Walk Away the Pounds Express: Super ChallengeLeslie Sansone
Year Released: 2002
Categories: Walking Aerobics
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This is the longest of Leslie's new Express walks, the 4 mile super challenge. The set has brick walls, big windows, and a bare floor. There is quite a host of background exercisers, all in black, all with big smiles, all with slightly different form. The workout starts out slowly with the warmup, gets more brisk for mile one, VERY brisk for miles two and three, and slows down again for mile four. The cooldown is part of mile 4 as opposed to coming AFTER mile four. I would say that this workout is a little more vigorous than typical Leslie, but still, of course, quite doable. I am an intermediate exerciser and stayed in the low-to-middle range of my THR, worked up a nice little sweat, and felt energized when I was done. There isn't too much to say about a Leslie workout. She uses her usual four steps, walking in place, knee lifts, side steps, kicks, and adds in hamstring curls, double side steps, and even a grapevine during the cooldown! Unweighted upper body movements add intensity at times throughout the workout. The music is better than generic but not great. It definitely has a good beat and is energizing. Leslie is her usual perky, talky, encouraging, enthusiastic, but always completely sincere self. She talks about your blood circulating, your joints lubricating, oxygen flowing, body balancing, muscles strengthening, sweat cooling you, how well you'll sleep, how SMART you are, and basically convinces you that doing this walk means that you are not only healthy as a horse but a completely wonderful human being!
The choreography is simple, the intensity is adaptable but generally intermediate, the patter is health-focused and encouraging, what's not to like? The workout is 57 minutes long and well worth the time.
Leslie is very chatty and encouraging. I like that. But if you don't, don't say I didn't warn you! Leslie's chattiness is not irritating, in my opinion, because she is just being LESLIE. It's definitely her real personality, not a put-on.
Background: I currently do intermediate-level workouts (by Collage standards) for cardio. Iím recovering from a bad hip injury, so Iím trying to do mostly low impact cardio with basic-to-moderate choreography.
I wasn't sure what I'd think of a 4-mile walk with Leslie. For longer cardio workouts, I generally prefer more complex choreography or Firm-style workouts (with a new routine or activity every few minutes). I pick up choreography easily, but sometimes I don't want to think! On those days, I usually choose Firm cardios or shorter Leslie workouts (2 miles). Leslie's workouts have really helped me during recovery from a bad hip injury, but I catch myself watching the clock during these workouts because the choreography is very basic and repetitive.
Surprisingly, this 4-mile workout didn't seem so long. :) The choreography is still basic, but there is more variety than in the 1-3 mile Express workouts. There are double side steps, double ham curls, moving forward and back, and other simple variations on her usual steps. There are even grapevines at the end of mile 4! There are no pivots or turns. She doesn't use the "stretchie" in this workout.
The walking pace picks up sometime during mile 1. Miles 2 and 3 are very brisk. The pace gradually slows down during mile 4. I'd say that this is an intermediate-level workout (by Collage standards). I think that Leslie saved the best music in the Express series for the 4-mile walk. The music is much better than the music in the other Leslie workout series that I have. I recognized most of the music from Cathe and/or CIA workouts.
I havenít tried to do this workout on a rebounder, but I think that most of it would be easy to adapt to the rebounder. Many of the steps are done in one spot, so you would only have to modify when Leslie starts moving around the room. Iíve done some of Leslieís shorter workouts on the rebounder (1 and 2 mile walks from the original WAP set and WAP Express), and I found them very easy to adapt.
Leslie does talk constantly, which will annoy some people. Most of the chatter is about being healthy for life, or is friendly encouragement. There isn't too much talk that is specifically about weight loss, which is good news to people who find weight loss talk annoying. Leslie doesnít talk down to her audience either, which is nice. :)
Now for a few things I didn't like about this workout:
Leslie does a tap-switch several times during the workout, for no apparent reason. No wonder half of the class is on the wrong foot at any given time! This isn't a huge problem during a Leslie workout, but it is annoying. Sometimes there is a short gap between songs, which is also annoying and makes it harder to catch the beat of the new track and start on the correct foot. A few times, you will be doing one move for a long time (like knee-ups) because Leslie will be talking about something and won't want to stop to cue a new move!
This workout (and every other workout in the WAP Express series) begins with a very annoying "walk, power walk" song. Luckily, the more I hear it, the easier it is to ignore. I thought it would drive me nuts the first time I heard it! The stretching segment is inadequate because there are no stretches for the quadriceps and hip flexors. Be sure to add these stretches after the workout!
Unfortunately, the DVD version of this workout isnít chaptered! I wish they had put a chapter at each mile marker. If you just want to do part of the workout, you will have to FF or ďsearch by timeĒ (if your DVD player has this function). Here are some convenient time points:
end of warm-up: 5:40
1-mile marker: 16:02
2-mile marker: 28:26
3-mile marker: 42:32
beginning of cooldown: 49:40
4-mile marker: 54:46
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a long, low-impact aerobic workout with very basic choreography and an encouraging, chatty instructor, this would be a good choice.
See the review for instructor comments.
