Video Fitness

Walk Your Way Thin: Punch Up Your Walk

Leslie Sansone

While the full title Walk Your Way Thin: Punch Up Your Walk, this is widely known on the forum as just Punch Up Your Walk.

I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: This 58-min. walking DVD has 4 miles of walking (basically, the average person walking to the beat of the music would cover that much distance) in 55.5 min., followed by just over 2 min. of stretching, with a 5 min. lower body strength training segment as a bonus.
There is no separate warm-up, but the first approximately 5 min. of the first mile (15.5 min. total) start off slowly, and the pace gradually picks up until you reach a brisk pace at the end of this mile. The second mile (13 min.) keeps a brisk pace throughout, even going into a very brisk pace. The third mile (13.5 min.) contains several boosted walking (aka jogging) segments before settling back into the brisk pace of walking; because of the pace, this mile has the least amount of punching, but between the jogging and some of the other steps introduced here this mile has the most distinct personality of the four. After a quick water break, the final mile (just over 13 min.) begins briskly but slowly tapers down with each song. In addition to the four basic steps - marching in place, side steps, (front) kicks, and knee ups / lifts / raises - you’ll see moves like mini squats, wide marches, kickbacks (aka hamstring curls), tap outs (which morph into optional side lunges), heel digs, and various step and taps; arm movements include punches, biceps curls, reaching up, reaching forward, and reaching out to the side. As always, Leslie’s final stretch focuses on the hamstrings and calves, but she also includes some shoulder rolls.
The bonus lower body strength segment, meant as a follow along, covers three exercises: squats, lunges, and donkey kicks.

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced beginners (who might want to begin without the gloves and work up to them) through intermediates. Although Leslie makes sure to explain everything to those who may be new to her programs, the faster pace could be too much for those absolutely brand new to exercise, but those who have done brisk (and boosted) walking with Leslie before shouldn’t have a problem. Those closer to the int. / adv. level of fitness can find ways to boost the intensity: adding more impact (e.g. turning side steps into skater hops, switching over to jogging sooner), taking this to a piece of equipment (e.g. rebounder), etc.
I consider myself an int. / adv. in cardio; I normally do hi/lo or step aerobics, kickboxing, etc., but nowhere near a puke in the bucket level. This gave me a good little workout without much modification. (I admit I put some effort into this one, and my heartrate monitor gave me an average around 70% of my max heart rate, although this piece of equipment is new to me, so take that number with a big grain of salt.)

Class: Leslie alone, with live instruction.

Music: mostly upbeat but generic sounding instrumental, although “Everybody” appears for the boosted walking in the third mile. A few tunes have popped up before, either in Leslie workouts or other mainstream exercise videos.

Set: Leslie’s on a raised circular platform in her studio, although here the black curtain has been pushed back to reveal the windows and mirror along the back wall, making the space seem less like the “black cave.” Living room furniture (sofas) is off to one side, more patio type furniture (table and chairs) is off to another, and exercise equipment like bands, stability balls, and step risers are spread around. I could be wrong, but it looks like there might be snow outside.

Production: clear picture and sound. The music is on the soft side, especially in comparison to Leslie’s voice. The camera angles are helpful, focusing on Leslie. One quibble: you can see camerapeople / equipment and one of the lights in the mirror (this bothers me more than the camerapeople – ack, the glare!) behind Leslie in some of the shots.
At the bottom of the screen, a pink stripe will appear from time to time with text reinforcing Leslie’s cues (such as announcing a move – those who mute the video to play their own music will find this helpful) or point (e.g. muscles in motion).

Equipment: sneakers plus weighted gloves. The ones that come with the kit are a little under a pound each, with the weight on the back of the hand; they wrap around the hand with Velcro tabs across the upper palm and wrist (which means you can lie them flat to dry out the insides, which is good for those of us with sweaty palms). I find them of decent quality, although I’m not sure they’d hold up to serious abuse. My only complaint is that the thumb hole isn’t comfortable for me – it’s a little tight. For something totally superficial, I like the pretty hot pinkish color.
Leslie does not use the weighted gloves for the warm-up or cool-down. For those new to weighted gloves, I highly, highly recommend working up to using them for the whole workout, as your joints will need to get used to the extra weight. The format of this DVD actually works well for that: use them for a mile until you feel comfortable, then for two, until finally you’re using them for all four.
For the bonus leg toning segment, Leslie uses no equipment except for the exercise done on the floor, where she uses a mat.

Space Requirements: You need to be able to take a step in each direction and kick front; you’ll get a little more out of this if you can take a few steps in each direction, but if you can’t just stay in place.

DVD Notes: The main menu offers these choices: Welcome (an introduction and overview to the workout from Leslie), 4 Mile Walk (choice of Full Workout, Mile 1, Mile 2, Mile 3, and Mile 4), Bonus - Lower Body Tone Up, When You Are Ready for More (trailers for all of the Walk Your Way Thin kits). You cannot select the warm-up or cool-down from the main menu itself, nor are they chaptered separately, so you can’t get to them except by using fast forward or rewind.

Comments: I found this on clearance at one of the seemingly randomly chosen “special” Targets, and I don’t regret caving in a moment of weakness, even though I didn’t need another pair of weighted gloves or, heck, even another Leslie. I do like this one, mainly because it has a little more variety in comparison to some of Leslie’s other walks; if nothing else, the fact that the four miles aren’t virtually indistinguishable is a plus for me (after all, my current favorite Leslie is 5 Day Slim Down). I’m not a Leslie expert, especially when it comes to ranking by intensity, but this to me feels similar in intensity to 5 Day Slim Down, 3 Mile Weight Loss Walk, and Walk Slim 3 Fast Miles.

Leslie does not actually include a lot of punching, but you can easily add more of a kickboxing flair. I did bob & weave or boxer’s shuffle instead of the tap front & tap back, a kickboxing-style jab & cross instead of the step & punch, and upper cuts instead of the mini squats with biceps curls. You could easily turn the front kicks into more kickboxing style kicks or switch things up and do some back kicks or side kicks instead, and you could swap out some of the arm moves for hooks. I’m sure creative VFers can add more ideas to that list!

If you like this one, you might also like Leslie’s Walk & Kick (which has more kickboxing) or the Walk it Off with George, especially Walk & Box and Walk Box & Burn. Personally I find Punch Up Your Walk more intense, but that may be in no small part because by this point in time I know how to, well, punch up walking videos to suit my level. Well, Punch Up Your Walk moves at a brisker pace, so it’s not just that.

Instructor Comments: Leslie is her usual encouraging, upbeat self, asking you to make fitness a priority. She gives fairly consistent warning of changes in moves, but as always she isn’t concerned with right or left. I find this one of the calmer versions of Leslie.



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