DVD Review: Leslie Sansone's 'Walk Your Belly Flat'

8SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/15/2010 6:00 AM   :  368 comments   :  96,406 Views

A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Sansone for the dailySpark. Sure, I knew who she was and that our members love her, but I had never actually tried any of the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs that made her the famous fitness guru she is today.

Leslie was kind enough to send me a free copy of her newest title, Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk Your Belly Flat, a 3-mile walk you can do from the comfort of your living room. I busted it out on a cold day that I didn't want to head outdoors for a walk. Want to know what I thought about it? And more importantly, whether it'll help you lose that stubborn fat around your midsection?

If you're not familiar with Leslie's walking DVDs or interested in peeking at this new title, check out this video preview below. (If you have trouble viewing the video, please click here to view it on YouTube.)



What you see in the preview above pretty much sums up all 45-minutes of this routine. This workout would be perfect for beginners, people who have two left feet (or don't enjoy complex choreography), and exercisers who already use and enjoy other DVDs by Leslie Sansone. What I did like about it is that it is entirely doable for people who are just starting out. For beginners to exercise, this DVD would be perfect, and I'd highly recommend it to that audience. The DVD menu allows you to easily pick 1, 2 or 3 miles (about 15 minutes each), so you can gradually progress or choose a shorter workout based on the time you have available. Here are a few other pros and cons worth pointing out:

PROS:
  • Leslie Sansone is great! She was very likeable and relatable. I really appreciated the ways she tried to keep motivating me, by focusing on the importance of doing something for yourself, getting healthy, and blasting belly fat since it can be hazardous to your health. I'm not a huge fan of DVD instructors who focus their motivational messages on looking better or getting "skinny." I liked how Leslie talks you through the workout and offers helpful tidbits.
  • Easy to follow. There is no complex choreography, but there is a little bit of variety besides just marching in place, and I appreciated that. Simple grapevines, forward and backward walks, step touches and similar were used throughout to break up the monotony.
  • Good music. I actually really enjoyed the background music on this DVD. It was upbeat and fun. It made me want to work out!
  • Motivational cues. Leslie offers a lot of encouragement and tips to work at your own level while still following along with her. You can adjust your speed and movement without missing a step, and she never makes you feel bad if you do have to take it down a notch.
  • Safety and form. Leslie provides plenty of cues to remind you to think about your posture and alignment, as well as assessing how you feel (gauging your intensity) throughout the workout. I think this is very important in any DVD, especially for beginners.
CONS:
  • Not for intermediate to advanced exercisers. I'm in good shape, so this workout was not challenging for me. I wore my heart rate monitor and my heart rate did not elevate to an aerobic level even once (it hovered around a low 45% of my max heart rate), despite my efforts to work at a quicker pace than indicated in the video.
  • The belly fat claim. It's true that cardio (aerobic) exercise like this DVD will burn fat from all over your body, including the midsection. But that is only one part of the equation (a reduced calorie diet is the other). There is nothing inherently special about this DVD that will target your belly fat any more than any other cardiovascular workout will, so don't fall for it for that claim alone. If however you do want an easy-to-follow, light intensity workout DVD that burns calories, this is a good choice.
  • The bonus workout. This DVD features a "belly sculpt" workout advertised on the back, but in reality, it was actually just one exercise: the bicycle crunch. It's a great exercise that really targets the abs, but don't expect an entire workout.
  • Kind of boring. I know that plenty of people swear by Leslie's DVDs and use them regularly with great success, but I have to admit that I thought this workout was boring to me. The plain background (that her clothes kind of blend into), the lack of variety in the moves, and the "walk clock" (a new feature that was requested by fans) weren't doing it for me. I had a hard time not staring at the clock and wishing it was over, yet the 45 minutes did go by faster than I had anticipated. However, some people like workouts that are simpler and allow them to zone out, so this might not be a con for everyone. Just beware that you might not enjoy using this DVD for the long-term.
This DVD has overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews on amazon.com, which average around 4.5 out of 5 stars. For less than $8, it's a good buy if you're just starting out with exercise or prefer a low-impact (easy on the joints, non-jarring) cardio workout. I think DVDs like this definitely serve a need for new exercisers who need something they can follow safely and successfully as they build a base level of fitness.

Have you ever used this or any other DVD by Leslie Sansone? If so, what did you think about it?


