STS/Glute Focused Rotation

printable-exercise-calendarI decided to post this rotation on my blog for several reasons. First, the usual reason—so I do not forget it! I may want to return to this one day and I need not only the rotation, but my thoughts on how I can improve upon it in the future; and second, because Cathe’s Rock Bottoms rotations are her most popular so there might be some folks out there who are interested in my own personal “STS/Rock Bottom” rotation. As I mention in STS Wrap up, Cathe creates a lot of rotations for her devoted exercisers (I am one of them!) and one of her most popular is her Rock Bottoms rotation, which has now gone through 3 versions. She created Rock Bottoms #1 in 2006, Rock Bottoms #2 in 2011 and Rock Bottoms #3 in 2013. I did Rock Bottoms #2 with my own personal tweaks and I also did it for longer–6 weeks rather than the 4 she laid out. I did like it. It was very challenging, but I will be honest–I didn’t get any noticeable or stellar results. So I put a lot of time and thought into creating my own personal glute focused rotation and I think it’s better.

One of the things I didn’t like about Cathe’s Rock Bottoms rotations was that I felt that because you were focusing so much attention on the lower body, the upper body was neglected. By using STS plus a second upper body workout each week, your upper body is worked very well. I also felt there are better ways to target the glutes. For example, I hate walking lunges. HATE THEM. Cathe has you do 300-400 of them each week–in one session! I hated that part of the rotation. I feel that hip thrusts give the glutes much more focused work than walking lunges, so I incorporated those instead–and built on them so they progressed throughout the rotation (more on that below). Also, Cathe is obviously using her own lower body workouts for her rotations. Everyone who reads my blog knows Cathe is my favorite trainer and I own everything she has created on DVD (and now subscribe to her Live workouts). But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the value of other trainers. Other trainers have simply created some better, more glute focused workouts and incorporating those (in addition to Cathe’s workouts) creates a better, more tightly glute focused rotation.

Having finished this rotation I have a lot of thoughts. First, it did the job. My bottom is rock hard. Seriously. There is a significant increase in glute muscle. Second, it was a  very hard rotation for me. The first two months of this rotation really tore me up. I need to remember that in the future since I may want to take it down a notch when returning to it.

Since this rotation incorporates STS, it is obviously longer than 4 or 6 weeks. STS is 12 weeks long (15 if you include a recovery week after each Mesocycle) and since I include two recovery weeks below, the rotation is 14 weeks. Now, some things that apply to the recovery weeks specifically. I have incorporated two recovery weeks in the rotation below–one after Mesocycle 1 and one after Mesocycle 2. I liked them both but the second one fell victim to me discovering the library’s enormous selection of barre workouts to sample. So in the future, I will combine the way both recovery weeks are laid out and maybe add some yoga and some of Cathe’s MMA workouts (part of her supplemental STS cardio series) and/or some of Cathe’s easier step workouts.

I continued to sample library workouts during Meso 3 and came across a lot of excellent yoga and barre workouts. I plan to purchase all of the ones I liked and, in the future, I think it would make this rotation even more focused and beneficial if I include glute focused barre and mat work as doubles or add-ons/finishers. So, having gone through this once, I see a lot of ways to make it even better when I decide to do it again.

Some notes on individual workouts. A lot of substitutions can be made to this rotation. Obviously everyone does not own the same workout library that I own. However, to maintain the integrity and purpose of this rotation I would suggest that certain workouts be used—STS series, Edge Extreme Booty 2, Butt Bible, Great Glutes and Xtrain’s 100 Rep Hip Thrust Challenge are all key in my opinion. Everything else can be substituted with workouts you own or prefer. Use whatever HIIT, yoga and core workouts you wish in place of whatever I list. During Meso 3, I personally got a lot out of P90X2 P.A.P. Upper and felt it fit in nicely with my rotation. However, I realize no one is going to buy p90x2 for single workout, so substitute that one with an upper body strength workout or a more metabolic workout like Supercuts. In addition, tho I mention above that I think Edge Extreme Booty 2 is essential, I am referring to the lower body workouts. My Edge Extreme Booty 2 Saturdays were brutal. Edge Booty Extreme 2 workouts are advanced and very challenging and on Saturdays I did one of the EBE2 lower body workouts followed by one of the EBE2 upper body workouts. I was wasted afterward. You can alter this any way you want. For instance, you can choose not to do an additional upper body workout (using STS only is still excellent and comprehensive–you don’t actually need more upper body workouts than this, I just prefer to hit each muscle group at least 2 times a week; but that is a personal preference). You can substitute another, less brutal, upper body workout (Kelly Coffey-Meyer has some excellent ones; so does Cathe if you utilize some of her premixes), or you can move Edge Extreme Booty 2 upper body workout to another day and use it as a doubles workout. If you do the latter, you will need to swap Wednesday and Thursday’s main workout and do the Edge Extreme Booty 2 upper body workout as a Friday double. Or you can do it as your Friday morning workout and, since they are both short (approx 30 minutes), follow it with a 30 minute HIIT workout (since the main workout on Fridays is a HIIT workout anyway). These are just suggestions (and something I might do in the future).

