Insanity Workout Review – Day 5


Ok, here’s the latest installment. As you can tell, I’m posting these slower than I’m doing them because I don’t want to overwhelm the blog with workout reviews. So, assume that I’m slightly ahead of the curve here, and in posting these entries am able to indulge in sweet retrospectives of my pains and gains 😉

ALSO. You’ll notice this is day 5, not 4. I actually do yoga twice a week (or try to if I get out of the office on time), and thus on Thursday opted to go to my yoga class instead of doing Cardio Recovery, which I hear is basically yoga and stretching anyways. So, while I may review it in the near future, I didn’t do it on Day 4. Cool? Cool.


You know it’s bad news when ShaunT tells you he’s worried about the upcoming work out. Like he’s thought it out on paper, put the drills together, but now that the moment has come he’s no longer sure that it’s humanly possible to do everything he’s planned out. Which, when you think about how hard the other INSANITY workouts are, is definitely something to worry about.

Just the name ‘Pure Cardio’ gave me chills. Shaun T leapt into it without any ado, right into the warm ups that are now becoming routine (in that I am growing familiar with them, if not comfortable), the same series of jogging, Heismans, jumping jacks and more. Having some experience with these under my belt I knew how to pace myself, so even though I had broken a solid sweat by the end of the third circuit I wasn’t blown. Also, I was pleased to note that I was feeling a strong undercurrent of strength, a sense that I had a lot to give in the upcoming workout, a lot of oomph, if you will.

The Warm Up ended, and we relaxed into some five minutes of stretching. This part has now come to feel like the calm before the storm, the reprieve before the punishment begins. Side lunges, thigh extensions, sweat still running down my face, I welcomed the water break, and then got thrown right into Pure Cardio madness.

Now let me get something straight. Up until this point, the way Shaun T has run things is to do about four or five minutes of extreme intensity, and then hit you with a thirty minute water break. Then he might do something at mad intensity for a whole minute, and another water break. Thus you’re constantly going up and then taking a breather, going up and taking that much needed breather. It’s not that you come to count on them, but you simply need them like a swimmer needs those gulps of air as he ploughs through the water.

No longer. Pure Cardio is about twenty minutes of straight exercise with no breaks. None. You just charge on through, moving from sprints to suicide jacks to ski jumps to jabs to anything and everything and all along Shaun T is yelling for you to keep going, to dig deeper, that he’s there with you, that he knows you have more, just a little more to give. What I loved was that he kept emphasizing that you should never sacrifice form, and that if you noticed yours slipping you should stop, take a break and then come back.

Pure Cardio. It keeps going, and going, and going. One by one the backup exercisers drop out, squatting by the sidelines, mopping their faces with hand towels and swigging water, panting for breath like beaten dogs. Shaun T pushes them, pushes himself, and I just did my best to hang on, to keep in there. I was forced a couple of times to simply stop, to stand with my hands on my hips, head down, struggling to get some oxygen into my system, but I never stopped altogether, never missed out on a whole exercise. I just kept in it, and when the jabs came around intermixed with the eight pushups I hung right in there and let it rip.
By the time it ended, I felt delirious, exultant, demolished and great. The sweat really began to pour off of me while I did the stretch, to the point where there was literally a pool of it beneath me when I was done. I was sweating so much I had to go for a walk around the block to cool down, and only then did I enter my kitchen for a tall glass of water.

Pure Cardio. Reminds me of the Tony Horton line: I hate it, but I love it.


Check out my previous INSANITY write ups:

Day 1: The Fit Test

Day 2: Cardio & Plyometrics

Day 3: Power Cardio & Sculpt

Learn more about the INSANITY Workout.



  1. With my age hormones fighting me, I need a Shaun to push me like crazy!!!! 🙂 It is always worth it in the end!

  2. Phil Tucker says:

    Age hormones–hah! Looking at your profile shots, I find it hard to believe you’re under siege 😉

  3. Personally, Pure Cardio was my favorite of them all… when I was in Month 1. But now that I’m already on Month 2 (Day 55 to be exact) I gotta say that MAX CARDIO CONDITIONING has got to be me my all time favorite workout out of the whole Insanity program.

    Good luck with Insanity man!
    And as Shaun T. ALWAYS says, DIG DEEPER!!!

  4. Ok, I’m a P90X grad and must say I like how far I have come as far as what I thought was fit a year ago and how I look and feel now. But I’m really still seeking to find what will be the best. As a grad, I find myself no longer getting the same results as I did in month 1-2. And I’m now looking for the next best thing that can jump start my progress all over again. Pluss Im looking for a way to do it without all the equipment. IS Insanity really the way to go?

  5. Phil Tucker says:

    Insanity might be the way to go depending on your definition of ‘fit’ and what your goals are. If, for example, you want to bulk up further and develop greater strength, than you might want to do something with more weights. If, however, you want to develop your cardio engine, become more cut and elevate your energy levels, than Insanity could be perfect for you. Insanity is basically an extreme method of developing a fantastic cardio base along with developing a ripped, shredded look by burning through massive amounts of calories.

  6. Ok, being honest here. I bought Insanity on Craigs list but did not get the workout guide (see what happens when you try to save a buck). Anyway, if anyone can find it in their heart to send me the guidelines, I would greatly appreciate it. I hate starting any program w/o the correct info.


  7. I received the insantiy work out 2-18-2010, started the tapes immediately. I have been teaching a cardio class for several years and I have to admit this was tough for me as well, but I am excited to continue the program and introduce it to my class. Always looking to mix up classes to keep the interest going. I found everyone has different levels of abilities and endurance so it will be interesting to see this play out.



  8. Phil Tucker says:

    Good luck, Michelle! Your class is going to hate you and love you both. Let me know their reactions!

  9. I bought Insanity a month ago and it was literally the hardest thing I have ever done. I hate but I love iit at the same time. I definitely started to see results and it pushed me farther than I thought I could go. I’m now in the second month and the max plyometrics was ridiculous. My arms were killing me. Whew! But it is absolutely worth it…..

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