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

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/15/2010 6:00 AM   :  368 comments   :  99,911 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

  • AZURE-SKY
    318
    As of today, 5/11/2012, The above blog is over 2 YEARS OLD!!!!!

    Instead of reposting an old blog about an out-of-date workout video, why couldn't Nicole have reviewed one of Leslie's newer 5-mile advanced workouts. I have several of Leslie's DVDs, from the easier 1-mile to both of her 5-mile advance workouts. They will get your heart pumping, especially if you use her walk boosters (weighted ball, hand weights, waist). I don't have any of those, so I just wear my own wrist weights when I do Leslie's videos. I hate dancy, fancy, complicated choreography. The beauty of Leslie's routines is that anybody can do it. Yes - they get a little boring sometimes, but I rotate my videos with other videos (Kathy Smith, CathE, Petra Kolber, and many more) so I don't get bored.

    Like any other workout video or activity, it's part of a whole exercise program, using different muscles.

    Come on, Nicole. Instead of reposting a 2-year old review of an out-of-date workout, why not spend an hour or so doing one of Leslie's new, more advanced workouts and blogging about that! - 5/12/2012   1:22:35 AM
  • 317
    I have her set of 1-mile, 2-mile, and 3-mile VHS tapes that I bought...gosh, at least 10 years ago!! This was one of the beginner workouts I would do after giving birth and the doctor cleared me to exercise. It was easy enough that I didn't injure myself, but challenging enough to break a light sweat. Once the workouts got too easy, I would move on to one of my more challenging VHS workouts. Maybe I'll break out the 3-mile video tomorrow and use some 5# hand weights and reminisce a little bit!! - 4/14/2012   10:11:17 PM
  • SBNORMAL
    316
    I have used her dvd and they are really slow, but I walk them. They are not for the very advance walker someone who is superfit and who can walk a 11 min mile, but I am not there yet. - 3/25/2012   5:53:22 PM
  • 315
    Love Leslie and have this dvd. It's a good workout. Also have one with firm bands and it makes my arms burn pretty good. - 3/10/2012   11:18:00 AM
  • PARISTASAI
    314
    A friend gave me Leslie's 5-day fit walk because she loves to walk outdoors, and did not care for the dvd. I feel stupid walking outdoors or at the mall for exercise, but loved the dvd! I bought Leslie's 5 mile fat burning walk, and can now do a mile without much effort.
    Just today I bought a new dvd--Coach Nicole's 28 Day Bootcamp. I am going to use them together. - 3/10/2012   1:12:13 AM
  • 313
    I have worked out with DVD's and VHS for years. I also walk outdoors when the weather is nice or even a little rainy. Also used the gym periodically, too. I think I collect and use various exercise DVD's and own Cathy Friedrich (love it), Jillian (ouch), Kathy Smith, etc., and find Leslie is one I can adapt to my level. I do a lot of boosted walking and raise my leg a little higher when doing the lifts. My husband has joined me and now has lost the middle he has been working at for a long time. It's easy and her various workouts can be adapted to low or high impact. - 3/2/2012   7:47:41 AM
  • 312
    Sorry about that. My computer keyboard stuck! I need to go workout. - 3/2/2012   7:47:41 AM
  • 311
    I like doing Leslie when I want to get in cardio and don't really feel like doing anything at all. This is my go to workout when I can't get motivated to do anything, but know that I need too! - 2/22/2012   3:57:59 PM
  • 310
    I love her DVDs but she can be a bit annoying after a while (Leslie exercising alone versus with her friends, corny jokes and consistent talking after getting a new move). I was over 200lbs, just released from the hospital after being diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes in the middle of winter. I was told by a friend to try Leslie's DVDs since going outside for a walk was not an option. I also had two toddlers that were not in school at the time so again, she came in handy. I gave away her boot camp DVD to a friend because it did nothing for me. I recently bought 5mi Fat Burning Walk and Walk Slim since I already completed her 3mi Fat Burning Walk. It helped me not only lose weight but it also got me up to the point where I could jog. If you get bored, switch up between some of her other DVDs. - 2/22/2012   1:14:20 PM
  • 309
    I'll be honest and admit that I did her workout only when I was too tired for a challenge. - 2/22/2012   11:30:48 AM
  • 308
    I love many Leslie DVDs. Interestingly, because of this blog, I decided to try this DVD, and to do it all the way through. I figured that I should be able to succeed given the comments, and I did make it through the entire video. I think that this makes it quite a good starter video.