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Comments

  • 368
    I like Leslie sansome dvds. She does have advanced workouts for those who are advanced. I have two left feet and i do not have to worry about learning new dance. Love Leslie - 9/9/2014   10:56:43 PM
  • 367
    I enjoy her videos and use them when I can't walk outside. I like the mile markers but I do not like the clock at all. I turn my back on videos that have the clock. - 8/20/2014   7:06:57 AM
  • JWAITE77
    366
    I have several of Leslie's DVD on walking The best thing is I do them while standing on my rebounder. When she works with weights I just step off to do them and then step back on my rebounder to go back to the walking. I wonder how many people know about this. It is wonderful for my joints and gives me a great cardio workout. - 8/18/2014   4:57:53 PM
  • JWAITE77
    365
    I have several of Leslie's DVD on walking The best thing is I do them while standing on my rebounder. When she works with weights I just step off to do them and then step back on my rebounder to go back to the walking. I wonder how many people know about this. It is wonderful for my joints and gives me a great cardio workout. - 8/18/2014   4:57:35 PM
  • ROSANNA72
    364
    i have several of Leslie's walk away DVD's and I love them!! I had an injury that stopped me from doing her workouts but I am going to start again as soon as i am able to. - 7/15/2014   1:27:00 PM
  • LADDER11
    363
    This is a great video, its easy to follow also, I had knee surgery and this has helped me to walk at home. I love the mile marker too. When I started a week ago, I could not complete the mile, today I finished my mile. - 6/13/2014   4:39:49 AM
  • COCONNOR43
    362
    I just started using one of Leslie's videos and I love it. I like that the routines are simple and easy to follow. It definitely got my heart rate up. It might be slightly boring if you do the same video each day but actually being consistent for a 30 minute block of time with this simple video has helped me stay on track. - 6/10/2014   9:28:34 AM
  • 361
    I think your assessment was a fair one. I like the workouts especially the marker that let's you know how far you've gone along the way. I actually turn off the volume and play my own music which helps me increase the pace and stay interested. I also think the fact that she's been around so many years says alot. - 6/3/2014   9:24:10 AM
  • 360
    It has been so helpful for me as I rehab from a knee replacement. I'm a big fan! - 3/17/2014   10:40:00 AM
  • SPARKLESKIP
    359
    Was able to buy a copy of the 1987 "Walk Aerobics" video (an 80's gem in itself) and followed the workout for the first time a few days ago. The 80's flashback was fun! The hair, the music (the clothes and makeup weren't so different from now). It brought back happy memories and the pulse checks throughout were handy. The comments throughout were cute ("Stop marching! No don't stop marching!"). Will be using this workout again as a measure of improving fitness and keep a lookout for more programs. - 3/15/2014   9:41:55 AM
  • 358
    I've done some of Leslie's workouts, too. I'm pretty fit, so they are not the most physically challenging for me. However, on those days when I need a breather or want to dial it back a bit, this really helps me get my workout in, especially when weather keeps me indoors. I sometimes do them while watching a football or basketball game on TV. I'm glad to have WATP as part of my fitness repertoire. - 1/29/2014   8:14:02 AM
  • 357
    I'd agree totally with the review. I don't have this particular dvd, but I've got a bunch of Leslie's WATP workouts, and I do them a lot in the winter when it's too cold to be outside. I need to do some light jogging while she's walking, and often carry weights to do the arm movements. And I do indeed find them boring after a while.... which is why I'm glad I've got several different dvd's to choose from, just to change it up *a bit*. I can physically do one of her 5 mile dvd's if the boredom doesn't do me in first. I like a 10 minute "mile". But I find her encouraging and I like how she stresses, do it at your own rate. I think her dvd's are excellent for those starting out with exercise, and people like me who have trouble following more challenging choreography and perhaps have some physical challenges (for me, it's my knees). If you're in good shape already, WATP is probably not for you. It is light aerobics, which is where you'll find it in the Fitness Tracker. - 1/29/2014   7:08:10 AM
  • 356
    I like leslie Sansone,but her one mile walk is long enough for me. I got bored doing a longer video. - 1/23/2014   12:40:08 PM
  • 355
    I love Leslie. They work for me! - 1/16/2014   11:18:25 AM
  • 354
    I have used her videos and also her YouTube stuff. I like her because I can put her in and in no time I have walked 3 miles. I think that she is a little boring at times but all in all I like her workouts because they are not bad on my knees. I have also learned that if I add a few dance moves into the side steps and kicks that I can get a little bit more out of the workout. So I am a Leslie fan by far.. - 1/7/2014   1:32:42 PM
  • OZONELAYER
    353
    I have used her walk away the pounds and they are good for beginners or people who don't want high impact exercises. I use it when I haven't exercised for a while and need to ease into it gradually or if I am in a hurry I simply walk a mile - 12/4/2013   1:52:03 PM
  • MELISSA11313
    352
