2010, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Ten minutes to a long, lean, athletic body! What could be simpler?

Second Impression: In the “about Marta” packet inside the DVD case, it says she works out three hours a day. Why, that’s… (uses abacus) 18 ten minute workouts a day!

The instructor, Marta Montenegro, is a very qualified woman. She founded a fitness magazine and has a master’s degree in exercise physiology. It’s also apparent that she’s had a lot of work done. That doesn’t discount her as an exercise expert, but I raised my eyebrows (because I can) when I saw that there’s a bonus featurette on “celebrity makeup secrets to look naturally beautiful.”

In this segment, a posh British lady gives tips on how to do your makeup when you go to the gym. She advises curling your lashes (torture) and applying lipliner only. Noooo! Don’t tell people that! Your accent makes everything sound like a good idea!

At any rate, these four, ten-minute workouts are designed to be done in the privacy of your own home, so I apply my usual products to give a fresh, natural, pre-workout glow:


Now I’m ready to have Marta put me though my paces. These workouts are no joke. Lots of boot camp-style calisthenic moves, switching rapidly from one type of exercise to another in order to tax your limits. Some of the moves combine two things, crunches and bicep curls for example. It’s designed to raise your metabolism and continue burning calories after your workout is over. It definitely gets your cardio rate up, and afterwards you have that “winded” feeling that means you’ve worked hard.

I recommend just powering though all four workouts. There’s no point in putting on your exercise clothes, and shoes, and moving aside the “cattoman” (cat bed inside an ottoman), and doing your hair and makeup, just for a ten minute session. All in!

My one pettifog is that you alternate between standing exercises and floor exercises within the same routine. I don’t like to do floor work without a mat, and rolling and unrolling it during the workout is tedious. So I just leave it on the floor and do the standing exercises on top of the yoga mat, wearing my gym shoes. I’d prefer not to, but this is the Montenegro Method, baby!

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