Day 2, and you’re about to get clobbered. If you thought the Fitness Test was hard, than hold on to your hat because Plyometric Cardio Circuit will challenge you like nothing before. The warm up is intense, and the workouts will push you past your limits. This is the Insanity workout that breaks most people. This is the workout that makes people think: I can’t do this. But you can. You need to read this review, mentally prepare for what’s before you, and then focus, and go.
The workout is about 45 minutes long, about half of which is the warm-up, the stretch, and the cool down stretch. Realize that the main workout is only 20 minutes long, and that if you can stay mentally tough, if you make no excuses, you’ll be able to finish it.
The warm-up is a set of exercises repeated three times. Each set is performed in exactly the same way, except the intensity and speed at which you execute the moves is picked up. Thus the first set is performed at a brisk pace, the second at a fast pace, and the third set is performed as fast and intensely as you can. By the end of the warm-up you’ll be heaving for breath, and wondering: this was a warm-up? That’s why I advise that you do a light warm-up of your own before pressing play; stretch a little, do some light jogging, anything to prepare you for this slam.
The exercises are:
- Jog (Conservative, easy exercise. Needs no explanation.)
- Jumping Jacks (Again, a classic.)
- Heismans (Move from side to side, picking up your knees high and bringing the opposite elbow in.)
- 1-2-3’s (Now you’re stutter stepping to the side, and bringing your knee up at each end.)
- Butt Kicks (Like a jog, but bring your heels as close to your butt as you can.)
- High Knees (Like a jog, but knees rise above belt height.)
- Mummy Kicks: Stiff legged, bring your feet forward while jogging in place, and cross your straight arms before you.)
Remember: listen to Shaun T. Don’t compromise form. Don’t hurt yourself. Take water breaks when you need them. At the end of the warm-up comes a 25 second water break. Make sure to use it, to sip some water, but not too much.
These stretching exercises are not meant to be a break. Though the intensity is far less than that of the actual exercises, Shaun keeps the pressure on by making you extend your arms in some poses to add weight and balance on others to work your core stabilizer muscles. Make the most of them, especially the yoga stretches since they’ll warm up and prepare your core muscles for the workout to come. You have another 25 second water break, and then it’s time to get real.
The main workout is broken into four parts. They’re composed of the Suicide Drills, the Football Drills, the Basketball Drills, and finally the Attacks. The first three are much like the warm-up, in that you repeat them three times each before moving on to the next part, with the last being a straight burn through each punch combination until you’re done.
These are the easiest of the four parts, so try to enjoy them and pace yourself.
- Suicide Drills (Keeping your core tight, stutter step to one side, reach down and touch the floor, then back up and across to the other side)
- Power Squats (Lower yourself into a deep squat, and then jump up out of it, hands in front)
- Mountain Climbers (Pretend you’re climbing a wall. Look up and reach for the sky with each hand while raising your knees as if climbing)
- Ski Down (My favorite: get into a bunny squat, real low, and then swing your arms up and hop to the side, back down into a bunny squat, and use your arm’s momentum to swing back across once more)
After your third set you get a 30 second water break, so make the most of it.
These are quick and pale in comparison to the Basketball Drills, but coming out of the Suicides they should be plenty challenging.
Put your hands up before you as if ready to catch a basketball passed to your chest, and then get into a squat and sprint in place, bow legged, feet not rising more than a couple of inches from the floor. Follow Shaun T’s commands when he tells you to turn or move in a certain direction. When he calls ‘Set’, drop into a crouch, one hand on the floor, and then when he yells ‘Sprint’, do exactly that in place.
Another 25 second water break, and then it gets nasty.
The infamous, the deadly, the basketball drills. By this point not only are you blown from having down the previous two parts, but you’re going to be doing the hardest section of the whole workout. Just grit your teeth, focus on your goals, and go.
- Level 1 Drills (First you start by doing four push-ups. Then, from the push-up position, do four mountain climbers, and then stand up and put your hands in the air. Repeat!)
- Ski Drills (Get in the plank position, and then using your core, jump both feet up to one side, and then back down straight, and then up the other side. Keep jumping from side to side until you’re told to stop.)
- In-and-Outs (These are rough, and the echo of Shaun T’s voice crying out, ‘In! Out! IN! OUT!’ will haunt you long after the workout has ended. Get into plank, and then jump your knees to your chest, then back out. Over and over and over again.)
After your Basketball Drills, go into the Attacks. You want to throw these punches as fast as you can, and make every one of them come from a rock solid, extra tight core.
- Jabs (Get into a boxing position, and through rabbit punches forward, alternating arms)
- Cross Jacks (Like Jumping Jacks, except instead you alternate your arms from left to right and do switch kicks)
- Uppercuts (Take a boxing stance and throw upper cuts, swinging from the hips)
- Attacks (Open palm jabs)
Take your water break, enjoy your cool down stretch, and you’re done! Realize that if this is your second day, you will be incredibly sore tomorrow. Thus really get deep into those stretches so as to maximize your muscle recovery, and then go get some carbs and protein into your system.