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on July 2, 2016
I LOVE STRENGTH TRAINING. As a former “cardio junkie”, I learned the hard way that strictly engaging in cardio training leads to stalled results. The reason being, cardio training fails to develop metabolically active muscle, meaning you burn fewer calories at rest. Fast forward nearly 6 years later, and the majority of my fitness regimen revolves around strength training. I have constantly sought the PERFECT at-home workout DVD that allowed me to work ALL the major muscle groups, without requiring a huge time commitment, or requiring fancy equipment and machines I can’t afford. I think I have finally found “the one”.

This DVD release is one of Jessica’s strongest, metaphorically speaking, yet. This DVD is one in a series of Jessica Smith DVDs in the “Walk Strong” series. You will find limited “walking” in this DVD (namely in the warm up only), although as I mentioned before, you NEED THIS STRENGTH DVD as part of your well rounded fitness plan. Supersets are incorporated throughout all routines on this DVD. Supersets, or high repetitions, tax the muscle groups leading to muscle fatigue and burnout, and THAT IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS. While this DVD is advertised as strength DVD, the incorporation of both upper and lower body movements simultaneously throughout kept my heart rate in the “fat burning zone” and left me VERY SWEATY and feeling like I got an AMAZING WORKOUT in a short amount of time.

This DVD arrives in a hard shell case, with artwork as featured. Three, 35-minute routines are included on 1 disc for a total running time of 105 minutes. You will need 1-2 sets of weights for this program, one lighter and one heavy, weight dependent on your fitness level. I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser, and used 5 and 8 pound weights. If you are working out on a hard surface, a yoga mat or towel is suggested. Supportive footwear is also a must, as you will be lunging, squatting and there is an occasional pivoting move (modified for those unable to do these movements). A count down timer is present during all the routines. As advertised, Jessica Smith is your trainer for these three routines, joined by her Mother, Debbie, on modifications. We do see Peanut in the introduction, but unfortunately during the workouts, she is busy directing the production. '

This DVD is beautifully set in a gorgeous home in front of a pair of French doors overlooking a serene pool and beautifully landscaped yard. The music for these workouts is upbeat, and motivating, as is Jessica’s careful cueing and bubbling personality. As always, Jessica demonstrates all levels of each move, providing modifications, and tips for maintaining safety and getting the most out of each move making this a DVD that will work for most everyone.

The three, 35-minute routines include:

Upper Focus (Circuit 1): This routine begins with a 4 minute walking/marching warmup, followed by multiple supersets focused on the upper body. Shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, core and back are all worked, many of the moves incorporating both upper and lower body at the same time. Familiar moves, like shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, and crunches are featured, many with the added bonus of leg work to increase your caloric expenditure. I was a sweaty mess, and felt like Hawkeye from the Avengers in the upper body by the time I was finished. LOVED IT!!!

Lower Focus (Circuit 2): My ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE ROUTINE ON THE DVD. This routine begins with a 5 minute walking and dance-y warm-up and is followed by concentrated leg work with weights. Featured are squats, lunges, deadlifts, plies and the final 10 minutes is set on the mat, with additional abdominal work, single leg hip bridges. The routine concludes with Pilates-inspired concentrated work for the hips that BURNS SO GOOD!!!! 1 set of weights is used for this routine, the size is your choice. I stuck with 8# throughout

Total Focus (Circuit 3): This routine combines upper and lower body work, but the moves are entirely different from the first two routines. No time is wasted, as you jump straight out of the gate, doing the first set of exercises sans weights, then you repeat the set with weights. The sets are not as long, but with the exception of a few movements, they are repeated once. The first 2/3 of the DVD is standing work, finished off with a core segment on the floor. Some of the combinations and moves featured include stationary lunges (with or without pulsing) with bicep curls, single-leg triceps press, courtesy squats with shoulder presses and Turkish Get-Ups to name a few.

Each circuit was exciting, challenging, and left me feeling like I got an amazing workout in a short amount of time. And I sweat just as much, if not MORE than I do with my typical cardio routines. I love having the option to pick or choose depending on my preferences, while ensuring that I get the biggest bang for my buck. This DVD will become a regular addition to my strength training rotations.
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on September 2, 2016
I love Jessica Smith and love the lower impact workouts. I have been sidelined with a foot injury possibly from doing plyo lunges and jump squats for 3 weeks. The pain is worse when driving for some reason but I have had to lay off the plyo metrics and am hoping that makes the difference. I have almost every one of Jessica's DVDs and have loved her workouts since exercise tv. Her mom is only a few years older than me so I am motivated to see her working out with Jessica. I also like that Jessica takes the approach that we are not trying to get 6 pack abs just maintain health for every day activities. At 54 I could care less about having 6 pack abs I just want to keep my weight at a reasonable place and have toned muscles. It is tough fighting post menopausal weight gain and thyroid issues. Jessica's workouts are fun and motivating>
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on January 2, 2018
Fantastic workout for an at-home workout for the exerciser who wants efficient circuit training. There are 3 35-minute workouts on the dvd. First focuses on upper body, second focuses on lower body, and third works the entire body. Despite focus on specific regions, each workout works the entire body by utilizing squats and light free weights.

