am not a morning person at all, so when I say morning, I mean any time before noon.
Insanity Pure Cardio
This is probably the second best workout I have done thus far in any of the Insanity workouts. Unlike any of the other videos I have reviewed, this workout does not have any pre-determined water breaks. In other words, it’s straight up cardio at full blast for about 20 ~ 25 minutes. If you don’t think that is a lot, go try a full blown sprint for more than 15 seconds. As a cyclist, my body seems to love any type of cardio work. So 25 minutes is not particularly hard, but definitely something I’m not used too.
My first piece of advice is BEFORE doing this video, make sure you are well hydrated at least 1 hour prior to doing the workout. You will sweat. You will taste your own sweat. I did both.
Pure cardio delivers on what is says it will do….P U R E C A R D I O. Don’t take this lightly, I am a fitness professional and this workout IS HARD. Seriously, after the workout was done, the presenter of these Insanity workouts DVD’s collapsed on the floor in exhaustion! Do not take this lightly, it is very hard. If you don’t stop at least once or twice during the video to take a water break, you are not going hard enough. If done properly, however, you are touching 80~95 percent of your max heart rate consistently.
Lastly, a lot of the moves in this video consist of exercises that you have already done in previous Insanity workouts that I wrote about.
Insanity – Pure Cardio – Review
Like all of the other Insanity workouts, the structure of the workout is the same; warm-up, stretch, workout, stretch. And just like the other videos I have written about, the *warm-up – stretch* sequence sucks! It sucked in first video, and it still sucks in this video. Remember when you were a kid and you just came inside from playing in the grass or streets or whatever? Then your mom/grandma called you inside for something lame like trying on some clothes or eating. It’s like the biggest buzz kill ain’t it? All your friends are outside yelling and screaming and you are inside getting poked or prodded.
Same thing with the *warm-up-stretch* sequence; it starts off with this really kick ass warm-up, then you stop to stretch. It’s horrible. I will continue to write about this as long as it’s being done.
So the warm-up is the same as the rest of the workout. There are three rounds of exercises that are progressively harder.
Round #1 – Warm-ups
- Jog – Keep your core tight.
- Jumping Jacks – Keep your arms straight and touch your hands.
- Heisman – Get both feet off the ground between jumps.
- 123-123 – Just like a Heisman but you are adding 3 step in between.
- Butt Kicks – Just what they sounds like. Gets those heels to your butt!
- High Knees – I didn’t say low knees either, get those knees up!
- Mummy Kicks – Make sure you keep those arms straight and your legs straight. If you are not sure what they are, this is a good reason to get the video.
Round #2 – Warm-ups – Now faster
- Jog – Keep your core tight. Don’t get sloppy.
- Jumping Jacks – Arms out – Watch your form.
- Heisman – Form and control is what you are going for.
- 123-123 – Form, Form, Form.
- Butt Kicks – Don’t get lazy on me.
- High Knees – Use your core to lift your knees.
- Mummy Kicks – Don’t let the bad form monster get a hold of you – make sure you keep your arms at shoulder height.
Round #3 – Warm-ups – This is the round you go as fast as you can go.
- Jog – As fast as up can safely go.
- Jumping Jacks – Concentrate on speed.
- Heisman – Basically you are just jumping back and forth as fast as you can. Don’t hurt yourself.
- 123-123 – These are difficult to do fast, be safe and concentrate on form.
- Butt Kicks – These are also hard to do fast and by now you are tired. Form, Form, Form.
- High Knees – Don’t half-ass it, go for speed. Knees still need to come up as high as you can.
- Mummy Kicks – Go for broke.
This is the part that I do not like about this DVD set. However, since your core temperature is already high and your muscles are warmed up, get a good stretch in….you are really going to need it. Also, get hydrated because there are NO BREAKS during the actual workout (only the ones you make for yourself). Make sure you stretch EVERYTHING.
Water Break – 30 Seconds *Remember this is the only scheduled one, so enjoy it.*
Water Break – Seriously get some water, this workout is HARD. If you are anything like me, you are thinking…yeah sure dude, how hard can it actually be? I get it, and you will see.