    I really like her "Start Walking at Home" DVDs (1&2 miles, 3 miles). These ones raise your heart well much quicker, and keep it there longer, even if you're only doing the 1-mile workout. That's part of why I like that video so much: it takes so little time to do a 1-mile workout, and it's a great workout! - 2/17/2012   5:06:48 PM
  • NIKKIWARD38
    307
    I have used Leslie for awhile. I love her but I have to admit when she is alone on the the video it is ver boring. I enjoy it more when she has her posse...U also don't have to buy all the DVDs because they are pretty much all the same moves.. - 1/25/2012   9:25:13 AM
  • MOONSTAR20
    306
    I have been doing Leslie sans ones workouts for 3years and lost 15 pounds. I love her workouts.
    I also will try other workouts as well to mix it up. I will order Nicole's to use as well. - 1/24/2012   12:00:10 PM
  • 305
    better than nothing. I work out 4-6 times a week. I love how she interacts and
    explains the work out. I have many many of her dvd's. I just don't reach my target heart rate no matter how hard I try. I need something a little more advanced than what she provides. The work outs are perfect for beginners though for sure!
    Cindy - 1/23/2012   8:00:37 PM
  • K_RENEE
    304
    I enjoy her DVDs as many of the other commenters, but I can see how you could get bored with it. - 1/23/2012   7:42:46 PM
  • KATHYJANE5
    303
    I am a Leslie fan! I do not want to be an expert. I do not want to focus my life on exercizee! I need to exercize but my life is so much more! I teach children, I am a caregiver, I have friends and family and grandchildren, exercize is necessary for my health but it is not my life. Go Leslie, you get me moving and destressing! - 1/21/2012   5:13:48 PM
  • 302
    Nicole, given that you are in such great shape and rather young, I can understand your reaction. However, I really like Leslie Sansone workouts. I use them along with your strength-training workouts on SparkPeople. Some of her DVDs are more challenging than others, so people can pick what is right for them. And, yes, they are wonderful for beginners. One of her videos that I checked out from the library includes jogging and is more rigorous. On days that I don't feel like exercising, I pop in a Leslie DVD that I've used a lot. It's probably not as vigorous a workout, but it gets me exercising, which is better than losing the behavioral momentum that I've built up. I credit Leslie's DVDs and your bootcamps for getting me back into an exercising routine this year. - 1/21/2012   10:51:14 AM
  • 301
    I love Leslie's 4 mile fast. It is interval walk/jog routine that I find challenging and easy to follow. I tried other videos but this is for sure a daily wake up ritual for me then I do a circuit routine in the evening. And I am at a pretty steady loss now !! - 1/17/2012   3:46:02 AM
  • 300
    She has a video titled 4 Fast Miles that I love and has lost weight doing it. The Walk Your Belly Fat video I found to be slow and I don't enjoy as much. - 1/12/2012   8:07:57 AM
  • CARAMISH
    299
    I'm an advanced exerciser and love these dvds; I do other, intense workouts like Insanity, Cathe Freidrich's STS, or a kettlebell routine in the morning, then in the afternoon pop in a Leslie walking dvd for a few easy miles. This second, afternoon "walk" really seems to kick up my metabolism, and reduce muscle soreness. It's a great boost, esp. in the winter when I can't get outside for an afternoon walk. Also, her positive, genuine personality always brightens my day! - 1/11/2012   9:45:05 AM
  • BROCCOLIROSE
    298
    Add one more LS fan here! She's taken me from being short of breath walking to the mailbox to blasting through her 5 mile dvd and the 4 mile super challenge. I've dropped 20 pounds in the process. I detest the dvd's where the leaders are screaming at me...I can get that by calling my Mother and it doesn't cost me anything! I'm now also doing Gin Millers Step Aerobics and find my "sweat level" is much higher with Gin now than with Leslie....I agree that after a while, and getting into better shape, her workouts do border on being not so tough. I use her DVD's now between my Gin Miller days and when I'm not feeling so strong. Some DVD's out there the leaders and back drop "players" remind me of Stepford wives...every move perfect, every single toe point and fist exactly the same...and I'm one with 2 left feet so I really don't enjoy these type dvd's because I'm concentrating so hard on getting the movements exact I find myself stopping and trying to get back in sync...makes me crazy. Even the new 28 Day Bootcamp dvd from SP has the "Stepford wife" look to it....I bought it but have yet to make it past day 1 because I can't do the movements! I just get frustrated and stop. I'm sure that's MY fault but it's hard for me and I give up to easily .... - 1/2/2012   3:07:54 PM
