Video Fitness

Walk Away the Lbs. for Abs

(includes 3 videos, a Walk-Away toning belt and a 14-day low-fat meal program)

I am an intermediate exerciser who is re-starting. I have become a real Leslie fan since having some health problems. I really like the original WAP set with the weighted balls. And I have acquired more of her older and newer walking videos. I like the faster pace in WAPA. But...that belt has got to go! I had it on for about a minute and had to take it off. It was so uncomfortabe and gave me a claustrophobia attack. It seems pretty poorly made and I know it has broken on some folks. It just isn't for me. I ended up using the 2lb balls and it was fine.

And what is with the LP mode in her newer videos (including WAP for Abs)? I got the Variety Pack from Collage (Yoga Walk, Walk & Kick, Walk & Jog) and like the workouts, but the quality is not there. They are dark and I have to turn the volume way up to hear them. I doubt if I'll buy any more of Leslie's workouts if this LP thing is now her standard. Maybe she will be putting more workouts on DVD. Still, I'm glad I got the Abs set

Instructor comments: I like Leslie. Her chattiness does not bother me. She is alway encouraging and upbeat.


Comparison of walk away the pounds and walk away the pounds for abs

I am putting both Walk away the pounds and Walk away the pounds for abs together since they are basically the same workout, and now that both are available at stores, I imagine there are some exercisers wondering which one should I buy? The differences are subtle. Both come with an eating plan, a gadget and three workouts based on 1, 2 or 3 mile distances. My pack of original WAP did not have the weight balls, but I have checked them out (my mother in law's pack had them).
So- here it is original WAP and extra crispy WAP abs....
The eating plans are identical right down to the recipes. Really, Leslie, has assembled 14 days of what to eat with recipes on the cards. There is no discussion of portion sizes, cooking methods, or food choices, so if you are interested in making big dietary changes, you will need a guide book like nutrition for dummies. Also, it isn't very adaptable. You are supposed to eat exactly what is on the card each day, but if you have food allergies, are a vegetarian, keep kosher- this will be impossible to follow with meat at almost every meal.
The gadgets- WAP has weighted balls- 2 pounds per ball. I personally prefer cast iron dumbbells over water or sand weights since they can open, but these seem sturdy and are squishy, if you like that texture. WAP abs comes with a belt with two resistance tubes with handles attached to the back. My tubes have broken twice, and I don't use these tapes very often.
The workouts- There are 3 workouts in each set- 1 mile (20 minutes), 2 miles (30 minutes) and 3 miles (45 minutes). All 3 are based on 4 steps- marching in place, side steps, knee up and kicks. WAP abs has a faster pace, but WAP introduces extra moves like the hamstring curl, double side step, wide march, and marching forward and back in the first (1 mile) video. In both, the music is generic workout music, fairly nondescript. I found it hard to hear at points in WAP but it is clearer in WAP abs. Leslie is not on the beat at some points in the music, so I find it odd she always says the music is there for a beat to keep up a pace. The steps are very repetitive, and there is little attention to choreography. You do a move then return to marching in place, then do another move, then march... you get the idea... Although Leslie says both packs are complete workouts to shape and strengthen your body, there is no toning work for the lower body (don't be fooled- side steps are not Thigh Work!), no work for the abs (wearing a belt does not work the abs- if it did, every garment in the US would have one!) and as far asthe upper bod work- both the balls and the belt exercises emphasize the shoulders. in WAP abs in fact there are not tricep, bicep, back or chest exercises. You may get some chest work in the presses, but at a full vertical position, it is mostly a shoulder exercise. There is a bit more variety in the WAP with the balls, but still emphasize the shoulders. Furthermore, it isn't safe to increase weights much beyond 5 pounds and still maintain a cardio pace, so most people will outgrow this format quickly, and will find that 2 pounds is too low to see the changes in strengthy and shape they probably want (2 pounds is not the perfect toning weight!). the belt has low resistance as well, and may aggravate back problems since you are pulling on your back, so it may be dangerous to increase the tension of the tubes, maintain the cardio pace and be safe while pulling against your low back. As far as the cardio, it is a reasonable program for folks who want a low impact, non choreographed routine that has a low to moderate intensity. What you'll want to supplement your workouts- toning videos for the whole body to really strengthen and shape, and a stretch video, neither pack of workouts really has a stretch segment. What is most annoying, however, is the constant chatter. Leslie talks all the time, so much so that I can't do the 3 miles- she just irritates me with the endless stream of silly comments and inane banter. Most of the comments sound like an ad for the balls or the belt, or the program itself. I already bought the videos!! And I was not overly impressed with various aspects of the programs, so I found the endless shilling really bothersome. However, the cardio portions are solid if you want the low impact, easy to follow programs she is known for and her easy do what you can attitude will probably appeal to many beginners looking to work out with a friend.

