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An Interview with Fitness Legend Gilad

By , SparkPeople Blogger
During my recent trip to the ECA/OBOW fitness convention in New York City, I had a little "fitness celebrity" sighting. I was introduced to Gilad. That name (Gilad Janklowicz in full) probably rings a bell with many people who remember working out along with Gilad during what is still one of the longest-running daily workout shows ever to air on TV. His popular "Bodies In Motion" workout show, filmed in Hawaii, aired in 1983 as the first-ever exercise program on ESPN. Today, the show is still going strong on the Discovery Channel, along with his newer program, ''Total Body Sculpt" (first aired in 2005). As if that's not enough, Gilad is the creator of more than 30 workout video titles, too. Simply put, Gilad is a true pioneer in fitness, group fitness, and workout videos who set the stage for trainers like me and still resonates with fans and viewers today.

At 56, this fit and healthy fitness guru is in amazing shape and doesn't look a day over 40! When I posted my photo with him to my Facebook wall, SparkPeople members put it mildly! I could tell many of you were big fans, so I stayed in touch with Gilad to set up this exclusive interview and DVD giveaway just for dailySpark readers.

Here are YOUR (great!) questions answered—plus a chance to win one of three DVD sets from Gilad). Contest closed! The winners are: JANEXA, THINANDFITEMILY, BESEVEN. Congratulations!

Q: Janet asks: How do you stay in such great shape
A: "I truly love fitness and sports activities, so it's easy for me. Give me any excuse to get out and do something and I'm in! I also enjoy eating healthy and taught myself over the years to carefully choose what I eat. You might say that I'm now a 'food snob.' People put so much time and money into material possessions, but the most important possession of all is your body! I view my body as the most important possession I have worth investing in."

Q: Shilla asks: Did your mother get you and your sister into fitness or did you get them into it? I loved watching your shows when your mom was on there. What a neat lady!
A: "Actually, I can say for a fact that my sister and I got my mother into fitness. My mom had a bout with breast cancer when she turned 50 and it was a shock to us all because she always ate healthy and was fairly lean, although she did not exercise regularly. After a year of chemotherapy, I worked with her one- on-one and got her into good enough shape for her to participate with us in our shows. Needless to say, she became a very popular regular. She loves doing the workouts on the show and it keeps her motivated."

Q: SaConda asks: If you could change one thing about today’s fitness industry, what would you change or like to see changed?
A: "I think the fitness industry has succumbed to "extreme fitness," which, in the long run, is way too intense for most people. In my opinion, it's dangerous. Most of these exercise programs pay little attention to form and correct posture, which are essential for long-term health and injury-free fitness. The intense exercise programs you see out there are geared for very young people and it would be very hard to maintain that level of intensity past your 40s—if you get there in one piece, that is."

Q: Tiffany asks: What is the most common fitness mistake you see people make?
A: "The most common mistake is not taking the time to understand your current physical condition and the basic needs of your body. Doing too much, too soon is a very common mistake that most people make because everyone wants immediate results. I'm an advocate of taking fitness one step at a time to keep it enjoyable and sustainable. Also, I would highly suggest for almost everyone to keep it simple."
Q: Mari asks: What are some ways to exercise the tummy area while working at a 9-5 desk job?
A: "The most important thing you can do at your desk is to be conscious of maintaining core stability. When sitting at your desk, sit upright with your abs slightly pulled in, your shoulders wide and your neck long.  I must admit that it takes concentration and focus. After a couple of minutes, you'll find yourself reverting back to a slouched position. However, if you can keep reminding yourself to pay attention to your posture, it will become second nature. It is well worth the effort!"

Q: Misty asks: What was the most memorable reaction that you ever got from a fan in public?
A: "The most memorable reaction was at one of my fitness camps. One of the participants, a stunningly beautiful lady who was married with three kids, got up in front of the group and said that several years back, she was extremely depressed and had contemplated taking her life. She happened to come across my TV show one day, and the fun we were having triggered something in her and caused her to start working out with us. Long story short, she soon got out of her depression and back into life. When she shared the story with us, not a single pair of eyes in the room was left dry. This was a very moving moment for me, because it made me realize that the show is affecting people out there in ways that I could never have imagined."

Q: "Coach Strippy" asks: What are some fitness/diet dos and don’ts for hard-training exercisers over 50 years old?
A: "When we go beyond our fifties, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to our nutrition since the metabolism slows down and everything we eat seems to want to stick to all the wrong places. Nutrition-wise, it is very important to eat lean and healthy foods and to avoid overeating. A good diet contains lean proteins, complex carbs (yams and sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, etc.), green veggies and three servings of fruit a day. Exercise-wise, in my opinion, consistency becomes way more important than intensity when you get into your fifties."

