MM 21 Minutes/21 Days to a Long, Lean, Athletic Body

Marta Montenegro
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

This series includes 3 DVDs - 1 DVD titled "Strength", 1 DVD titled "Endurance", and 1 DVD titled "Power". You can buy all 3 DVDs together or you can buy them separately.

1) The Strength DVD includes 3 workouts: an upper body, a lower body, and a core workout.

1a) The upper body workout is mostly made up of trisets (3 exercises for 1 muscle performed one after another, as Marta says). So you work one muscle or set of muscles to completion, them move on to the next. However, in the upper body workout, all the exercises are actually combination exercises (you work lower body while working upper body). This keeps the heart rate up nicely, but you can easily leave out the lower body moves if you want to just work upper. You can't really use your heaviest weights with this one, b/c you're often doing a balance move as the same time. My only issue with the upper body workout is that some of the back and chest exercises use the shoulders a lot, even before you get to the shoulders section, so I feel like the shoulders are overworked. I will modify this by just switching out a few of the exercises, so it's not a deal breaker for me.

1b) The lower body workout uses 2 giant sets w/10 reps for each exercise, and there are some nice twists on traditional moves. You can use fairly heavy weights with this one. There are a few ab exercises thrown in at the end of each giant set (as breaks). I like that she touches the floor at the bottom of some of the squat or lunge exercises, and she moves at a nice slower pace, so you can really watch your form and there's not much momentum involved.

1c) The core workout also uses a lot of combination moves, but I haven't done this one yet.

2) The Endurance DVD includes 3 workouts. Each workout consists of 3 circuits (mostly strength work, some cardio thrown in). The 3 circuits in each workout are similar, but the 2nd is harder than the 1st, and the 3rd is harder than the 2nd. You will do similar moves, but she may add plyos, or pulses, etc., to make the move different and harder. She changes things enough so that the circuits don't get boring. These mostly include leg work and pushup/plank work.

3) The Power DVD includes 4 10-minute-ish workouts. One is all cardio, and the other three are more total body. Each workout is made up of timed exercises (either 1-minute or 30-seconds long). You can choose to play all from the DVD menu, but you can't program the DVD to play the workouts in the order you want.

I think these workouts are high intermediate or interm/adv (not the Insanity kind of advanced), and are core and cardio intensive. These workouts will work well on their own or as add-ons, and they are very well chaptered (a big plus with me). I really like Marta, although she is mostly serious and doesn't talk a whole lot.

There are a few cons: These workouts do not have warmups, or cooldowns, and are often a few minutes longer than 21 minutes (Endurance and Strength DVD) or 10 minutes (Power DVD). Marta does not move to the music, so when you do moves where you look away from the TV, you can get off-sync with her. If you are very musicall-driven, these won't do that for you. Also, Marta doesn't talk a whole lot or offer a lot of form pointers.

Nyx Black