Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance: “I Feel Like [Bleep]”
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Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance First Impressions
This is the second Insanity workout. Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance is 39 minutes of [bleep]! If you are following the 60-day Insanity program schedule, you’ll repeat Cardio Power & Resistance five times in Month 1. Don’t get too happy about the fact that it is only 39 minutes. Every minute is crammed with heart pumping action. Shaun T doesn’t waste a single second to beat your body into jello.
Shaun T is joined in the Insanity gym by a group of 10-15 male and female fitness demonstrators. There are some familiar faces, but most are new to the series so far. All of them are Insanity grads. All of them are ripped. They look like they’re ready to be unleashed. No slugs in this group.
When I first started Insanity, I had been doing P90X for over nine months. I was very used to Tony Horton’s cornball schtick and actually enjoyed his sense of humor. On the other hand, I found Shaun T with his faux street swagger and self serious demeanor to be a little annoying. However, now that I’m used to Shaun T, I realize the difference between him and Tony Horton are just about style and personality. Both are good at what they do–motivating people. Both are role models for health and fitness.
Also, after having met him in person and doing a live workout with him, I have even greater respect and admiration for Shaun T. He’s the real deal when it comes to caring about people. He’s truly a rockstar in the fitness world. He can’t walk more than 10 feet without someone stopping to give him a hug and discussing their transformation story. The cool thing is that he always listens to everyone he meets and gives them the attention that they deserve. No airs at all. He’s like a Mr. Hyde in his videos, kicking ass all over the gym, but in person, he’s a sweet natured dude who enjoys helping people achieve their goals. That’s one of the benefits of being a Team Beachbody coach. I get to hang out with the trainers in person.
The Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance Warmups
The Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance warmups would be considered the workout in other programs. Don’t ever expect an easy warmup in any Insanity routine. The warmups segment last about 10 minutes. There are a series of seven exercises done consecutively and repeated three times. Each successive series is done with greater intensity. Each exercise lasts about 30-45 seconds, and each series lasts about 3-4 minutes. There are no breaks between the series. If you’re doing it right, the last series should leave you breathless.
Jog in Place. If you need an explanation for this exercise, you have no business doing Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance.
Power Jacks. Almost like jumping jacks, but you land into the squat position and jump off from there. It will bring the burn to your gluts and quads.
Log Jumps. Basically, you are leaping from side to side as if you’re sidehopping over an imaginary log. One leg leads and the other follows. You should feel it all over your lower body but mostly in the calves.
1-2-3. You are side-stepping from left to right, taking about 3-4 steps each way. On the last step, bring one leg as close as possible to your chest. Gets the entire lower body including the abs involved, and helps improve agility.
Butt Kicks. This exercise is performed by running in place and kicking your heels backwards into your butt instead of in front. Activates the calves and quads.
High Knees. Almost the same thing as running in place, but you raise your knees above your hips with each step. Don’t try to cheat by bending over. Keep your back straight and use those abs to lift.
Vertical Jumps. Exactly what it sounds like. Jump up as high as possible with your arms outstretched. Land in the squat position and repeat. The entire lower body is in play, as well as the heart and lungs. It will take a lot of blood and air to fuel those jumps.
After three insane rounds of warmups, the 30-second water break can’t come soon enough. Enjoy every second of it because a 7-minute stretching stage follows. The stretches are not the same ones you learned in grade school, so get ready for a bit of balancing and a lot of discomfort.
The Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance Exercises
Another 30-second water break follows the stretching segment. Then, the first circuit begins. There are a series four exercises lasting 30-45 seconds in this circuit. You will repeat the series three times, upping the intensity with each repetition. You also get a short water break in between series. Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance emphasizes your upper body, but it wouldn’t be an Insanity workout if it didn’t involve plyometric work as well.
Power Jumps. You’ve seen this exercise before in the Insanity Fit Test. It is not for the tender hearted. All you are doing is jumping into the air as fast and as high as you can. Your knees are raised past waist level as you jump. In order to do this exercise correctly, you should be able to slap your knees with your hands at the highest point of your jump. If you can’t slap your knees, that means you have not raised them high enough. You land in the squat position and start the next jump from there. This exercise works your entire lower body, heart, and lungs.
