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.