Three Fast Miles is a low-impact “walking” cardio workout which clocks in at 45 minutes. It is part of the Walk Slim set released by Leslie earlier this year. The Walk Slim series is available at Leslie’s website and is also reportedly now showing up at retail.
“Three Fast Miles” is exactly that -- three fast miles. There are no walk boosters (upper body resistance tools) and no jogging intervals. After a short warm-up the pace gets fast and stays fast. Leslie starts off with her basic moves: walking (marching in place), side steps, kicks and knee-ups. However, she quickly introduces several variations -- some of which I recognize from her older (pre-Walk Away the Pounds) videos, like tap-outs and taking the side steps forwards and back, and some of which are new (Leslie does mambos!). Simple arm patterns are sometimes added. Don’t worry if you’re a choreography klutz (as I am) -- everything is still very easy to follow, and the increased variety really helps the miles fly by.
Now that she is producing her own videos you can see Leslie has really been listening to what her audience wants. Besides the quick pace, this workout is chaptered: warm-up, mile 1, mile 2, mile 3 and stretch. This means you can easily shorten up (or lengthen) the workout. A clock appears onscreen at 5 minute intervals to let you know how much longer to go. The music is very good -- and it is loud! But the sound is well balanced so you can still easily hear Leslie (and there is also a “Leslie off” option). The set is a bit dark (and obviously constructed on a budget) but this didn’t bother me.
It’s all ladies, ages 14 to almost 60, in Three Fast Miles. There is a “family” feel to the cast, which includes long-time Leslie walkers Mary Kay, Carol, Linda and Joanne (yeah, she’s still a grandmother!). The younger generation is represented by Leslie’s daughter, Marie, and Leslie's niece. At one point Leslie even has Mary Kay lead the workout for a while (a nice reference to her 1-2-3 Super Fat Burner tape where Mary Kay leads mile 2).
Three Fast Miles is appropriate for almost any level exerciser, and is especially good for those needing low impact and/or simple choreography. I know it will be a favorite in my Leslie collection.
She’s VERY "Leslie" here -- upbeat, enthusiastic, playful, chatty and giggly (sometimes almost giddy!). If you just couldn’t take Leslie’s personality before, this new set won’t change your mind about her. On the other hand, if your main complaint about Leslie is that her workouts are boring, the fast pace and better variety of steps in Three Fast Miles might be a good reason for you to take a look at the Walk Slim series.
May 15, 2007
I had this dvd sitting on my shelf for ages, untried, because I tend to do the shorter workouts in the set. A few recent comments from other Leslie fans prompted me to try it out. I am glad I did! This is among Leslie's tougher workouts, and a nice addition to my routine.
This workout has the same black set as the others in the series, with a few cartoon-style sayings stuck to the wall. I would have preferred a plain black set, personally, but I suppose it isn't a huge issue. Leslie works out with a fit-seeming cast who vary in age from her teenage daughter to the usual mom-and-grandma types. Her niece is also in the workout, and she makes several comments about working out with her family.
What made this workout seem faster-paced to me were the frequent changes in the early miles. Leslie doesn't stick with any move for too long and goes back and forth among her favourites in short, fast sets. There is not a long of arm movement in this one compared to some of her others. I think her 3-mile Power Walk has the most varied arm work; this one just has a few claps and arm raises. On the plus, the legs get some welcome new moves—a mambo, some double lifts and steps, and a side turning tap. In the last mile, she does some endurance rounds with these.
Leslie still announces the mile marks, but doesn't call the half mile, and she has replaced the on-screen mile tracker with a countdown clock which pops up from time to time. I preferred the mile marker, and missed being told the half-miles had been reached. But, I appreciate that Leslie is experimenting with varying the format. If she does some more circuit-style routines like Walk Strong or Walk & Kick, those would be very welcome indeed.
So, will I use this workout again? Maybe. It did feel harder and tougher to me. Clearly, I need to do more endurance-type work. But for a 3-mile walk, I really like her Power Walk for its varied arm movement. I wish there was something to set this one apart aside from its length.
I’m reviewing this workout after doing it 3 or 4 times.
General workout breakdown: This walking workout runs 45 minutes. There’s no separate warm-up; you dive right in with smaller moves done at a brisk pace, then pick up the pace even more and go to full moves after about 3.5 mins. The first mile, which works up to quite a fast pace, runs about 12 min.; the second is 8 min.; and the third is about 11.5 min. After the third mile, Leslie spends almost 4 min. cooling down, then finishes with about 2 min. of stretching.
