Walk Strong 3

Walk Strong 3 is the third program in the Walk Strong series from Jessica Smith. Though I will be summarizing the program here and reviewing each of the workouts, here is Jessica’s website that gives her own description, a video clip and other information about the Walk Strong 3 program. And here is a page with short clips of each workout. Each of Jessica’s Walk Strong programs is a progression. So if you are new to fitness, start with Walk Strong 1. Once you have mastered that, you can do her Walk Strong 2 workouts (sold individually, not as a packaged program) and once you have mastered that and you are looking for something more, move on to Walk Strong 3. This program is definitely more comprehensive and challenging than Walk Strong 1. But if you are a beginner and starting here, Jessica’s mom Debbie is still with her, just like she is in the first 2 Walk Strong programs showing beginner and low impact modifications to every move.

You can get the program via download or a DVD clamshell that houses 6 DVDs containing 20 workouts. TWENTY workouts! I told you it was comprehensive! You also get a digital/PDF bonus guide that has lots of nutrition and fitness tips (no meal plan) and the rotation calendar. The PDF has a lot of great information in it (28 pages long!). If you got the DVDs like I did, you also get a large fold out rotation calendar. The calendar is interesting. On Day 1 you do two of the easiest workouts in the entire program (Foundations + 1-Mile of Motivation) and Day 2 she has you do one of the hardest workouts in the entire program (Metabolic Conditioning). So if you are a beginner, Day 1 is appropriate but be warned that Day 2 you will be following Debbie’s modifications! However if you have already been through Walk Strong 1 & 2 then you are probably prepared for Day 2. The calendar also color codes all of the workouts according to intensity level. So at a glance you can see that Jessica has balanced things nicely for you. You are not doing high intensity workouts every day.

I didn’t follow the rotation calendar and I probably never will. I did the majority of the workouts after having just finished all of the workouts in Walk Strong 1. However, some of the stretching workouts I did at an earlier date–the end of December. At that time I needed to tack on a longer stretch to the end of a difficult workout and since I had these waiting for me, I just used them. I also workout for an hour every morning then again for 30 minutes after I get home from work. So in the morning I paired two of the workouts together and in the afternoons I would do just one. So I obviously am not approaching the workouts the way most people would (one a day). When I do pair them together I mention it in the individual workout reviews below.

The setting for these workouts looks like a very nice fitness club but I don’t know that for certain. The majority of the workouts are filmed in a large high ceiling room with floor to ceiling glass windows and a fireplace behind them. Through the glass windows you can see water–the ocean I think (she does live in Florida). You see boats passing by in the course of the workout and in at least one of them the weather is foggy outside. It’s quite beautiful. Some of the workouts (stretch/yoga) are filmed outside beside a pool with the water/ocean behind Jessica, Beth and Debbie.

As for the types of workouts in the program, you get everything! Strength, different levels of cardio, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, flexibility, barre, core work–it is extremely comprehensive! And within those types of workouts you get different modalities–so the strength training, the cardio, the core work, even the yoga/flexibility is approached differently in the various workouts. It is an impressive program that can grow with you. I am very glad Jessica offered it and that I own it. Some of the workouts I will return to more frequently than others and a few I may never return to. But I can definitely see using the majority of them again. In my opinion, the real gold of this program is the strength and metabolic workouts. I felt this way about her Walk Strong 1 program. As of today, I have only done the strength workouts in Walk Strong 2, and they are also gold. I have also done a lot of Jessica’s YouTube strength and metabolic workouts–and again, excellent. So obviously these types of workouts are a real strength for Jessica. She works your body thoroughly and since she always uses circuit training, whether she labels them as metabolic or not, they generally are metabolic, so you get cardio with your strength training.

And finally, the real charm of these workouts is Jessica herself. She is an excellent trainer. I have done a lot of her workouts in the past year and she is extremely motivational. One the most motivational trainers out there. She is very comfortable in front of a camera and excludes warmth and caring. She always shows modifications so people of all levels can come to her workouts and still get a good workout. In fact, that is one of the most attractive things about her. She wants everyone to exercise, to not make excuses, so she makes her workouts accessible to most everyone and is always adamant that you do a workout at your personal level.  She also has perfect form. Perfect. I am not exaggerating. There are a lot of trainers out there who personally display excellent form when performing exercises and I always appreciate that. It is troublesome to work out to a trainer who cannot perform an exercise properly. That never happens with Jessica. She performs every exercise perfectly and if you follow her lead, you can learn how to exercise properly. She is excellent at explaining form, too. She also has an awesome dog–Peanut! Peanut shows up in the bonus PDF guide but you don’t get Peanut in the workouts. However, if you do her YouTube workouts, Peanut keeps you company in most of them.

Disc 1: Foundations & Flexibility: Includes the program intro which is 4 minutes long.

Foundations is 34:30 minutes. Equipment: mat, towel and chair. Jessica says this is a good routine to do if you are feeling under the weather or as an extended warm up. She spends a lot of time explaining form. After having just finished Walk Strong 1, I found this workout most similar to Jessica’s Prehab Routine in Walk Strong 1 but much more effective. Now, I never broke a sweat the entire time I was doing this workout but I did feel like I was actually working my body. What I found especially useful about this workout is the time Jessica spent going over basic proper form for exercises. This is essential for any beginning exerciser and when I say that I do not just mean that this is the first workout they have ever done. I mean even someone who has already been working out for months (or even years) but never following a trainer that showed and explained proper form. This routine is a way to learn it and cement it in your mind. So it is actually very useful. I am already familiar with proper form so she didn’t show me anything I didn’t already know and do, but when she went over abdominal exercise form that is always a good refresher for me. Even though I know it, I don’t always think about all of the different aspects of proper form when doing abdominal exercises. Will I ever return to this routine? Probably not any time soon.