Changes/tweaks were made along the way during this rotation, which is one of the reasons I am not posting it until I have completed it. For instance, in Meso 3 I had originally planned to alternate 4 Day Split Kickbox/Lower Body with Great Glutes Extreme premix. But then during week 2 I noted that Great Glutes Extreme hit my glutes much harder and better than 4 Day Split–so I altered the rotation so that I did Great Glutes Extreme the remainder of Meso 3 and, when I return to this rotation, I will do only Great Glutes Extreme for Mesocycle 3, since the whole point of the rotation is glute focus. (Or maybe alternate it with Butts & Guts.)

A final note regarding hip thrusts before I lay out the rotation. You will be doing hip thrusts throughout the entire 14 weeks in different ways. Not just the Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrust Challenge, but Butt Bible and Edge Extreme Booty 2 also features both weighted and unweighted hip thrusts. Do not skip these if you are interested in the glute focus aspect of this rotation. They are important for your glutes and should always be done. Try to complete all reps and, when they are weighted, use the heaviest weight you can use with good form. For the 100 Rep Challenges in Meso 1 & 2, I used a 35 pound barbell in Meso 1 and increased it to 45 pounds for Meso 2. However, I did things a little differently in Meso 3. It was time to kick it up a notch. Instead of the 100 Rep Hip Thrust Challenge I did heavy barbell hip thrusts–4 sets of 12 reps. I started with a 60 pound barbell and each week of Meso 3 I added 10 pounds to the barbell, so that the final week of this entire rotation I was hip thrusting 90 pounds (and man was it tough! I actually ended up doing 4 sets of 10 reps the final week–12 was too many for me with a 90 pound barbell). This version of barbell hip thrusts was shared on Cathe’s forum by a forum friend. Here is the video–it is exercise #3. I link to it below in the rotation but only because it shows the set up in order to do the exercise properly–it’s not an actual workout that can be followed, so you are on your own with that one.

Mesocycle 1:

Week 1:

Sunday: TurboFire Stretch 40

Monday: STS #1 Chest, Shoulders & Biceps + STS Medicine Ball Abs

Doubles: HIIT #1 (40/20)

Tuesday: STS #3 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: STS Yoga Abs + Stretch Max 2

Wednesday: Ultimatum Blue + Butt Bible Level 1 Lower

Doubles: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Peak Cardio

Thursday: STS #2 Back and Triceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 2 Lower

Friday: Tabatacise (all 5 tabatas) + Core 1

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Weighted Legs + Weighted Upper Body + STS Extended Stretch

Week 2:

Sunday: Yoga Relax

Monday: STS #4 Chest, Shoulders & Biceps

Doubles: HIIT #2 (30/30)

Tuesday: STS #6 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: STS Pilates Abs + Total Body Stretch 2

Wednesday: Ultimatum White + Butt Bible Level 1 Lower

Doubles: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Peak Cardio

Thursday: STS #5 Back & Triceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 2 Lower

Friday: Ripped w/ HIIT Plyo HIIT 2 premix 2 (Plyo HIIT 2 followed by Plyo HIIT 1) + Bonus Abs 1

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Weighted Glutes + Weighted Upper + STS Extended Stretch

Week 3:

Sunday: Yoga Warrior

Monday: STS #7 Chest, Shoulders & Biceps

Doubles: HIIT #3 (Pyramids)

Tuesday: STS #9 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: STS Weights & Plates + Total Body Stretch 1

Wednesday: Ultimatum Black + Butt Bible Level 1 Lower

Doubles: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Peak Cardio

Thursday: STS #8 Back & Triceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 2 Lower

Friday: Tabatacise (all 5 tabatas) + Core 2

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Weighted Legs + Weighted Upper Body + STS Extended Stretch

Week 4:

Sunday: Yoga Max

Monday: STS #10 Chest, Shoulders & Biceps

Doubles: Pretty Fierce Lean Out Anaerobic Capacity

Tuesday: STS #12 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: STS Stability Ball Abs + Total Body Stretch 3

Wednesday: (Injury–unable to do Ultimatum) Cardio SuperSets + STS Medicine Ball Abs

Thursday: STS #11 Back & Triceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 2 Lower

Friday: Ripped w/ HIIT Plyo HIIT 2 premix 2 (Plyo HIIT 2 followed by Plyo HIIT 1) + Bonus Abs 2

Doubles: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Peak Cardio

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Weighted Glutes + Weighted Upper + STS Extended Stretch

