5 Mega MilesLeslie Sansone
Year Released: 2013
Categories: Walking Aerobics
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NOTE: I received a free copy of this DVD to review for the web site Metapsychology Online Reviews; please see that web site for a more detailed version of my review.
As the title of this DVD suggests, the workout consists of five total miles, but each mile is chaptered individually, allowing users to customize their workout length. In addition, the DVD comes with a resistance band: this band is used during two of the segments to provide a strength training effect along with the cardio workout.
As always, instructor Leslie Sansone is teaching live with a group of about eight background exercisers (she has the same group in all the routines, although their outfits and positions change). The Main Menu lists selections for "Play Full Workout" and also the five miles individually, each with a "Play" and "Play with Music Only" option. I have provided additional details below.
WARM-UP (5 minutes)
The warm-up can be accessed by choosing the "Play All" option only. Here Sansone sets the pace for the walk as well as introduces her "core" steps, which include walking (really marching), side step, kicks, and knees.
MILE 1, CLASSIC LOW IMPACT (15 minutes)
This is a very typical Leslie Sansone walk which includes all of her classic steps (not only those mentioned above but also hamstring curls, step outs, etc.). As the name implies, the walk is mostly low impact, although Sansone does work in a jog burst towards the end (no modifier is shown).
MILE 2, WALK AND TONE (15 minutes)
This is the first segment which uses the band. Sansone does a nice job of incorporating arm movements using the band into a walk that is still at a brisk pace. However, there are also periods when she does not use the band and focuses on the cardio only.
MILE 3, SPEED INTERVAL (13.5 minutes)
This segment is a bit shorter; Sansone notes that this is because the pace is faster. There are more of what Sansone terms "gentle jogs" included here, but this time, one of the background exercisers, Brianna, modifies the impact moves.
MILE 4, STRENGTH INTERVALS (13 minutes)
The band is again used for this section. However, unlike Mile 2, which used the band concurrently with the cardio, here Sansone alternates the cardio and strength work. She begins with a fast-paced walk (about 5 minutes). She then stops and anchors the band under one foot for a set of static lunges; these are repeated on the second side. Another fast walk sequence follows, and then a set of double bicep curls/alternating bicep curls with the band. After the final fast walk, Sansone finishes this mile with squats and single-arm tricep extensions.
MILE 5, AB WALK (15 minutes)
This mile is intended to focus more on the abs/core. There are extra rotational movements, and Sansone also adds in a few other new moves such as cha-cha and grapevine.
COOL-DOWN (5 minutes)
Here Sansone introduces a new walker: Laurie, who has lost 140 lbs. The majority of the cool-down is consists simply of slowing down the walk pace, with the last minute or so including some very basic stretching.
As noted above, the main advantage of this DVD is the chaptered format, allowing users to customize a workout of a single mile to five full miles, or fifteen minutes to well over an hour. (It would have been even better had the Warm-Up and Cool-Down been chaptered separately as well, but users can skip to these sections easily enough using a remote.) Another nice feature of this release is that all of the miles are performed at a brisk pace, which should make this video more appealing to a wider range of exercisers. In summary, this is one of the best, most versatile offerings that I have seen from Leslie Sansone, and I definitely recommend it.
I can deal with Leslie best in small doses, so the chaptered format of this DVD worked well for me. I probably liked Miles 2 (the toning band used for cardio felt nice here), 3 (which moved quickly), and 5 (due to the abs focus) the best.
Leslie is back with another of her longer walks, and this one has new music! The setting is bright and cheery, and there are a variety of exercisers along with Leslie (who, by the way, is wearing heavier eye make-up than usual. It’s not terrible, but I noticed it!)
The DVD begins with a 5-minute warmup in which she introduces the steps: walking, side steps, kicks, knee lifts, and kickbacks (hamstring curls); she also introduces the use of arms in the warm-up. Now I know this is nothing new to long-time Leslie lovers, but it is probably helpful to newbies.
First up was the Classic Low Impact Walk. After five minutes of basic walking (including all of the steps shown in the warmup), Leslie picks up the pace, and a timer is shown in the lower bottom corner for the last 10 minutes. This walk had a lot of great, positive energy. The music was new; it wasn’t super-fantastic, but it was better than “so-so.”
Next was Walk & Tone with the band. I normally don’t like bands because they pinch my hands, but Leslie was wearing gloves, so I tried this. It wasn’t perfect (for me), but it didn’t pinch, either. We used the band quite a bit in the first five minutes of this walk; chest presses, lat pulls, etc. She used the band in some interesting way, including an “arrow” pull and one move where you hold the band with one hand at about chest level and the other about hip level, then alternate lifting your knees to bring them up to the band at hip level. Yeah, you can just do knee lifts, but using the band gave you a “target” which was kinda fun.
The third walk was the Speed Interval Mile. This was an energetic mile where Leslie jogs, shifts her weight from side to side, and does skaters. She also did punches, but she turned her body to the side and brought the back arm forward for a cross punch which felt a little awkward to me; I began doing front jabs instead, which made more sense AND felt way better. All in all, I enjoyed this mile.
Next up was Strength Intervals where we alternated fast walking with lunges, bicep curls, squats, and tricep kickbacks. I used light handweights instead of the band for this workout. I’m pretty sure Leslie said it was alright!
The last walk was the Ab Walk, where we walked, did side steps, knee lifts, kicks, kickbacks (hamstring curls), tapouts, mambos, cha-chas, skaters, running man, and grapevines. This was a fun walk.
The walks were followed by a short cool down and brief stretch (mostly deep breathing while lifting and lowering arms.) The only real complaint I have about this DVD is that there was no “mix and match” option. I would have enjoyed being about to pick and choose the miles I wanted to do, then hit play and do them all. Unfortunately, you have to go back to the beginning menu if you want to do additional miles (except for Play All.)
One of the great things about working out with Leslie is that you can always bump up the intensity on days when you’re feeling particularly energetic. For example, side steps can become jumps or skaters, double side steps can become chasses or shuffles; arms can be extended at double time, etc. Leslie doesn’t mind; she says you can’t do it wrong!