STS Weeks 12 & 13 (Workouts 16, 17 & 18)

Meso2For more information on the STS program see STS Overview and Prep.

These are the second trio of workouts in Mesocycle #2. There are some changes in these workouts and they are quite challenging. The first is that you increase your weights to 75% of your 1RM. The second is a concept called “back off sets.” The structure for the upper body workouts is similar to how it was set up in the first two Meso 2 upper body workouts—3-4 sets of each exercise with the reps being 12, 10 and 8 and if a 4th set is done, it is done to failure. Well, in the two upper body workouts in this trio you will almost always do a 4th set and that 4th set will always be the back off set. Back off sets are when you drop your weight significantly and lift to failure. You have done 3 sets at 75% of your 1RM and if you are really doing it at 75% of your 1RM, you are burned out at the end of that 3rd set. You get a very short break (about 20 seconds)—short enough to drop to 40% of your 1RM (not really enough time if you are using a barbell), then you lift to failure. It’s tricking your muscles to get better results. Your muscles have been lifting heavy and are expecting a heavy load again—but then you immediately lower the weight and push out as many reps as you can. This is supposed to lead to bigger muscle gains because it affects your nervous system differently.

 

On a more personal note, I have gone back to doing doubles again. I just miss them. I sleep better when I do doubles. I am also really enjoying stepping out of my Cathe comfort zone and doing workouts from some of my old favorite trainers again. And I am feeling it! Between the Meso 2 workouts and my non-Cathe workouts I am in a near-constant state of severe DOMS. Amy Dixon and Chalene Johnson are killing my lower body.

 

Disk 16 Chest, Shoulders & Trisets is 64 minutes long; 45 second intro by Cathe about back off sets, 4 minute warm up, 59 minute training time and 30 second stretch. The first two exercises are warm ups so you are lifting 50% of your 1RM with a short break between them. After that you are lifting 75% of your 1RM with one minute breaks between sets, except for the 4th set, which is the back off set. You get about 20 seconds to quickly reduce your weight to 40% of your 1RM then you lift to failure. After you complete the back off set you get 60 seconds until your next exercise. I really felt this workout. Not sure whether it was due to the back off sets or the increase in weight to 75%, but it was tough workout and my arms were burning for a long time afterward. BTW–I just kept hitting failure. 1RM really is a nice little science because on most of the exercises, I am at or close to failure by the 12th rep–and on some, like the flat bench press, I can barely press out the full reps for each set! I struggle with 12 reps. Then even after the 60 second break, I struggle with 10 reps. And again, I struggle to push out 8. So I do come back strong with that back off set–but because muscles are so fatigued, I end up failing anyway–even though it is so much lighter. Pretty neat concept.

 

Another cool thing about this workout is I finally got to use my 2 pound weighted gloves for something other than kickboxing! They are perfect for tricep work. Because there is more time between sets in Meso 2 than there was in Meso 1, I actually have the time to put on the gloves or take them off.

 

Equipment needed: bench or step with 5 risers, barbell, dumbbells, stability ball and chair.

 

Exercises:

Incline Bench Press (barbell) (warm up set)

Incline Bench Press (barbell)  (warm up set)

Incline Bench Press (barbell) 12 reps

Incline Bench Press (barbell) 10 reps

Incline Bench Press (barbell) 8 reps

Incline Bench Press (barbell) back off set to failure

Incline Fly (Rotate Pinky in ) (dumbbell) 12 reps

Incline Fly (Rotate Pinky in ) (dumbbell) 10 reps

Incline Fly (Rotate Pinky in ) (dumbbell) 8 reps

Incline Fly (Rotate Pinky in ) (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Flat Bench Press (barbell) 12 reps

Flat Bench Press (barbell) 10 reps

Flat Bench Press (barbell) 8 reps

Flat Bench Press (barbell) back off set to failure

Standing Barbell Front Press  12 reps

Standing Barbell Front Press  10 reps

Standing Barbell Front Press  8 reps

Standing Barbell Front Press   back off set to failure

Standing Lateral Raise (dumbbell) 12 reps

Standing Lateral Raise (dumbbell) 10 reps

Standing Lateral Raise (dumbbell) 8 reps

Standing Lateral Raise (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Seated Rear Delts (dumbbell) 12 reps

Seated Rear Delts (dumbbell) 10 reps

Seated Rear Delts (dumbbell) 8 reps

Seated Rear Delts (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Flat Bench Tricep Extensions (dumbbell) 12 reps

Flat Bench Tricep Extensions (dumbbell) 10 reps

Flat Bench Tricep Extensions (dumbbell) 8 reps

Flat Bench Tricep Extensions (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Side Leaning One Arm Overhead Extensions on Ball (dumbbell) 12 reps

Side Leaning One Arm Overhead Extensions on Ball (dumbbell) 10 reps

Side Leaning One Arm Overhead Extensions on Ball (dumbbell) 8 reps

Double Arm Overhead Extension on Ball (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Kickbacks One Arm (dumbbell) 12 reps

Kickbacks One Arm (dumbbell) 10 reps

Kickbacks One Arm (dumbbell) 8 reps

Kickbacks Double Arm (dumbbell) back off set to failure

 

Disk 17 Legs is 47 minutes long; 4 minute warm up, 41 minute training time and 1.5 minute stretch. This Leg workout is formatted the same as Disk 14—trisets. The only difference is that the first triset contains different exercises. So you get 3 trisets which you repeat 3 times each, for a total of 9 trisets. You end with 3 sets of calf raises. You get one minute of recovery between each triset. During that 60 second recovery time, I did 20 seconds of jumping jacks or squat jumps then recovered for the remaining 40.

