Gilad's Step and Tone Workout

Gilad Janklowicz
Year Released: 1993

Categories: Step Aerobics , Total Body Workouts

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I am an intermediate exerciser who flirts with advanced workouts some. Iíve been at it (being a vidiot) about two years now. My pattern of exercising is to alternate cardio days with strength days. I do not like mixing the two, so I donít do circuit workouts. This tape is an exception to that general rule.

This workout has three sections: upper body toning, lower body toning, and abs. You use the step in all three sections. I count this tape as a strength tape and figure the aerobic workout I get is a bonus.

The first section is the upper body workout. He leads you through sections that work the different muscle groups of the upper body: biceps, triceps, chest, back. (This is not the actual order.) Each section has multiple moves to work those muscles in different ways. You do an exercise several times and then move on to the next exercise, then put the exercises together as a section, then move onto the next section. At the end, you do the entire upper body workout three times. For every upper body move, there is a corresponding step to do with it. At first, I had trouble keeping up, but, once I got my feet moving fast enough, I found it enjoyable. The choreography itself is very simple and basic and that lets me focus on the upper body moves that go with the footwork. My heart rate is elevated through the entire part of this workout, so it does give aerobic conditioning as well.

I find the lower body workout less intense than the upper body. Again, he moves through the different body parts (calves, quads, glutes, etc.). Again, this isnít the exact order. He uses the step pointing at the TV and most of the moves have one foot on the step and one foot on the floor while you do traditional lower-body moves (squats, calf raises, etc.).

The abs section is one I will actually do. Generally, I do abs on the ball and dislike working my abs on the floor. However, I stick it out through this and feel like I get a good abs workout. Again, he works the different sections: upper abs, lower abs, obliques. You keep your feet on the step throughout the moves.

He ends with a nice stretch. The workout clocks in at about 70 minutes.

All in all, I really like this workout. It is a high-rep, low-weight workout (at least for the upper body) that is different from any of the other workouts of this category that I have tried. I love the outdoor setting. Sometimes, it does get distracting as I dream about being in Hawaii instead of paying attention to my foot patterns though. (smile)

Overall, I highly recommend this workout.

Instructor Comments:
Gilad is an excellent instructor. He is encouraging and motivates me, even when I am tiring. He also gives loads of form pointers and specifics in what he is looking for.

Laura S.


I was suprised at this workout. I was looking for a easy step workout to work up to more complicated step videos. The choreography is easy, but with the 4 limb incorporation, you really get a great heart thumping step program. He does an excellent job warming up, bringing the heartrate down and stretching too. There is also a great ab section and calf raises. My calves scream mercy. I was kind of disapointed in the glut work, but think I can modify it to feel it more. It really is a good overall workout! Did anyone notice a shark in the background?

Instructor Comments:
Easy on the Eyes!



Since I like The FIRMís version of weight training (cross trainers to more recent videos) and I like ď4-limbedĒ aerobics, I figured I needed to give this video a try. Iíve been looking for new tapes that combine cardio and weights like The FIRM except with mostly all low-impact aerobics. Iím also trying to get back into working out on a regular basis after a few years of very inconsistent workouts due to a chronic back condition.

I was surprised that in this video, you donít ever put down your hand weights. There arenít intervals of step aerobics intermixed with intervals of ď4-limbedĒ aerobics. Instead, you hold light weights (I use 3 lbs. for now but can see working up to 5 lbs. eventually) the entire time youíre stepping.

Each combination is put together by learning the foot pattern then learning the arm pattern (upper body moves to work a particular muscle group). A few of those patterns are put together to make a combination which is done a few times and then you move onto learning the next combination with its foot and arm patterns.

I couldnít believe how very high my heart rate stayed during the entire aerobic portion. I also couldnít believe how fatigued my upper body became. Who knew 3 lb. dumbbells could be so heavy after a while!

Thereís a leg toning section after the aerobics. No weights are used but the step is used for it. I didnít feel it in my legs as much (especially after tiring out my upper body) so I need to modify by using dumbbells.

The last surprise for me was that the workout length is about 70 minutes. Not too bad but something to keep in mind when choosing this as a workout, especially if Iím already running late in the morning.

