This is a 21-minute video which incorporates light weights into a Pilates routine focused on the upper body. The first half of the workout is performed on the mat, beginning with traditional Pilates mat work exercises such as the hundred and the roll-up. Mari instructs two participants, both of whom use light weights (1-2 lbs), but Mari repeatedly reminds you that you can do the workout without weights as well. The remaining mat work is performed from a seated position with a series of moves which combine arm raises (to the front, side, back, and overhead) with a spine stretch forward. I was using 3-lb weights, and my arms were definitely fatigued by the end of this section (although no DOMS the next day).
The second half of the video is performed in a standing position; here Mari joins in but does not use any weights. If you are familiar with the Pilates standing arm series from either Brooke Siler's book or some of The Method videos, you will recognize the moves included here. The first few exercises work the biceps in particular, but moves for the shoulders and triceps are included as well; I could see using heavier weights for some of these exercises. Finally, you will also get in some abs work due to the fact that you must keep your core engaged throughout the standing movements.
I liked this video and will probably use it as an alternate to more traditional upper body toning work. I think that the workout would be doable for most beginners, although I would recommend some prior familiarity with Pilates as well as some pre-existing core strength.
Mari conducts her videos sort of like a drill sergeant: she rarely participates in the exercises but instead stands by and instructs. She gives very good form pointers but can be somewhat dry at times.
September 28, 2004