5k With A Twist

Leslie Sansone
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Walking Aerobics

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once all the way through.

General workout breakdown: This is a 44.5-min. walking workout of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles; determined by the music’s bpm). There is no separate warm-up, but the first song of the first mile (16.5 min. total) starts off slower, with the next song building on that intensity until you get to the main pace. The second mile is the fastest (11 min.), and the last mile (14 min.) ends with a cool-down (~2 min.; this is the 0.1 mile that gets you to the 5K mark) of very gentle walking. Leslie’s usual quick stretch (3 min.) for the upper body and back of the leg closes this out. Each mile ends with 2 min. of boosted walking (aka jogging). Oh, and there’s a quick water break at the beginning of the 3rd mile.
As with all of Leslie’s workouts, this is not about choreography; you simply repeat whatever step you’re doing until Leslie says to switch. In addition to the four basic steps – walking (or marching in place), side steps, knee lifts, and (front) kicks – Leslie mixes in steps like wide marches, kickbacks (or hamstring curls), wide knee lifts, double knee lifts (or repeaters), double side steps, grapevines, walk up 2 & back 2, tap outs and side lunges, and walk 3 & tap, plus a few arm variations. During the boosted walking portions she does jogging, little kicks, and high knees.

Level: I’d recommend this to beginner / intermediates through maybe even high intermediates. The faster pace could be too much for those absolutely brand new to exercise, but those who have done boosted walking with Leslie before shouldn’t have a problem. Those at the int. / adv. level of fitness can find ways to boost the intensity: adding light hand weights (1-3 lbs.), adding impact (e.g. turning side steps into skater hops, switching over to jogging sooner), taking this to a piece of equipment (e.g. rebounder), etc.
I consider myself an int. / adv. in cardio; I normally do hi/lo or step aerobics, kickboxing, etc., but nowhere near a puke in the bucket level. This gave me a good little workout without much modification.

Class: Leslie alone, who instruct live.

Music: upbeat instrumentals and a few vocals. I’ve heard some of it before, whether in other Leslies or other workouts, but not too much. Leslie uses the same song for each interval; it’s the one she uses in 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk (and thus not “Everybody”).

Set: Leslie’s indoor studio, a large room with wooden floors and black curtains along the walls and some posters of active people plus a portrait of Leslie and her walk leaders, although in this installment Leslie is in the corner in front of the reception area. Oh, and she has a water and a towel on a circular stage thingy, just for that tiny something different.

Production: The sound and picture are clear. The music is at a good volume, IMO, still audible but not overwhelming Leslie’s instruction. The camera angles are mostly helpful except for the artsy one taken from the floor, especially when it’s turned somewhat sideways.
During the video a little sweep of color with text announcing the steps or reinforcing Leslie’s points (including “walk, walk, walk” – oh, yes, she did!) appears occasionally at the bottom of the screen.

Equipment: sneakers.

Space Requirements: Although you can always stay in place when Leslie starts traveling, it’s probably best if you can take a couple of big steps side to side as well as move up and back a few steps.

DVD Notes: The main menu offers you the choice to play all or select a mile; you can choose to do the workout as is or with music only. Neither the cool-down and/or the stretch seem to be chaptered separately and certainly can’t be reached from the main menu.

Comments: The “twist” seems to be that unlike a normal 5K walk / jog you involve lots of different muscles by shaking up the moves. But for me the only real twist is that the title has “K” instead of “Mile.” This is a pretty standard recent release from Leslie. In fact, in some ways, such as format, it’s a lot like 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk, with the 2 minutes of jogging at the end of each mile. Unlike 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk, Leslie is alone for all three miles here, and there’s slightly more variation in moves (particularly in the jogging – Leslie does the same steps in both but doesn’t do them in the same order each time in 5K). As someone who’s drawn to Leslie’s newer releases like the Walk Slim series, 3 Mile Weight Loss Walk, 5 Day Slim Down, and 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk, I find this a worthy addition to those.

Instructor Comments:
Leslie is, as always, positive, upbeat, and encouraging. She’s not the most consistent or clearest cuer, but given the simplicity of the choreography it doesn’t really matter, including if you mirror her or not. Leslie is chatty, with reminders about posture, congratulations for making healthy choices, etc. She’s a little less goofy here than in her videos with other walkers.