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Old 10-12-21, 09:05 PM  
rhbrand
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STS talk to me about it

Ok mostly I want to know results. It will be a while before I think of starting. I'm in the middle of a Peloton challenge, but I'm considering doing a full rotation of STS, something I've never done before.

Inches lost? Strength gains? Feeling better? Would you do it again? Have you done it more than once.

Talk to me my STS grads.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:36 AM  
Tugger31
 
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I have done a full STS rotation once. I was the strongest I had ever been, which for me was using 20 lb dumbbells easily for chest flys. I did have to get a weight bench for chest presses b/c the barbell was too heavy to safely put into position without one. I did not have a squat rack so I didn't go as heavy as I could have with weight for lowering body. I can't say for sure if I lost inches b/c I didnt measure but I definitely got a more "bulky" look in my upper body. Some people hate that word and don't think it's a real thing but for me it is. Some people thin out with heavier weight, I really believe it depends on genetics b/c I did not gain fat during this rotation. I'm short with short limbs and a meso/endo body type.

I still use STS and probably would do a full rotation again but since then I've had some injuries (unrelated to STS) and would just go lighter with everything and modify a bit. I never did the 1 Rep Max's beforehand I just went with what weight sounded right and winged it. It is a bit time consuming as alot of days are up to an hour. The first Mesocycle has pull ups which I felt odd as that is an exercise that takes a lot of strength, so I would think that would be something you'd work up to in Mesocycle 3, I just modified with bands. It's not a big portion of the first cycle at all so I wouldn't let that deter you. Depending on the amount of workout equipment you have and your strength gains, you may need to purchase more weights so that is a cost consideration.

Overall I enjoy the versatility of the workouts and I use each cycle as a stand alone rotation now or sometimes I just use the upper body workouts and pair them with barre or Ballet Beautiful for lower body.
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Old 10-13-21, 01:32 PM  
warriorprincess
 
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I'm in Mesocycle 3 of STS right now! It's the fourth or fifth time I've done it. I get way stronger with this than anything I've ever done on videos. And I definitely get muscle definition. At this point in my life, I have to put two days between classes, especially in the last half of the rotation.

Mesocycle 1 should be called 'too many pushups'. I always do these on the ball because my shoulder can't take it. There's a big variety of exercises here.

Mesocycle 2 focuses on hypertrophy, and is a lot more enjoyable to me. You start getting longer rest periods and sets in the 10 rep range. I start to see my muscles, and I start feeling stronger. I gained the ability to heft 25 lb. dumbbells while lying on my step in the last rotation, and that ability stayed. I bought some 30 lb ones for this rotation.

Mesocycle 3 is the best, focusing on strength with lower reps and higher rest periods, and finally squat rack routines for the legs, which I do have. This is where you really start to feel remarkably strong. It's amazing what that long rest period enables you to do. I'm only in the first week of my current rotation, and I'm already thinking I should repeat Mesocycle 3 until I get sick of it! Even though I have a squat rack, I like to wear my 10 lb. weight belt combined with my barbell for the squats, as it helps counteract a tendency I have to lean forward.

It's the only rotation I've ever done, and for me it's a keeper. There are great paper workouts that are similar, like "New Rules of Lifting for Women," and some of the "Beautiful Badass' routines, but it's nice to have a video series to follow. The motivation is easier.
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Old 10-13-21, 02:36 PM  
cataddict
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I've done the program twice with 10 years in between. I definitely got stronger, I did "bulk up" a little but I expected that as I build muscle easily. It was a great challenge for me. I can also see that I am stronger than I was the first time based on the notes I made. It's one of the few rotations I've completed (and I did so this time primarily due to fellow VFer kittybug who did it at the same time. I wasn't gonna quit on her!! I'm not much of a rotation person in general so it was an accomplishment to finish it. I can't help with inches lost or gained as I didn't measure that. My weight didn't change significantly either, unlike the first time when I did gain weight (I attributed it to eating habits). I did the 1 Rep Max the first time, but the second time I based my weight selection on what I did previously and upped it a few pounds or more to get a feel for what would challenge but not kill me.

My goal was to get stronger and tighter muscles, and I feel that I accomplished both based on feel and fit of clothing. I've mostly maintained the strength, and I can do more and better pushups. I agree with warriorprincess that Pushup Purgatory was a bit much and I didn't do them all on my toes, but the result is that now I consistently do them better in whatever workout I'm doing.

