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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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Awesome Article. Yes I would love to win the DVDS. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
I have been recording his workout show each morning and sometimes I will go back to
a different set of exercises ..its fun working out with Gilad. He makes each exercise show different never boring. I just can't keep up with "bodies in motion". Gilad looks awesome for his age. Report
Truly, I have never heard of him. However, the interview that is shared here rings TRUE in the things he shares. -- I was very pleased to that he addressed today's fitness "insanity" as well as common sense input for those of us who are 50 and above.
Thank you!! Report
Love his workouts!! Good stuff. Report
Love Gilad. He has "beginner" workout dvds as well for those who may not be ready yet for the "hard core" stuff. Report
Love Gilad! Still have some of his workouts from FitTv on my DVR to workout to. They're great with minimal equipment. Plus you got to love his attitude. I just recorded and did a workout with his mom and thought what a special relationship for them. It was great to hear the backstory of his mom. Thanks for sharing Coach Nicole! Report
Yes, I entered. I've been a follower of Gilad and his routines for years.

For my parents, it was Jack LaLane. For me, it was Gilad. For my kids, it will be Coach Nicole! Report
Yes, I just entered! Would love to win! :) Report
I remember Gilad so well; we had some great workouts in my living room - years ago. If only i had followed through with him!!! Keep at it, Gilad! Awesome! Report
When I joined SP four years ago, Gilad was who I was working out with in the morning. Had a great time because of his great attitude. So sad that I can't get his workouts on tv where I live. Great to have his expertise added to SP! Thanks for sharing this, Nicole! Report
What a fantastic fitness role model! Gilad has akways been a fav of mine. He is positive and the shows are wonderful! Report
I am soooooooooo thrilled to read this interview with Gilad. He is one of my all time FAVORITES!!!!. I worked out with him and his sister on ESPN and then later on other stations. The last time I saw him was on Discovery Health Network, maybe two years ago. Is he on any station now? I really miss him ( He and Denise Austin). I would "shout for joy" if I were lucky enough to win his DVD's. Report
I remember these videos. I watched them daily and was too afraid to do them, in my own living room, and I was alone. I kept saying tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. I'm glad I'm so over that now! And I'm glad to know he's still at it.

Ay yay yay, he is Lord of the Abs. My word! This one has my name all over it. Lol! Report
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