Throughout this workout you will be moving in and out of stretches. The workout starts with neck retractions followed by neck stretches. You hinge forward at the hips and straighten. Standing back extensions (arching spine). Stretch shoulders. Chest stretches. Lay on back, stretching arms overhead then to chest. With hands clasped, reach them toward the ceiling while also lifting head/neck and chest. Bend knees, feet on floor and slowly open one knee at a time to side. Slide heel out straight then back in. Raise and lower bent leg; add raising and lowering opposite arm. Combine the leg moves–open one knee to side while raising the other bent knee, alternate sides. Hip bridges; add marching legs/knees while hips raised in bridge; one leg hip bridge holds. Basic crunches. Lay on stomach, chest/head raised and resting on forearms, alternate bending legs heels toward bottom. Bird dogs. Cobra. Knee push ups. Sit on chair and raise and lower one leg, extending leg straight, alternate legs. Pull one knee into chest to stretch it. Extend leg straight w/ heel on floor and stretch hamstring. Stand and put one foot on seat of chair and lunge forward. Chair squats; changes to one leg chair squats (one toe on floor). Side lunges. Stationary lunges. Hamstring curl/stretch. Lifting and lowering toes (while standing). Spine extensions and neck retractions again.

Deep Stretch is 32:30 minutes. Equipment: a mat and a rolled up towel. She also used a pillow for padding but I have a special very thick and padded mat I use for yoga and barre/mat work and that worked fine for me. Instead of the rolled up towel, I used one of my other (normal thickness) rolled up yoga mats. Just as the title suggests, this is a long, deep stretch. It felt particularly good this morning since I have been doing almost exclusively Fit Body by Julia and Yvette Bachman workouts for the past 2 weeks–and also neglecting my weekly yoga practice. So a nice, relaxing deep stretch was just what I was needing. This is set outside by a pool with water behind them. The routine starts with side stretches. Neck stretches. Shoulder stretches. Foot stretch. Wrist stretches on hands and knees. “Extended puppy pose” (like child’s pose but with butt raised). Cat and cow. On knees, lean torso back w/ hands on floor behind you, bottom on feet. Low kneeling lunge. Lean hips back for a calf stretch. Hurdlers stretch. Toe stretches. With leg straight and rolled up towel under knee, flex foot while slightly raising foot off floor. Hug knee into chest and do spine twist. Lay on back, legs open and straight in a V (inner thigh stretch). Half happy baby pose (one leg). Extend leg straight and hold stretch. Cross legs, grab ankles and hug knees into chest. Side lying quad stretch. Lying spine twist. Shoulder stretch while laying on stomach. Cobra. Pigeon pose. Child’s pose. Ends w/ corpse pose.

Yoga Strength & Stretch is 32 minutes. Equipment: a mat (towel and yoga block optional). This was an excellent yoga routine. It was not an easy/gentle routine but Jessica does move in and out of every pose slowly and deliberately which makes it seem gentle–but it’s not! I used this as my Sunday yoga routine and did Foundations (above) first. After doing Foundations, I was afraid my entire morning workout wouldn’t even make me break a sweat but I was wrong. I was definitely perspiring during this workout. An excellent yoga routine! For this workout you get Jessica only (no Debbie or Beth) and it is set outside by a pool just like Deep Stretch (above).

It starts w/ side leaning stretches. Flow in and out of chair pose, extending/arching spine at top of move. Tree pose. Pull knee into chest, balancing on one leg; extend leg in front of you (still balancing on one leg) arms raised out straight to side in “T”; transition into Warrior 3 pose (she calls it airplane). Flow in and out of plie squat. Standing cat/cow. Forward fold to plank to down dog to 3 leg dog to warrior 1 to warrior 2 to triangle to warrior 2 to half moon to warrior 2 to mountain–repeat this series on other side of body. One leg chair pose. Forward fold to plank to down dog to 3 leg dog to crescent pose. In crescent pose, flow arms overhead then hinge forward bringing straight arms down by hips. 3 leg dog, return to crescent to down dog–raise other leg and repeat series from 3 leg dog on other side of body. Twisting chair pose. Sit on bottom w/ legs extended straight in front of you, arms are at side w/ palms pressing into mat beside hips (Jessica calls it “holding staff pose”). Modified boat pose; changes to half boat pose. In half boat pose, raise and lower legs, tapping toes to ground at bottom. Child’s pose. Yoga push ups (tricep push up to child’s pose). Cat/cow. Cat crunch (on all 4s, extend one leg behind you, bringing knee under body and round back bringing knee to nose); add opposite arm, bringing elbow to knee under body. Lay on belly w/ forearms on floor; raise from this position to forearm plank and hold plank. Lay on belly again and interlace fingers at small of back and point toes–raise chest, arms and feet/legs; open and close legs, squeezing heels together. Elbow/forearm plank w/ hand clasped together, lift hips into dolphin pose and hold. Side elbow plank. Crow crunch (lay on back, legs raised, knees bent and open, soles of feet together, arms raised straight overhead–do a crunch, keeping arms straight and touching elbows to inside of knees). Bridge pose; changes to one leg bridge. Hug knees into chest. Ends w/ corpse pose w/ towel laid over eyes.

Disc 2: Cardio Cross Train

Cardio Step Jam is 32:30 minutes; 3:30 warm up (I think) and 2 minute cool down. Equipment: step w/ 0-3 risers (I used 2 risers/8 inches, Jessica’s step was also at 8 inches, Beth’s step was at 6 inches and Debbie did not use a step). I really liked this workout. It is not terribly intense though it did have brief moments of intensity. It is a steady state cardio workout made up of basic step combinations and some basic cardio moves on the floor. There was nothing difficult or challenging about this workout but it was fun. Though I am accustomed to getting more intensity with my cardio I can see returning to this workout when I want something pretty easy but fun. And if you are a step counter, this is a great way to help you get to your 10,000 step goal! I did break a sweat and a few times I was even breathing hard (those brief moments of intensity I mentioned), but overall just some basic low key cardio. I’m not going to break this down because everything is so basic. For the step moves there are basic step ups, step knees, straddle knee step, knee pulls, Charleston kicks, up and overs and more. For the floor work you do grapevines, side steps, L steps and more. Like I said, all pretty basic, but it was fun and I got some decent cardio.