    I love Leslie videos they are very easy to follow an I get a good work out in.I think these videos are the best thing ever invented for people like me that cant do the dance stuff or hard core training stuff. - 11/25/2013   8:11:37 AM
  • 351
    Love, love, love Leslie! She is not boring in my opinion but motivating. If her workouts are too easy do jogging when she is walking. - 11/12/2013   1:11:10 PM
  • 350
    I agree, this instructor is very likable and easy to relate to - skinny blond upbeat super models in exercise videos are a pet peeve of mine; it's not that want to bash them, it just feels like a torrent of "doesn't that feel great?" and similar lines.
    I think her videos are just the thing for anyone who is just starting to get from a couch, car & desk-job life style to something healthier. Which is great, I think a lot of people can use exactly that! But for anyone already doing cardio on a regular basis, they aren't a challenge. - 11/5/2013   10:58:42 PM
  • HEALTHY1501
    349
    I love the Leslie Sanzone DVD's. I do them all the time when I can't walk outside. How do you account for it on SparkPeople fitness. - 10/7/2013   11:51:52 AM
  • 348
    I totally agree with this review. I love Leslie and think that her videos are great for beginners or those who need a low impact routine. I have several of the DVDs and they used to challenge me. But I am at a point now where my heart rate isn't going up enough...that being said, I like to do a little bit of activity on my rest days and I think these workouts are good for those days. - 9/4/2013   8:06:57 AM
  • 347
    Kudos Coach Nicole for such an honest review! I am fast becoming a fan of Leslie Sansone's, but you might be right that eventually I'll move on a try something more challenging. - 8/29/2013   6:17:05 PM
  • 346
    I also love Leslie Sansone, her DVD's are are partially responsible for my progress so far. So far I've lost 11lbs. My first one was the Special Edition Deluxe Walkaerobics. (Years Ago) I remember when I could barely get through it. Now I switch up bettween the Ultimate Collection 4 mile walk. and the 5 Mile Fat Burning walk. The 4 mile walk comes with a stretchie that helps with toning the arms and the 5 mile ends with a boost after each mile. Her DVD's fit my lifestyle and produce results for me - 8/7/2013   6:26:54 AM
  • 345
    I really am perplexed that someone so experienced as Nicole can review ANY exercise dvd. Nicole is highly trained, qualified - and slim - whilst we trying to lose weight are not, so, to my mind, the above review is not entirely a valid one. - 8/3/2013   11:34:01 AM
  • NANO--
    344
    I used to use these and plan or starting using them again. After I learned the routine I did get bored so I set up my laptop beside the TV and played the DVD on the laptop and watched the news or whatever. I keep the volume low but audible on the dvd and when I need to look at the laptop screen to stay with the program. Works for me! - 7/17/2013   12:15:44 PM
  • 343
    I agree with Nicole's list of Pros and Cons. I used Leslie Sansone DVDs for many years (since the late 1980s when she was Leslie Tommelleo!), but I think I've outgrown them. It's gotten to the point where I finish one of her workouts and have a disappointed, incomplete feeling as if I didn't work out at all. Shame, because I really do like Leslie. She's awesome. - 6/25/2013   1:55:38 PM
  • 342
    I really enjoy Leslie's DVD. - 6/13/2013   3:48:51 PM
  • 341
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Leslie! I am one of those "two left feet" folks that you mentioned, so they are perfect for me. And I do work up a sweat. I admit, they do get a little monotonous, but I've tried other dvd's and I just don't have the motor skills necessary to do them safely or effectively. So Leslie is perfect for me. I don't expect to ever be a super fanatic exercise freak, so 30-45 minutes of brisk walking is exactly the amount of exercise I need to be healthy, and doing these dvd's also gives me a more complete workout than just a brisk 2-3 mile walk would do. I probably have just about every WATP dvd she has put out in the last 5 years or so, some of them I don't use, and I tend to gravitate toward her latest 4 or 5. But I love how she keeps it simple enough that even I can keep up, and talks me through the walk the entire time. - 6/8/2013   10:04:32 AM
  • JLSHEPHERD
    340
    I discovered Leslie Sansone many years ago and wore out one of the videotapes. After many years of less activity I found myself struggling with over 220 lbs. on my 5'7" frame. In late 2009 I determined to improve my health, started WW and chose Leslie's DVD's for my exercise, thinking it would be less stress on my sacroiliac joint injury. Within a year and a half I progressed from slow painful walking to vigorous walking, even jogging, without pain. The combination of weight loss and core strengthening made such a huge difference that I felt better than I had in over 30 years! As others have pointed out, Leslie has a wide variety of DVD's. I feel that the repetition and simplicity are beneficial to a wider audience whose goal is to improve overall health. However, Leslie throws in simple moves that target specific areas of the body and incorporates Pilates and Yoga. The Boot Camp DVD has a great bonus core workout that targets the abs and rear for balance. I have found several of her DVD's at Wal-Mart, Target, and even an unopened set at Goodwill. It sure beats paying for a gym membership - just pop in a DVD at home. I must admit though that I have slacked over the past year and a half on a new sedentary job, and have gained almost 40 of the 60 lbs. I had lost. I am now determined to lose that and more and, God willing, be a fit and active grandmother. Leslie's program will play a prominent part in my plans. - 5/12/2013   10:21:01 AM
