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

I'm really loving the Montenegro Method workouts. These are challenging athletic functional fitness workouts. I get DOMS when I do them. I'd have to agree with the early reviews that they are definitely high-intermed to low-advanced workouts.

If I had to characterize them, I'd say they are like a Tracie Long workout on steroids - more advanced, many functional whole body moves at a slow controlled pace. She does squats and lunges with great functional twists and they are slow & controlled, she takes twice as long to perform the same number of frantic squats you might do in Cathe's workouts, for example. Definitely athletic workouts. No talk of bikini-bodies and wearing short skirts. Marta encourages you to train like an athlete to get results.

Many of the moves resemble those in Rachel Cosgrove's workouts. Sort of like those Men's Health or Women's Health workouts you see that look challenging but too hard to follow on paper, where form is important.

And the filming, the picture quality, the camera angles - all very very good, movie quality. 10 times better than Tracie Long's. The music is techno beat, I've heard some tunes re-used in two workouts of the series, but it carries a good beat and has a good volume that suits the workouts. The set & production really gives you the feel of working out in a very classy Miami/South Beach fitness club.

If you like Tracie Long's workouts but wish they were more challenging with better production values, or if you like Michele Dozois' Ultimate workout, or if you have tried Rachel Cosgrove's paper workouts from her book Female Body Breakthrough but you thought the workouts were too long, this might be the series for you.

One caveat: Marta's movements are not always on the beat of the music. Also, she performs all 10 reps for a unilateral moves on one side before doing the other side and sometimes her pace varies ever so slightly between sides.

For example, she might do 10 clockwork reverse lunges on the right and it will take 30 seconds but on the left it will only take 25 seconds. I find that it doesn't really bother me and I really appreciate the slow controlled pace. But for folks who really want a 16-count move to be performed on the music's beat, this may be a deal-breaker.

Another point: the workouts are actually longer than stated on the cover artwork - I'm actually glad they're longer, the more workout time the better, it's worth it to me!

The workout times are here (thanks to ddj for listing these!):
Upper body 18:23
Lower body 25:13
Core 29:00

Workout 1 24:25
Workout 2 26:15
Workout 3 26:37

Workout 1 12:50
Workout 2 14:02
Workout 3 14:00
Workout 4 12:21

Also Marta only minimally interacts with Sarah, her background exerciser who appears in the Strength & Endurance DVD workouts. She asks Sarah "are you feeling this move too?" or something similar perhaps 4 times in the 6 21-minute workouts.

I have been doing these for three solid weeks and I'm not bored yet. I'm scared I'm going to wear out these DVDs and get burned out overusing them!

Should folks pay $45-50 for them including shipping & tax? I'm not sure, there's so many other more affordable workouts out there. The individual DVDs are becoming available at Collage now. Maybe later on these will become available r/etail and come down further in price.

My favorite if I had to choose just one workout of the three? I'd have to say the Power DVD with the four 10 minute segments, you can mix and match them, they have a great variety of strength/cardio exercises and the routines flow nicely.

Instructor Comments:
Marta is lovely, very fit and gives some form pointers throughout. However, this is not a series for beginner exercisers as her cueing and form pointers are minimal and geared for more intermediate to advanced exercisers.

Also Marta has a heavy Venezuelan accent which may be difficult for some to understand: for example, she pronounces "dumbbells" as "DOMbils" and says "come-on" as "CAMen". Even funnier, she introduces her background instructor Sarah with a heavy accent so it sounds like "Tarra". I actually find her adorable and feel her voice and accent lend itself well to the South Beach flavor of the workouts.