Boogie I.T. (I.T. stands for Interval Training) is 30 minutes; 4:30 minute warm up and 3 minute cool down/stretch. No equipment needed. This was solid workout with intensity blasts. It wasn’t my favorite in the program but it was definitely more intense than Cardio Step Jam (above). The workout contains 3 intensity intervals. You do each interval for 30 seconds, then repeat them. I did expect more than 3 intervals (or technically 6, since you repeat each interval once) but there are other intense moves in the workout. None as intense as the intervals but they still get the heart rate elevated. There are also plenty of low intensity recovery moves. So it is a mixed bag. There is some agility training, too, though nothing like Insanity Asylum agility moves. Still, they are agility moves and somewhat awkward. I did like this workout, but I didn’t love it. The moves are listed in the order they first appear but they are all repeated at some point. They are not all intervals–the intervals are identified in breakdown. Remember, Debbie is always present doing low impact, beginner modifications to every high intensity, high impact move.

  1. Jog forward and back; changes to side steps forward and jog back; changes to 2 knee pulls each leg moving forward + 2 sweep steps back
  2. Interval: jacks, bringing knee to opposite elbow
  3. Step cross over kick
  4. Double side step
  5. Grapevines w/ tango arms
  6. Shuffle, step tap; changes to shuffle, shuffle, hop
  7. 3 steps to side + knee raise; changes to 3 fast run/shuffles to side w/ knee raise
  8. Interval: lateral skaters
  9. Alternating toe taps behind you w/ same side arm rotating behind you while turning chest
  10. Alternate tapping toe behind you but this time with each tap you turn your body to the side while raising and lowering arms to side
  11. Karaoke drill
  12. Shuffle in a circle
  13. Alternate step tapping to side while moving forward then march back
  14. Interval: turning step tap that changes to a jumping side to side lunge w/ ski arms

Cardio Hit! is 31:30 minutes; 3:30 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: a chair. Since this is a cardio boxing workout, I wore 2 pound weighted gloves. The bulk of this workout is boxing drills alternated with intensity blasts. When there is 6:30 minutes left in the workout, you get your chair for kick drills. I loved this workout! My favorite of the 3 cardio workouts on this disk. You dive right into the boxing drills, starting with the warm up, then it just keeps building. This workout elevated my heart rate more than the other 2 cardio workouts. And I loved the kick drills at the end. All around excellent workout. Just like in Boogie I.T. there are 3 intervals and each interval is repeated. Between each interval is boxing drills. I am not going to break down this entire workout since it is cardio boxing but I will list the intervals below. Each interval is done for 30 seconds then repeated. They also aren’t done one right after the other–as mentioned above, they are separated by boxing drills. I did this workout as a doubles workout (second workout of the day after I get home from work). After doing it, I also think it would work really well in conjunction with Lower Body (below) for an intense hour long workout. I will try that in the future.

Intervals:

  1. Fast lateral skaters w/ punch downs
  2. Punch jacks
  3. High/low punches w/ jumps

Kick Drills:

  1. Holding back of chair, sweep one leg out to side w/ foot flexed
  2. Push kick to side (leg still raised to side, bring knee in and push back out straight)
  3. Round house kicks
  4. Repeat 1-3 on other leg
  5. Hold deep/wide plie squat

Disc 3: Sculpt

Metabolic Conditioning is 32:30 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 2:15 minute stretch. Equipment: a set of light dumbbells, a set of moderately heavy dumbbells and a square step w/ up to 3 risers (10 inches). I had my step at 10 inches and used a wider variety of dumbbells than just two, and wow. This was tough! I was working really hard and sweating! This was strength and cardio for me even tho there were no actual cardio moves! This is much more advanced than anything in Walk Strong 1. Excellent and challenging workout. I followed it with Cardio Interval Sculpt (below) and got a super intense workout this morning. Just FYI–this doesn’t have to be done at the level I did it. Use lighter dumbbells, a lower step or no step for an easier workout. Plus you can always follow Debbie for modified versions of everything.

  1. Side squat w/ overhead press on step, alternate sides (8# DBs)
  2. Reverse lunge off step, raising back leg at top of lunge, alternate narrow row and wide row (10# DBs)
  3. Push ups w/ one hand on step
  4. Repeat 1-3 (#2 & 3 done on other side of body)
  5. Curtsy lunge off step w/ one arm back row (row at top of lunge) (one 15 # DB)
  6. Hold DB in both hands and balance on one leg, press raised leg in and out in front of while also pushing DB in and out in front of you (one 12# DB)
  7. Side squat off step while swinging DB between legs at bottom of squat and overhead at top of squat (one 12# DB)
  8. Repeat 5-7 on other side of body
  9. Sumo squats w/ bicep curls (on floor) (10# DBs)
  10. Pulse lunge 3x (back foot on step) then press arms/DBs straight behind you; changes to singles (one lunge w/ tricep press back at top of lunge) (10# DBs)
  11. Step up and down off step while doing tricep kickbacks (10# DBs)
  12. Repeat 9-11 (10 on other leg, 11 lead w/ other leg)
  13. Chest press w/ heels on step, press hips up when pressing DBs up (20# DBs)
  14. Renegade row (one 20# DB)
  15. Tricep dips off step
  16. Repeat 13-15
  17. Sit ups on floor, calves straddling the step and feet on floor on either side of step, at top of sit up raise arms overhead
  18. Still laying on back, extend legs above step but not touching step, hands behind head, bend one knee while bringing opposite elbow toward knee–keep repeating this move on same side of body (so not a full bicycle maneuver)
  19. Lay on back but this time the top of your head is facing the step, reach arms overheard and hold the step, raise one leg to ceiling, other leg bent w/ foot on floor and do one leg hip raises; changes to pulses
  20. Still on back, still holding step overhead, raise and lower hips, pushing straight legs to ceiling (reverse crunch)

Cardio Interval Sculpt is 33 minutes; 3 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: a set of light dumbbells, a set of moderately heavy dumbbells and a mat. Another intense workout. Not as intense (for me) as Metabolic Conditioning (above) but close. I actually did Metabolic Conditioning first and followed it with this workout so my muscles were already fatigued when I came to this (and my shirt and hair already pretty sweaty). Another excellent and tough cardio + metabolic strength workout. Between the two workouts I got an excellent hour long total body workout + cardio this morning. Intense! The dumbbells listed below are what I used, not what Jessica and crew used. And as I mentioned above, Debbie shows the beginner and lower impact versions of everything. I followed Jessica or Beth who did the most advanced versions of the exercises.

