Express Workouts!Gilad Janklowicz
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Strength Training (Total Body)
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This 2-DVD set presents 15 short workouts (averaging just 8-9 minutes in length). Most are fairly traditional strength workouts, although the set also a separate warm-up and cool-down, two cardio routines, two core workouts, and a balance segment. Alison provided a nice overview of the workouts in her review.
I recently reacquired Express Workouts and Iím so glad I did, even though (as Alison noted) it is a bit of a challenge to figure out how to best use this set. Although Express is designed as a series of separate workouts, all of the workouts on each disc flow together reasonably well enough for two longer workouts (a little over an hour each). In other words, disc 1 makes a nice full body (excluding abs) strength workout, while the second disc combines core and cardio, along with some balance work and a bit of strength. For shorter workouts (using 2-3 segments), Gilad provides an 8-week rotation on his website. What I do is use this set in sections to create a lower body (18 minutes), upper body (35 minutes), or balance/core (28 minutes) workout, which I generally combine with cardio or other short workouts from other DVDs. (Iím not drawn to the Express cardio sections or the Compound Strength workout.)
Alison noted in her review she hadnít done the two core workouts. Core Foundations (9:35 minutes) begins with a standing twist done in a static lunge position, holding an optional light weight. We then move to the floor for a series of crunches, finishing with a Pilates roll-up, before flipping over to work the back with upper body raises. Core Challenge (9:40 minutes) follows the same general format but ups the intensity. The standing twist is done with a moving lunge, and the crunch variations include leg lifts and Pilates Scissors. There is also some bridge work before finishing up with a more intense version of the prone back work.
Equipment needed is fairly minimal, just a few sets of dumbbells and a mat for floor work. In each segment Gilad works out with two exercisers (out of a group of four or five) who all seem competent and pleasant. Music is typical exercise stuff Ė not memorable but not obnoxious either. I really like the setting for Express Workouts Ė a large balcony overlooking the ocean. Although the Gilad workouts set right on the beach are great, I also tend to get distracted by the passersby staring at the filming.
I think this DVD set truly shows Gilad at his best. The exercises present are mostly classic, but Gilad isnít afraid to add in elements of yoga and Pilates. His form instruction is top-notch and he is always encouraging. As Alison noted, Express Workouts is less dated-looking than his earliest DVDs.
I got my copy of Express Workouts at Amazon. If you go to Giladís website you can view extensive clips of each individual workout on the DVDs, which I would strongly encourage you to do if you are interested in purchasing this set.
According to his website, Gilad has been a video fitness instructor since 1983. His experience certainly shows! Giladís website is www.bodiesinmotionwithgilad.com.
This is a fantastic 2-dvd set. It has all of the positives about Gilad and none of his negatives:
*Gilad is engaging and instructs clearly
*The set is lovely (a balcony overlooking a bay...though not his most scenic locale)
*This is one of the more recent releases so the wardrobes are timeless and not distracting (no skin-toned tights and leotards here!)
This is one set that I cannot bring myself to part with! The break downs are as follows:
8:40 Buns & Thighs
9:40 Hips & Thighs
9:00 Dynamic Moves
9:30 Strength & Balance
9:00 Cardio 1-Basic
9:00 Cardio 2- Challenge
7:35 Compound Strength
9:35 Core Foundations
9:40 Core Challenge
DVD 1 is fairly straight-forward dumbbell work. Gilad encourages you to go heavy(er). I find the BUNS & THIGHS and HIPS & THIGHS workouts particularly effective, despite their short length. ARMS is really handy to have as an add-on. The WARM-UP is "old-school" aerobic moves with lots of arm swings and circles and shoulder circles (and finishes up with some pushups to build heat). The COOL-DOWN is a handy little stretch segment that I've used with other workouts.
DVD 2 is a little more varied in its content (though I do prefer DVD 1). DYNAMIC MOVES feels much like a standing core workout, in that there are many twisting movements and motions that feel sport-oriented (like shot put & discus throws). STRENGTH & BALANCE is like "Gilad does yoga"...but on an athletic level with a focus on strength and balance (hence the title). For example: side planks with a reach-thru/under, Warrior 2, etc. CARDIO 1 is basic, old-school aerobics (V-steps, etc) while CARDIO 2 has a kickboxing flair, with more choreography for punches. COMPOUND STRENGTH is self-explanatory and I can't go into much depth for the core workouts because I never really did them.
While I could never part with this...I never really do it either. The segments are just a little too long to create a do-able full-body workout (I prefer an hour or under). The segments on Disc 2 are interesting, but I can't really classify them and don't know what to do with them. This set is best if you plan on focusing on JUST THIS for a while, and not wanting to rotate it with other DVDs. Gilad provides a rotation (on his website) for how to use these workouts.
Gilad is charming, as always. If I remember correctly, he uses 2 female and 2 male background exercisers (though only 1 male and 1 female per segment). The location is bright and lovely and, aside from the occasional sunny shower (sprinkling rain that's barely noticeable), I'd say the production is just about perfect.