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Bridal Fitness on Paper - INSANITY Pure Cardio Monday, November 21, 2011 ~ 10:00 a.m.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I figured that we'd all be feeling the need for a good, intense workout to help make us feel better about eating our body weight of turkey and mashed potatoes on Thursday! For that reason, I'm sharing one of the most challenging cardio workouts in my repertoire, Pure Cardio by INSANITY. You may remember that I reviewed the Plyo Cardio Circut routine in the INSANITY program just a few months ago in August, and that one I said was super hard too! Well, this one is harder, if you can believe it! But for how challenging it is, there's literally no equiptment required, and you can do it right in your living room.

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Bridal Fitness on Paper - INSANITY Extreme Workout DVD's Pure Cardio

Overall: Three diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3 out of 5 diamonds
Pure Cardio's largest strength is also it's biggest weakness - it's really, really challenging.

INSANITY's Pure Cardio workout is a 55 minute "extreme" cardio workout led by physical trainer Shaun T. The routine has you running, squatting, jumping, punching, doing pushups and more in the comfort of your own home. There are ten workouts within this workout DVD program - four of which are called, "Max Interval" training, which is considered a more advanced workout option that you can work up to over time. One of the other six routines is the Plyo Cardio Circut, which I first reviewed a few months ago, and another is called Pure Cardio, which I'll be reviewing today.

Cost & Equipment Three diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3 out of 5 diamonds
The cost of the INSANITY workout program is definitely higher than most workouts intially, but it requires little to no equipment.

The entire INSANITY DVD workout program, including the Pure Cardio session, will set you back about $145, broken down into three monthly payments of $39.95, plus $24.95 for shipping. I'll admit that it's definitely a big chunk of change to shell out for a DVD workout program; however, if you're serious about it and committed to completing the program, I think it's worth it. Obviously, you only have to buy it once, too, as opposed to a gym membership or a package of fitness classes, which you'll always need to purchase more of.

Officially, you need your TV, DVD player, exercise mat, water, towel and heart monitor. However, I think you can get by without a heart monitor...I know that I don't use one! This workout can be done pretty much anywhere - living room, hotel room, backyard, etc.

Time Commitment: Three and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3.5 out of 5 diamonds
At 38 minutes long, INSANITY's Pure Cardio is an average length for a daily workout; however, its level of difficulty makes it feel significantly longer than that!

The INSANITY workout program requires that you take on a hard core cardio workout that is generally between 35 and 65 minutes, nearly every day. This seems pretty standard among workout programs, P90X requires the same level of commitment; however, INSANITY workouts are generally much harder in terms of cardiovascular training. When you do P90X, you are alternating days between aerobic and anaerobic exercises, whereas the INSANITY program is all about the cardio, all the time.

I honestly can't imagine following the INSANITY program as instructed, because it's so challenging. I only commit to completing one INSANITY workout, such as Pure Cardio, about once or twice a week. I think that if I tried to do any more than that, I would give up after a week, and the DVDs would go away in the closet never to be seen again. For that reason, it's really important that you find a level of commitment that works for you. That doesn't mean that you only workout once a week now that you're doing just means that you may want to consider mixing in some other workouts during the week to make your workout plan a little more doable and realistic for you.

Level of Difficulty: Four diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4 out of 5 diamonds
Pure Cardio is the most difficult workout in the INSANITY program, with the exception of the four other more advanced "Max Interval" workouts included on the DVDs.

This workout is so difficult, it's kind of crazy. At one point, right after you've completed the ten and a half minute "Warm up," (which, if you ask me, is way too difficult to be called a "Warm up," at all) the lead trainer, Shaun, even mentions how scared he is to begin the actual workout.

The warm up consists of three, 3.5 minute rounds of jogging, sprinting, jumping jacks, high knees, kicks and more. Each time you go through a cycle, you're encouraged to go a little bit faster, until you're moving as fast as you can in the final third round. Once you're finished with the warm up, you'll stretch for five minutes and you'll catch your breath before you get started on the actual workout. Unlike many of the INSANITY routines, Pure Cardio has zero breaks for the duration of the workout, with the exception of some time after the warm up and stretching. You go for 20 minutes straight, sticking mostly with jumping and running drills like sprints, squats, punches, jump ropes (without the rope, of course), mountain climbers and skip jumps, along with a series of push-ups that have you getting up and down from the floor.

They don't technically give you any breaks during the 20 minute "Pure Cardio" session, but about half way through the twenty minutes, I noticed that many of the people in the video working out along with the instructor were dropping out of the ranks and taking breaks when they needed it. It's definitely designed to push you beyond your breaking point, which means that you shouldn't expect to be able to do the entire workout, straight through, right off the bat. I've been doing the INSANITY workouts for a while now, and I'm still amazed at how challenging all of the workouts are! I can't do any of the exercise routines straight through, without stopping, and I haven't even attempted any of the more advanced "Max Interval" training workouts out of fear!

Effectiveness: Four and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4.5 out of 5 diamonds
As difficult as INSANITY Pure Cardio is, as long as you actually do it and try your best, it's pretty much impossible not to see some sort of results.

I've been doing the INSANITY workouts for a while, and I'm still amazed at how challenging all of the workouts are...Pure Cardio, especially! However, because I admittedly don't follow the INSANITY workout program to a "T," I'm not really the best one to judge its effectiveness. Like I said, usually, I can only muster up the strength to do one of the INSANITY workouts once, maybe twice a week, if I'm feeling up to it.

The entire INSANITY program is designed to burn calories and challenge you in intervals. As the INSANITY website describes, "Each INSANITY workout keeps you constantly challenged as you alternate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals performed at your MAX. The result: burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour and get the most insane body in 60 days." The workouts are so challenging, I think it would be impossible for you not to burn a serious amount of calories, improve your speed and your endurance like the workout program promises.

Enjoyability: Two diamond rings rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
2 out of 5 diamonds
I'm not going to lie...this isn't so fun.

Like most challenging workouts, you're not going to have a ton of fun while doing INSANITY Pure Cardio. It's hard. You'll be panting, sweating, bent over with your hands on your knees, throughout the routine (at least at first). On the bright side...the best part of this workout is when you're finished! It's so challenging, that you can't help but be totally proud of yourself once you're done. Even when I have to stop reguarly to catch my breath...just getting through the thing is quite a feat! The workout moves at a very fast pace, squeezing in a lot of activity into one 38 minute period. The instructor sounds a lot like a drill seargant, which you may or may not like, depending on your own personal preference. I'm not so fond of all the yelling and "Push, push, push!" he screams at me all the time, but given the workout's high level of difficulty and intensity, I can see why he's always yelling at me to do more and keep going...A calm and peaceful "Inside voice," as you'd typically use in a yoga studio definitely wouldn't fit with this workout routine!

You can get a good feel of the INSANITY Pure Cardio routine by watching this video that I found on YouTube! :)

If you're curious about a specific workout and you'd like for me to review it, please do leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at Sarah - at - apaperproposal - dot - com.

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