  1. Wide plie squat w/ overhead press (8# DBs)
  2. Pivot into a static lunge and alternate swinging straight arms (8# DBs)
  3. Still in lunge, lower down bringing DBs to floor on either side of front foot and when you come up do a back row turning palms to ceiling (12# DBs)
  4. Cardio: Squat jacks, tapping one hand to floor and circling it behind you when coming up from the squat
  5. Repeat 1-4 (2 & 3 on other side of body)
  6. Split stance squat and one arm row (single leg squat) (one 20# DB)
  7. Squat + side lunge + one arm overhead press (for squat hold DB at shoulder, side lunge bringing DB to foot, bringing back to shoulder for overhead press) (one 15# DB)
  8. Step side to side, tapping foot behind you w/ overhead tricep extensions (one 20# DB)
  9. Cardio: Lateral skaters while circling arms overhead
  10. Repeat 6-9 (6 & 7) on other side of body
  11. Long lunge w/ upper back row (back leg is straight, row is wide and high) (6# DBs)
  12. Bicep curls while tapping leg to side then behind you (wide tap) (8# DBs)
  13. Tricep kickbacks w/ front knee raise (when not raising knee toe taps behind you) (8# DBs)
  14. Cardio: Fast lunge side to side, tapping one hand to ground and extending other arm behind you w/ each lunge (Cathe calls something similar “Fred Astaires”)
  15. Repeat 11-14 (11-13 on other side of body)
  16. Chest press w/ marching bridge (lay on back, feet on floor and hips raised, as you do your chest press you alternate marching legs while keeping hips raised the entire time, for the chest press, you start w/ arms wide but as you press up, you turn palms toward each other so it starts as a wide press and is a narrow press at the top of the move) (20# DBs)
  17. Still on back, feet on floor, raise arms/DBs straight overhead and keep them stationary–alternate raising shoulder off floor, pushing DB toward ceiling (20# DBs)
  18. In modified side elbow plank (bottom knee on ground), raise and lower hip with one arm overhead press (one 8# DB)
  19. Cardio: plank varieties (plank jacks or jump feet in and out while in plank)
  20. Repeat 16-19 (18 on other side of body)
  21. In plank, but you are on one elbow and the other is in push up position–plank hold in this position
  22. Lay on belly and do swimming arms, raising chest w/ each stroke
  23. Lay on back and do a single leg bridge, as you raise hips you are pushing other leg out straight and as you lower hips you bring knee into chest (arms are also extended overhead)
  24. Single leg bicycle (bring knee in and tap opposite elbow to knee then push back out–stay on same leg/elbow)
  25. Repeat 23 & 24 on other side of body

Barre Sculpt is 32:30 minutes; 4 minute warm up (pilates ball is used in warm up) and 1 minute stretch. Equipment: chair, light dumbbells and a pilates ball. I used 6 and 15 pound dumbbells. This is a high rep workout so you cannot lift heavy. I did Total Body (below) prior to doing this workout, so I had already been working hard. I had initially planned to use 8 pound dumbbells but quickly realized, due to the high reps, that was too heavy for me. And 6 pounds ended up being appropriate for most of the exercises. Only two of them did I need something heavier and that’s because they are exercises for larger muscle groups (back and chest). I used 15 pound dumbbells for those. Another great total body workout. The barre work really burned my legs out–the standing leg as much as the working leg!

  1. Place pilates ball between knees and hold on to back of chair, raise onto toes and do a barre squat (keeping spine straight) squeezing ball between knees; hold in squat and pulse squeeze ball between knees
  2. Place ball behind one knee and pulse heel toward glutes; hinge forward over chair back and raise and lower foot toward ceiling; changes to lifting leg to side of body in a hydrant move
  3. Turn body to side placing forearm on chair back, leg is lifted to side, knee bent and ball is placed and held on top of the side of the knee–in this position, bring knee down toward opposite knee then bring leg back up and straighten leg to side; raise ball overhead, leg is still extended straight to side and do an oblique crunch bringing knee and elbow together; hold ball overhead, leg still extended straight and do small circles w/ leg
  4. Repeat #1; repeat 2 & 3 on other side of body
  5. Set ball and chair aside and grab dumbbells; stand w/ heels together and toes turned out (plie), do narrow plie squat then raise onto toes while pressing DBs out to sides of body (6# DBs)
  6. Overhead tricep extension while tapping one toe behind other foot (while squatting) then raising it to side when raising from squat (6# DBs)
  7. Rear delt fly w/ static lunges (6# DBs)
  8. Repeat #5; repeat 6 & 7 on other side of body
  9. Wide plie squats w/ overhead presses that are angled forward slightly (6# DBs)
  10. Balance on one leg and do a hamstring curl w/ a back row (15# DBs)
  11. Pulsing narrow squat while hinged forward, press one arm overhead and one behind you in a tricep kickback, alternate arms (6# DBs)
  12. Repeat #9; repeat 10 & 11 on other side of body
  13. Lay on back w/ pilates ball between knees–do a chest fly while also doing a full crunch (raising head/shoulders and bringing knees into chest) (15# DBs)
  14. Tricep dips w/ ball still between knees and raised onto toes
  15. Come into modified plank (on knees) w/ ball on floor under chest and do a mini pulsing push up, chest tapping the ball
  16. Lay on stomach, arms and legs extended and ball under hands in front of you–raise and lower head/chest while rolling hands forward and back on ball; keep head/chest raised (hands still on ball) and raise legs off floor, doing a flutter kick
  17. Turn over and place ball under upper back, legs bent and feet on floor, hands behind head-do crunches in this position; changes to raising one knee and tapping knee w/ opposite elbow, alternate sides
  18. Still on back, move ball so it is under small of back/hips and raise straight legs to ceiling–raise and lower straight legs, lifting hips at top of move
  19. Still on back, extend legs straight w/ ball now under heels–do a crunch, bringing feet/ball in while also doing a circle-swim move with arms as you lift head/shoulders; keeping one foot on ball, bring other knee in while bringing opposite elbow toward knee (you are also rolling ball in and out w/ other leg while doing this)