  • 339
    I have several of Leslie Sansone's videos and I love them and her. It may not be challenging for some but it works for me. Thank you for sharing. Muriel - 5/10/2013   5:06:35 PM
  • 338
    I totally agree with Coach Nicole's assessment, ESPECIALLY the boring part. That said, I still love Leslie! Her videos were the only workouts I could follow when I was a true beginner; and they are still the only workouts I can follow if I get offtrack for any length of time. I have a really hard time following most other workout videos because I can't keep up with the choreography. - 4/4/2013   10:04:54 AM
  • 337
    I used to do the Leslie workouts. I still have a DVD that has 4 different workouts (Miles 1-4) and I used to do it from time to time when my knees hurt or I just needed a lighter workout. (I'm NOT in great shape, so they were semi-challenging for me) HOWEVER, they got BORING. I can't do them. I bought (on SP recommendation) the Jessica Smith walking video. THAT is awesome. That is my new go to video. - 4/1/2013   12:34:32 PM
  • 336
    I love Leslie Sansone DVDs. I HAVE to have simple because I'm not very coordinated and can trip over my own shadow. I don't think it's boring at all. I love these DVDs in the colder months when it's too cold outside. I'll never use anyone else, I've tried but always come back to her walks. The important thing for me is to keep moving and keep pushing. I do agree it's not for everyone though. That's okay because there are plenty of other DVDs that will appeal to everyone. There's nothing wrong with diversity. But I'll stick with Leslie :) - 3/27/2013   12:39:30 PM
  • BESTKRISTINA
    335
    I love Leslie Sansone. I think one of the reasons it appeals to me is it is a little "boring". I like to crank up my own music, listen to podcasts, or even use the Zombies, Run! app while I'm walking. It 's a huge motivator to get the walks in and, unlike just regular walking, usually incorporates a little bit of weight-lifting, and a variety of simple leg moves. - 3/27/2013   12:13:16 PM
  • WILLOWBEE63
    334
    I've been 'walking' with Leslie for a few years now....I always incorporate her walks into my workout days..... - 3/22/2013   9:12:38 AM
  • 333
    I love Leslie's workouts especially the ones with intervals and most of the newer (last 2-4 years or so). This is not a favorite for me. If you want to get moving, give LS a try, she is very motivating. - 3/18/2013   12:03:31 PM
  • 332
    Ilove Leslies DVD .I have tried a few other work outs I go right back 2 her DVD there the best. I think - 2/27/2013   1:42:38 PM
  • 331
    I have over a dozen of Leslie's DVD's and I love them! I will admit though, this particular one is one of my least favorites. Her more recent dvd's, as well as dvd's with groups of people are much more motivating and fun. - 2/17/2013   10:31:06 PM
  • 330
    I just love leslie sansone. Ihave a lot of her work outs its just i blast working out with her.. - 2/11/2013   4:03:09 PM
  • 329
    I have "Walk and Kick"
    I do enjoy it because it has some kickboxing in it :) and she is a great motivator walking you through the DVD. - 1/2/2013   8:19:03 PM
  • 328
    I HAVE BEING WALKING TO HER VIDEOS FOR YEARS AND I LOVE THEM. ONLY ONE THING IS THE MUSIC NEEDS TO BE MORE UPBEAT, THEN THEY WILL BE MORE FUN. THANK YOU LESLIE. - 10/23/2012   9:24:21 AM
  • CLIP53
    327
    I love Leslie Sansone and have used her DVD's for years. I have a back injury from a car accident and her DVDs are what have gotten me stronger and on my feet. I thank Leslie Sansone for making her Walk away the Pounds DVDs because everyone starts out as a beginner and needs the right place to start and she provides that. She teaches you how to increase your workout in a healthy way and I appreciate that.
    There are so many fitness DVDs that don't take the beginner or the older person into consideration at all and you just end up confused and frustrated.
    So Keep walking Away those Pounds Leslie. I'm a fan. - 10/20/2012   8:10:08 AM
  • 326
    I have a group one that features "5 really big miles" I really liked it at first, but it has gotten a little boring. It isnt super challenging but keeps you moving forup to over 75 minutes. I honestly dont feel like I get a super workout but you are burning calories for over 75 min. This one has 2 miles that use a toning band. I do feel like I get a bit of a tricept workout. .... but even though it is a little boring, it still keeps your attention enough to do on those days you dont want to go outside and I do recommend it for those just starting out. It has to have done something or at least contributed to my core as well because I can feel my muscle definition in my mid section now. - 9/13/2012   1:25:23 PM
  • 325
    I haven't used this dvd, but I've used other ones that she has. Other dvds have different backgrounds. I prefer the ones with a group of people. - 8/13/2012   12:38:10 PM
  • 324
    Yes, I've been using Leslie Sansone's DVD's for almost a year. It was perfect for me when my schedule took me away from home for 12 hours per day and I did not have day light hours to get out and walk. However, recently, I can barely get my heart rate above 130 with these and need something more challenging. Just not sure yet what or how - chasing my tail trying to figure it out. I think I'll up my strength training for one thing. Also have plantar fasciitis right now and am not walking at all.

