Walk Away the PoundsLeslie Sansone
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Walking Aerobics
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For first time exercisers, this is perhaps the best video set out there. If you've been sedentary and are overweight, out of shape or any combination of those things, this is a great place to start. While I think Richard Simmons is more fun, these tapes have a more modest pace and much easier choreography (basically, they have none) than anything Simmons has made.
Leslie uses four steps as the core of her workout- marching, side steps, knee lifts and kicks. She also adds in double side steps, marching forward and back and hamstring curls (she calls them kick backs). She also uses only a few different arm motions (I thnk she loves the overhead press) so everything is very easy to catch on.
The music is just there- sometimes its too soft, but mostly it barely even registers so it can't be that bad or good. This makes a good cardio program for a beginner, but it is not a total program. There's barely any stretching and no lower body work. The only upper body work are endless shoulder exercises, so you would definitely need to add something for your upper body too.
What is annoying about this workout, and why it bugs me to recommend it, is two things- Leslie looses the beat a LOT. Really, in such an easy workout, keeping the beat should be a no-brainer. And more bothersome, Leslie goes on and on about the progam and the balls. She keeps yelping about how much she loves them and how great the workout is. She sounds so honestly thrilled you'd think she'd just brought us world peace or something.
Really, there is nothing revolutionary here- this is a basic, basic workout, geared toward beginners who want or need simple, non-choreographed programs at a moderate pace.
Leslie is an ideal instructor for beginners- very enthusiastic, friendly and encouraging. She offers modifications and instucts people to do what they need to get the workout they need. However, she talks endlessly, mostly about how great the workout is and how wonderful the weighted balls are. It does wear on the nerves.
This is a three-tape set: 1-Mile Walk, which is 20 minutes; 2-Mile Walk which is 30 minutes, and 3-Mile Walk, which is 45 minutes. All three tapes are fairly similar, although she does increase the BPM in the two and three mile tapes.
The tapes are uncomplicated. The set is basic, and the background exercisers (women of various ages and body types, and one man) seem natural and unrehearsed. The clothes have similar colour schemes (blue tones, orange tones) but don't really match per se. This is definitely a less polished production than most videos out there, but it's still a fun tape with a few useful innovations.
These tapes champion low impact, low complexity. The knee-up is literally the most complicated thing Leslie does, and she even tells you to modify this if it gives you trouble. She combines simple marches with varying stances, knee-ups, toe touches and the like with sweeping, full-range upper body moves. In the latter stages of each tape, she adds weighted balls to the upper body arsenal. I'm not sure how much extra effect this has. I was using dumbbells, and I suppose I could keep upping them, but there is only so far you can go weight-wise while doing walking without sacrificing safety. The focus was definitely cardio; a true beginner might see some muscle tone improvements, and I suppose it is better than using no weights at all, ever. But this is not a weight-training tape.
The workouts all have the same predictable pattern of moves, but the progress graph keeps it from getting too tedious. At various intervals, the graph will pop up and show how much of the workout is left. This was very motivating as it was easy to lose perspective of time if doing the same moves over and over again. Leslie also keeps up a steady stream of encouraging chatter.
I generally prefer machines for cardio as I cannot handle choreography very well. For me, this tape will be a nice alternative. It is definitely less intense than something like stepping or the firm, but when I got this set, I was coming off an illness and really needed something that wouldn't leave me too out of breath. It's also a good tape for days when you know you should workout, but you just don't feel like doing anything. Women who are larger up top might also find this tape useful because it is VERY low impact. I appreciated Leslie's using background exercisers with this body type as it is rare to see in workouts.
This is a great workout---if you know what to use it for. Cathe and Christi fans will probably never go near it with a ten-foot pole, and even a choreo-klutz like me would probably find the forty-five minute tape a bit boring. But the 2-mile half hour paired with some stretching or pilates would make a perfect I'm tired/sick/that time of the month kind of workout, and those that are looking for a nice, light workout that still feels like something might enjoy this tape a lot.
