Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit: Your Introduction to Pain and Suffering
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Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit First Impressions
Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit is the first real Insanity workout after the Insanity Fit Test. If you are doing the entire 60-day round of Insanity, you will repeat Plyometric Cardio Circuit a total of seven times. The Fit Test might have given you an idea of what is in store for you. Lot’s of jumping, pushing, and suffering. The Insanity Fit Test is only 20 minutes long and has eight moves. Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit, on the other hand, is over 42 minutes long. If the Fit Test gave you a hard time, you’re going to suffer even more through Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit. If you have the will to stick with it, however, you will get stronger, faster, and better. It’s inevitable.
Shaun T is working out with a full cast of fitness demonstrators–about 10-15 men and women. While they may come in different sizes, body types, and ages, every one of these peeps are ripped. A hardcore bunch for sure. This is a no-kidding group fitness freaks. These are my kind of people. No wienies or wussies. There are thousands of watts of energy and enthusiasm charging the atmosphere. When Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit gets going, you’ll quickly see that these hardbodies are not eye-candy, they are here to push it. During the course of the workout, the fitness demonstrators will give it their all. Like you, they will be sweating, screaming, and even collapsing from exhaustion. As much as I like Shaun T, the fitness demonstrators make the workouts interesting for me. Even though I am working out in the comfort of my home, I feel as though I am in the Insanity gym with everyone (located in NYC by the way). Seeing the fitness demonstrators working hard motivates me as soon as I press play.
Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit Warmups
The warmups for most workout programs consist of low intensity exercises. They help to get the muscles firing. You usually get a few back and side bends drills, marching in place, light stretching, and some jumping jacks tossed in for good measure. Not Insanity. The misnamed warmups are a big part of each workout. Often times, the Insanity warmups are tougher than the regular workout. As you do the warmups in Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit for the first time, the thought might cross your mind what the hell the actual workout will be like if the warmups are kicking your ass. During the ten minutes it takes to complete the warmups, doubt, fear and uncertainty might creep into your body. Get used to this different way of doing things because this is what Insanity will be like for the nest 60 days. Have you ever done a workout where the warmups alone left you coated in sheets of perspiration?
The warmups for Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit consist of a series of seven exercises lasting about 30 seconds each. When one series is completed, it is repeated two more times, with no rest in between. Doing three rounds of warmup exercises will take up the first ten minutes of the workout. The exercises are done with increasing intensity with each subsequent round. You start slow, but the last round should be done full throttle.
Jog in Place. Pretend you are running, but do it with conviction.
Jumping Jacks. An oldie but goodie. I’ve been doing them since grade school. As long as we have grade school, jumping jacks will be a fitness staple. Touch your hands at the top of each move.
Heisman. You are hopping laterally on each leg. As you hop, bring the leg not touching the floor as close as possible to your chest. Don’t stop between each hop.
1-2-3. Almost the same thing as a Heisman, but with added running steps between each hop.
Butt Kicks. Run in place, kicking your heels backwards into your butt instead of in front.
High Knees. Almost the same thing as running in place, but you raise your knees above your hips with each step. raising your knees gets the lower abdominals working.
Mummy Kicks. Keep your body as straight as possible and kick your legs out in front, alternating each leg. Do not to stop between kicks. The name of the exercise comes from your arms being raised up to shoulder level in front of you like a mummy. Instead of keeping them still, however, the arms should scissor one another with each kick. The head is held up straight in alignment with your torso.
After three rounds of each exercise, there is a 30-second water break, which is much appreciated. The water break is followed by a 7-minute stretching segment. If you are not already flexible, the stretching might cause serious discomfort. They are not done while sitting or lying down, where cheating is easier. Instead, the stretches are done in a standing or squat position, which requires balance and leg strength. This is another area where Insanity assumes that you already have a high fitness level.
Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit Exercises
Following the stretching segment, you receive another 30-second water break. Then, the first of three circuits starts. The first circuit is comprised of a series of four exercises lasting about 30 seconds. Each series is repeated three times. With each repetition, Shaun T pushes you to intensify. Unlike the warmups, however, you will have a 30-second water break between the series. You need to push yourself as hard as possible for 2-3 minutes between each break. That is the purpose of high intensity interval training. After the last series is done, Shaun T adds two bonus exercises.
Suicide Drills. You sidestep to the right as fast as possible, touching the floor with one hand after 3-4 steps. Repeat, but to the left. Your core is activated as you touch the floor and raise your body.
