Short Cuts - Upper Body

Leslie Sansone
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Upper Body Strength

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I love Leslieís walking workouts, and was hoping this rare non-walking Leslie workout would give me a strength option that I could use to do a complete Leslie-only rotation. I have not in the past been too impressed with Leslieís non-walking efforts---the walks are really her strength, no pun intended, and this set didnít really change my mind in that regard. But if you are a devout Leslie fan and want to get some strength work in, this will do the job just fine.

Leslieís premise is essentially that the Ďshortcutí to fitness is to work to fatigue as opposed to counting out reps and sets (although she briefly counsels you to count by all means if you really want to). She structures each exercise as one long set, encouraging you to take breaks when you need to and stop when you feel tired. She takes a bit too much time setting up some of the exercises, and is as usual chattering almost constantly. But she manages to get in about 20 reps on most of her exercises, and she lifts as a smooth, comfortable and slow pace. You could easily go heavy with this workout, and you also have plenty of time to break each exercise into sets if you do prefer that.

Leslie starts with a five-minute walking warm-up featuring the usual moves from her walking tapes. She also briefly runs through each of the strength moves during this section, getting your arms used to the movement. Then, itís onto the first batch of exercises---biceps curl, lateral raise, triceps overhead press on the right side, then on the left side. Each exercise gets a nice, long set. Then she does this ridiculous combo set where you run the whole thing together and do one quick rep of each in a circuit. This is repeated several times. I thought it was ridiculous. These are not exercises that necessarily flow together really well in such a format, and it didnít feel like we were accomplishing much beyond flinging our arms around. In future workouts, I would probably substitute a set of push-ups here, as there wonít be any other chest work later.

The second set of exercises are done one arm at a time: triceps kickback, a one-arm row, and then a combo of the two. Unlike the previous combo, these two exercises actually do flow together okay and this felt okay. You do all three sets on one arm, then switch arms and repeat the whole thing. Then she concludes with one quick set of reverse flies, and double-arm rows. Thatís it!

My only two major eye rolls were the insane speed set combo thing of one rep each in the first round, which I plan to modify out, and the absurd length of time it takes her to set up for the second round, with the kickbacks. I might just keep going with my push-up modification for that part on future attempts. But as for the rest of it, itís a solid group of exercises, and at only one set each, the boredom factor is low. I like that you can go heavy with this and get in a decent amount of reps. I do think though that you really have to be a Leslie fan to like this workout. If you are not a fan, there are as good or better strength routines out there which will accomplish the same goals. And her chattering will drive you crazy. But for Leslie fans, this is a nice option to round out an all-Leslie rotation. It gets the job done.

Instructor Comments:



This video is set in the same studio as her Walk the Walk Cardio. It looks like someone's comfy living room with wooden floors and a dining area.

She works most muscles of the upper body while sitting in a chair. There is no chest work. Bicep curls, lateral raises, single-arm french press, lat rows, tricep kickbacks, etc. Some exercises are done in combination.

She does not count reps, but instead works to the point of fatigue. I used 5 lb weights and my triceps were burning by the time it all ended. The workout ends with a series of upper body stretches.

I don't normally like Leslie's strength work although I love most of her cardio workouts. This video surprised me - it is a solid workout that will give you results.

The music is quiet instrumental.

Instructor Comments:
Leslie teaches this one solo. She is calm and takes care explaining the exercises.