3 videos, with weighted balls, recipes, vitamins; currently advertised on infomercial.
While this program did take about 3 weeks to get here when ordered via the infomercial, it was worth the wait. I really love it - the tapes are about the best production Leslie's ever done. It has 3 tapes - 1 mile, 2 mile, and 3 mile - and each one has a weight component that involves walking with 2 lb. weighted balls that are like the Green Genie balls. If you've done Leslie's tapes before, you know what to expect - an easy to follow workout that still can make you sweat if you put your all into it, and then Leslie's personality, which is funny, and encouraging, and very down to earth (Leslie has never seemed interested in working out to make you beautiful or sexy, but to keep you healthy, and I really appreciate that!) Here, the workout is similar to her others, though the pace is faster than usual, at least for several minutes preceding the walking with weights, and at that point, the pace slows a bit (still a good pace, though).
Now, a couple of things. First, the balls are good, but I found myself straining my neck some using them, so instead I got out my walking weights that go around my palm (about $7 or so at Tarzhay, I mean Target!), and that's made the weight walking part much more comfortable, but still effective (and I still use the balls for the 1 mile walk). Also, this is the best she's ever had as far as production values - nice large set, the cast all in coordinated clothing (good cast too - esp. the woman behind her who looks really good for 51!), and music that isn't too low and has a beat perfectly in sync with the pace. I've noticed too that nowhere in the entire package does she mention WalkAerobics, so I'm wondering if this is a whole new series that she's embarking on (and there's a separate website too: www.walkawaythepounds.com ).
Also, you get a booklet explaining the program, with a calendar showing a 21 day schedule, and which walk to do which day (I'm now in my second week, and feeling really good!); you also get recipe cards that correspond with each of those days, and while I haven't used these (I don't cook at all, unless you count nuking a Lean Cuisine!), the recipes look pretty good.
All in all, if you like Leslie (and I love her), or need a simpler program to follow, or even just have a small space to work out in, this is a great program.
My son bought this set for me for my 40th birthday! I'd seen the commercial several times and thought these tapes would be a lot of fun. I collect exercise videos and currently have about 65! I did the two mile walk a few days ago and I loved it!!!! I like Leslie's style and I love the fact that that she has regular looking people of ALL ages in this set of videos. This is the first time that I have ever owned any of her videos and I can honestly say that I will be reaching for these tapes on a regular basis. The balls really had some sweat to the workout!! I rally like Leslie! I have a lot of videos but I only LOVE a few of them. I love these!!!!
I hate to admit it, but I found these tapes disappointing. I am a Leslie fan; she has a delightful personality and I usually enjoy her nice, simple, low-impact workouts. This time I found myself turned off by the commercialism of the Walk Away the Pounds operation, and bored by the workouts. I have not used the weight balls, and tend to doubt that they would add much to the experience. I would not hesitate to recommend some of Leslie's older tapes such as the old 2 Mile Walk, but I don't think I'll be getting more of the new Leslie.
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.
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.
Unlike other reviewers at videofitness.com, I am not a dancer, nor am I very coordinated. I HATE to stumble over a video a few times to learn the steps. I just want a good work out without having to risk breaking my neck with complicated dance moves that require years of study with the American Ballet Theater to master them. That's why I like Leslie's DVDs. For a beginning exerciser there is no learning curve. You just get up and move. I also like that there are exercisers of all ages and body types working out with Leslie. The music is a little stodgy but I don't find it too distracting. The moves are very simple. If you can walk, march, lift your knees, and side step, you can do these tapes! Best of all, these tapes are very motivating. After doing these tapes for 4 weeks, I have lost 6 pounds and increased my confidence enough to try other tapes with (slightly) more difficult choreography. Overall, Leslie Sansone offers a great way to get started on an exercise program.
Leslie is great for beginning exercisers and the "choreographically challenged" like me. She's perky, supportive, and best of all, cues very well. My one complaint is that this woman has a very limited vocabulary. Leslie says everything is "nice, nice, nice." Someone get her a thesaurus please!