Gilad clearly knows his stuff and advocates healthy, sustainable and safe habits just like SparkPeople does!
Next up, we have a special giveaway of Gilad's five-DVD series, "The Lord of the Abs" (click for additional details, video previews and purchase information). Here's what he says about it:

"When I set out to develop the perfect abs workout, I soon realized one workout wouldn’t cut it. In order to hit every aspect of this important and complex muscle group, I developed the Lord of the Abs series, a comprehensive abdominal cross-training system designed to give you the core strength you need to improve every aspect of your physical functioning—while burning away fat and sculpting your own six-pack in record time!"

This DVD set includes five unique DVDs (ranging in 40-60 minutes each) to target your core in five different ways:
  • "Maximum Abs" is a standing workout using a medicine ball.
  • "Phenomenal Abs & Core" is an intense floor workout.
  • "Abs on Fire" is a fat-burning core workout.
  • "Core Challenge" is a floor workout using a medicine ball.
  • "Hard Core" features progressive core circuits.
What you can expect from these DVDs is all the great things Gilad is known for: a fun and encouraging personality, great cueing, safe and effective exercises, and plenty of tips for proper form as you work out.
At $69.75 (SRP), that's a lot of workouts! But we're giving away three sets of these DVDs to a few lucky dailySpark readers!
Contest closed! The winners are: JANEXA, THINANDFITEMILY, BESEVEN. Congratulations!
Special thanks to Gilad for taking the time to meet with me, answer your interview questions, and offer this great giveaway to our readers.
Photos courtesy of Gilad.
So tell us, are you a fan of Gilad and his workout programs? Will you enter this giveaway?