What I LOVE about this dvd is that I used to be an Intermediate exerciser but due to a pregnancy and other life changes, I have had to restart my workouts as a Beginner. Many of these other dvds focus on Beginner or Intermediate levels. As someone who wants to get back to the Intermediate level, knowing that I already have an at-home option is fantastic. Jessica Smith offers modifying options to build up to harder levels. No matter the exercise level you can handle, a squat is a great movement. Jessica and her mom show variations on how to work a variety of squats for the Beginner through Intermediate level.

Besides the variety, I needed an at-home option that didn't take a ridiculous amount of time. The intro menu actually loads quickly and offers you to choose "Workout 1 - Upper Body", "Workout 2 - Lower Body", "Workout 3 - Entire Body", and "Play All". When you select your choice, it starts up immediately. There is at most one minute before the actual workout begins. You will need 1 or 2 sets of free weights (Beginner or Intermediate) and a yoga mat. There is a timer that counts down the 35 minutes. Jessica uses all 35 minutes for the workout with the warm-up taking 3 minutes and the cool-down taking 3 minutes. No time is wasted of the 35 minutes. I make sure to drink some water before and after the workout as you do not have time to pause throughout the workout. I love this aspect as I do not have dead time. As my workout abilities improve, I do not have to worry that I am leaving behind the dvd's usefulness.

I have a gym membership and I run outdoors with my toddler in nice weather. But between hard weather and sick kids, I need something to work on strength and balance. I also work at a desk and craft which means lots of sitting. The running or a hard gym workout can put my joints and muscles at risk for injury. I have done many Beachbody workouts and can confidently say those are workouts that I risk twisting a knee or struggle with as a returning Beginner exerciser. This dvd is perfect for building strength and balance for my other cardio workouts. I love that I have this dvd.
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on September 26, 2017
I have her Walking Workout, which is pretty easy. I was hoping this would be more difficult and it is! There are three 35 minute workouts, upper body, lower body, and full body. I tired the upper body first and could only make it for 15 minutes. Then I tried the full body and made it 17 minutes. I tried the lower body and was able to go for 20 minutes. Do I like working out? Not at all. So I can't say "I love this workout". haha! But I do feel that it will make me stronger, so I am going to try to do it 2 or 3 times a week and work up to the full 35 minutes. It is a hard workout for me. May not be hard for someone that has been working out for years and someone younger than myself.
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on March 4, 2018
Wow! This is a true workout. I am 53 and don’t like to sweat or be out of breath. I never do cardio but I have Jessica smith’s “walk on” dvd and really like it so I figured I would try a more intense workout with her. I had to pause it twice to catch my breath and wipe my sweat. It’s not difficult to do it’s just a lot to do for someone who hates exercise. It’s 30 min but took me a bit longer. I’ll have to not do as many reps and hopefully will be able to build up to the full workout. I was able to keep up with the floor portion. My legs feel like wet noodles so I know it’s worth the investment. After all, Summer is right around the corner.
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on January 6, 2017
I read other people's reviews and I have been working out consistently for thirty years. I did not realize that Jessica Smith is the same instructor as the one on my cable TV. She is clear, makes it doable and fun! I highly recommend ANY workout she offers! On this DVD she has her Mom work out with modifications if anyone wants to see them.
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on June 19, 2017
Love this workout. I am 61 and suffer from arthritis. Hard to get out of bed but I do know that moving and strengthening is the best medicine. I love the upper body and full body workout the best. The lower workout is just too much for me for now. Hopefully this will encourage others with arthritis to try. Right now I cannot do the full 35 minutes but at least 25-30 not giving up!! Thanks Jessica, this is great!
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on December 16, 2017
By far my favorite trainer online. She makes sure to include movements that will help you function in everyday life and build deep strength in you abs as well as other areas and not just focus on wearing a bikini. I absolutely recommend all of her dvds, I almost have all of them!
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on September 21, 2016
I don't like this as well the other Walk Strong Jessica DVDs. It's harder and not as much fun. It is effective and helps with bone density so I use it fairly regularly.
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on February 28, 2018
Another great workout dvd from an excellent instructor. If you want to get a great exercise session indoors, I highly recommend Jessica Smith. Modifiers for every exercise so you can control your moves based on your own physical needs. Bubbly and cheerful. Love her! I enjoy being able to workout at ho e whenever I want without having to drive somewhere. Keeps me I. Shape all winter. The miles go by fast and you can choose how many you want to do. Work up a good sweat! You’ll feel great!
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