Gilad on Safe and Healthy Fitness

Authored by: 
Ali Slous
With his warm, personable demeanor and down-to-earth presence, you would never guess that “Bodies in Motion” creator Gilad Janklowicz is one of the fitness industry’s biggest stars and pioneers. Gilad has maintained a place in our homes and hearts - from television, to VHS, DVD, and, now, the Internet - for upwards of thirty years. Gilad returned to Kalani last week for his fifth-annual Fitness Adventure Camp, welcoming fans from all over the world to disconnect from their electronic devices and re-connect to their bodies, with nature, and to each other. 

Called to Hawaii from Palm Springs in the early 1980’s, Gilad was presented with “an offer he couldn’t refuse” to teach at the Honolulu Club, where he agreed to spend a year instructing three classes per day. As the demand to experience his workout at home became apparent, Gilad began the journey of producing his first television show in 1982; requiring him to seek funding and other resources to make his project a reality. By 1985, his show went from syndication in Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas to airing nationally on ESPN, where it ran for eleven years. Thirty years later, Gilad’s show is still going on Discovery Fitness & Health, and is considered the longest-running fitness show in America. 

Gilad’s longevity is in large part due to his ability to evolve, incorporating relevant fitness trends, while maintaining his signature style. His simple, yet memorable words of encouragement (“30 seconds more!” and "it's getting better every day!") and devotion to making his workouts fun and enjoyable have endeared him to devotees from across the globe. When Gilad comes to Kalani, it is an opportunity for him to meet some of the people he has impacted.

“[At Kalani], I have the chance to meet with people I haven’t met before and I get to see what affect this television medium has had on their lives. It never ceases to amaze me how the show really moves them. I try to make it fun, motivational, and positive. I’m here to share it.” 

When asked about the greatest hurdle people face in getting and staying fit, Gilad reports that time is an obstacle for many of his fans – yet, the very same people are constantly posting on Facebook. He asserts that it is not the lack of time that prevents people from incorporating fitness into their lives, but the need to allocate time correctly. For that reason, he offers 10-minute express workouts, that if done daily, will help people see incremental results. 

Gilad also notes that some of today’s “extreme” fitness trends often lead to injury and that he hopes to motivate people to get off the couch in a way that is safe and healthy. He reinforces that he wants people to walk away from his workout with energy to spare – so that his participants can come back and do it again the next day. 

Gilad’s background in the Israeli military and Olympic-level track and field training helped him understand that the body is “a fine-tuned machine.” He hopes his retreat participants will take away the idea that a simple equation - eating right, exercising, and resting, with consistency - will ensure they get results. 

Regarding why he continues returning to Kalani, Gilad elaborates:

“People come for the fitness experience, but from the get-go it is more than a fitness experience. I know what Kalani offers for people to emotionally let go. They get so much more than exercise and fitness, they get in touch with themselves, laugh, cry, and release. They make friends and become a tight group. Here, you’re able to put the brakes on, let yourself be, enjoy living with geckos and pigs and coqui frogs, outside-in.”

We have loved watching this release in action throughout Gilad’s retreat week for five years running – and look forward to each future visit!

For more information about Gilad Janklowicz, visit