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SUNSET09 3/22/2018
I have seen as few and it's good to know how and where it all starts for those who are successful in the field. Although, I've read and been told, you can't spot reduce however, I enjoy feelings my abs burn! Report
CVRONEK 3/22/2018
Gilad has always been one of my favorites and I constantly hear his voice saying, "Exercise is your friend!" Report
JIBBIE49 1/22/2018
I remember Gilad from the '80s when we first got cable and finding my husband watching the show and it wasn't because he was interested in Gilad. LOL It was "Bodies in Motion" alright. Report
Nice to see a celebrity fitness guru who understands that one size exercise does not for all. I enjoyed the article. Report
PATRICIAANN46 5/15/2017
Great questions and even greater answers............. Report
I really wished this had been a current post and not four years old. Gilad was always my favorite back in the days. Might have to go through my things and pull out some old dvds of his. Report
Wish I had seen this blog earlier as I would have entered. Have several of his VHS tapes and worked out with him regularly back in the day along with several other ESPN work out shows. I'm 71 next week and really love working out, agree that some of the "intense"work outs are a bit over the top for us "older" folks. Report
I remember working out with Gilad - my old VHS tapes (as I recorded the shows). I may have to get back to some of his... loved his advice for in our 50's as I will turn 50 this year. Wish I had known about the contest - congrats to the winners! Report
I think my health problems limit me from doing what I have seen him do, but I REALLY wanted my Dad to do workouts with Gilad. Now he has diabetes. I agree, he is an Israeli studmuffin! Report
I love Gilad! His workouts are still the best! Report
If Gilad keeps it up he'll beat Jack Lalanne's show run which is the longest to date. I remember watching both shows. Report
I have been working out with Gilad Bodies in Motion since the late 80's. To this Day, I am still working out with him and participating in his Challenges.. Report
I discovered him in the early 90's - I am going to find his show on Discovery - hello dvr Report
Eek I didnt even find out there was a contest until today too late ! lol Did you know that Gilad has a talk show on a messenger program called Pal Talk ! You can talk to him live ! He is such a wonderful down to earth guy and funny ! He is still the king in my book ! Huge Gilad fan ! Report
I still record Total Body Sculpt. Love the workouts. Report
I have Gilad's Quick Fit system which was gathering dust but now that i'm back to morning exercising i will be alternating my DVD's sets weekly. to find them on Fios you have to do a fitness search and it lists shows. Report
Gilad is both charming and "hot". His workout tapes were awesome a few years ago before my knee and wrist went wacky on me. I highly recommend Gilad's advice. Report
My mom loves Gilad workouts. We record them still especially since we can only find them on the Jewish Network. They are awesome workouts that we can do together even with her torn acl. Report
Thank you!!!! I just got my DVDs, and forgot I entered in this contest--silly me! lol I NEVER win anything, so this is very exciting!!! Report
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to try these out! I need core work badly. This is really like a message from Heaven. Thank you, SparkPeople and Gilad! You're the best! Report
Love this guy and his exercise shows. I used to watch and exercise with his programs on ESPN, taped some to use over an over, and bought one tape. I like that he had his mother exercising with him on some of the shows, so would always show ways for those less fit or older to keep moving. He was on FIT TV for awhile, but the exercise regimen was too hard for me. Then FIT TV was removed from our station lineup. I'll have to check the Discovery schedule for his latest show. Miss working out with him; he was/is very motivational - and miss FIT TV! They had lots of great and varied exercise shows! Report
Yes, I used to work out with him every morning on fit tv. They changing the shows and I didn't know what happen to it. Where can I find his show? Report
I discovered Gilad soon after he came to ESPN. My sister worked out everyday with him. I got into aerobics and working out due to him. He is consistent in what he does and he is one of the fitness instructors that I truly believe in and that he wants people to be fit. I don't feel like he is in it for the money at all.
I have one of the Lord of the Abs dvds where the medicine ball is used and I love it.
My favorite dvds are "The Beginner's Workout" and his "Step Aerobic Workout with Weights." Report
Yes! both shows are still on Discovery Fit and Health every morning. I try to do both of them every day, and have many of them saved on the DVR. As someone over 50, I think they are great--challenging in a good way! Report
Never heard of him before today. I'll be checking it out... Report
Oh, yeah, I love the Israeli stud muffin. His workouts are fun, but short. He is also a great example of a middle aged man in great shape. I remember from the TV workouts some creative abs workouts. You remembered them again the next day.
Dianne Report
He was and is still the best. It is because of him I still tend to remeber some of his excercise training. I really thank you for this BLOG! It's Great... Report
I had never heard of Gilad before today. Reading his responses to the interview questions had me intrigued, though. I like the fact that he is not into the crazy, over-the-top, super-intense workout mindset, but advocates good form & posture...I like "consistency over intensity." I would love to experience his workouts for myself. Report
I remember his show--I used to exercise along with it. His workouts were challenging, but they weren't crazy, over-the-top hard. The scenery was always spectacular. I'd love to add his new DVD to my library. Report
great article I love Gilad...have watched him since the 80's...have many of his dvd's...
I've heard of him but have never seen him or his show before. I would still love to have the dvd's though! Report
I used to work out with Gilad when he was on tv a while back he had the best workouts and I was a large lady at that time just trying to be fit! I loved the scenery! Yey for Giliad!! Report
I love Gilad and one of my favorite DVD's is his Elite Forces, which is mainly a kick boxing workout with toning. I agree that todays fitness is a lot of multiple moves at the same time and I often loose form when I do this. I would rather do longer workouts that focus on one muscel at a time. I want to meet Gilad someday. Report
:D Report
I love all the Gilad videos and programs! I learned from him how important form is and above all having fun while exercising. He always makes me want to just keep pushing. He is very motivating and nice to look at too ;) Report
I remember Gilad well; here in Holland they only showed some short workouts from hawaii. I had just started to try to keep up with the workouts when they stopped showing them.
I was gutted when they stopped;
I was so happy to find a few workouts from him on youtube a few months ago,I would love to buy a dvd from coach Nicole and Gilad but due to living on a budget of 500 euro a month i struggle to even eat properly for my diabetes.
I'm also so glad i found SP, with all the info and support from members aswell as coaches, the advice also helpfull ideas for cooking etc. Its fantastic; I feel a winner just to be on SP.
I had often looked at Weight Watchers but because they ask a fee i could not join, so SP thankyou.
I have never won anything in my life, I'm not joining to win only just to show my appreciation for the video's that i can do on youtube.
Thanks again for the opportunity to be able to care for my body on a budget.
Thanks for the opportunity. I have worked out with the program on television occasionally. Report
Inspirational Report
Oh I discovered Gilad on the internet this year, fabulous workouts indeed and what a hunk.) Report
Fun :) I use to attempt doing these workouts when they were on TV. Would love to try them now! Report
Oh my!! I used to workout with Gilad when his show was on Fit TV and I was house-sitting. I don't have satellite or cable so that was the only time I could watch. I was never able to keep up with him, but he made it fun to try. I would love to win these DVDs because, let's face it, he is a hunk and fun to workout with. Report
I remember exercising to him in the early 90's. Loved his show! Report
I LOVE Gilad!! His workouts seem to be the best to shaping my body!! I was not thrilled when FIT TV changed its programming and all the exercise programs were removed, esp Gilad. He and I had a regular appointment in the mornings. :-) I really miss him, too!

I would LOVE to win this one, truly!! Report
What an amazing person. Thanks SP for doing this give-away! Report
As luck would have it, my daughter gave me a medicine ball for my birthday last week. Now looking to use it! Report
Gilad is one the best in fitness, then and now. Fantastic personality and a hot bod. WO!

I enjoyed this interview and his response about the over 40 group. Thank you Gilad and Nicole. Report
Oh, how I love GILAD, as he reminded me of Jack LaLanne, who was the "Godfather of Fitness". When I first saw GILAD in the early 80's, he was so handsome. Love knowing he is still doing well. I read that he'd started out wanting to be an Olympic athlete in Israel but didn't make it and so he turned to teaching fitness as a career. Report
Awesome!! We don't have cable so we don't get Gilad now, but I have been watching/exercising with Gilad for at least 15 years! Now I have several videos but I don have favorites. I always enjoyed watching his mom on the exercise team. I also remember when he filmed in Jerusalem and had locals doing music and exercise. Report
I love Gilad! my two main reasons: 1. He's originally Israeli.... 2. Great sense of humor! Report
Awesome Article. Yes I would love to win the DVDS. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
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