Recovery Week:

Sunday: P90X2 Recovery & Mobility

Monday: EFX #1

Doubles: 30 Minutes to Fitness: Your Healthy Back

Tuesday: Mobility RX #1 + Anarchy Free Flow

Wednesday: EFX #2

Thursday: Mobility RX #2 + Anarchy Free Flow

Doubles: Figure 30 Hips

Friday: EFX #3

Saturday: Asylum Back to Core + BodyFit 360 Volume 3 Stretch

Mesocycle 2:

Week 1:

Sunday: P90X2 X2 Yoga

Monday: STS #13 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

Doubles: HIIT #1 (40/20)

Tuesday: STS #14 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: KBKB Scorcher Diversity

Wednesday: Ultimatum Bronze + Turbo Barre abs & stretch only

Doubles: RIPT90 Death by Thruster

Thursday: STS #15 Back & Biceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 3 Lower

Friday: Crossfire + Core premix

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2: Plyo Legs + Plyo Upper Body + STS Extended Stretch

Week 2:

Sunday: Release

Monday: STS #16 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Element Daily Yoga: Morning

Tuesday: STS #17 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Wednesday: Ultimatum Platinum

Doubles: KBKB Scorcher Power

Thursday: STS #18 Back & Biceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 3 Lower

Friday: To the Max Extreme premix

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2: Plyo Glutes + Plyo Upper Body + STS Extended Stretch

Week 3:

Sunday: Element Daily Yoga: Evening

Monday: STS #19 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

Doubles: HIIT #2 (30/30)

Tuesday: STS #20 Legs + Xtrain 100 Rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: PiYo Core

Wednesday: Ultimatum Gold + Total Body Stretch #3

Doubles: KBKB Scorcher Power

Thursday: STS #21 Back & Biceps

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 3 Lower

Friday: Crossfire + Core premix

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2: Plyo Legs + Plyo Upper + STS Extended Stretch

Week 4:

Sunday: The Firm Power Yoga

Monday: STS #22 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps + Muscle Endurance core & stretch only

Doubles: TurboFire Fire 30

Tuesday: STS #23 Legs + Xtrain 100 rep Hip Thrusts

Doubles: Xtrain All Out Low Impact HIIT premix 6

Wednesday: Ultimatum Red + Turbo Barre core & stretch only

Doubles: Ripped w/ HIIT Low Impact HIIT 2

Thursday: STS #24 Back & Biceps + Muscle Max core & stretch only

Doubles: Butt Bible Level 3 Lower

Friday: TurboFire Fire 45 + Stretch 10

Saturday: Edge Booty Extreme 2 Plyo Glutes + Plyo Upper + STS Extended Stretch

Recovery Week:

Sunday: Element: AM & PM Yoga

Monday: The Perfect Design Level II

Doubles: Element Barre: Burn & Firm

Tuesday: The Method Mat Workout

Wednesday: 30 Minute to Fitness: Your Healthy Back + Pure Barre: 16th Street 2

Thursday: Element: Ballet Conditioning

Doubles: Element Barre: Length & Strength

Friday: Xtend Chisel: Lean & Chiseled

Doubles: The Perfect Design Level III

Saturday: Burn at the Barre

Mesocycle 3:

Week 1:

Sunday: P90X X-Stretch

Monday: STS #25 Chest & Back

Doubles: Ignite

Tuesday: STS #26: Plyo Legs + Xtrain Legs stretch only

Doubles: Core Fusion Barre Basics (2 segments/1 glute and 1 thigh)

Wednesday: STS #27 Shoulder, Biceps & Triceps + X10 Low Impact

Thursday: 4 Day Split Kickboxing/Lower Body/Core

Friday: P90X2 P.A.P. Upper + Core Fusion: Pure Core

Doubles: Element: 5 Day Yoga/Stress Relief and Meditation

Saturday: STS #37 Squat Rack Legs + 4×12 Barbell Hip Thrusts (exercise #3) + Xtrain Cardio Leg Blast stretch only

Week 2:

Sunday: Element: Yoga for Strength & Flexibility

Monday: STS #28 Chest & Back

Doubles: X10 Cardio Blast

Tuesday: STS #29 Plyo Legs + Kick Max stretch only

Doubles: Core Fusion Barre Basics (2 segments/1 glute and 1 thigh)

Wednesday: STS #30 Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps

Doubles: X10 Fat Burning Circuit

Thursday: Great Glutes Extreme premix

Doubles: Element: 5 Day Yoga/Strength & Stamina

Friday: P90X2 P.A.P Upper + Core Fusion (core 1)

Doubles:  Element: 5 Day Yoga/Stretch & Restore

Saturday: STS #38 Squat Rack Legs + 4×12 Barbell Hip Thrusts (exercise #3) + Core Fusion Pretzel workout + Xtrain Cardio Leg Blast stretch only

