Working the Core with Gilad! (With a Giveaway!)

gilad lord of the absWhen you’re pregnant, it’s amazing the lengths (and widths!) your belly can stretch to. And once that kiddo arrives, it takes months for that belly to deflate, let alone regain strength. But core strength is so important, and not just so you can rock a bikini again, but for day-to-day living—you know, all of that baby and carseat carrying.

So today, to the core rescue, is Gilad Janklowicz’s Lord of the Abs DVD series. This five-disc set is a core cross-training system, and while it is heavy on the ab work, don’t be fooled. At various times my buns, arms and, well, entire body burned as well.

I’ve long been a fan of Gilad. My mom and I would work out to his Bodies in Motion show way back in the day. So doing this system was like visiting an old friend. An old friend who doesn’t appear to age.

The first disc I tried was Phenomenal Abs & Core. After a quick warm-up, it includes traditional mat work that incorporates some Pilates-type moves, like bicycles and star-ups. At one point, a bridge with leg work had me taking a break because my buns burned so much! Plank work and ab moves from downward dog will work your entire body, including your arms and shoulders.

Maximum Abs is for those who get bored doing floor work for the abs. It’s more functional fitness, using a medicine ball for standing work to target your core. The full-body movements—think lunges and squats—will get your heart rate up, as well as work your upper body with the weight.

The Core Challenge disc is a marriage of the first two: It uses the ball for floorwork. This one hits your whole midsection while also working your arms as you control the ball. You’ll also work the back to balance out all the work happening in the front.

Abs on Fire! focuses on cardio that works the core, with fun kickboxing sequences that include punches, jabs, twists and kicks. You’ll break a sweat and work the core without hitting the floor. The Hard Core! disc uses four core circuits that get harder as they progress. This DVD menu allows you to choose from the four circuits for a shorter workout, too. You’ll see it all in these circuits: cardio ab moves, planks, floor work, squat thrusts, mountain climbers and a woman in a bikini randomly plucked from the beach to join in the workout.

The discs are long, 40 to 60 minutes, so I wish the workouts were split into shorter segments so you could customize shorter workouts, like the Hard Core! disc is. I also wish more modifications were given as it’s not always obvious how you can make some of the floor work easier for those who aren’t advanced.

FBM Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability:★★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★

Overall: ★★★1/2

Fit Bottom Line: As always, Gilad delivers a solid workout. This five-disc set will target your core while not leaving out the rest of your entire body! 

Do you want to work on your abs? Have a crush on Gilad? Comment below to tell me why, and you’ll be entered to win this set! Winners will be chosen in about a week; U.S. residents only, please! —Erin

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