*This was featured in the Plyometric Cardio Circuit review*
- With a name like suicide drills you know they suck. The exercise is like cooking eggs, very easy to do, but very hard to master. Suicide drills are like the 123 drill done in the warm-up; however, in between steps you are touching the ground with your opposite hand from the side you are drilling on. The key point here is proper form and keeping your core tight. This improves form and agility. This is a matter of time and not repetitions.
- Sort of like Switch Feet, Switch Kicks do just that; you bounce off your opposite leg and kick out with the other leg. You just have to find a groove and stick with it. It’s a very easy and fun move to do. Make sure you use your arms to maintain balance. Again, this is a timing thing and not a repetition thing like in the other videos.
Wide Football Stance
*This was featured in the Plyometric Cardio Circuit review.*
- A few additional key points to remember when doing these are to push yourself and make clean adjustments when you turn left or right, or when you move to the front or back.
- During your “Set,” do not stay down for more than one second. You want to keep moving and maintain the highest tempo you can. I know I am saying this a lot but I mean it. Everyone, YOU HAVE TO PUSH.
- Sprint – try and move your feet as fast as you can. Think like you are running over hot coals.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS DON’T KILL YOURSELF
- Repeat Wide Football Stance
- Just like jumping jacks, but your hands touch the ground. You do normal jumping jacks with your lower body; however, instead of putting your arms up and touching your hands over your head, you touch the ground with one hand when your legs are in the spread position. It’s not a difficult move, but very effective. I have never done this variation before, and I liked it.
- Push your butt out to go deep into the exercise. This is pretty much just like the jack squat, if you can’t tell from my description.
- The pedal exercise is actually two exercises combined. It is a full on sprint combined with a lunge (one for each leg) in between sprints. Be sure you keep your knee over your ankle.
Hooks and Jump Rope
- There really is nothing to figure out in this exercise. You throw 8 hooks with either your right or left hand, then jump up and do a double (meaning your imaginary rope goes under your body 2x) jump rope. Then switch hands and do another 8 hooks.
Even though there are no predetermined breaks, don’t hurt yourself. Take one as you need it and get back into the game.
Power Jacks – This is from the Fit Test review
- Power Jacks are like normal jumping jacks but you do a squat when your legs go to the out position and your arms do not touch when you are in the up position.
*Remember – DO NOT compromise form.
Level 2 Drills – Also from the Insanity Plyometric Cardio workout.
- Level 2 Drills are just like Level 1 drills, but instead of 4 push-ups and 4 plank level mountain climbers, you do 8.
- Frog jumps are just like the ones you did as a child. You come from a standing squat and jump forward, then backwards. Easy but not fun, especially since you should be tired at this point. Make sure your butt stays down and both of your arms touch the floor.
This exercise is also from the Fit test review.
- I personally call these coconut crushers. You are taking one knee and pretending you have a coconut in both hands, then in a diagonal motion attempt to crush that coconut with your knee. Do at least 50 on one leg, then switch knees.
Mountain Climbers – Another workout from the Plyometric Cardio Circuit set.
- This exercise is the standing up version. Just like rock climbing, get your arms way up in the air and start climbing your imaginary mountain. Do as many as you can.
Ski Down – Another workout from the Plyometric Cardio Circuit set.
- Not much to add other than to be sure you land softly on your toes (like a cat). Your knees will send me an email later thanking me. Be sure to keep your knees together. Lastly, swing your arms for momentum.
Scissor Runs/ Switch Feet
- Guess where this workout came from – Yeah, just like all the other ones. Not much to add at this point except just make sure you keep up with the pace.
Suicide Jumps – This is from the Fit Test set
- Suicide jumps combine a plank with a jump in between. This is the only additional information I can add to this.
Since I linked to other reviews above, I am sure you have read this already.
Water Break – 1 minute.
Stretch – Don’t skip this, very important, also crazy at this point for reasons you can already guess.
Insanity Pure Cardio
This workout is nuts!
I really want to give this a 5 out of 5 Charles faces award, but I can’t because of the warm-up/stretch sequence.
So, it gets 4 out of 5 Charles faces
This concludes my review on Insanity Pure Cardio.