Disc 4: Strength

Total Body is 33 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment: a set of light, a set of moderately heavy and a set of heavy dumbbells. Another excellent and intense strength workout. This one does a great job of hitting every muscle group and in a short amount of time. I was working very hard! I followed this with Barre Sculpt (above), another total body workout. They worked very well together but this workout would work well with any of the workouts on Disk 3: Sculpt to get an hour long, intense total body workout. Or even Total Body Training on Disk 6 for an approx. 45 minute total body workout. You can obviously pair these workouts up any way you want (or just do one workout–working out for an hour is just something I do), but these are ideas that I want to keep in mind for future workouts. The dumbbell weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Superman to push up
  2. Alternating side lunge w/ one arm overhead press (15# DBs)
  3. Deadrow (25# DBs)
  4. Repeat 1-3
  5. Lay on back w/ legs raised off floor and knees bent, alternating chest press (25# DBs)
  6. Bridge w/ hamstring curl (still on back, one knee bent w/ foot on floor the other leg extended straight, do a hip bridge (raising hips) while bringing heel of straight leg in to tap floor beside other heel)
  7. In stationary lunge do a one arm bicep curl (17.5# DB)
  8. Repeat 5-7
  9. Goblet squat (one 30# DB)
  10. Overhead tricep extension while balancing on one leg (one 30# DB)
  11. Rear lunge w/ one arm overhead press (one 12# DB)
  12. Repeat 9-11
  13. In elbow plank, walk feet in 4x so you are in pike then walk back to plank
  14. Lay on back w/ legs raised and knees bent, arms extended straight overhead–straighten one leg while extending same side arm across opposite thigh (which is still bent), alternate sides (similar to a bicycle maneuver)
  15. Still on back, legs extended straight and lowered to 45 degrees, head/shoulders raised–raise and lower legs (they never touch the ground nor come up high)
  16. Start laying on back, roll up to standing (Jessica shows 3 different variations)

Upper Body is 32:30 minutes; 4 minute warm up (a light dumbbell is used during the warm up and a lot of the warm up is done on your mat) and 2:15 minute stretch. Equipment: a set of light, a set of moderately heavy and a set of heavy dumbbells. Another intense and thorough workout. This morning I did Lower Body followed by Upper Body for an hour long total body workout and I was worn out! They are both circuit based strength workouts that move fast enough to elevate your heart rate. I used the dumbbells listed below and they were really burning my muscles out. No joke–I was eking out that final rep on some of the exercises below. Just like her upper body strength workout in Walk Strong 1, part of what makes this workout so intense is the tempos she uses for the reps. When we were lifting slow it was really burning! Another excellent strength workout from Jessica.

  1. Push ups (push up to count of 3 and lower to count of 1)
  2. Chest press (25# DBs)
  3. In a split stance, do a single leg deadlift (20# DBs)
  4. Bent over row, rotating palms at top of row (20# DBs)
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 on other side of body
  6. Push ups (push up to count of 1 and lower to count of 3)
  7. Repeat 3-5
  8. Wide bicep curls (12# DBs)
  9. Tricep kickbacks (slow tempo) (12# DBs)
  10. Narrow overhead press (palms face each other) (15# DBs)
  11. Repeat 8-10
  12. One arm overhead press while simultaneously doing one arm side raise (10# DBs)
  13. Rear fly + front raise (10# DBs)
  14. Step side to side while doing a reverse bicep curl (10# DBs)
  15. Alternating tricep kickbacks (10# DBs)
  16. Repeat 12-15
  17. Chest fly crunch knee hug (lay on back, knees bent and raised–do a chest fly while also doing a crunch–bringing knees into chest then extending legs straight while also lifting shoulders) (20# DBs)
  18. Sit on bottom, hands on floor by hips and feet on floor, knees bent–lift and lower hips while pressing on leg in and out (tricep dip/hip lift kick)
  19. Get on all 4s holding a light DB in one hand and opposite leg extended straight behind you–do one arm high/wide row (one 10# DB)
  20. Lay on stomach w/ arms in goal post–raise and lower chest and arms
  21. In elbow plank, push hips in and out of dolphin pose
  22. Single side bicycle crunch

Lower Body is 30:30 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: a square step with up to 3 risers, a set of light, a set of moderately heavy and a set of heavy dumbbells. I had my step @ 10 inches (3 risers), Jessica used 2 risers, Beth used 1 riser and Debbie did not use a step at all. This was an excellent and intense lower body workout. I worked so hard I got cardio out of this workout, too. You can vary the intensity by using a lower step height and/or using lighter dumbbells. This is definitely a progression from Walk Strong 1’s lower body workout. This one (IMHO) is much more challenging. As usual, the dumbbells listed below are what I used, not what Jessica, Beth or Debbie used. I used a set of 20 pound dumbbells for everything except the goblet squats and I used one 30 pound dumbbell for that. When I did this workout, I followed it with Upper Body (above) for a total body strength workout, however this would also work very well with Cardio Hit! (above) which also has some intense lower body kick drills.