    She does have DVD's now with jogging intervals as well. I'm not cleared to jog by my trainer, but I do stair steps for the intervals. That helps make it a better workout for me. - 8/10/2012   7:47:30 PM
  • 323
    I have been addicted to Leslie Sansone tapes for year. As with anything changes can be very good. Her earlier tapes are a little slow but at the time I started they were just what I needed. I have all her advance tapes and with time she has vaired the routine greatly. I really get a workout with her and love that I can put one in whenever I want to. I don't have a walking partner so don't really like to go outside alone to walk and Leslie's tape make it easy for me to get a good workout in! Also notice as we get older some of the the harder routines and bouncing aren't what the body wants or needs! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next. - 8/5/2012   4:57:46 PM
  • 322
    I love the Walk Away the Pounds dvds. I have several of them. They are really great for me to use when the weather is not fit for walking outside. Or it is early in the morning, before I get ready for work. I switch up my workouts all the time. It is nice to take a walk with Leslie when I want a relaxing workout. I still break out in a good sweat don't get me wrong. - 8/2/2012   8:36:34 PM
  • 321
    have several of Leslie's dvd's and love them all... it's a great way to walk here in winter and on cold days when there's slush and ice everywhere AND on hot humid days... here in MN, which I do love, we just have a lot of days one wants to stay indoors and walk with Leslie - 7/11/2012   5:10:56 PM
  • 320
    Well, it hardly matters since this was reviewed 2 years ago. There are plenty of other DVD's with a lot of variety, and utilize belts, bands, waist belt, and hand weights for ST along with the workout. Leslie has DVD's from beginners to advanced, and really work your entire body. I have to disagree with this one. I'm in my cardio range no matter which DVD I choose, even one that is just a mile. This has been my sole form of exercise, along with outdoor walks, and I can't believe that I am toned, my waistline has returned, my belly has firmed, and my butt is in great shape. I've lost 50 lbs and I'm living proof, her DVD's worked. The diet alone would have been enough to lose weight, but my body is toned, and better than ever! - 5/26/2012   12:41:11 PM
  • 319
    i known her for over 30 years i have 1.2.3. miles walk away the pounds with the blue balls weights vcr tapes ilike to get them on dvd's they are old but still in good shape i just start on them again if any one know how i can let me know thank. - 5/18/2012   4:03:57 PM

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