I always liked Gilad and when I saw this video for $11 I
couldn't pass it up. I find it to be a great toning tape.
It takes place on a beautiful beach in Hawaii (as do all
his tapes). Weights are used throughout the 1 hour video.
He begins with lunges and squats with dumbbells (as heavy
as you want - go crazy you Firm Believers). Then he does
upper body (go heavy on some exercises, light on others).
He alternates between upper and lower body (does all
standing leg work - leg lifts and inner thigh lifts and
hamstring curls all standing up, I put on 3 lb. ankle
weights, but you have to). He also does pushups and there
is a nice section with upper body for about 5-6 minutes
using light weights. He also has an ab section with a
dumbbell behind his neck. I usually skip the abs and do
The Firm or Abs of Steel. I think this is a very good
toning tape and high recommend it to advanced exercisers.
Do not get Step and Tone (I hate this step workout - I'll
review it at a later date).
This tape, made in 1995, is about 65+ minutes long. There
is a warm up, followed by about 45 minutes of toning,
mostly standing. There is nothing exciting here (unless
you count the Hawaiian beach), but it is a good basic
toning workout. It is repetitive - you go through one set
of excercises like lunges, squats, one legged standing
inner and outer thigh, and repeat the sequence throughout
the workout. The one legged stuff was hard for me since
I'm recovering from a sprained ankle, but otherwise I
wouldn't have a problem Using a variety of dumbbell
weights, you can tailor this for your own level. There is
an abdominal section at the end Proper form is
demonstrated throughout the tape; also, there is a four
month pregnant woman who modifies the exercises for
beginners or pregnant people. Therre is an abdominal
section at the end. Overall, I'd say it's intermediate,
if only for the sheer length of the tape.
This is the first free weight video I ever purchased.
Gilad give a detailed introduction of the moves at the
beginning of the video. The workout begins with a warm
up. Maryann did a good job of describing the moves. I
especially like all the squats and plies. The inner thigh
workout is also very good. After about a month of doing
this video, I noticed more definition to my inner thighs
(my most difficult area to tone). This video is broken
down into three segments (each about 15 minutes long).
Upper body workout is excellent, focusing on biceps,
triceps, chest and back. Push ups are included at the end
of segment 2. Gilad includes back lunges, which I found
difficult to do. Instead of those, I just do squats.
If you have not worked with free weights before, I would
do the workout without weights. I workout with 6lb
weights, and have been doing this video for a year.
I like this tape. I bought it last year at a good price. I think it still sells really cheap at stores. Gilad alternates between lower body and upper body exercises. For legs, he does squats, lunges, calf raises, plies in first and second position, inner and outer exercises, and legs moving back. He does regular upper body exercises except that most of the work is standing work. The only upper body exercise that is on the floor is push-ups. He does three variations of these - regular, arms wide, and arms with the hands in a diamond position. In the ab work, he does crunches and lower body crunches with the weight between your knees. He also does oblique curls with a weight on one shoulder as you lift up the other leg. I like that this tape has a lot of calf raises because my calves are small compared to my thighs. This tape can be for all levels since you can choose the amount of weights you want to use. You also have time to switch between weight sizes if you need to. The only thing I don't like is that I like doing chest exercises on the floor or bench. I have a difficult time doing them while standing.
Instructor comments: Gilad always does his videos on a Hawaiian beach which I like. He yells out instructions and is motivating. His tapes are great for people that don't like challenging choreography.
I wouldn't say this is a bad tape although it probably would only appeal to people who have never used a weight before. I found the tape repetitive to the point of boredom and didn't feel that the repetition was burning calories or developing muscle. I can't really see that the tape would allow you to modify the workout by increasing the weights to a "satisfying" level as the speed and reps really preclude that. As a male VFer I was hoping for a workout that could at least be made tougher. The girls may find Gilad motivating though.
By the time you want to do over an hour's exercise I would imagine that you'll be fit enough for sterner stuff than this.
David de Vall
Was fairly easy for me except I found the back lunges sort of hard. Besides that it was great. One bad part was the repetition throughout the video. It kind of got boring after awhile BUT I will continue doing this because I know it is what I have to do to tone up!!
Instructor comments: Very charming, and great sense of humor. Keeps me motivated throughout the whole work-out. Makes me want to workout everyday. I wouldn't exercise with any other instructor.
I really like this tape. It is now one of my favorites. There isn't too much to dislike, except perhaps for the monotony of the routine once you have done it several times. I use 10 lb weights and feel that I can get a very good workout in less than an hour. I especially like the non-stop pace and the fact that he uses balance-- I guess to bring in a greater number of muscles into play.
I also have Maximum Intensity Strength which is a more challenging tape. However, I find that I use this one more often because it is shorter and doesn't require me to bring out all that equipment (step, barbell, etc.)
I liked this tape so much that I thought I would try Gilad's Step and Note. The reviews called it an easy tape to follow, but I found "step" to require much more coordination than I could muster.
One negative: I had to return my original Sculpt & Tone because of the sound, even after tracking. My replacement tape seems to have the same problem though, which makes me wonder about the quality of the tape production.
Instructor comments: Very motivating. Gilad is refreshing and seems to have a rapport with his students. I like his style.