This series is Cathe at her best. My definition of a great workout is a. it's effective and b. it's fun. The STS series is both. I was in the best shape of my life after doing a 3 month STS rotation.
What is particularly good and effective about these workouts:
**the 1 rep max(1RM). I strongly suggest taking the time to do this before doing the workouts. I found I could lift heavier than I ever thought I could. A week or so before starting STS, I incorporated the 1 rep max tests into my workouts. I spread the tests out so I could really get to my max reps.
**the workout manager on Cathe's website. You just enter your 1 rep max results here and it automatically calculates the weight you'll need to lift for each exercise.
**the stretching routine. I usually skip stretching when I'm short on time, but I made a point to do it and I didn't have as much muscle soreness as usual.
**I love how they challenged me and pushed me to work harder. Cathe encourages you to go at your own pace and to listen to your body. Doing a 3 month or 6 month rotation puts a lot of stress on your body and you need to be able to handle that.
**the variety. Even though workouts in each cycle had some of the same exercises, it didn't seem repetitive at all. I actually liked having some repeat exercises from week to week because I could see my progress and I could really work on perfecting my form.
Some things to note on these:
**the warm-ups are off beat. Not a big deal for me. I'm usually doing these at 5 am and I'm not quite awake, so I'm always a half beat behind anyway.
**the men in the crew are distracting. Their form is horrible and they're using teeny tiny weights, which looks totally fake. I just look at them when I need a distraction from the `pain' of the workout.
**each routine is about an hour. Check out Cathe's STS Forum for suggestions on how to shorten the routines.
**Mesocycle 1 - Muscle Endurance requires a lot of equipment. I had to frequently stop the DVD to get ready for the next exercise.
**Mesocycle 3 - there is 2-3 minutes rest between each set. It may seem like a long time, but if you're truly lifting at your 80%-90% max, you need this time!
None of these detracted from the workouts for me since I love the routines, but they might be issues for some.
I followed Cathe's suggested 3 month rotation, using cardio from her previous workouts. I look forward to doing my next rotation using her Shock Cardio workouts.
I highly recommend this series for anyone willing to give it their all to get into super shape!