I can't see that I will do the entire program again but that's more a matter of long rotation avoidance than the program itself. I am considering the shorter undulating rotation which would be more doable for me time-wise.

Sorry for the rambling! I hope this helps!
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Old 10-14-21, 01:10 AM  
Jane P.
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I think it's great rotation if you have the necessary equipment (I don't) and I don't want to buy any more.

I would love a progressive set that wasn't so involved.
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Old 10-14-21, 09:54 AM  
Garrie A.
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STS! It's the only long rotation I've ever completed (CLX was close but I bailed one week before the end of the Lean phase--with no regrets, mind you), and so far I've ended up doing two rounds. I had planned to go for my third round around this time, but right now I'm doing a Body Beast rotation so my STS plans are on hold. Hopefully I can get to it around the beginning of next year.

As far as results, the biggest result was increase in not only physical strength but mental strength as well. I remember when I went through my first round (did 1RM testing), and I would go to print out the day's workout card and think to myself on a few of the exercises, "Wow. That's a lot of weight for me!" But 9 times out of 10 I was able to do it, and I only had to tweak a few exercises here and there. By the end of my second round, I was doing squats with about a 115 lb. barbell, deadlifts with a 110-120 lb. barbell, bench pressing over 80 lbs., barbell rowing 97 lbs., and even doing barbell curls with almost a 50 lb. barbell! I noticed a small increase in muscle during each of my two rounds, and my Mom even made (positive) comments on my muscles towards the end of my second round. As a small framed male who has a hard time putting on muscle, I appreciated that very much.

Warriorprincess pretty much took what I was going to say right out of my mouth, so I'm going to add my own additional thoughts:

-Do the 1RM testing, even if it's mostly for the 4 and 5 star exercises in the user guide. For my first round I did 1RM testing for most of the exercises to establish a base, then simply upped it for my second round by 5%. To do this, multiply your 1RM by .85 (round up or down accordingly) then enter 8 reps into the Workout Manager with this calculated weight. The reason I enter .85 for 8 reps is because this is what you use during the final week of Mesocycle 3. Yes, this recalculating is a bit time consuming, but it's worth it as it will save you from second guessing which weight to use. That said, for the Leg workouts in Mesos 1 and 2 (and only such), I do not go by the 1RM. I play those by ear.

-DON'T SKIP MESOCYCLE 1/ENDURANCE! Yes, I agree that the Chest, Shoulders & Biceps workouts are Push-Up Insanity (especially Disc 7 ), and the leg workouts have the wall squats from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. But in order for your muscles to be prepared to take the heavier loads to come in Mesos 2 and 3, you will need to build up endurance in the smaller and larger muscles. This is why I personally am not a fan of doing an undulating STS rotation. Yes, I understand some programs have undulating workouts where you will vary the amount of weight and rep used each day or week. But STS is a linear periodization program (meaning that you will start at a lighter weight--60% of 1RM the first week of Meso 1, peaking at 90% of 1RM during the second-to-last week of Meso 3) and was not designed as an undulating rotation. If you want an undulating rotation, go to Xtrain.

-Try to stick to the rest times given during the workouts. Unlike Cathe's other strength workouts, your rest periods are timed in STS. In Meso 1, pausing should not be an option (or at the very least, be kept to an absolute minimum) since extra rest time defeats the purpose of an endurance cycle. On the other hand, if you feel like the rest periods are too long in Meso 2 and especially Meso 3, you are not lifting heavy enough!

-Don't skip the active recovery weeks. Use these weeks to give your muscles a break from heavy lifting. I do barre, fusion, and lots of yoga during these weeks. This is also a great week to increase your cardio a little bit, or try something new. Speaking of cardio...

-Don't overdo the cardio! Too much cardio gets in the way of recovery and can also inhibit muscle building. I only do one or two cardio days per week while doing an STS rotation. If I do two days, I do one higher intensity cardio day and one lower intensity cardio day.