Leslie Sansone Express 4 Mile Super Challenge
This walking workout is 57 minutes in length. Intensity-wise, it depends on what you put into it. I went all-out and got a moderate-to-moderate/high intensity workout. There are no props used in this workout, even though it is part of a DVD set that includes the 'stretchie' band. The set is very large, clean, and well-lit. The flooring is hard and shiny, and the walls are brick. The production value. on the whole, is very high. All of Leslie's crew are dressed in similar black outfits.
The moves you will do are straight walking in place, side-to-side steps, knee-ups, front kicks, hamstring curls, and some double side-to-side steps, some walk-up and walk-backs. all the moves, at one time or another, and throughout the body of the workout, incorporate long lever arm movements. this helps a lot with the intensity, as you can really extend your arms while working the lower body movements, and get a good workout. Leslie's banter is fine; she is chatty as usual. I don't think her banter here is as engaging as it can be in some of her other workouts, but she's fine here- typical Leslie. the music is the same music Cathe used for Cardio Kicks. I love this soundtrack, and am very pleased that Leslie used it here.
This is a very good workout for an int/ adv exerciser who wants a low-impact, full-body movement workout, with no- brainer choreography, that is gentle on the body, but vigorous. This would be a great workout to modify with weighted gloves or by holding 1-2 lb hand weights to up the intensity. The moves, both upper and lower body, are simple enough that weight could easily and comfortably be added for most of the workout.
This is the longest Leslie workout I have. I was at first wary of getting it because I already have the 1&2 mile express and worried this would feel exactly the same. It does feel similar (as all Leslie workouts do, she seldom varies the program) but it turned out to be a nice addition to my collection.
The workout features the same set as the other Express workouts (and the same annoying faux vocal warm-up music) but Leslie and the usual background class have different clothes. They also get into the faster part of the workout impressively quickly, right after the warm-up. This was a nice change from the other Leslies I have, where it does not really get interesting until the half-mile mark. Unlike the other Express workouts, we donít use any stretchie bands or toys in this, and the little pop-up progress meter only appears every mile instead of every half-mile.
Many Vfers have often complained that Leslie talks too much. I never really noticed that until this workout. Perhaps the longer length just made me more aware of it. But for me it was not a deal-breaker. I really like Leslieís workouts and am happy to have another one for variety.
Leslie leads a group of exercisers in a large, loft-like set. She goes through her usual four or five moves. For those that donít like a lot of chatter, her constant stream of conversation may be too much. I like how she introduces people she has apparently known for a long time. Some also may find her too bubbly.
This workout would not be intense enough for me if I didnít add some weights in my hands, at least, part of the time. With it running an hour, it is a nice long cardio session.
She is bubbly, warm and supportive. She also talks A LOT.
NAME Leslie Sansone
DURATION 60 minutes
MUSIC Generic stuff, but great beat.
IMPACT Low impact
Let me preface this by saying that I consider myself a high intermediate/low advanced exerciser. Meaning, I love my high intensity cardio by Amy Bento, Christi Taylor, and Cathe Friedrich. I thought that I would use Leslie on my lighter days and I didn't think that I wouldn't burn too many calories with her workout. Boy was I surprised when I popped in this DVD!
Leslie's Walk Away the Pounds Express: Super Challenge is a four mile low impact walking DVD. If anyone is familiar with Leslie or walking DVDs in general, you will know that "walking" DVDs really means low impact, basic aerobics. Leslie uses four basic steps in her workout - walking in place, knee lifts, side steps, and kicks. But she'll spice up the routine by adding in V-steps, toe taps, hamstring curls, grapevines, moving back and forth, and double sidesteps. She also incorporates some basic arm movements to up the intensity. There are also different tempos throughout the workout.
Leslie is accompanied by a bevy of background exercisers, all different ages, shapes, and ethnicities. The set has brick walls, big windows, and a wooden bare floor. Leslie chats throughout the workout with her backgrounders, sometimes inane stuff, but sometimes it's motivational or informational.
This workout is meant to measure out at four miles. Does it actually do that? I don't know, but I had a good time anyway.
PROS: This workout is great! It can be modified up or down with very little effort. Side steps can become skiers, marching in place can become jogging in place, and you can even use light hand weights without too much effort. This workout is also extrememly rebounder friendly and can be used in a small space. Since Leslie chatters throughout the DVD and the tempo changes quite a bit, it keeps one from getting bored. And, if you just want to zone out but still get in a workout, this workout is a great choice. Also, it's low impact. What more could you ask for?
CONS: Leslie talks A LOT and her voice, at least to me, can be a little shrill at times. Also, at the last mile, she started the cool down. I would have rathered if she had kept the pace up through the 4 miles and then had something seperate for a cooldown. And speaking of the cooldown, the stretching at the end is poor. Do your own!
OVERALL: This is a wonderful addition to my collection. I don't think that I will have too many Leslies (as the moves can all tend to look alike and her voice would drive me batty) but I think I will keep this one. I burned 450 calories without stressing my knees or hip, and my average heart rate was also pretty high! I was sweating at the end. And I like that I can modify up or down. A definite keeper.
Leslie seems like a very sincere, warm person. She is very encouraging, and I like that.