As with all of Leslie’s walking videos, there’s no real choreography, no routines (and thus no TIFTing), etc. You simply do a step until Leslie has you return to walking. In addition to walking in place, steps include side step, knee lift, little front kicks, kickback (hamstring curl), walk three & tap, tap out, mambo, grapevine, and mini squats as well as a few arm variations (reach up, reach out, etc.).
Level: I’d recommend this to experienced beginner through solidly intermediate exercisers. Because of the quick pace, the expectation that you’re familiar with most of the moves, and the brief portion led by a microphone-less instructor, this is not as suitable for absolute beginners to exercise as many of Leslie’s other workouts. Intermediates will find this a surprisingly effective low impact workout; they could even boost it into intermediate + territory by adding in a little impact (e.g. skater hops instead of side steps), carrying 1-3 lb. in each hand, etc. I’m normally an intermediate / advanced exerciser, and I enjoy this workout. While doing this today I definitely worked up a sweat and felt my heartrate climb, and I know that wasn’t just because I’ve been sick recently and am a little out of shape.
Class: 6 women, aged 14 to almost 60, join Leslie, who instructs live. The participants are four of Leslie’s usual instructors (Carol, Linda, “Grandma” Jo, and Mary Kay) plus her daughter (Marie) and niece (Christine). Mary Kay takes over for Leslie for a couple of minutes, but unfortunately she’s not wearing a microphone.
Music: mix of upbeat instrumental and (remade) pop songs (“It Takes Two,” “I Got You / I Feel Good,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Respect,” “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” “We Are Family,” and “I Got a New Attitude”). It’s a little bit on the quiet side but still audible.
Set: studio with wooden floors and black curtains along the walls, the latter hung with speech bubbles with “Walk yourself…” statements.
Production: clear picture and sound. There are lots of different camera angles, most of which are helpful. There are some times when the camera doesn’t show someone’s feet during a change in moves, comes in from an oblique angle, etc., however. And once or twice one camera catches sight of another in a shot.
Text appears on the screen to announce when you’ve completed a mile or to reinforce one of Leslie’s points. Every 5 min., a countdown timer appears on the screen for 30 seconds; it remains for the entire last 5 min.
Space Requirements: If you can step to each side and kick in front of you, you have enough space, although you might have to stay in place for some series. If you can take a step or two forward or backward as well, you have enough space to the workout as is.
DVD Notes: The main menu selections are Introduction, 3 Fast Miles!, Chapters (warm up, mile 1, mile 2, mile 3, stretch), Music Only Workout, and Credits.
I have one of the first issues, which came in a DVD case which also contained Walk Slim Fast Start. The labels on the discs themselves were switched, but the menus and all other material on screen are correct.
Comments: This might be my favorite Leslie workout. (OK, I have to admit I have a relatively small number of Leslie’s vast output, but still.) The pace is great, the variety keeps me interested, and the time flies by. Leslie seems like she’s having fun. And, as a somewhat younger person, I enjoy working out with Leslie’s daughter and niece; it’s nice to see younger people doing Leslie’s workouts, too. You know, if this has a cheerier set, it would be even better, but I still enjoy it just as it is.
Leslie is Leslie – positive, non-intimidating, encouraging, and talkative. She seems a little more relaxed here, among her good friends and young relatives. What I mean is that her enthusiasm seems a little forced or over the top in some of her more recent videos, but here her bubbliness and chattiness seems to be a result of her genuinely having a lot of fun with her “sisters in sweat.” Leslie’s not the most precise cuer, but she does let you know what the next move is. As usual, she tends to point towards the leg or direction she wants to use or go, but she doesn’t mind if you’re mirroring her or not.
February 27, 2008
Of the all the Walk Slim series workouts, this one is my favorite. The pace is fast but not too fast like the 4 Mile Walk, and there is no interval-like stuff (found in the Fast Start! workout). It's just a good, classic Leslie walking with some cardio-like variations for variety.
For example, side steps turn into side "lunges" between the 1 mile and 2 mile marker. Knee ups are not just one on each side, but she goes up to doing 4 on one side, then switching. The effect is slightly more cardio oriented than just plain walking, but as with any Leslie, you can modify up or down.
The music in this one is good, just simple house-style techno that isn't way out like some of the others in this series. They've also quit doing weird camera angles and showing the cameramen, which I found distracting.
The only downside: I wish this one had the mile meter like her WATP series, but it's not a deal breaker. Leslie let's you know when you hit each mile, so if you only want to do 2 miles that day, you can easily chapter forward to the cool down.
I can see using this workout more than the others, and I really think this is the best of the new stuff.
Leslie is chatty, but not too manic in this workout.