  • 297
    I'm male, 51 and weigh in, right now, at 311 pounds...I have been enjoying the Leslie Sansone DVDs for approx 11 years - whenever I would start up an exercise program...Too bad I never lasted that long - but this time around, I am on a mission to lose 200 pounds by 1/24/13...I recently purchased her Walk - Eat - Lose series and love the 21 meals that she prepares...I truly believe I will make it this time - with Leslie and crew's help...These DVDs are challenging for me and I'm only up to the 2 mile workout at this point... - 12/25/2011   8:54:28 PM
  • LAURIES_PLACE
    296
    I use Leslie's dvds whenever I can't get out to walk. Especially after back surgery (blew out a disc--bummer!), this is something I can do without any worry about my six months of restrictions. In most of Leslie's dvds, there is a group of people exercising with her. I choose the one putting the most into it, and work on beating her--lifting my legs higher, swinging my arms wider--what ever I can do to make it more challenging. I have three of her dvds, so I don't get bored with them. I do, however, recommend going through the entire dvd unless the kitchen's on fire or the baby's crying. Once you begin stopping early, it is too easy to continue doing that. And since there are often others in the studio, you can choose a slower or gentler workout. - 12/24/2011   2:55:16 AM
  • 295
    i love leslie and not sure she only good for beginner I think it what you put into the workout what you get out - 11/7/2011   2:27:20 PM
  • JAE_HENNINGTON
    294
    I love leslie.. her workouts are great for me because of my age, balance issues, and havi having had a total hip replacement. Her videos are numerous and easy to do, safe and fun - 11/4/2011   11:12:21 AM
  • SWEET_GIRL
    293
    Leslie's DVDs are indeed great for beginners. They helped me get in shape after a pretty long break from exercising due to an injury. But for the more advanced (like I am now) it doesn't do much. I tried it again just a few weeks back, cause I had forgotten to program myself at the gym and there were no more places and I honestly didn't feel like I had worked out. It felt more like a relaxation thing then a real cardio workout. But again, for beginners or people with certain injuries Leslie's workouts are amazing! - 11/2/2011   9:13:52 AM
  • 292
    I love this DVD and Leslie is a hoot!! I enjoy a number of her in-home workouts. I have Osteoarthritis in both knees and her workouts are easy to follow and challenging enough to make me want to work harder!!! LO) - 8/16/2011   11:56:48 AM
  • MOM2MONKIES1
    291
    I love Leslie and her walking DVDs. They are not too hard for me to do. I have bad knees and ankles and I can't do a lot of other workout DVDs because of the moves they do. I work up a good sweat with Leslie's workouts. They are my favorite! - 8/13/2011   9:03:27 PM
  • 290
    I am grateful to Leslie for her DVDs. I have back and neck problems, and I use her 1-2 miles as a warm up to my at home physical therapy exercises. I do them in my own pace, I keep the kicks and leg lifts low, and it helps me keep moving in the mornings. - 7/27/2011   5:51:19 AM
  • 289
    I really like Leslie. She's encouraging and not at all mean. (I'm not a big Jillian Michaels fan.) The workouts are easy to follow for the coordinatedly challenged. They are great if you don't have a lot of space to work out in. They are not high impact, but this is great for those of us who have a lot to lose or have joint problems. I'm a fan in general, but some of her DVD's are better than others. I recommend getting them from the library before purchase to find the ones you like the best. - 6/26/2011   9:53:50 PM
  • 288
    I love her DVDs! I do not find them boring at ALL. They are perfect when I am not in the mood to go to the gym or the weather is not favorable conditions for running. I am a huge fan! - 6/22/2011   6:35:11 AM
  • 287
    I started out with Leslie's videos before SparkPeople and before getting pregnant with my third child and lost 50 pounds walking. The workouts were challenging for me then and I loved them.

