INSANITY Review: Max Cardio Conditioning

INSANITY Max Cardio Conditioning

The Max Cardio Conditioning is like the Pure Cardio Workout in that once it gets going, it doesn’t stop till the very end. No water breaks, no pauses, nothing but full on, intense working out for the whole duration. Which, given that the workout is 48 minutes, is a brutal length of time to last. Luckily there are a few exercises in the middle where Shaun lowers the intensity, in effect giving you time to recover, but still, it’s nothing close to getting a water break. Therefore pacing is key. Keep your eye on the clock, remember that this INSANITY workout gets tougher toward the end, and listen to Shaun when he tells you to watch your form and take a break whenever you need it.

Warm Up

Like all warm ups, this one is composed of three sets, and lasts about nine minutes. There are no breaks in between, so be conservative with your first set, and go all out in your last. The first two sets are about four minutes each, and the last is about a minute and a half. The reason it’s so short is because you’re supposed to go full throttle during this time.

The first two sets are composed of the following:

  • Jog (standard, easy jog, relaxed)
  • Jumping Jacks – Arms Up (like a normal jumping jack, but with fists punching straight up into the air)
  • Jump Rope S-S (pretend jump rope, hopping side to side, with hands moving in counter measure)
  • High Knees – Arms Out (arms out perpendicular to body, knees rising above hips)
  • Switch Kicks (alternate front kicks with arms close to your body)
  • Hit the Floor (Move from side to side, reaching down to touch the floor with alternating arms)
  • S-S Floor Hops (hands on ground, jump legs up, to side, back )

The final set is about a minute and a half, and composed of slight variations on the first two:

  • Sprint (like jogging, but crazy)
  • Jumping Jacks (hammer these out till your arms and legs blur)
  • Heisman (knees up, side to side, higher than hips)
  • 123 Heisman (side shuffle, with a high knee at each end)
  • High Knees (get those knees up!)

After that you have a thirty second water break, followed by a solid, five minute stretch. This is one of those intense stretches where you have to hold lunges that are more akin to yoga poses than anything else, forcing you to keep your muscles warm and burning. This is followed by another 30 second water break, and then the madness begins.

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Main Workout

The main workout is nonstop action, with no more water breaks till the very end. It lasts about 30 minutes, which if you think about how intense INSANITY workouts are, and how brutal even a 15 minute workout can be, is truly insane. The trick? Again, it’s all about the pacing. Don’t burn yourself out in the five minutes-it’s preferable to keep a low, steady burn and then pick up the pace toward the end, than to flare out early and quit because you’re blown. You’ll also notice three exercises in the middle marked with asterixes-these are ‘recovery exercises’, and are performed at a slower pace to allow you to catch your breath. Not a water break by any means, but a welcome relief!

  • High Low Jab with Squat
    • (go into a squat, throw a side jab low, then leap up, and throw another one high)
  • Football Runs
    • (hands out before you, mini-sprinting on tip toes, drop to a push up, then back)
  • B Ball Shots with Squat
    • (from a squat, leap up to shoot a basketball 4 times, then hop turn around while maintaining squat to repeat)
  • Right and Left Kicks
    • (straight forward front kicks to hip height)
  • Diamond Jumps
    • (these are brutal! Leap up high, hands over head, and tuck feet in under your butt)
  • In-Out Push Up Jacks
    • (these are rough-4 in-outs were you hike your knees in, and then4 push-up jacks where you do push-ups with legs kicked out wide)
  • Suicide Jumps
    • (from a push-up, jump your knees under your chest, then leap up and grab sky)
  • High Knee/Low/Floor Sprints
    • (simple yet brutal: eight high knees, then eight sprints, then eight floor sprints)
  • Ski Abs
    • (from a push-up position, jump your knees up one side, back, and then up the other)
  • *Kick Step Back
    • (front kick, then step back, and reach down to the touch the ground)
  • *Squat Twists
    • (Bounce feet together, standing straight, then fall into a squat and touch opposite hand to foot)
  • *Over the River Hops
    • (side to side hop, bringing one foot behind the other, arms swinging across the body and up to perpendicular)
  • Attack
    • (side stance, hop down to squat, push palm forward, switch sides)
  • Power Knees
    • (side lunge, bring knee up into hands)
  • Ski Down Hooks
    • (feet together, hop from side to side, throwing a hook across your chest as you bounce down on each hop)
  • Belt Kicks
    • (hands planted as if grabbing a belt buckle, side step down into a squat, and come up with a kick, and then back)
  • Forward Back Suicides
    • (reach for sky, then shuffle back and touch the ground, then reach for sky and shuffle back forward)
  • Push Up Abs
    • (push-up position, go down, bring one knee up to elbow at a time)
  • Plank Punches
    • (from a plank position, throw punches with alternating arms straight ahead)
  • 8 Jump Ropes/8 Hop Squats
    • (jump high eight times, and whip an imaginary rope under your feet, and then fall into squat position and do eight mini hops)
  • Squat Speed Bag
    • (final one! Hold a deep squat, and rotate your hands before you as if punching a boxing speed bag)

And you’re done! Feel free to collapse, roll around, drink some water, groan and curse life, or simply enjoy that crazy burn! You’ve got a brief water break, then you go into a solid stretch lasting just under 4 minutes, and you’re done. As always, make the most of the stretch, even if you want to lie down-your workouts for the next couple of days will depend on it!

 

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