Instructor comments: leslie is extremely motivating and encouraging. she always reminds you to do what you can and focus on feeling good and improving your health. having said that, she talks nonstop.

July 2003

This set of workouts follows the same pattern as Leslie's previous "Walk Away the Pounds" titles---it features marching steps accented with arm moves, knee lifts, gentle kicks and basic aerobic variations. The workouts range from 15 minutes (equivalent to 1 mile) to 1 hour (equivalent to 3 miles). Leslie is featured with a class of background exercisers, and as in the previous series, a graph pops up at half-mile intervals to inform you of your progress.

Leslie's previous workout featured weighted balls, but this one uses a different gadget, a flimsy belt with bands on it. One exerciser does not use this. I already have Leslie's weighted gloves and water-filled balls and had no trouble modifying these workouts to use them instead.

Although the exercises were pretty much the same as Leslie's older Walk Away the Pounds set, the pace was a little faster. I appreciate the fact that Leslie always starts off at a slower pace and gradually speeds things up. Many instructors are not that careful with warming you up and cooling you down, but Leslie is great about this. I felt that, compared to other tapes of hers, she gets into a faster pace quicker and does not start the cool-down phase quite as prematurely as she has in the past. She also varies the moves more often, so you really don't feel like you are just marching in place.

This workout will have absolutely no surprises in it for anyone familiar with Leslie's prior work, but is a solid little routine that will make a nice addition to the collection of any Leslie fan due to its faster pace and slightly higher intensity.



Leslie's videos are probably the best for beginners, especially if they have been sedentary, are extremely overweight or have other concerns they need to consider in their workouts. If they have the doctor's okay, Leslie's programs have very simple steps, a gentle to moderate pace and Leslie is encouraging and reminds exercisers to do what they need to to get a good and safe workout. WAP abs is her most vigorous program. It has a much faster pace, and is probably the least suitable for that segment of her target audience. I got the impression that Leslie looked around and saw that ab programs were the hot ticket and decided she needed to do one too. So she put together a program that targets the abs without a single ab exercise! Leslie does remind the exerciser to hold their stomach in and use good posture, like almost all video leaders (who do not call their programs ABS workouts) and she has a resistance belt that is supposed to help strengthen the back (which is unlikely) and remind you to hold your abs in (a bit more likely, but still unlikely). To be honest, this program is fine for what it is- a fairly vigorous cardio program with easy choreography. The problem is it is not what Leslie promises- which is a total body strengthening and shaping program that pays special attention to the abs. The cardio is based on Leslie's usual four steps- marches, kicks, sidesteps and knee lifts, with afew other variations, like wide marches or marching forward and back. As always, you march, then do another move, then march and so on. The pace in this set is fairly brisk. Her long time exercisers looking to move up to something more challenging will find these fit the bill.

The belt that comes with this pack has two resistance tubes attached to the back, and Leslie has a few intervals where you do a military press, a chest press, a fly type move and extending your arms down and then lifting them overhead and extending to the sides. there are no bicep or tricep exercises, and any back or chest work is secondary to the shoulder exercises. There are no lower body exercises. And despitethe title, there's nothing for the abs either.

These are fine basic cardio workouts (there are 3- 1 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile) but they are not total body workouts that will strengthen and shape yor body, as the packaging and Leslie promise. And outside of reaching overhead and doing a few calf stretches, there are no stretches either. Some people may get a little shoulder toning from the belt exercises but that will depend on a few things. The belt has very low resistance. A regular lifter (even using low weights) will probably not get much of a challenge, and depending on your arm length, you may get even less. The tubes are fairly long, and I noticed that I only got resistance on a few exercises since the tubes were sufficiently long that I wasn't stretching them to get resistance (and I have long arms). Overall, I would say these are fine cardio workouts for beginner to intermediate who want an encouraging instuctor and basic choreography. Its not the program that's promised, but for what it is, it's fine.

Instructor comments: I have mixed feelings about Leslie. She is encouraging, and reminds exercisers to go at their own pace, stop when they need to, just use the basic march, don't use arms, make smaller arm motions, etc. She also talks alot about good health, not about having a sexy body or being beautiful and other such comments that come up in many videos.

However, she talks nonstop. Some of it is about health. There's a lot of silly banter with her other exercisers. And she talks alot about the program. Its like she can't stop selling her program, which presumably you've already bought since you're using it! And some of her comments don't make sense when she mentions them. She talks about how you're building muscle when you're using no resistance. If you like straightforward instructors, Leslie will not be your cup of tea. I find her chatter annoying and somewhat obtrusive and condescending.


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