Week 3: (this was Thanksgiving week and I had most of the week off work; therefore I just added things on to the end of my morning workouts rather than doing doubles)

Sunday: Element: Yoga for Stress Relief & Flexibility

Monday: STS #31 Chest & Back

Doubles: X10: High/Low

Tuesday: STS # 32 Plyo Legs + Precision Toning: Butts + Xtrain Legs stretch only

Wednesday: STS #33 Shoulders, Triceps & Biceps + Precision Toning: Abs

Thursday: Great Glutes Extreme premix + Turbo Fire HIIT 15

Friday: P90X2 P.A.P. Upper + Element: 5 Day Yoga/Core Power

Saturday: STS #39 Squat Rack Legs + 4×12 Barbell Hip Thrusts (exercise #3) + Xtrain Cardio Leg Blast stretch only

Week #4:

Sunday: Element: Power Yoga

Monday: STS #34 Chest & Back

Doubles: 30 Minutes to Fitness: Athletic Conditioning Vol 1, workout 1

Tuesday: STS #35 Plyo Legs + Lean Legs & Abs stretch only

Doubles: Precision Toning: Arms & Legs

Wednesday: STS #36 Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps

Doubles: X10 Step

Thursday: Great Glutes Extreme premix

Doubles: Element: 5 day Yoga/Energy & Flexibility

Friday: P90X2 P.A.P. Upper + 30 Minutes to Fitness: Circuit Burn Ab bonus only

Saturday: STS #40 Squat Rack Legs + 4×10 Barbell Hip Thrusts (exercise #3) + Xtrain Cardio Leg Blast stretch only

6 responses to “STS/Glute Focused Rotation

  1. I was going to ask you to recommend workouts which hammer the glutes the most, but I’m guessing all of those workouts are included in this rotation here, huh? 😀 I’m really trying to make an effort to jack up my booty (and build some muscle in my upper body) — this rotation looks perfect. (Though, I’m nursing a tweaky knee at the moment, I’m still trying to get in what I can.)

    In that same vein, I’m in the market for a barbell. Which ones do you own/recommend? (I’m definitely going to be purchasing the T-Grip Bar, but that looks like it might be awkward for hip thrusts. . .so I’m looking for a regular straight barbell for those and a select few other exercises. I’ve had my eye on the Troy Lite barbell. . .)

    • Hi Liz! For serious glute work Cathe’s Great Glutes workout is the best glute focused workout she has. If you have her Xtrain Legs or Cardio Leg Blast they both have the glute 100 rep challenge which is excellent and the best glute exercise you can do. For excellent non-Cathe glute focused workouts The Butt Bible and Edge Booty Extreme 2 are both the best I’ve come across. I bought The Butt Bible DVD but I believe it is also available free on YouTube.

      As for barbells I am actually on vacation right now and typing this on my Kindle so I can’t go look at them (or post any links–sorry) but they all work well for me. I definitely did not buy them by brand. They are just standard barbells. My very first I got at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $100. It included the bar and 100 pounds in plates. when I got my squat rack/bench press, that barbell wasn’t long enough to use with it so I ordered a long, heavier barbell off of Amazon. It also works great. And my 3rd came with Led Mills Pump. I like it but it isn’t as functional as the other 2. I tend to use it for lighter loads–up to 50 pounds. Btw– that one is the same barbell Cathe uses in most of her workouts and all Cathe Live workouts.

      • Oh my goodness, 2L, please do not respond to comments left on your blog by crazy people while you are away on vacation. :-p LOL My question would have kept ’til the end of your time away. 🙂 But, thank you. 🙂

  2. Hi! First off, I love your blog! I, too, am an at-home fitness devotee and I love your reviews! So I’m wondering if you can give me some advice….
    I’m trying to really change up my workouts and shock my system. I have only a few of Cathe’s workouts (Michelle Dozois is my fave) but I’ve been doing Cathe Live for two months and love it. I’m interested in doing your STS Rotation but I don’t have tons of weights at home. I go to the gym once a week to lift heavier weights. If I did your rotation, what day should I sub out my gym weights? Thank you and thank you for all the awesome reviews!

    • Hi Donia! I’m not sure since STS is fairly heavy weight program and you do an STS workout 3x a week. I am not sure what your goal is. If it is the glute focus then you need a barbell for hip thrusts. So, I supposed you could go to the gym on an upper body day and either an all upper body workout + your hip thrusts, or a total body workout ending w/ hip thrusts. For much of the lower body workouts you don’t need heavy weights (unless you are doing squat rack legs in Meso 3)–you can just add a weighted vest and use lighter dumbbells. Just make sure you give yourself a cardio day between hip thrust day and your next lower body workout. I’m not sure I am much help tho. That is an equipment heavy rotation!

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