  1. Side squat off step (always keeping one foot on step) (20# DBs)
  2. Rear lunge off step (always keeping one foot on step) (20# DBs)
  3. Side squat + rear lunge off step (always keeping one foot on step) (20# DBs)
  4. Single leg deadlift (20# DBs)
  5. Balance on one leg and with other leg do a hamstring curl + a rear leg raise
  6. Repeat 1-4 on other leg
  7. Repeat 5 at a faster tempo
  8. Split squats w/ back foot on step behind you (one 20# DB)
  9. Single leg deadlift w/ back foot still on step behind you (one 20# DB)
  10. Calf raise + front leg raise, alternate legs
  11. Repeat 8 & 9 on other leg
  12. Repeat 10
  13. Goblet squats (try to tap bottom to step) (one 30# DB)
  14. Side lunge, raise lunging leg off ground, lower back to side lunge then return to standing (one 20# DB)
  15. Slow balancing lateral skaters
  16. Repeat 13 & 14 (on other leg)
  17. Repeat 15
  18. Single leg to touch squat off top of step (one foot is always on step) (20# DBs)
  19. Wide plie squat w/ DBs on thighs (pulse 3x w/ each squat) (20# DBs)
  20. Repeat 18 on other leg
  21. Repeat 19
  22. Walking glute bridge (lay on back w/ hips raised in bridge and walk heels out and in while keeping hips raised)
  23. Star hip lift (in side elbow plank, raise and lower top leg and hips)
  24. Repeat 22
  25. Repeat 23 on other side of body

Disc 5: Fusion Mix

Barefoot Cardio Core is 32:30 minutes; 5 minute warm up and 30 second stretch. Equipment: playground or pilates ball (I used a 4 pound medicine ball). I loved this workout! I don’t know that I would have loved it with just a pilates ball but the medicine ball definitely increased the intensity. I was working hard, sweating and I felt it throughout my core. I was prepared for this workout because I have done Jessica’s YouTube workout Cardio Ball Blast several times. I use a 4 pound medicine ball for that workout and always get a great workout. I like this workout even better than Cardio Ball Blast and I love that workout. To be specific, I own two 4 pound medicine balls. One is a fairly large with a pebbled surface like typical medicine balls and one is small and smooth–about the size of a softball. In this workout you do need to be able to grip the ball with one hand sometimes so I used the smaller medicine ball. If I had used the larger one, it would have been difficult to grip it properly for few of the exercises.

  1. Doing small squats, rotate ball from hip to hip; changes to an overhead arch w/ ball
  2. Step tap side to side while doing a figure 8 w/ ball
  3. Wide step side to side w/ a knee lift w/ each step and a brief pause/hold w/ knee lifted while also raising ball overhead
  4. Tap toes side to side w/ doing a figure 8 w/ ball; tap changes to side leg raise
  5. Tap one toe over in front of other foot then tap it out/open to side (alternate these two taps), move/arch ball in opposition to leg
  6. Double side steps while scooping ball to side
  7. Wide step taps forward and back while doing figure 8 w/ ball
  8. Side taps while turning hips side to side, rotate ball side to side w/ arms holding ball out straight in front of you; changes to raising ball down and up
  9. Wide plie pulse squats while pressing ball between palms in front of chest
  10. Pulse lunge while pushing ball in and out straight in front of you while held in one hand
  11. Knee raise while chopping ball from shoulder to hip
  12. Repeat #9
  13. Repeat #10 & 11 on other side of body
  14. Hamstring curls while chopping ball down to hip; changes to single, single, double pattern
  15. Side step w/ a step back (like a curtsy lunge but not deep); changes to alternating curtsy lunge while circling ball overhead then bringing down to hip as you curtsy lunge; hold in pulsing curtsy lunge while also pulsing ball up and down at hip–driving elbow up and down
  16. Hamstring curls while moving forward and back and chopping ball from overhead to hip
  17. Double side steps w/ double cross chops
  18. Step side to side while doing figure 8 w/ ball
  19. Wide plie squats while doing wide circles w/ ball–overhead, to sides and down between legs
  20. Skater w/ tap back while arching ball from hip to hip
  21. Wide/big figure 8 w/ ball while stepping to side and coming into a narrow squat then stepping back (so only squatting to one side)
  22. Mambo forward and back while again, doing figure 8 w/ arms (smaller figure 8, from hip to hip)
  23. Alternating knee lift while raising and lowering ball overhead
  24. Chop ball from overhead down to opposite hip while raising knee
  25. Repeat #23
  26. Repeat #22
  27. Side taps while turning hips side to side, rotate ball side to side w/ arms holding ball out straight in front of you; changes to raising ball down and up
  28. Pivot side to side into shallow lunge while bringing ball hip to hip
  29. Wide step then arch other (straight leg) over and tap toe to outside of opposite toe
  30. Holding ball between hands at chest level, rotate ball side to side while raising and lowering one knee
  31. Hinge forward and raise and lower straight leg behind you while passing ball from hand to hand while opening straight arms into a fly
  32. Repeat #29
  33. Repeat #30 and 31 on other side of body
  34. Squat while bringing ball down to hip and when you stand halo ball overhead and lower to other hip while squatting
  35. Hold ball overhead with straight arms, raise one leg out straight to side while leaning torso/ball in same direction as you lift leg
  36. Repeat #34

Tone & Flow is 32 minutes; 6 minute warm up and 2:45 minute stretch. Equipment: set of light dumbbells. I used 5 pound dumbbells for most of the exercises but had my 8 pound dumbbells handy and used those for a few of the exercises. This was an excellent workout that really sneaks up on you! I was working much harder than I expected! After previewing the workout, I expected to be using 8 pound dumbbells for everything but I quickly realized that was too ambitious and lowered to 5 pounds for most of the exercises. Because the exercises are paired, sometimes 5 pounds was perfect for one of the exercises but 8 pounds (or 6 or 7) would have worked better for the second exercise, but because one exercise flows into the next it makes swapping weights out difficult. But I still did for a few of the exercises. It is a high rep workout and a very nice contrast to many of the other workouts in this program. I did it in combination with Pilates & Yoga (below) and they worked very nicely together. I felt well worked afterward!

