ShapelyGirl: Walking Fit and FabulousDebra Mazda
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Walking Aerobics
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I loved this workout! So nice to have other options besides Leslie for walking workouts. The choreography in this one is VERY basic so it's easy to follow along. I love seeing Quacker Factory Angel as one of the background exercisers. I normally cannot do more than a half hour of Leslie at a time because I get bored, but I did this whole workout and enjoyed it. I think Debra's cueing is a little off at times - when we did front kicks she referred to them as "leg lifts" which made it more difficult to anticipate what move was coming up. She also says "sashay" instead of "chasse", but several instructors have done the same.
Debra is very motivating.
I love this workout! I agree with almost everything the previous reviewer wrote - she did a great job of breaking down the workout.
I just want to add that I didn't notice the music, but I rarely do. I found this a nice change from Leslie, because Debra does do a lot of different steps and combos. I used 1lb weights for this (always wear 1 to 3 lbs with Leslie's) and had my HR in it's target zone for most of the workout.
I enjoyed the standing ab portion, but do agree the cool down and stretch were a wee bit lacking. Definitely a keeper.
Debra was great, very motivating. Her cueing was a bit off, but not a big deal in this type of workout.
This DVD features a low-impact “walking” style cardio workout. The main workout is 42 minutes long. After a brief stretch, seven minutes of standing core work follows, and then the workout concludes with a 10-minute bonus walk.
Debra leads background exercisers Tonya and Angel (familiar faces from her earlier DVDs) plus newcomers Lori and Lisa. The set is clean, bright and pleasant. Music is decent, but a little too soft for my preferences.
Chaptering is as follows: About Shapely Girl, Introduction, Beginner’s Walk, Fit and Fabulous Workout, Pre-mixes, Circle Time, and Credits. The Beginner’s Walk merely presents the first 14 minutes or so of the regular workout, then cuts off abruptly and returns to the DVD menu rather than skipping ahead to the cool-down – not what I would recommend for beginning exercisers! The pre-mixes are “Quick Fit and Fab Walk” (Quick Walk & Cool-Down, 32 minutes), “Bonus Fit & Fab Walk” (Warm-Up, Bonus Walk & Cool-Down, 16 minutes), “Long Fit & Fab Walk” (Full Walk, Bonus Walk & Cool-Down, 50 minutes), and “Fit & Fab Standing Abs” (Warm-Up & Standing Abs, 12 minutes). Circle Time is a 23-minute discussion among the cast about the fitness and nutritional challenges facing plus-size women.
Okay, so how does Debra’s workout compare to Leslie Sansone, the queen of walking workouts? Pretty well, actually. There are of course side-steps, knee-ups, kicks and hamstring curls, just like Leslie. But Debra puts in some different stuff like V-steps, a fun “starburst” move, “quick feet” (think the football drills from Turbo Jam), sashays, and a “wedding march” that was slightly tricky but interesting to try. There were some combos, which Leslie rarely does. Debra also changes the lead leg from time to time, which Leslie doesn’t bother with. Interesting fact: Kelly Coffey-Meyers is co-credited with Debra Mazda for choreography of this workout. I'm an intermediate exerciser, and I felt the overall intensity was nicely challenging and comparable to similar Leslies (i.e. those Leslie workouts that don't feature jogging intervals or upper body resistance).
There are some drawbacks. Debra’s cueing isn’t always the best – she sometimes cues on the move rather than before, and other times she cues waaaay before the change. As previously noted, I thought the music was too soft – but again, at least it was different from Leslie’s familiar library of workout tunes (and the notorious “Everybody” song wasn’t on it LOL!). I didn’t care for Debra's stretch, which concentrated on the upper body rather than the legs. The standing core work was okay but nothing special.
Overall, though, this was a workout I really enjoyed. Low-impact “walking” workouts are my cardio mainstay. I do love Leslie and do her workouts often, but sometimes I just need a change. Debra and her crew are a refreshing alternative. I’m pleased to add Walking Fit and Fabulous to my cardio workout library.
Debra Mazda has an earthy, warm demeanor and is very encouraging to beginners. She believes “fitness comes in all sizes.” Debra herself once weighed over 300 lbs., so she truly understands the challenges of the plus-size exerciser. Her website is www.debramazda.com.