Video Fitness

Walk Away the Pounds for Abs, 3 Miles

Leslie Sansone

This was my first-ever Leslie Sansone video, and I was surprised by how tough it was, especially given that I already exercise regularly and have even started a running program in the past month. Leslie uses four basic moves--march, side step, front kick, and knee lift--but varies the speed and execution of each movement to change the intensity. In addition, this workout uses Leslie's special weight belt for upper body toning work; I don't own the belt, so I substituted light (3 lb.) hand weights throughout the workout.

The workout begins with Leslie introducing the four basic moves, and in the warm-up phase, she gradually picks up the pace until you are moving along at a fairly good clip. At this point (about 10 minutes into the workout), she introduces use of the belt or weights for some basic upper body exercises, including overhead press and flies. For the middle part of the workout, or Mile 2, the weights are not used, as the pace increases considerably. Although the movements stayed the same, I sometimes found it a bit difficult to keep up with Leslie's quick movements. However, Leslie is extremely encouraging, frequently saying that it's okay to go at your own pace and not to follow her form exactly. For the first half of the last mile, the belt or weights are again used, repeating many of the previous exercises. The pace then slows down a bit to start bringing your heart rate back to normal, and finally, the last 2 minutes of the workout consists of cool-down stretches for a total of 44 minutes.

The only problem I had with this workout is the title, as I think it would have more appropriately been named WATP for Upper Body rather than Abs. Leslie does provide frequent reminders to concentrate on your abs and some of the moves (especially the knee lifts) do work the abdominal area, but the toning segments were more focused on the upper body in general. Overall, however, I found this to be an excellent cardio workout, and although the moves are repetitive, the time really does fly by. It is probably most appropriate for intermediate exercisers, but experienced beginners could manage by moving at a slower pace and skipping the weights.

Instructor comments: As mentioned above, Leslie is extremely encouraging. She is constantly reassuring you that anything you can do is great and reminds you to go at your own pace; she also frequently jokes around with her background exercisers (6 total). Her cueing is very good as well: she never fails to let you know that a new move is coming up, and she provides mirrored cueing by avoiding the terms right /left and instead pointing to which side to start on.

Beth C (aka toaster)

September 21, 2004



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