Power Squats. Perform a low jump into the squat position, then another jump back into the standing position. Your gluts and thighs will hate you.
Upright Mountain Climbers. Your legs are moving as if you are doing high knees. However, your arms are reaching up and down as if you are climbing an imaginary ladder. Keep your torso straight. The added arm movements intensify exercise to another level. Upright Mountain Climbers also works the legs and lower abs.
Ski Jumps. Keep your feet together while you hop laterally and your body is positioned as if you are skiing. Do not twist your body as you hop. Ski Jumps works the calves, thighs, and gluts.
Switch Feet (bonus exercise). The only way I know how to describe this exercise is to say that they are also called scissor runs. If you don’t know what scissor runs are, then you’ll have to watch the video.
Wide Feet football Sprints (bonus exercise). You run in place as your legs are spread out and you are almost in a squat position. Your arms are raised as if you are blocking an imaginary person. Shaun T cues you go right, back, left, and front.
When you finish first circuit of Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit, you get another water break. If you’re in excellent shape, you should be getting a second wind. You will need every bit of wind for the next circuit. If you’re in lousy shape, you will be hating life for the next ten minutes. Ten minutes may not seem like a long time, but when you are gasping for air, it will feel like forever.
Similar to the first circuit, the second circuit consists of a series four different exercises lasting about 30 seconds each. Each series is repeated three times. There are two bonus exercises at the end of the last series.
Basketball Drills. You start off in a squat position with one arm touching the floor. Leap up as if you are making a jump shot. Repeat. Your entire lower body is activated.
Level 1 Drills. This exercise is actually a mini series of exercises. You start off in the standing position. Hop into plank and do four pushups, then run in place eight times while remaining in the plank position. Stop and hop back up to the standing position. Repeat. Level 1 Drills, with its fast up and down movements will really get your heart pumping.
Ski Abs. While in plank position, keep your feet together and hands firmly one the ground, hop so that your feet land next to your right hand. Hop back to the plank position. Repeat, but alternate the extensions from right to left. There’s a tendency for your butt to stick up while doing ski abs, but in order to fully activate your core, do not let your butt rise above your shoulders.
In/Out Abs. Basically, the same exercise as Ski Abs, but you are only hopping in and out from plank, without alternating the extensions from side to side. Your shoulders will scream loudly during this exercise.
Jabs (bonus exercise). While standing, punch an imaginary opponent in front of you as hard and fast as possible, alternating the arms.
Cross Jacks (bonus exercise). Like jumping jacks, but only raising one arm at a time. Alternate sides and cross your feet as you hop off the ground. I suck at Cross Jacks.
Upper Cuts (bonus exercise). Same exercise as jabs, but this time, use an uppercut motion. Get your entire torso engaged with each punch for maximum effect.
Attack (bonus exercise). Same exercise as jabs, but you are in a squat position. Also, your hands are open instead of clenched in fists.
When the timer bar moves down to the last few seconds, you will feel amazing relief, if you haven’t collapsed already. Take a little time to catch your breath before the final stretching segment. The post-workout stretching is almost the same as the pre-workout one. The only difference is you’ll be feeling relief rather than fear.
Final Thoughts on Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
I have done Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit many times already. It somehow doesn’t get any easier each time. It’s not because my fitness level hasn’t improved, because it has. Rather, I push myself harder each time I do this workout. Shaun T presses you relentlessly to dig deeper. You don’t want to disappoint him or yourself. If you’re the type of person who is drawn to Insanity, you’re probably not going to settle for being half-assed. You want to lay it all on the floor. The great thing about Insanity is that even if you are fit stud muffin, you can still intensify the workouts by jumping faster or higher or further. The bad thing is that it doesn’t work the other way around. Unlike P90X or Les Mills Pump, there’s no easy mode for those who recently just got off the couch.
Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit doesn’t allow for modifications to make the exercises easier. You can try jumping lower, but if you’re in terrible shape, any jumping for an extended period will suck. There’s a reason why each person who appears in the videos are ripped. You almost have to be in order to complete Insanity. Having said that, there have been many people who have no business doing Insanity but did it anyway and got amazing results. I wrote about one such story here.
Even though all of the demonstrators look like they are in fantastic shape, there’s not one single person in the group who can do each and every exercise in Insanity full bore without stopping. At one point or another, someone will fall out. There are some exercises which don’t tax me too much, but others make me cough up a lung. At no point will I ever be in cruise mode.
As I’m writing this, I’m almost grateful that I’m only thinking about Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit rather than doing this workout.
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