    Fast forward to now when I'm a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and in much better shape, and I've found some of them not quite as challenging but still a good workout when I don't want to leave my house.

    I have a few of her newer workouts now and have found them not quite as challenging when she is just walking using your own body. The videos I have where she is using a band, weights, or fitness belt, etc. are much more challenging since she used weights or resistance training with them. I have her 5 mile walk and tried it but my heart rate never got above 125 or so and I'm used to it being at least 140+. I think she's AWESOME for beginners but some of her videos can be used for more advanced exercisers also. It just depends on which workout you're doing. She's great! - 6/10/2011   11:39:15 AM
  • SILENTSGIRL
    286
    I use Leslie's DVDs almost exclusively and I do a different one each day depending on my energy level and the amount of time I have to devote to the workout. I have asthma and mobility issues, two left feet and an allergy to inane presenters who urge me to "keep it funky now!" so I appreciate Leslie's ability to keep it pleasant and upbeat while not sounding like a kewpie doll. I also like that she has walkers of all body shapes in her workouts; it's terribly depressing to work out while watching people who seem borderline anorexic. - 5/26/2011   8:28:06 AM
  • ANEWLOOKFORMOM
    285
    I absolutely love her videos. There is a coworker of mine who doesnt have internet, so what I have done for her is compiled recipes, such as main dishes, snacks, and i lend her the Leslie Sansone videos to workout with, Once she is done with that one I will give her another one. I have since being on the sparkpeople program have lost 15 lbs. I have to say I'm not a fan of gyms, If I can stay at home and do a workout, I'm there. Leslie has taught me how to get up off my couch and actually want t workout. I have 75 more lbs to lose, I know I can do it with the help of Leslie. - 5/19/2011   3:36:16 PM
  • 284
    I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for her videos. All of us are not cut out for rigorous hours at the gym, and especially beginners. I barely exercised at all before, I hate the gym and group exercise, and I don't like following step programs. But I do like to walk and now I actually enjoy doing the boosted walk/light jog with Leslie. I like her gentleness, simplicity in steps, her encouragement, and her upbeat attitude. I feel great afterwards. I've lost 3 clothes sizes and close to 40 lbs. I'm about an intermediate level, but occasionally go back to some beginners segments that I still find challenging, especially combined with other exercise. My favorites are the Boot Camp (with cables), The Ultimate Collection (with Stretchie), Walk with Friends (with hand weights), Walk Away Your Waistline (with belt/cables), and Walk/Jog. I love that I can have a total workout without spending hours doing it. I have toned up so much and can't believe my figure has returned and my butt is shaping up nicely. I feel wonderfully energized after these workouts. Thanks for the article. - 5/19/2011   1:13:21 PM
  • 283
    I'm a LS fan... I have back and hip issues, so I am unable to do some workouts that don't address these issues. I like LS because she allows you to go at your own pace and often she gives a few ways to perform a "step". Years ago, I used her dvds exclusively (with healthy eating) and lost 1-2 dress sizes. Then I stopped, now I want to use her dvds again with SP and lose the lbs I've put on since then. YEA to LS. - 3/12/2011   9:04:12 PM
  • SPARKLEBUG141
    282
    I love Leslie's DVDs. My roommate has a few too so we share them. I tend to like the ones when she is by herself better than with a group. I - 2/18/2011   4:30:54 PM
  • 281
    I don't have this specific DVD but I have a few others and I LOVE walking with Leslie! I would consider myself an intermediate walker. I am training to walk a half marathon. I use the 4 and 5 mile DVDs to help me get my weekly mileage in. Sometimes I feel so good after the 4 mile super challenge that I hop on the treadmill for another mile or two. It breaks up the monotony of a basic treadmill workout and in the winter weather - perfect.