Overall, I really enjoyed this workout and I liked it even more knowing that my heart rate stayed high and I felt like I got a good workout. People who have a hard time coordinating their feet and their arms might want to learn this workout without the weights the first few times. I can see where poor form on some moves (like the rotator cuff moves) might cause injuries especially as the arms get tired.

Grade: A-

Sharon Muha


I use the Step and Tone tape on a regular basis and would like to see more tapes like this.

Instructor Comments:
Gilad is GREAT! He displays a tremendous amount of energy and excitement in all of his videos.

Michelle Lewis


No doubt about it, this has the most basic of choreography, but the step section in particular is terrific. You get both cardio and toning by doing the light weights and basic stepping (sort of like the FIRM's four limbed aerobics), and it kicks my butt every time.

I like this tape for its effectiveness, both in workout quality and time. Some of the lower body work is not quite as challenging, however, so if you skip that and go to the abs section, it's even more time efficient. It's also a good counterpoint to the FIRM aerobics-with-weights tapes.

Instructor Comments:
Likeable, athletic, good cuing, not bad on the eyes. Sounds good to me!

Celia M.


I really love Gilad, but this step tape was so monotonous with the same moves with light hand weights, I just did it twice and gave up. It really is a no-brainer with no real cheography, so some exercisers may like that concept. Nevertheless, don't let this tape discourage you from buying Gilad tapes. He is really a great instructor, very likeable, and also quite good looking.

maryann parker


I have been using this video for about a year now and I really like it! I was looking for a video that was low impact (I have a bad knee) and had basic choregraphy and this definitely fits the bill. I actually enjoy the fact that I can "zone-out" while doing this video. I only do the step and abs sections - that takes 45 minutes which is all I have time for. Even though I only use two pounds weights I have definitely seen a difference in my strength (suddenly it wasn't so hard carrying a baby in a car seat up a flight of stairs) as well as how toned I have become (my clothes fit differently). I would recommend this for someone who doesn't like high impact, dancey videos but wants to do step.



Step and tone, is a great aerobic/toning tape. During the aerobics part you use hand weights and work your upper body. He does four segments. After you've learned all four segments he puts them all together in the order you learned them and you do that three times. I find I'm really working hard by the third time. Then its on to toning. Standing leg work and abs. The whole tape is only 60 minutes long, and a great tape to do when you want a good workout, but don't want to spend an hour and a half or 2 hours. I can usually feel it in my legs the next day.

Pam S.


I had to get this review in before any negative ones came out. The step and tone workout is a great step workout for those of us who don't like dancy or complicated footwork. I get tripped up on a lot of over the top, half-turn kind of stuff so I was excited to get through this tape without tripping up or doing my own thing. It is a fairly intense workout, I'm breathing pretty hard at the end of the step segment. the music is repetetive, but still interesting and the steps and the music go together quite naturally so you can zone out just a little during this tape. Some people don't like to do that, but with a baby in the house, I like to tune out every once in a while and not have to concentrate on the tv but on what my body is doing. I like the fact that it has more than a few exercisers in the tape also, and the hawaiin setting. now that gives my eyes variety.

Kristina Anderson


This video isn't bad as long as you're looking for a toning video that keeps you moving without a lot of choreography. The video is very basic; you mostly step up and down, or do step knee side to side. Gilad does upper body movements while you step up and down, so there's very little choreography. I usually don't like this type of format, but with Gilad, I didn't mind it.

It's a good video to use for toning with the step; he keeps you moving the whole time, so you are still aerobic while you tone. However, if your expecting some challenging choreography, you won't get it with this tape. I recommend it for toning.

Kathy Lapinski


The reviews already submitted describe the workout pretty well. I think it's a decent toning workout, with some cardio benefits. I felt pretty klutzy trying to step (even though they were very basic steps) and do arm movements with 3-5# weights at the same time -- to the point where I might have sacrificed upper body form and effectiveness of the exercises. Also, the routines move very quickly and I wonder if the exercises would be more effective if done more slowly or without stepping at the same time. Repeating the patterns over and over with the same basic music beat got a little monotonous, but I tend to get bored very quickly. Actually, the stepping sets this toning video apart from other videos if you're looking for variety. The squats and other lower body work are also a little 'different'. Just don't expect a step workout on a par with even Cathe Friedrich's most basic video!

Joni O