Top 10 Insane Cardio Workouts Of All Time

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 03, 2011

At first glance, good ol’ fashion, give em hell insane cardio workouts may seem to be dying in the light of the medical profession making claims that moderate exercise may be the most beneficial for health. This may be true for the average population but those few intense, and yes, some call insane, people who like workouts that leave you passed-out on the floor, tend to have a differing opinion. Check out these top ten insane cardio workouts of all time. Some are races. Some are events. And some are moments performed by a single individual against seemingly insurmountable odds while staring death in the face. Comment below on which one you want to put on your bucket list. Workouts 10-6 almost seem doable. I ain’t even gonna try 5-1!

10 Most Insane Cardio Workouts of All Time

10. Racing in the La Ruta De Los Conquistadores Mountain Bike Race

Number ten most insane cardio workout is a grueling mountain bike race that traverses Costa Rica from the west coast on the Pacific to the east coast on the Caribbean. The race is 4 days long and a total distance of 240 miles. Bikers deal with blistering hot weather at lower altitudes and frigid cold temperatures at high altitudes. Terrain covers jungle, active volcanoes, farms, coffee fields, forests and small villages.


9. Wresting for 11 Hours Straight in a Greco-Roman Wresting Match

Imagine wresting for 11 hours straight! In the 1912 Summer Olympics, Martin Klein (Russia) and Alfred Asikainen (Finland) wrestled for a record 11 hours and 40 minutes. Klein finally managed to pin his opponent though was so exhausted wasn’t able to attempt the final.

8. Riding a Stationary Bike for 177 Hours

Number 8 most insane cardio workout makes my butt sore just thinking about it. Ultra athlete, George Hood, at the age of 50 years old, sets a world record for cycling on a stationary bike for 177 hours and 45 minutes. The event took place on May 4-12, 2008, and was performed on behalf of the Heritage YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. It is estimated that Hood traveled around 2,700 miles and used about 47,000 Calories.

7. Competing in the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon

Coming in at number 7 is a brutal race called Norseman Xtreme Triatholon. This is the same distance as the Ironman but covers incredibly difficult terrain. Total distance is 140.4 miles with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. All triathlons at this distance are extreme. This one is well agreed upon to be a few notches above the rest in terms of difficulty.


6. Racing in the Badwater Ultramarathon

Number 6 makes me want to pass out just thinking about it. The Badwater Ultramarathon covers 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, California. This ultramarathon is one of the most demanding and extreme running races offered anywhere on the planet. The extreme distance in the blistering heat is the reason this race has made it to number 6 on the list.


5. Doing 10,507 Pushups without Stopping

So far, none can match the workout Minoru Yoshida from Japan performed in October 1980. He set a world record by doing 10,507 pushups without stopping.

Knee health score 3

4. Running 3,000 miles Across the United States

Few runners can claim to have run a full marathon. Even fewer could think of running the equivalent of two marathons in a single day. Ultramarathoner and motivational speaker, Dean Karnazes ran that equivalent for 75 straight days for nearly 3,000 miles on his trek across America. He started in Southern California on February 25th, 2011 with a spectacular kick-off event at The Disneyland Resort then made his way across Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Indianapolis and Ohio, Pennsylvania to New York. Average distance per day was 40-50 miles.

Deans’ Personal Website:

3. Pulling 70 Rowboats, Handcuffed and Shackled at the Age of 70

We come to number 3, my personal favorite. Jack Lalanne was the godfather of physical fitness and inspired millions to live a healthier life. On his 70th birthday, in 1984, Jack performed a feat that no other person has since to repeat. He swam in the strong currents of Long Beach Harbor from Queen’s Way Bridge to the Queen Mary. Total distance was one mile. The kicker is that he performed the feat handcuffed, shackled, and towing 70 rowboats, one with several guests!

Jack’s Personal Website:

2. Swimming Across the Atlantic Ocean

Number 2 is an insane workout held for the record books. French long distance swimmer, Benoit Lecomte, was the first to swim across the Atlantic Ocean in 1988. He did it partially to raise money for cancer research as a tribute to his father. The total distance was 3,716 miles and he performed the feat in 74 days. Mr. Lecomte had a support boat following him that had an electromagnetic field to ward off sharks. He spent 6-8 hours swimming each day in sessions of about two hours’ length. The swim was from Hyannis, Massachusetts to Quiberon, Brittany, France.

1. Climbing Mount Annapurna

And the number one most insane cardio workout ever….drum roll please… is climbing Mount Annapurna. Annapurna is a section of the Himalayas in north-central Nepal. It is tenth among the World’s fourteen mountains that rise above the 8,000 meter mark (26,247 ft). The peaks in Annapurna are the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb. As of 2007, only 153 people have ascended to the summit. There have been 58 fatalities, with a fatality ratio of 38%, highest of any mountain (including Everest). This is one of the reasons why this workout has reached the treasured number one spot. What other workout can you think of where there is a 38% chance that you will not live to see the end. Kudos to all those that have completed this climb and kudos to all those that have performed any of the above workouts!

Are you crazy enough to try any of these workouts? Which insane cardio workout is on your bucket list? Tell us below in the comment box….

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