Sorry if I've been rambling, but I hope this is helpful!
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Old 10-14-21, 10:31 AM  
kittybug
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I did the rotation with my pal Cataddict keeping me on track!! And like Tugger31, I got crazy strong (for me). Pre-STS, I used to struggle with 20's on bench press or flies and always had to back down to 15's because I just. could. not. By the end of STS, I was confidently hoisting 25's and sometimes adding ankle weights to up the weight because I didn't have anything heavier. Now I've acquired 30-pounders ready to go for my next round of STS.

Oh, and I didn't do the one-rep test for anything because after looking that over, I got overwhelmed. I figured after working out with Cathe all these years, I had a good idea of where to start and how to push. But when I do STS again, I might take the time because it's probably worth it.

As far as visible results, well, I think I leaned out a bit and that my body likes heavier lifting and less cardio (which wah, because I love my cardio!). I didn't really pay attention to all that as I was going for strength, but I know my husband constantly teased me about my 'popping veins' and baggy pants towards the end of the rotation. And all of this with me dubbing STS as standing for 'Sore, Tired, and Starving' because my appetite was, well, CRAZY.

I also want to second everything Garrie said (waves maniacally at Garrie!!) about the recovery weeks, cardio, rest periods, etc. Spot on!

Aaaaaand now I want to revisit STS. Sigh...so many workouts, so little time...
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Old 10-14-21, 10:39 AM  
tiletha444
 
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Thanks Garrie A. for the reasons not to skip Meso 1. I have STS, but have yet to do it. I've read so many comments over the years that Meso 1 is push-up heavy. I've highly considered skipping it lol. Your points about the muscles needing to be prepared for heavier loads and linear periodization have changed my mind.
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Old 10-14-21, 12:32 PM  
Garrie A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiletha444 View Post
Thanks Garrie A. for the reasons not to skip Meso 1. I have STS, but have yet to do it. I've read so many comments over the years that Meso 1 is push-up heavy. I've highly considered skipping it lol. Your points about the muscles needing to be prepared for heavier loads and linear periodization have changed my mind.
Go for it! You'll love it.
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-AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
-Licensed Zumba Fitness instructor
-Certified Barre Above instructor
--------------------------------------------------------
CLX rotation 6/19-9/19
STS Grad 11/19-2/20
STS Grad AGAIN 9/20-12/20


"I will now demonstrate an exercise that's not stupid."-Briannah Jewel

"Be good out there. If you can't be good, be careful."-Denis Morton

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Old 10-14-21, 12:36 PM  
Garrie A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittybug View Post
I did the rotation with my pal Cataddict keeping me on track!! And like Tugger31, I got crazy strong (for me). Pre-STS, I used to struggle with 20's on bench press or flies and always had to back down to 15's because I just. could. not. By the end of STS, I was confidently hoisting 25's and sometimes adding ankle weights to up the weight because I didn't have anything heavier. Now I've acquired 30-pounders ready to go for my next round of STS.

Oh, and I didn't do the one-rep test for anything because after looking that over, I got overwhelmed. I figured after working out with Cathe all these years, I had a good idea of where to start and how to push. But when I do STS again, I might take the time because it's probably worth it.

As far as visible results, well, I think I leaned out a bit and that my body likes heavier lifting and less cardio (which wah, because I love my cardio!). I didn't really pay attention to all that as I was going for strength, but I know my husband constantly teased me about my 'popping veins' and baggy pants towards the end of the rotation. And all of this with me dubbing STS as standing for 'Sore, Tired, and Starving' because my appetite was, well, CRAZY.

I also want to second everything Garrie said (waves maniacally at Garrie!!) about the recovery weeks, cardio, rest periods, etc. Spot on!

Aaaaaand now I want to revisit STS. Sigh...so many workouts, so little time...
Waving back at Kittybug! IIRC I finished my second round about the time y'all started Meso 3. I'm still around and still working out but am bad about checking in. Now that things are settling down I might rejoin, but my check-in posts will probably be weekly rather than daily.
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-AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
-Licensed Zumba Fitness instructor
-Certified Barre Above instructor
--------------------------------------------------------
CLX rotation 6/19-9/19
STS Grad 11/19-2/20
STS Grad AGAIN 9/20-12/20


"I will now demonstrate an exercise that's not stupid."-Briannah Jewel

"Be good out there. If you can't be good, be careful."-Denis Morton

Check out my blog by clicking on the "Home Page" link under my profile name.
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