Video Fitness

Walkblaster: Sculpt & Burn

Leslie Sansone

(This workout is from the Slim Shape & Sculpt series, commonly known as the Walkblaster series.)
I like this workout the best from this series. With the lunges and squats and the Ramp my heart rate gets into the same range as it does with Lisa Kay's Cardio Sculpt Blaster. With most of Leslie?s workouts just get into my target zone, with this I am solidly in the middle.

Like the other Walkblaster workouts, the warm-up is Leslie's "four basic moves" plus tapping on the Ramp. Leslie does fewer arm movements then in her regular walking workouts but with the optional hand weights she does more than in the other Walkblaster workouts. The workout itself consists of two slower "strength" sections sandwiched around an aerobic portions with both faster and slower walking and ramping. There is a meter that comes up at one mile "if you're following our mile system" but there is no other milage meter at the end. The one mile meter comes up at around 22 minutes but there is one complete "strength" section within that time. Leslie's stretch at the end emphasizes the hamstrings instead of her usual calves.

The moves Leslie has added to use the Ramp are tapping the Ramp; 3 steps and a tap with the tap on the ramp (she does this moving to the side so the taps are on the green and purple sections); stepping on the blue section and tapping the green or purple sections, stepping back and doing the other side; tapping across the body (left foot taps purple, right foot taps green); walking wide on to the Ramp (becomes sort of a V-step); and a mambo with the front step on the Ramp (sometimes just stepping on the blue and sometimes moving so that the forward Ramp step is on the blue, on the purple, on the blue, on the green, etc) . In this workout she also does a move where you turn to the side and tap the blue then the floor several times then tap the green then the purple several time. This move actually works the standing leg (stabilizers) quite well.

The first strength training section is lower body - lunges or squats with one leg on the Ramp and some squats with both feet on the floor. These exercises are done with body weight only. One of the things that bothers me in both strength section is that she stops moving/walking to set up the exercises. It noticeable slows the workout down. Unfortunately even with this stop of the action, she does not give much in the way of form pointers. Her instructions for a squat are to sit back and to push through the heel. But the feel is much less emphasis on form then in many other workouts.

During the second strength training section you can have hand weights which are picked up during the cardio section. Leslie and one background exerciser have weighted gloves, three exercisers have two pound weighted balls (the set came with one pounders when I got it) and two exercisers don't use weights. This section does lunges and squats again and some bicep curls and overhead presses (what Leslie calls lifting the weights over your head). She does not make as much use of the weights as she does in other workouts in which she uses weights.

Leslie does not use the words left and right in her cueing at all. If you are used to her WATP series and later where she starts on your right and mirror cues, you will have to pay attention because she starts on your left if you are mirroring her; side steps start to the left, kicks and knee lifts start with the left. Her directional cues are usually "this side" or by color on the Ramp. When she cues by color she does by what is in front of her. So when she says step on the green, I am stepping on the purple. (I also have a Gin Miller Ramp workout and Gin manages to mirror cue the ramp colors appropriately). Any time she does a movement in which only one foot is striking the ramp she will switch lead legs and do the other side. She does not make this change as smoothly as other instructors such as Gin Miller , Petra Kobler and Kathy Smith. If you are really conscientious about the beat it feels as if you got off beat because of the transition to the other leg.

Some general notes on the equipment, set and background exercisers:
The "Walkblaster", as Leslie calls it, is the Ramp (it says so on the ones in the video) from Gin Miller?s Ramping workouts. There are three colors used to identify where to step - blue in the middle, green on the left and purple on the right. Leslie only talks about using it at the lowest incline.
The set is open and well lit. The logos for the series and the workout are projected on the wall and floor in white light.
The background exercisers are Joanne, from Leslie?s Studio (?Grandma Jo?), Tracy from WATP for Abs, Dre from WATP Express, and three new walkers: Jimmy, who is more muscular than most of Leslie?s background exercisers, and the mother and daughter team of Kim and April. April really makes the most of every move almost hopping on the Ramp sometimes. If you need encouragement to increase the intensity of Leslie?s workout then just watch April.

Overall I enjoy this workout. I regularly do a range of cardio from Leslie's walking workouts, to Donna Richardson to the Firm. The intensity of this workout is higher that Leslie's normal walking workouts but not much. At about 40 minutes can squeeze it in on the days I go to work when 30 minutes is the ideal length of workout.

Instructor comments: I like Leslie. Her cuing is okay but she doesn't really get mirror cuing which is a shame since a big part of her audience is beginners. In this series she starts on the left and does not give right and left instruction -- usually "this side" or "now the other leg" but se cues the Ramp/Walkblaster colors as she sees them not as the exerciser mirroring her does.

I don't know if it is the ramp or the fact that she starts on the left but she seems to get off beat less in this set of workouts.

She is her normal chatty self which does not bother me but does bother some people.



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