  1. Lunge w/ push off and rear leg raise + overhead press 5# DBs)
  2. Diagonal step back lunge w/ bow and arrow pull (5# DBs)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2
  4. Alternating curtsy lunges: changes to stationary curtsy lunge w/ rear flys (5# DBs)
  5. Face diagonally in a narrow squat–step side to side (each time facing diagonally in narrow squat) and as you step, rainbow arms/DBs overhead, swinging DBs down past hips when squatting (5# DBs)
  6. Narrow pulsing squat–bicep curls while raising and lowering heels (5# DBs)
  7. Repeat 5 & 6
  8. Overhead tricep extensions while sweeping leg in front of you side to side (5# DBs)
  9. Alternating side leg raises w/ scoop curls (5# DBs)
  10. Repeat 8 & 9
  11. Step forward while lifting other leg straight behind you and pushing both straight arms/DBs behind you (8# DBs)
  12. One arm overhead press while bending and extending opposite leg (8# DBs)
  13. Repeat 11 & 12
  14. Long lunge w/ chest fly hug (5# DBs)
  15. Alternating bent over rows while balancing on one leg (other leg  lifted and extended straight behind you (8# DBs)
  16. Repeat 14 & 15
  17. Side lunge and when you stand, lift knee and twist elbow toward knee (hand behind head throughout)
  18. Lift leg straight behind you then bring knee in to chest while also raising and lowering arms
  19. Repeat 17 & 18
  20. Stand on one leg w/ arms extended straight overhead, other leg is raised w/ knee bent–open and close bent knee
  21. Cross leg over knee and do one leg squats while circling arms
  22. Repeat 20 & 21

Pilates & Yoga is 32 minutes. Equipment: a fitness mat. This is a nice yoga/pilates fusion workout. Lots of core work and some stretching, too. I did it in combination with Tone & Flow (above) and they worked very well together for my Sunday workout. Tone & Flow raised my heart rate and got me sweating and Pilates & Yoga lowered my heart rate while still working my body nicely. Warm up is 5 minutes (I think) and consists of standing pilates moves, balance moves and some flowing yoga moves. 1:30 minute stretch. At the 5 minute mark you pull out your mat. Forward fold to plank, back to forward fold then roll back to standing. Repeat and do plank squats (in plank, lower hips to heels then return to plank). Down dog. In down dog, flow between tapping knees to ground and returning to down dog. In plank, bring one knee under body toward nose then raise leg up behind you (still in plank). Child’s pose. Lay on back and raise and lower hips in bridge pose; hold bridge pose. Lay on back, legs raised and knees bent–raise and lower head/shoulders (also raising and lowering straight arms overhead and to hips). Pilates 100 while straightening and bending legs. Raise and lower hips in bridge again, this time raised on toes (circling arms from overhead to hips). Scissor leg cross crunch pulses. Roll up to boat pose then roll back down. Flow in and out of bow pose. Elbow plank hold. In elbow plank, shift forward, lowering chest toward hands then return to regular forearm plank. Lay on back and do a reverse pedal w/ legs while also bringing elbows to opposite knees (hands behind head). Lay on side, raised on one elbow, raise top leg and circle it. Bend top leg and place foot on floor–pulse straight bottom leg w/ foot flexed. Get on hands and knees, bring knee to same side elbow on outside of body and hold then extend leg out straight behind you. Flow from crescent lunge to airplane balance pose. Flow from side angle to reverse warrior. Stand with legs wide and straight, lower one hand to ground while twisting torso to reach opposite hand toward ceiling (windmill reach).

Disc 6: 15-Minute Fix: This disk contains 5 fifteen minute workouts. On the rotation calendar, Jessica uses these as add on workouts. So on some days, in addition to doing one of the 30 minute workouts in the program, you will also add one of the 15 minute workouts to the end. And if you are not following the program there are other ways you can use these workouts. Don’t have time for a longer workout? Do one of the 15 minute ones (Total Body Training and Streamline Sculpt are the most intense). Want to add on some core work or a long stretch to finish off another workout, add on the Abs workout or Total Stretch. If you need a longer warm up, then start your workout with 1-Mile of Motivation. The menu on the disk lists each workout separately but also at the very top it has a “Play All” option. When I sampled these workouts, I did the play all. Now, in theory, that should have made it a 75 minute workout, but other than the first walking workout they are all longer than 15 minutes so my workout time was actually 83 minutes. It was actually a pretty good workout, too. Not terribly intense but, as usual, the most intense was Total Body Training, a total body metabolic circuit workout that packed a lot into 15 minutes. Jessica excels at creating these types of workouts to really kick your butt.

1-Mile of Motivation is 15 minutes. The motivation is apparently from the motivational sayings that appear on the screen throughout the workout because Jessica really didn’t do any motivational speaking during it. This is a very low intensity cardio workout. I used it as a warm up when I did it and it worked very well for that. It would also be great for a recovery day in which you are just doing some yoga–warm yourself up with this workout before doing your yoga practice. Since this is an easy workout I am not going to break the entire workout down, but it consists of primarily marching variations–marching in place, heel digs, V-steps, step side to side, step out and in, wide march, double knee lifts, grapevines, a dancy forward-back step, knee pulls, step w/ a low kick, there are even jumping jacks, jogging and backward jogging. There are more variations than that, but that is the type of moves included. And if it ever gets high impact (jumping jacks, jogging), Jessica always first shows the low impact version and Debbie continues doing the low impact version when Jessica and Beth kick it up the higher impact version.

Total Body Training is 16 minutes; 2:30 second warm up and 30 second stretch. Equipment: a set of light dumbbells and a set of moderately heavy dumbbells. Wow! For 15 minutes this was very intense! This was the workout that made me really start sweating. I did the “play all” option on this disk and was only mildly sweating after 1-Mile of Motivation–this workout made it start pouring! This is a total body circuit training workout. As usual, Jessica packs a lot into a short amount of time. She never ceases to amaze me with some of the comprehensive and intense strength training workouts she creates. The dumbbell weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Side squat + overhead press (15# DBs)
  2. In split stance, hinge forward and pulse while doing double arm close grip rows (20# DBs)
  3. Straight arm plank hold
  4. Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
  5. Straight arm plank hold
  6. Plie squat w/ front raise (8# DBs)
  7. In a lunge w/ back leg straight, lunge forward while doing tricep kickbacks (10# DBs)
  8. Single leg squat w/ bicep curls (10# DBs)
  9. Repeat #6
  10. Repeat 7 & 8 on other side of body
  11. Push up then stand up (that is one rep), 8 reps
  12. Skydiver lift (lay on stomach with arms and legs extended wide, raise and lower arms, chest and legs)
  13. Plank squats (in straight arm plank, lower hips toward heels then return to plank)
  14. Repeat 11-13

Streamline Sculpt is 16:30 minutes; 2 minute warm up and 15 second spine stretch. Equipment: a single moderately heavy dumbbell and a mat. This is another great metabolic circuit training workout that works very well in conjunction with Total Body Training. Since you are only using one dumbbell, you are doing unilateral training which also gives you some core work. I didn’t find it as intense as Total Body Training but it was still an excellent little workout. The dumbbells listed below are what I used.

