Well, there's walking...and then there's walking! And with this series of tapes, I've taken my one-hour mall walks to a WHOLE different level! Kathy's Lean Walk System really is an entire walking system, three tapes, each progressively harder, but all designed to work together and to be rotated even as you keep getting stronger and more fit. When I first started walking, I'd use music tapes, and while they were fun to work to, and the tempo was good, I found myself really enjoying the music almost TOO much and not concentrating on the exercise end of it! Kind of like dancing around the house - yes, it's aerobic, but no, it's not on the same level as doing a hard video workout!
The Lean Walk System consists of three tapes, each one hour long, and each designed so that you can do all or only one side (so, e.g., if you're not up to doing all of the aerobic intervals tape, you can do one side for 30 min.).
Tape ONE is a good, solid, fairly brisk walk at 113-132 beats/min.; it's a great introduction to walking for exercise, and to Kathy's cuing style. With tape TWO, things start getting very interesting, and intense - this is the aerobic intervals tape, which has three 3-min. intervals per side (6 altogether for the one hour tape), during which the music really speeds up - you're walking at a very good pace throughout, then hit a three minute interval of walking much faster. The first time I did this tape all the way through, I actually got a "runner's high", the most intense feeling I've ever had while exercising - it was wonderful! Finally, with tape THREE, you get to the anaerobic intervals! That's right - on this tape, you not only have three minute aerobic intervals in which you walk fast, but you also have one minute anaerobic intervals in which you walk as fast as you can! This tape leaves me absolutely wrung out - and feeling so very proud of myself for doing it all the way through!
Like I said, these have taken my walking to a whole 'nother level, and I can't recommend them highly enough for anyone trying a walking program. I'm not a person in great shape - much rounder, still, than I'd prefer to be - but these have made me challenge myself, have made me feel so much stronger and more energized, have helped me break a plateau that was plaguing my weightloss program, have helped me lose even more, and have made me actually look forward to grabbing my walkman on the weekends and going for my walks! (You have no idea how wonderful it feels to see people actually pulling their kids out of my path and gaping at my speed now when this short, round woman is racing through the mall!)
Instructor comments: She's terrific! She gives more useful information about walking than you'd think was possible, reminding you always of her RACES acronym (roll through your feet, swing your arms with purpose, contract your abs, keep your eyes directly ahead instead of down, and keep shoulders back & down), and telling you how, and why, to do the different intervals and other drills (like the glute squeezes and 'walking the line'). She talks alot during these tapes, but I don't find it annoying at all, more like listening to the expert cuing you'd get during a video workout. The music is good - all instrumental, and all designed to make the beat easy to follow.