When it comes to cardio workouts, it has to be something I really enjoy and experience excellent results with in order for me to recommend it to others. For the past 5 years or so, I have tried just about every cardio workout that you can imagine, all the way from steady cardio on the treadmill to high intensity cardio with home workout programs like P90X Plus or Insanity Asylum. Some of them worked, and some of them didn’t, so that’s why I’m going to share what I feel are the best cardio workouts. Before I get into it, though, understand that I’m the type of person who embraces a challenge, and wants to be on the verge of throwing up during my cardio workouts because I know that’s how the best results are achieved, when you really push yourself. So, what are my 5 top cardio workouts?
(5) P90X Plus Kenpo Cardio Plus. This is just a fun workout. The original Kenpo X from P90X is too easy, and Kenpo Cardio Plus steps it up a notch, increasing the intensity so much that you shouldn’t have a dry spot left on your shirt after you finish! After this workout you’ll feel like you’re ready to go out and battle Jean Claude Van Damme (something I don’t particularly recommend, of course..).
(4) P90X One on One Cardio Intervals. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the One on One series when they were released, but when I tried Cardio Intervals, I knew that the program was legit. Cardio Intervals involves interval training to the max. You’re jumping, twisting, lunging, sprinting, you name it, you’re doing it in this one! You’ll be raising and lowering your heart rate through the entire workout.
(3) Insanity Max Interval Circuit. Oh man this is a rough one. It’s one of the longest workouts in the Insanity series, and one of the toughest as well. You’re talking about 55 minutes of extreme circuit training, so intense that you can easily burn over 1,000 calories by the time you complete the last circuit. Shaun T loves working the shoulders and core, and this one literally takes that to the max. You will be shaking, your shoulders will be burning, and chances are you will have to take a few breaks during the workout. If not, you will forever be called “Superman.”
(2) Insanity Asylum Speed & Agility. Ugh. Seriously, this workout sucks, in a good way of course. For some reason I can’t stop doing it, but at the same time I dread it! We sort of have this love/hate thing going on. The warm-up to this workout is in fact a workout in itself, and if you’re not sweating by the time the stretching rolls around, you were dogging it. The warm-up consists of a number of different jump rope series, but they aren’t normal jump rope exercises like you would expect. No, that’s not how Shaun T rolls. You’re twisting, lunging, hopping, criss-crossing, pretty much doing it all while trying not to hit your head or shoes with the rope. The regular workout consists of working the core quite a bit again, along with intense footwork agility training and sometimes even some power jumps, which we have all come to love! Let me just add that you will absolutely adore the “In-and-Out Ab Progressions.” Make sure you take the Recovery Drink after this one!
(1) Insanity Asylum Vertical Plyos. This is by far my top cardio workout! What I love about this workout is that you’re doing a combination of resistance and cardio at the same time, therefore increasing your heart rate so much that you’re not quite sure how you’re going to make it to the next exercise. Shaun T incorporates the use of resistance bands throughout the workout while doing cardio moves, so not only will you be working your shoulders, back, legs, and butt, but you’ll be burning a ton of calories doing so. You will be doing exercises such as the “X Jumps,” but have resistance bands around both your ankles and wrists, and also jumping agility push-ups that involve the same use of the bands. When it’s all said and done, you will be proud that you made it through it!
Intensity is a big factor of mine when it comes to rating the best cardio workouts! I enjoy pushing myself to the max because that’s the only way to maximize your results. If you want extreme changes, you must do extreme cardio workouts!