  1. Plie crunch and press (in wide plie, squat bringing one elbow down to thigh then pushing DB overhead and to the side) (one 10# DB)
  2. Rainbow lunge (start in lunge and pivot side to side, raising DB overhead and to front knee) (one 12# DB)
  3. Stand on one leg, hinge forward lifting other leg behind you and do single arm row, switching DB from hand to hand (so alternating back row using one DB) (one 20# DB)
  4. Repeat 1-3
  5. Lunge w/ one arm straight arm tricep press back (one 10# DB)
  6. Lunge and chop (pivot from standing to lunge bringing DB from shoulder to opposite hip) (one 10# DB)
  7. Squat w/ scooping bicep curl, passing DB from hand to hand (so alternating but with one DB) (one 10# DB)
  8. Repeat 5-7
  9. Push ups w/ one arm close to body (tricep push up position) and one arm in traditional push up position
  10. Kneeling one arm row (one 15# DB)
  11. Spine extensions (lay on stomach, hands along sides, raise and lower chest, arms and legs–rotate palms to ceiling each time you raise them)
  12. Single leg pulsing bicycle (on back, bringing one elbow to opposite knee and pulse 2x then return to start–stay on same side)
  13. Repeat 9-12

Add on Abs is 17 minutes. Equipment: a mat. This is an interesting core workout. It starts with standing core work that relies a lot on balance so if you are balance challenged like me, there might be some modification in order. I still felt my core working throughout. It is a solid core workout but not sure I will ever return to it. It starts w/ side step w/ knee balance. Knee balance, opening and closing knee to side of body; add upper body twist to knee open/close. Hip hinge forward; add twist, looking over shoulder. Reverse lunge, raise knee at top and bring opposite elbow to knee (another balance move). Squat w/ chops from shoulder to opposite hip (hands are clasped together). Airplane (warrior 3, rotating straight arms from floor to ceiling). Lay on mat and do full crunch w/ feet touching and knees wide. Full sit up, bringing knee in when you sit up and twisting toward knee. Hollow hold (hands clasped, arms held straight overhead, lift arms, head, shoulders and straight legs off floor and hold). On hands and knees, raise knees off mat–raise and lower knees and even when lowered, knees never touch mat. In straight arm plank, walk feet in and out to hover hold. Lay on stomach, arms extended along side and raise head and chest and hold. Start laying on back and roll over into side plank. Triple bicycle hold (3 bicycle maneuvers and hold on 3rd). Reverse crunch. In bird dog, move arm and leg out to side and back (variation on awkward airplane pose but you do not extend your arm or leg out as far as you would in a full awkward airplane). Ends with standing spine extension.

Total Stretch is 18:30 minutes. This is an excellent deep stretch and at 18:30 minutes it is the perfect length for me to add onto longer weekend workouts. This workout is in a different setting than the majority of the other workouts in this program–outside next to a pool. It starts with deep breathes. Side stretches. With hands clasped behind you, stretch chest then fold forward. Shoulder stretch. Tricep stretch. Wrist circles and stretches. Lay on stomach w/ hands clasped behind back, arch spine stretching chest; roll onto one shoulder. Laying quad stretch. Reclining pigeon (or figure 4 stretch while laying on back). Still on back, spine and hip stretches with legs crossed. Sit up and do hurdlers stretch (one leg straight, other bent w/ foot on inside of straight thigh). Sitting cross-legged, hinge forward over legs. Seated spine twist. Yogi squat. Neck stretches. Standing spine extensions (arch spine). Ends with deep breaths.

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10 responses to “Walk Strong 3

  1. I agree with you on all of this. What an excellent set! The one that really surprised me was Tone & Flow. I love that workout! When I first did it, I thought oh this will be a nice low-key workout. I was working hard and sweating, especially with all of the balance challenges! Great stuff from Jessica!

    • I did Tone & Flow this morning and I agree! It really surprised me, too! Sunday is usually my yoga day so I wasn’t expecting to work so hard. I was expecting more “flow”! It is an excellent workout tho.

  2. Hello! I recently found your site and like it very much. Thanks for taking the time to do this! I’ve been a Jessica fan for years now. I’ve been enjoying this new set but find all the workouts to be so rushed! Especially the transitions. It stresses me out! Do you ever do Fitness Blender workouts? They are free and also have a lot of variety. They’re a bit sterile but I like their HIIT workouts. Anyway thanks again! Keep up the good work 😊

    • Jessica does true circuit training–no rest between sets–which serves to give you cardio with your strength training. When I first started doing Jessica’s strength workouts I loved them but I would miss reps when I need to change weights (and I HATE missing reps). Jessica keeps the same weights for exercises within a circuit but for me using one weight usually isn’t appropriate for all of the exercises. I solved this by setting my weight chart right beside my dumbbells so that I can quickly see what I need and swap my dumbbells out. Her workouts don’t seem so rushed to me anymore. I don’t know if that is what you are talking about. Other than that, I don’t find any of her workouts rushed. She is cramming a lot into only 30 minutes, there isn’t much time for down time in such a short workout.

      No, I haven’t tried Fitness Blender. I have seen it though.

  3. Excellent review! You summed up the program perfectly. I’m also loving this series. The only workout I don’t love is Boogie I.T., however, that is probably my own preference. Jessica’s done a great job of making these 30-minute workouts truly effective. Like you, I love the pace. I keep my weights right in front of me, so that I can switch out as needed. Last week I did Cardio Interval Sculpt, and I had DOMS for 3 days! I think it’s because her form is so great that it makes me think more about my own form.

    • I agree. Boogie I.T. definitely wasn’t one of my favorite workouts in the program. I think (for me) it had a lot to do with the agility moves. I thought some of them were awkward and awkward doesn’t equal fun. And yes! Her form is so stellar that it really does make me work hard to perform every exercise as perfectly as she does.

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