Belt Kicks. One of Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance’s few low impact lower body exercises. You begin in the standing position, legs apart with both hands on your hips. Move to one side, squat, and kick up a leg. Alternate legs. It’s low impact, but because large muscle groups are involved (legs and abs), your heart rate and breathing won’t slow down much.
Hit the Floor. From the standing position, bend over and reach down with one arm to touch the floor. Immediately straighten your body and leap upwards. Alternate other arm and repeat. Works out your calves and core.
V Pushups. Bend over and make an inverse V using your body. Your hands should form one end of the V and your toes are the other end. Your arms and legs are straight. The point of the V is your butt. From this position, lower your head towards the ground by bending your arms. Push back up. This works your shoulders.
After the third series is completed, you get a 30-sec break. Then, the bonus exercises in the first circuit begins. Each exercise lasts 30-45 seconds. They are done only once.
Tricep Dips. Start in the sitting position. Raise your body off the ground as high as possible using your core. Only your feet and hands remain on the ground. Lower your body by bending your arms. Try not to let your butt touch the floor as you lower. Push yourself back up and repeat. Your triceps (the back of your arms) will feel it the most.
Tricep Dips (with one leg raised). Without stopping, Shaun T will tell you to raise one leg as high as possible, then the other leg as you perform the dips. This will increase the load on your poor burning triceps, making you hate Shaun T for about 30-45 seconds.
Ball Pushup. You are facing the floor like you’re about to do a pushup. Instead of your legs being extended, however, they are bent and tucked underneath your body. Only your hands and toes are touching the floor, and you look like a ball. Lower and push up with your arms. I have never seen this exercise before in my life, but it seems to activate my triceps while I’m doing it. My core is also working at the same time to maintain the ball position.
The highlight of the video was when Shaun T said to one of the demonstrators, “Adriana, tell me how you feel!” Her response: “I feel like [bleep]!” At another point in Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance, Adriana breaks off, goes to the side of the gym, and launches a giant loogie onto the floor as if she was at the park. I should be disgusted, but I admire her cojones. This workout is not for people with delicate sensibilities. If you don’t like the sight of sweat, spit, or snot, get out of the kitchen!
Before the second circuit begins, you get a 30-second water break. You’ll need it. This circuit is comprised of a series of four exercises lasting 30-45 seconds each. Each series is repeated three times, with a small break in between.
Hurdle Jumps. Run in place as fast as possible. Every few seconds Shaun T will yell “jump!” You respond by leaping to one side as if you were doing a log jump. Works mostly the calves but your heart and lungs will feel it too. I have a lot more respect for hurdlers after doing this exercise. It takes a lot of energy to jump while running.
Globe Jumps. This exercise is a series of hops: one to your right, another to your back, another to your left, and another forward. Your body is tracing a square or rectangle shape as you hop. Each square constitutes one repetition. That means each rep is four hops. If you are doing the exercise correctly, meaning, your hands are touching the floor with each hop and you are raising them over your head at the highest point of the hop, it will not be easy.
Moving Pushups. Pushups, but each time you go down, move to the side. Alternate sides with every two pushups. Looks really cool when everyone is doing it in unison.
Floor Sprints. Stay in the plank position from the last exercise. Move your legs as if you’re running in place while supporting yourself with your arms. Raise your knees towards your chest. Try to keep your butt below shoulder level to maximize core involvement. After the second round of this exercise, Shaun T looked completely spent and could barely breathe. If a fit dude like him can wiped out by this exercise series, you know it’s no joke.
The second circuit ended but the workout is not over yet, because Shaun T has an additional exercise to ensure that you end strong.
8 Hops/8 Pushups. This exercise looks fun on paper but is no fun in practice. It will get your entire body involved doing quick movements and that means your cardio and pulmonary systems will be pushed to their max. You start off doing eight quick hops up and down in the squat position. Then jump back into plank and do eight pushups. Then jump back to standing and repeat the hops. Do this until the time runs out or your body quits. It’s the last exercise so dig deep to finish.
Final Thoughts on Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance
When Shaun T calls time, half of the fitness demonstrators were splayed on the floor, not wanting to get up. There’s a tiny break before you go into finishing stretches. When you bend over for the hamstring stretch, you might notice globs of sweat dripping from your face to the ground. Those sweat beads are your fat cells crying.
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