STS Squat Rack Legs

squatrackFor more information on STS see STS Overview and Prep.

I am now on my second round of STS and in Mesocycle 3, and finally doing Squat Rack Legs. My first time through I did Plyo Legs only, but this time I am doing them both. I do Plyo Legs on Wednesdays and on Saturdays I do Squat Rack Legs. As mentioned at the top, for more info on the STS program, please see the program overview or this will not make a lot of sense to you. However, briefly, STS is 3 Mesocyles. Squat Rack Legs is sold separately from the main program. If you purchase the main program you get 36 disks and in the third Mesocycle, the lower body workouts that are included in those 36 disks are Plyo Legs. But Cathe also gives you the option of doing Squat Rack Legs during Meso 3 and sells it separately. The reason for this is that you need even more equipment than you need in the main program to do Squat Rack Legs–equipment a lot of people do not own. In Mesocycle 3 you are lifting 80-90% of your 1RM. But in order to do that for lower body, you need a squat rack and/or a weighted vest. Well, I have both. I have a squat rack and a weighted vest that goes up to 40 pounds. It uses weights that insert into pockets so you can make it any weight that you want. When I started Meso 3 I had it at 32 pounds for the first two weeks, then I added the rest of the weight to make 40 pounds for the last two weeks. And man, a 40 pound vest is heavy. I like how it helped me distribute weight so I wasn’t lifting the entire amount on the barbell, but it was not comfortable on my shoulders. During the rest periods between sets, I had to keep bending over to take some of the weight off my shoulders from the vest. I love the idea but there was discomfort I hadn’t anticipated.

Like the other Mesocycle 3 workouts, Squat Rack Legs is very basic. You do 4 exercises; you do 4 sets of each of those exercises and 6-8 reps in each set. Because you are lifting so heavy and focusing on one body part (unlike the other Meso 3 workouts which superset opposing muscle groups) you have to take a long rest between each set–150 seconds. Because of this, it is very, very important that you do 1RM testing and be honest with yourself. These are long workouts, so if you are not really challenging yourself, you are wasting your time. I was amazed how in every workout 6-8 reps had me breathing really hard–my heart was racing; I think I was up in the anaerobic zone during the lifting for every Meso 3 workout I did (not just Squat Rack Legs–but all of the heavy lifting workouts). I also really challenged myself–for the last week, I did not drop back down to 85% like we are supposed to (see the breakdown below); I kept it at 90% and still increased my reps. And I managed to push out 8 reps every time. I found it pretty exciting how much STS has increased my strength.

There are 4 squat rack workouts–one for each week. You either substitute it for the Plyo Legs workout or you do like me and do them both. Here is how I am going to lay out this review. I will give a time break down for each workout, then I will explain how it is different from the others, but I will only give a list of the exercises once since they are the same in every workout. Equipment needed for all of these workouts is a barbell with plates and either a squat rack or a weighted vest (or you can be like me and use them both). I did not wear the weighted vest for deadlifts, but I wore it for all of the other exercises.

Disk 37 is 63:30 minutes long; 1:30 minute intro, 5:30 minute warm up, 55 minute training time and 2:30 minute stretch. For this workout you will be lifting 80% of your 1RM for 8 reps per set.

Disk 38 is 61 minutes long; 5:30 minute warm up, 53 minute training time and 2:30 minute stretch. For this workout you will be lifting 85% of your 1RM for 7 reps per set.

Disk 39 is 59 minutes long; 5:30 minute warm up, 51 minute training time and 2:30 stretch. For this workout you will be lifting 90% of your 1RM for 6 reps per set.

Disk 40 is 62:30 minutes long; 30 second intro, 5:30 minute warm up, 54 minute training time and 2:30 minute stretch. For this workout you will be lifting 85% of your 1RM for 8 reps per set.


2 warm up sets of barbell squats

4 sets of barbell squats (with squat rack and/or weighted vest)

4 sets of barbell deadlifts w/ toes elevated on barbell plates

4 sets of front squats (with squat rack or weighted vest)–you will be holding the barbell in front of you rather than on your shoulders

4 sets of static lunges (with squat rack or weighted best)


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