Video Fitness

Advanced 5-Mile Walk

Leslie Sansone

This is Leslie's long-awaited 5-mile walk workout. On the DVD you have a choice of doing the entire five miles (which would last a little over an hour) or three 3-mile pre-mixes (detailed below). It is also simple to get to each mile individually using the "skip" buttons on the DVD remote.

Three of the miles use "boosters" or light resistance tools for the upper body. However, at least a couple of the cast members in each mile do not use any equipment and Leslie stresses that using the boosters is always optional.

The pace on all the miles is quite quick (which I love!) but there are no warm-ups or cool-downs, which I missed when I did one of the pre-mixes this morning. I think next time I will warm up by doing one of the "booster" miles (which are a little slower) but with no equipment. There is also a separately filmed stretch on the DVD, but -- oddly -- the DVD did not take me there automatically after completing the pre-mix.

The set is a sort of brick courtyard, with louvered doors, patio furniture and plants in the background. The music is just kind of "there" -- it is neither horrible nor great IMHO. The way the sound is balanced, Leslie's voice is much more prominent than the music. Sometimes she would say to "catch that beat" when a tune changed but I occasionally had a hard time hearing it. There is an option to work out to music only, but to me it just looked too weird to see Leslie's lips constantly moving and nothing coming out!

There are eight background walkers, six women and two guys. Veterans Joanne and Linda are back; the rest are new faces and include Leslie's daughter, Marie. The two guys are Jim and Carl, and both are characters! There is one plus-size lady (Regina?) who is married to Carl (who is also somewhat plus-sized). On the whole it is a reasonably diverse cast as far as ages, body types, etc.

Each mile is individually filmed with the cast wearing different outfits for each mile. The outfits are color-coordinated but not matchy-matchy.

Leslie assumes that you are already familiar with her basic moves from her various Walk Away the Pounds series. They are very simple: walking/marching, kicks, knee-ups, side-steps, and occasionally kick-backs (hamstring curls) and walking up-two, back-two. Leslie seems even more casual than usual with her cueing, so be prepared for quick changes!

Leslie announces when we are half-way through each mile, but there are no on-screen graphics to chart your progress like there are in some of her other workouts. Each mile lasts about 13-15 minutes, except for the second (jogging) mile, which is about 10 minutes.

The individual miles are as follows:

Mile One: Uses optional 1- to 2-lb. hand weights on each hand.

Mile Two: No boosters but some optional light jogging (very similar to Leslie's Walk and Jog). It is the quickest mile -- only 10 minutes!

Mile Three: Includes using the belt with the cords. Again, its use is optional and several of the cast members don't wear one and just follow along with their arms. I'm sure you could use hand weights again here with no problem also.

Mile Four: No equipment. No jogging, but still a very quick pace.

Mile Five: Includes the stretchie, and here it is pink! Only a couple of the walkers use it -- again, the rest just follow along with their arms.

There are three 3-mile premixes:

3-Mile Walk With Hand Weights (miles 4, 2 and 1);

3-Mile Walk With Walk Belt (miles 4, 2 and 3); and

3-Mile Walk With Firm Band (miles 4, 2 and 5) (and why it is called a "firm band" in the menu I have no idea!).

Also on the menu is a 7-day meal plan (no pun intended!).

Overall, despite its relatively high price, I am very pleased with this DVD and expect to get a lot of use out of it. I loved the quick pace and the time just flew by. I kind of wish Leslie had included separate warm-ups and cool-downs for those of us who need/want them, but as I already noted I think just using one of the booster miles with no equipment will substitute well. I also wish the music had been a little louder.

I think most Leslie fans will like this DVD, and it is a good choice for those looking for low-impact workouts and/or ones with simple choreography. I don't think it is the best choice for someone new to exercise, though, because of the quick pace and lack of warm-ups and cool-downs. I'd suggest almost any one of Leslie's other workouts for those folks.

Instructor comments: Leslie looks great. But be warned -- believe it or not, Leslie seems even chattier than usual. She is also somewhat haphazard in her cueing but Leslie veterans will have no trouble following along.

Sandra

January 18, 2006

I admit, this workout terrified me a little because of its length. It's not that I can't do five miles, per se, but I just didn't *want* to. I love Leslie, but seldom manage more than half an hour at a time because I get bored---I would with any workout. I just have that kind of attention span as far as this sort of thing goes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this one. I don't think I will often do all five miles at once, but this is a great mix and match workout for days you want to supplement another workout, or get in some variety. It comes with a few suggested pre-mixes, and is chaptered as well so you can select one section at a time.

Leslie works out with a variety of attractive, cheerful background people, including her daughter Marie. In each section, the exercisers show different modifications for things like hand weights or other props (or modifiers, as Leslie calls them). She also tries to amp up the moves from her usual four basic steps, adding some isometric arm holds, repeater-type hamstring curls and knee lifts and a few other flourishes. Mile 2 has some jogging intervals, and other miles use weights, stretchy band and belt. The moves change often, and Leslie keeps the warm-up refreshingly short and the pace brisk, saying that most of us are used to working out with her by now and should be able to hit the ground running.

I think this workout offers great flexibility. One can do it all at once (although it would take ages!) or use the pre-mixes to get in a 3-mile walk. Or you can do a two-mile walk and just use the chapter skip to pick your favourite two. You could also do a different mile-long add-on every day for almost a week! Pair it with a short strength workout like the Quick Fix or Ten-Minute Solution series, and you could cover all the bases in under half an hour. I think this dvd is a great intro to Leslie for more advanced exercisers who may just want one or two Leslies to have around for a change of pace. And for seasoned Leslie collectors, you'll get some great options with this. Highly recommended!

Instructor comments:

Joanna

2/3/2008



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