    The other thing I really like about Leslie's videos is that she gets the upper body, arms, chest, back etc moving and the blood flowing into my shoulders etc which is great since I sit in front of a computer at work all day. This alone has helped me get rid of headaches and shoulder pain that I had been having! - 2/1/2011   3:35:29 PM
  • 280
    Thanks for the review. I saw it in the store the other day and was skeptacle. Nice to see what it's all about. - 1/31/2011   11:49:28 AM
  • 279
    I have used her dvd in the past ( before spark, and before exercising more seriously ) It was good for me because I knew I needed to lose weight, but I was still being lazy, so I started with her dvd, and it definetly made me sweat, but now I don't think it would do me any good. Good for a beginner though. - 1/30/2011   10:33:52 AM
  • 278
    Leslie Sansone made me commit to exercise, and I am very grateful. "Walk your belly flat" is really not my favorit though, I think she has much better workouts than this one. But it is still a very good option for beginners, people with problems with their joints, or young moms who just got a baby and want to slowly come back to exercising. I used my Leslie videos a lot while travelling for my jobs, you really can do them in the tiniest hotel rooms ! - 1/29/2011   12:11:50 PM
  • 277
    I love the Sansone DVD's and wanted to speed up my pace, so I now use the 5 mile walk. It is great for me, because I live in a cold climate on a dirt road. I also can do a couple 12 minute miles and then work on my strength training on the days I am supposed to strength train. By doing two miles, I still have the energy I need for the strength training. - 1/29/2011   7:48:56 AM
  • 276
    I have a few of her DVD's. I use them when the weather is bad and I can't walk outside. - 1/28/2011   12:49:29 PM
  • 275
    Anything to get off the couch and moving is good! It just seems boring. She is peppy and really seems personable but I'll stick with Jillian Michaels. - 1/28/2011   11:06:40 AM
  • 274
    Been doing Leslie for years. Love it - 1/28/2011   9:53:15 AM
  • 273
    I agree with the "cons" as this is not for the expert level of some who are really fit. I like to use exercise on demand when I want to change up my routine a bit. I like her style and attitude which makes me want to do the 2-3 mile "walk". - 1/28/2011   7:42:56 AM
  • 272
    I started out my fitness with Leslie Sansone walks, progressing over three months to five miles. Then, one day I decided to go outside and walk because I felt I was ready then. I give her DVDs to relatives that are starting to live healthy. - 1/28/2011   7:17:59 AM
  • DAYSDELIGHT
    271
    I love using Leslie's DVDs for working out. I have several but get tired of the talking/banter over time. Recently, I made some playlists for the iPod using beats per minute as my guide. Now I put in the DVD, but I mute Leslie and simply follow along visually for movement cues. I'm using tunes that I love and enjoy it a lot. I've even been known to pause the DVD between walking miles so I can add in a 5-10 minute session of jogging to higher paced music. Her DVDs were a blessing to me when I started and I still really enjoy the ease and comfort of walking at home -- inside, in any weather! - 1/27/2011   10:40:01 PM
  • 270
    I have been doing the 3 mile pilates walk for a month. It is great for me - not too hard but it gets my heart rate up. I like that she isn't "demanding" but gently encouraging. I understand the cons - to each her own. - 1/27/2011   9:01:40 PM
  • 269
    I like this review. I own several of her DVDs (I work out to DVDs a lot) and don't have this one. I won't get it. I like her 3 Mile Power Walk and here Boot Camp Walk (though the intro could be put to a separate section on the DVD since as you point out the steps are easy to do). The Boot Camp incorporates strength training and the bands were included with the DVD. Not a bad workout. - 1/27/2011   6:22:31 PM

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