Beachbody Reviews

A Review of Insanity Max:30 Cardio Challenge

March 11, 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. 


Max:30 Cardio Challenge is just one (of many) good reasons to purchase Insanity Max:30.

TIP>>Read 8 Things You Should Know About Insanity Max:30 for all the facts about this series.

Replace the next 30 minutes that you were going to spend on Facebook or watching Three’s Company reruns with this routine.  You won’t regret it.

In fact, I predict that 15 minutes into this thing you’re going to have a reality check about your fitness level.  It’s ok.  We all do.  There’s a reason I used Insanity Max:30 to train for 2 Tough Mudders.

Remember Insanity Max:30 Cardio Challenge is just one of the routines in the Insanity Max:30 program.  Here’s a reminder of what the entire program offers:

Let me explain what you can expect in Insanity Max:30 Cardio Challenge…

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.

Instructor-Shaun T



Length-32 minutes

HRM-340 calories


My rating-A

The Important Information about Max:30 Cardio Challenge

The philosophy of the Insanity Max:30 series is to track your fitness level by following where you Max Out over several weeks of doing the program.

You use this video (Cardio Challenge) as your Fit Test to assess your improvement.  If you’re doing the full 60-day program then I suggest you write down the numbers like Shaun T tells you.  Seeing your progress on paper makes a difference.

I love that Shaun T does almost this entire workout.  He and Tony Horton like to walk around a lot in some of their videos and I find that irritating.  I want to see the instructor push through the exercises with me.

Every exercise in Cardio Challenge is a twist on one of the moves from the Insanity series (another amazing Beachbody program with Shaun T).  But no worries, if you’ve never done Insanity you’ll be fine.  The moves themselves aren’t the hard part.

There’s a girl on the set that shows you a modified version of every move.  If you have a bad knee or back then follow her.  You can also do her version when you jump back in, after you’ve ‘maxed out’.

There are 5 rounds of 3 exercises.  You repeat each exercise 3 times, increasing intensity with every move (sound familiar?).  There’s a plank move in rounds 1-4, but not round 5.  (You’ll be so freaking happy to stay on your feet by round 5.)

I love this program.  Just saying.

Read to the end for links to a few places you can compare prices for this video 🙂


The warm-up uses the same pattern as the workout.  You do 5 exercises in a row and then repeat them 2 times with increasing intensity.

The warm-up moves:

Chest Open Jack

Jack Uppercut

1-2-3 Knee

Cross Jack

High Knee Jab

Now you stretch. 

I love this part.  Stretching after a short, intense warm-up is the best.  You only get a few seconds to stretch and Shaun T doesn’t tell you what to do but don’t just stand there.  You know your body.  Stretch the muscles that need it.

Main Workout (The Exercises in Insanity Max:30 Cardio Challenge)

Round One

Squat Kick (Right)

Pike-Up Spider (Right) 

This is your plank move.

10 & 2

You just jump back and forth between the 10 and 2 position on a clock.  Remember to keep your core tight.

Now you repeat those 3 exercises.  You do the first two moves on the left this time.

For the third time through the exercises you alternate lead legs.  Go hard.  This workout is short.  Make the most of it.

Water Break

Round Two

Med Ball Twist

Use your core.  Don’t just throw your arms back and forth.

Plank Jack In & Out

Try to go fast.

4 Jab with 4 High Knees

This move is really fun.  It’s hard to keep up with the pace he calls out but do your best.

Repeat those 3 exercises two more times through, but go faster.  Let Shaun T help you find that last ounce of energy.  He’s a great motivator in this series.

Water Break

Round Three

Plyo Power Knee (Right)

At this point you’ll be wondering how you can be so tired after just 15 minutes.

Scissor Stance Jack

This is a plyo/jump move.  I try to jump on each rep for as long as I can.  On the second and third set I jump every other rep.

Shoulder Tap-In & Out

He taps his shoulder when his legs go out.  The move is more comfortable for me when I do the shoulder tap with my feet in, so that I have two hands on the floor when I’m in plank.  I don’t think it matters.  Just do what you can.

Now you repeat those 3 moves two more times through.  You switch lead legs on the second set.  Then you do both legs on the third set of plyo power knees.

Water Break

Round Four

Holy crap!  Can you believe it’s only been 20 minutes?!

Slap Back Jack

My arms do not want to go behind me on this move.  My ribcage is too wide or something.

Suicide Burpee

Welcome to some more plank moves.

Plank Speed Tap (Right)

Repeat all 3 moves two more times through.  As before, you’ll get the chance to do the other lead leg on the plank speed taps, and you alternate legs on the third set.

Water Break

Round Five

This is the last round.  You got this.  Do not quit.  You’re amazing.  You can do anything for 5 minutes, right?

Chair Squat

Football Run

2 Jab-2 Tuck

You may not be able to do the tucks at the speed he’s yelling out.  I do vertical jumps when I can’t squeeze out another tuck.

Repeat those 3 exercises 2 more times through. 

You do the last move, the last time, as a group with the crew.  Go for it.  It’s your last calorie burn.  Make it count. 

Keep the video running for the cool down.

Cool Down/Stretch

You get a cool down/stretch segment that’s about 2 minutes long.  Don’t skip it.

And I recommend that you continue stretching for a few more minutes on your own (before you lie down on the floor and think about cake).

Now What??

Insanity Max:30 Cardio Challenge is an amazing workout.

You can find Cardio Challenge in the Insanity Max:30 Series by Beachbody on Amazon and in the workout library of a Beachbody on Demand membership.

Read more about Beachbody on Demand.


Leave a Reply

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

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?