 

Equipment needed: dumbbells, paper plates or Slide N Glide Disks, high step with 3 risers and a chair.

 

1st Triset (done 3 times)

Squats Narrow Stance (dumbbell)

45 Degree Lunges (dumbbell)

One Leg Sit N Slide with Paper Plate or Slide N Glide Disk (dumbbell)

 

2nd Triset (done 3 times)

Static Lunge (dumbell)

Plie Squats Alternating Hand (dumbbell)

One Leg Slide Back Lunges with Paper Plate or Slide N Glide disk (dumbbell)

 

3rd Triset (done 3 times)

Squats Wide Stance (dumbbell)

One Leg Elevated Lunges (dumbbell and high step w/ 3 risers)

Deadlifts Wide Stance (dumbbell)

Calf Raises (dumbbell, chair and high step w/ 1 riser) 3 sets of 20, varying tempos

 

Disk 18 Back & Biceps is 60 minutes; 50 second intro about back off sets, 3:30 minute warm up, 55 minutes training time and 20 second stretch. This workout is so tough. In this mesocycle I think it is the one that challenges me the most. It could be because I am lifting so much heavier than I ever have in my life, but wow. This is tough. Other than the 6 exercises at the beginning (3 band exercises which warm up your back and 3 sets of pull ups/chin ups), the one leg deadlift is the only exercise you do not do a back off set on and I was grateful for that. That one really worked my lower back seriously hard. That is why she doesn’t include a back off set, I’m sure, since you are seriously burning it out by that third set. Cathe also spends extra time during the one minute recovery after the one leg deadlift to make sure you stretch your lower back out sufficiently.

 

Equipment needed: barbell, dumbbells, dynaband, pull up bar or bands and a chair.

 

Exercises:

Lat pulldowns with band

T-Pull with band

Y’s with band

Pull Ups Overhand

Chinups Medium Grip

Chinups

Barbell Rows 21 reps

Barbell Rows 10 reps

Barbell Rows 8 reps

Barbell Rows back off set to failure

One Arm Horizontal Row (dumbbell) 12 reps

One Arm Horizontal Row (dumbbell) 10 reps

One Arm Horizontal Row (dumbbell) 8 reps

One Arm Horizontal Row (dumbbell) back off set to failure

One Legged Deadlifts (dumbbell) 12 reps

One Legged Deadlifts (dumbbell) 10 reps

One Legged Deadlifts (dumbbell) 8 reps

Barbell Curl 12 reps

Barbell Curl 10 reps

Barbell Curl 8 reps

Barbell Curl back off set to failure

Seated Alternating Curl (dumbbell) 12 reps

Seated Alternating Curl (dumbbell) 10 reps

Seated Alternating Curl (dumbbell) 8 reps

Seated Alternating Curl (dumbbell) back off set to failure

Seated Concentration Curls (dumbbell) 12 reps

Seated Concentration Curls (dumbbell) 10 reps

Seated Concentration Curls (dumbbell) 8 reps

Seated Concentration Curls (dumbbell) back off set to failure

 

My rotation calendar

Week 12

Day 1: Disk 16 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

Doubles: ChaLean Extreme: Burn it Off

Day 2: Breathless Body 2: The Edge

Doubles: Body Revolution: Cardio 1

Day 3 Disk 17 Legs + Extended Stretch

Doubles: ChaLean Extreme: Fat Burn Challenge

Day 4: Disk 18 Back & Biceps

Day 5: Kick, Punch Crunch

Doubles: ACE HIIT Series: Lower Body Tabata

Day 6: Total Body Transformation

Day 7: Rest

Week 13

Day 1: Disk 16 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps +  ACE HIIT Series: 10 Minute Booty Blast

Doubles:  ACE HIIT Series: Core HIIT

Day 2: Peak 10 More Cardio Interval Burn

Doubles: ACE HIIT Series: Total Body HIIT

Day 3 Disk 17 Legs + ACE HIIT Series: Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Doubles: ACE HIIT Series: Upper Body HIIT

Day 4: Disk 18 Back & Biceps

Doubles: Skinny Rules Cardio WOD 1

Day 5:  Power Strike 5 + ACE HIIT Series: 10 minute Ab Blast

Day 6: Peak 10 More Cardio Strength

Day 7: Rest

7 responses to “STS Weeks 12 & 13 (Workouts 16, 17 & 18)

  1. Pingback: ACE HIIT Series | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

  2. Pingback: STS Overview and Prep | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

  3. Your reviews of STS are so detailed. Thanks!!! : ) Would you say someone could complete these as stand-alone (downloads) or would you really need to purchase the whole set? If the goal isn’t exactly that of the entire “program”?

    • I don’t see why not. They are all complete workouts for the muscle groups being worked. The hypertrophy (Meso 2) workouts in particular could easily be used individually. I haven’t done that myself with any workouts except Meso #3s Plyo Legs workouts, but the workouts will still do a great job whether they are used in this series or on their own. I frequently use the Plyo Legs workouts on their own.

  4. Thank you. If I enjoy it, I can get the whole set later. I was just wondering if there’s a bunch of calculating during the individual workouts.

    • Oh no–I wouldn’t bother with the calculations unless you are doing it as a series since each time you advance a week you increase your weights by a certain percentage. But if you are doing them as stand alones then I would just lift as heavy as you can and not worry about calculating it.

  5. Pingback: STS/Glute Focused Rotation | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

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