Sunday, December 14, 2014

Insanity Max:30 Review: Cardio Challenge

The first workout in Insanity Max:30 is Cardio Challenge. This workout takes the place of the Fit Test and serves as the main way to track your fitness. As your fitness increases, you can go longer before "maxing out" (i.e. needing to take a break). The Max Out Guide describes the workout like this. "This workout serves as your Fit Test and your introduction to the program. 30 minutes of the hardest cardio sequences you've ever tried... Welcome to Insanity Max:30."

The workout definitely reminded me a lot of Insanity, just with some different moves. It's fast cardio and you are moving as hard and as fast as you can as long as you can before a break. Compared with month one of Insanity, breaks are less frequent, the warm-up is quicker, and there is not a long stretching section. As with many of the new 30 minute Beachbody workouts, each DVD is stripped down to the basics and you are working from the minute you start all the way through. Difficultly-wise, I would rate this as similar to month one of Insanity -- just more focused.

I'll now review each section of the workout and all the moves. My comments, where they exist, follow in parenthesis.


Each move in this set is thirty seconds. You go through all five moves and then work through each one more time. This totals five minutes and is considered the "warm-up." After the five minutes, you get a thirty second break where you do some quick dynamic stretches.

Chest Open Jack: Jack the feet and do chest openers with the arms
Jack Uppercut: Jack the feet and do alternating left and right uppercuts
1-2-3 Knee: Side to side three times. Have arms at chest level and open to the sides. Bring up your knee and touch it with the same arm.
Cross Jack: Cross jack the feet. One arm at a time above the head.
High Knee Jab: Front jabs along with high knees.

(Repeat all moves again to complete the warm-up.)

You then move into the main portion of the workout. You do each move for thirty seconds and move through all the moves in the round. The round lasts around five minutes. You then get a thirty second break.

Round 1

Squat Kick - R: Squat and then kick the right leg. While kicking the right leg, hop on the left foot.
Pike-up Spider - R: Pike-up and then jump back into a spider lunge with your left leg back and right knee in the front.
10 & 2: Do a twisting jump where you jump between 10 and 2 on the clock.
Squat Kick - L: Squat and kick the left leg. While kicking the left leg, hop on the right foot.
Pike-up Spider - L: Pike-up and then jump back into a spider lunge with your right leg back and left knee in front.
10 & 2
Squat Kick - Alt: Squat and kick alternating legs. Hop on the standing (non-kicking leg).
Pike-Up Spider - Alt: Pike-up and then jump back into a spider lunge alternating between left and right.
10 & 2

Round 2

Medicine Ball Twist: Jack the feet and bring hands (together) up and over the head in an arc left and right.
Plank Jack - In & Out: Do a plank jack (jack feet while in plank). Then do an in & out abs, where you jump you feet in then out while in plank. (Note: I nailed this move, and it felt totally amazing. This is a fun one and definitely rewards you if you've been doing a lot of push-ups or plank work.)
4 Jab - 4 High Knee: Four jabs while standing and then four running high knees.
Medicine Ball Twist
Plank Jack - In & Out
4 Jab - 4 High Knee
Medicine Ball Twist
Plank Jack - In & Out
4 Jab - 4 High Knees

Round 3

Plyo Power Knee - R: Bring the right knee towards the chest. The foot on the floor hops out, slightly to the side, and then under the body.
Scissor Stance Jack: Squat then jump up and scissor the feet. When you are down in the squat alternate touching your hand to the alternate foot.
Shoulder Tap - In & Out: While doing In & Out abs do alternating shoulder taps. Tap the shoulder when the feet are out and have both hands on the floor then the feet are in. (Note: I find this to be the most challenging move of the workout. The coordination between arms and legs is difficult to get down. I got most of the moves in Max:30 pretty much right away, but this one had me going a bit slow at first as I tried to get the move down. It's definitely one I think I will need to keep practicing outside the workout to really get it.)
Plyo Power Knee - L: Bring the left knee towards the chest. The foot on the floor hops out, slightly to the side, and then under the body.
Scissor Stance Jack
Shoulder Tap - In & Out
Plyo Power Knee - R then L
Scissor Stance Jack
Shoulder Tap - In & Out

Round 4

Slap Back Jack: Jack the feet. Have hand down and swinging back and front, slapping in front of the hips and behind the lower back.
Suicide Burpee: Run 1-2-3-4 side to side, then do a burpee (where you squat, put the hands down, jump into plank, jump back into a squat, and return to standing). (Note: I have been doing a lot of burpees lately, as they often appear as penalties in obstacle course races if you fail an obstacle. That definitely helped with this move. I didn't suffer nearly as much as someone not accustomed to burpees. My advice: Do at least 25 burpees every other day.)
Plank Speed Tap - R: In plank, run the right leg front (towards the chest) and back out into plank. Similar to mountain climbers on the floor with just moving one leg.
Slap Back Jack
Suicide Burpee
Plank Speed Tap - L: In plank, run the left leg front (towards the chest) and back into plank.
Slap Back Jack
Suicide Burpee
Plank Speed Tap - Alt

Round 5

Chair Squat: In a squat with the hands touching the floor, bring hands over the head and do an abductor squat bringing the feet in together while keeping squatted.
Football Run: Wide football run. Follow cues to turn right, left, front, move side to side, and then sprint.
2 Jab - 2 Tuck: 2 jabs to the side, then two tuck jumps (where you jump and bring you feet up under your bottom, pulling the knees towards the chest). Then jab to the other side. Alternate side to side with the jabs after each set of tuck jumps.
Chair Squat
Football Run
2 Jab - 2 Tuck
Chair Squat
Football Run (Note: At this point, the participants in the DVD all circled up around the red circle in the center of the floor. It was an exercise kumbaya moment. While I thought I would find it corny, when I was doing the workout it was pretty motivating.)
2 Jab - 2 Tuck

The workout finishes with a two minute dynamic cool down with a bit of a stretch. It's brief and gets the job done.

If you like Insanity you will like this. Guaranteed. It's the same high intensity relentless impact cardio of the original Insanity workout. This workout left me dripping with sweat and with a huge grin on my face. If this is what Insanity Max:30 is going to be like all the way through I am going to be a happy camper!

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...

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