Petra Kolber & George Foreman
General workout breakdown: This walking video lasts about 32 minutes and includes four short intervals where you walk at a significantly faster pace. The base steps include walking (or marching), side steps, step with a heel in front, the “Foreman shuffle” (three steps and a tap), step knee, heel curl, and lunge (more of a tap out to the side or back); there are some combinations where you do one step for a few counts, then another for a few counts, and so on. The video ends with a cool down and stretches for the calf, hip flexor, and hamstring. The background exercisers demonstrate arms for almost every move, unlike other videos in this series. The pace is along the lines of what I would consider a moderately quick stroll, with the faster paced interval at more of a power or speed walk, so it’s not too fast.
Level: I’d recommend this to beginners with a little bit of experience. More intermediate exercisers could exaggerate the movements, jog instead of walk during the intervals, and use light hand weights to get a good workout. I consider myself at least at the high intermediate stage with respect to floor aerobics, and this video is on the easy side for me, but sometimes I want a workout that doesn’t involve going all out.
Class: 1 man and 8 women join George and Petra. Two of the exercisers are of a plus size frame and two are of “normal” sizes, but what I love is that the “thin” background exercisers all look realistically fit, not the type of skinny that you only get with genetics. The background exercisers demonstrate variations when there are some. Petra will preview some new moves, and she and George generally will stay with the basic moves when there are options to increase the intensity.
Music: upbeat music with a good beat: some of it’s pop music (recognizable, but nothing I could name), some of it’s standard exercise video stuff.
Set: interior studio space with muted lighting. A big sign in the back proclaims this is “George’s Gym,” and there are various pieces of boxing equipment, lockers, etc., lining the walls.
Production: good picture and sound. The camera shots were more or less helpful, but I wish the camera wouldn’t do so many close ups of people’s upper bodies, since this is a walking video, and I think it’s best if the camera always shows the instructor when there’s a new move.
Space Requirements: Ideally you should be able to take two medium-sized steps to each side and forwards and backwards, but if you have less space, just stay in place.
DVD Notes: There are no chapters on this DVD, so have your remote handy to fast forward through the Warnings, GoodTimes logo, Walk it off with George! intro, and George’s description.
Conclusion: This is intended to be the third video in the Walk it Off with George! infomercial set, and I’d agree that it’s a step up in intensity and complexity from the first two (Express Walk and Champion Walk & Sweat). I’m keeping this one for several reasons: it’s one of the most varied / least repetitive of the workouts, it’s got intervals, and Petra’s not over the top.
If you were to jog, this would still be a step down in intensity from Leslie Sansone’s Walk & Jog, which has a faster pace overall and longer intervals. That said, Leslie’s Walk & Jog would be a next logical step (pun intended!) once you feel this workout is too easy for you.
Petra leads the workout. She cues decently, usually given you enough notice of move changes, although I wish she would make the start and stop of the intervals clearer, and she mirror cues (i.e. when she says “left,” she means your left). She’ll preview the more complicated moves (like step with a heel), but then she’ll show the less intense variation of a move, too. Her British accent is easy to understand. Her enthusiasm and plugging for walking it off with George is toned down here in comparison to other videos from this series, and I find that I like her personality here.
George is primarily here for encouragement, although he occasionally offers tips on posture or cues a move. George also throws in a joke or two about his days as a boxer, picks on some of the background exercisers, and banters back and forth with Petra. For someone who showed such amazing dexterity in the boxing ring, he’s not the most graceful when it comes to the dancier moves, but that’s part of what’s endearing about him.
March 17, 2006