Beachbody Reviews

A Review of Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning (An Incredible Cardio Workout for Women)

February 23, 2016

should you set up your home gym in your garage? here's what you need to know

should you buy a peloton? here's how to decide

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning in a nutshell–Intense cardio. No repetition.

Insanity is NOT FOR WIMPS.

Max Cardio Conditioning is incredible.

Remember Max Cardio Conditioning is just ONE of the workouts in the Insanity series.

But every workout in the series has the same style. So, if you like the sound of THIS workout then you should dive into the Insanity program!

Here’s a look at the program:

*ATTENTIONInsanity has been out for a few years. I understand we all want the shiniest new workout. But don’t skip Insanity because you get distracted by the latest and greatest Beachbody program. Insanity is timeless and will continue to kick everybody’s butt for the next decade.

ATTENTION #2-But if you MUST try the latest and greatest that’s cool, too. Read this review of Shaun T’s latest masterpiece (Transform 20).

Now I’m going to tell you when you need to squat, plank, and kick in this workout…(and exactly when Shaun T rips his shirt off).  You’re welcome.

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.

a girl with a purple sports bra and black shorts holding her ankle in a quad stretch

Instructor-Shaun T



Length-47 minutes

HRM-433 calories


Remember my choreography rating is an assessment of how complex the choreography is–not how intense the workout is.  Make no mistake, this is an advanced workout.  Read more about my different choreography ratings.

My rating– A

The Important Stuff You Must Know about Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning

This is a phenomenal workout in a short period of time.  Routines like this one (Max Cardio Conditioning) are the reason you should purchase the Insanity program by Beachbody.

I give this routine a Cardio+ rating because it’s more than cardio—you have a lot of shoulder, core, and leg/glute exercises as well.  That’s sculpting, people.

I love the fact that besides the warm-up there’s no repetition of moves.  You do each move for one minute and then you can kiss it goodbye.

Remember to read to the end for helpful information on every interval as well as a few different places you can buy the Insanity workouts.


If you’ve done any Insanity workouts then you’ll recognize the warm-up pattern.

Shaun T does 7 moves for 30 seconds each.  You repeat them all a second time for 30 seconds.  In this video he changes up the moves when you do the third set at your max.  And remember the third set of exercises are done for less than 30 second intervals.

I know it’s only the warm-up.  I know it’s really hard.  But push yourself.  No whining.

After the warm-up there’s a chance to get a drink and then you stretch.  This is my favorite part of the Insanity Series.  The stretch segment after the crazy warm-up is amazing.  Perfect timing.

Water Break

The Main Workout (The Exercises in Max Cardio Conditioning)

Guess what?  There’s only about 30 minutes left in the workout.  You do every move for about a minute.  There are 21 exercises.  You can do anything for a minute, right?

High/Low Jab with Squats

30 seconds on the right and 30 seconds on the left

Your legs will be burning.  He gives you permission to stop if you need to but don’t.  Just slow down if you have to.

Football Runs

Shaun T yells ‘Hit It’ and you sprawl down on the floor into a low plank hold.  Then you jump back up to the football run.

It’s really hard to do these at the pace he screams them out.  Just do your best.  I try to get in the full low plank every time rather than keep up.

I love that this is hard for the team on the video, too.  I like to be reminded that they’re real people.

Four Squat Hops with Basketball Jumps

You may have to stop and put out the fire in your thighs.  But get back in there after a few seconds of rest.

Leg Kicks

You do a minute on each leg.

A minute is a REALLY long time to do these on each side.  Keep your core tight.  Try to ignore all the jiggling going on in your legs.  It’s distracting, I know.

Diamond Jumps

Land softly.

Do the best you can.  I usually manage 28-30 of these.  I try to maintain a slow and steady pace.

In and Out Abs then Push-Up Jacks

You do 4 in/out abs in plank and then 4 push-up jacks.

It seems like you’ll be able to keep going but these are killer.  I always start to lose stamina way before I think I will.  These are so good for your core and shoulders.

Suicide Jumps

Yep, another move in plank.  I usually do 16-18.  Try to keep your legs together.  Your arms will want to be spaghetti.  Try not to hit yourself.

High Knee/Low Floor Sprint

He does four sets of high knees then a low sprint to a count of four, then you drop into plank and do floor sprints to a count of 4.

These are really fun.  Do your best but Do Not Stop.  I am SO DEAD at this point of the workout.  It’s so crazy.

Ski Abs

You’ll recognize these if you’ve done any of the other Insanity videos.  Shaun T gives you permission to ‘take 10 breaks if you need to but keep correct form’.  Then he rips off his shirt.  Inspiration, people.

Kick Step Back

This is where you catch your breath.  These are nice and easy.

Squat Twist

Bend at your waist.  Don’t round your back.  Stick your butt out.

Over the River Hops

This is another exercise where you get to catch your breath.  It’s just a leap side to side.  Land softly.


These are jumping jack legs with a half turn and a sort of jab with your arms.  They aren’t hard.

Power Knee

Listen to Shaun T.  Go fast.  Use your core.  Your support leg will feel it.

It’s one minute per side which feels like an eternity.

Ski Down Hooks

Find a pace somewhere between fast and slow.  Stick your butt out.  Don’t stop.

Belt Kicks

These are a low squat with a kick.  Do them all.  Your legs hurt, I know.  You’re a badass.  You got this.

Forward/Back Suicides

Holy crap, I thought I was in shape!  I’m so tired at this point.  Bend at the waist.  Move your feet.  You can do this, I promise.  Good news.  There’s less than 10 minutes left in your workout.

Push-Up Abs

When you see him demonstrate this move you’ll want to knock him in the head but you can do these.  They’re so effective.

You’re changing and shaping your body.  This is where it counts.  My goal on these is 20.  Sometimes I do more and sometimes less.

Plank Punches

Hello!  Fire in the shoulders.  Push back into downward dog when your shoulders need a break but try not to take your hands off the floor.

8 Jump Ropes/8 Hop Squats

There’s no sugar coating these.  So hard.  You’ll have to stop and get your breath before the interval ends but jump back in when you can.  You’re almost done!

Squat Hold with Speed Bag Arms

I hate Shuan T so bad at this point.  Legs. Hurt. So. Bad.

Cool Down/Stretch

You’re amazing. 

You killed a ton of calories and did something great for you today.  Be proud of yourself.

Do not skip the stretch it’s so important.

Now What?

I absolutely love this workout (Max Cardio Conditioning).

When you complete it you can’t help but feel good about yourself.  Insanity is a timeless program–the workouts will always be relevant, challenging and effective.  This is why I recommend that you BUY Insanity.

You can find Insanity Max Cardio Conditioning as part of the Insanity Series by Beachbody on Amazon.

You can also get access to all of the Insanity workouts (as well as every other Beachbody program) with a Beachbody on Demand membership.   (There’s a FREE TRIAL period so you can try it out with no risk.)

✔Learn more about a Beachbody on Demand membership.

Thanks for reading!

Have an amazing workout!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Shannon says:

    Agree! Love the Insanity series. Challenging but fun & you can really tell a difference the longer you do them.

search the database!

Excuse me...Do you have any articles on...

get it now

Don't waste another minute trying to piece together all the right workouts and equipment for the 'perfect' plan. Download a blueprint with all the steps in one place.

Your home exercise roadmap.

free guide

Take me to the quiz

Get matched with the on-demand library that aligns with your workout style, equipment and goals by answering a few questions!

Have you taken our

Workout Personality Quiz?