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by Leslie Sansone
Anchor Bay, 2013
Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Nov 12th 2013
This latest release from Leslie Sansone, queen of the "Walk at Home" fitness genre, is a bit different. First, it is a three mile walk set to modern radio hits, with the music alternating between vocal and instrumental only. In addition, the DVD cover notes that this walk features HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, a popular current fitness trend. Unfortunately, Sansone's version of "HIIT" doesn't conform to the usual norms for this style (more on this below).
As always, Sansone instructs live in front of a large class (I counted twelve, although it was difficult because all participants could not fit onscreen at once). The group is in a large studio that has walls decorated with musical notes and bright shades of yellow, orange, and pink.
On the Main Menu of the DVD, there is the choice to play the full Radio Remixes or to play Miles 1-3 individually; also, each of these selections has a "Play with Music Only" option. I have provided additional details below.
WARM-UP (3 minutes)
The warm-up can be accessed by choosing the "Play All" option only. As is typical for her warm-ups, Sansone introduces her four basic steps: the walk (march), side step, kicks, and knees.
MILE 1 (13 minutes)
The first mile starts appropriately with the tune "Get This Party Started" by Pink (the same song is repeated at the beginning of Mile 3). Sansone begins at a fast pace, adding many variations on her usual walk steps, including grapevines, bounces, and shifts. Oddly, however, prior to starting the "HIIT," she actually spends about two minutes slowing down the heart rate by walking at a more relaxed tempo. The "HIIT" sequences themselves last about 20 seconds. They are very repetitive, as they consist of the exact same moves (high jogs, bounces, and twists) set to the exact same song ("Everybody Talks" by Neon Trees).
MILE 2 (14 minutes)
The second mile is very similar to the first. As with Mile 1, there are about two "HIIT" intervals; preceding each interval, the walking moves are performed at a slower pace. After completing the HIIT segments, however, Sansone again bumps up the speed. This section includes the song "I Like to Move It, Move It" (Will.I.Am).
MILE 3 (13 minutes)
In some ways, the final mile was the most confusing. Sansone says she is going to "sneak in" some additional HIIT, but rather than perform another 20-second interval, instead, she does a longer, more moderate intensity sequence. For the second half of this mile, the music has a bit of a Latin flavor to it, and by the time the clock hits the 40-minute mark, Sansone states that the cool-down walk has begun.
STRETCH (3 minutes)
For this brief stretch (included only as part of the full walk), Sansone targets the back, shoulders, calves, and hamstrings.
As noted above, the "HIIT" that Sansone includes in this walk is definitely NOT true High Intensity Interval Training, which is generally defined as working at near maximum intensity for a short period--usually about 20 seconds, which Sansone does do here--followed by a brief recovery (a 2:1 rest-to-work ratio is probably the most common). So, anyone purchasing this DVD because it advertises "HIIT" on the cover is likely to be extremely disappointed.
On the other hand, it is undeniable that the background exercisers are having a great deal of fun with this routine. As the workout continues, Sansone more frequently walks among them, obviously enjoying herself. For long-time fans of Sansone's DVDs, Radio Remixes could possibly be a very agreeable change of pace.
© 2013 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.