Q: I love the concept/want to do the Cathe STS program, but can't seem to fit it in the budget right now. Would it be possible to do it just using the free info (workout cards/exercise video clips, etc.) available in the workout manager?
A: First of all, keep a close eye on her site, sign up for newsletter, and be fully prepared for when it goes on sale. Every once in while she practically gives the program away, be patient and wait for it…
But let's say that — until then — you want to take advantage of some of the programs concepts NOW. You could technically just work from the workout cards, and free info, available on her website. Her Workout Manager offers the tools that go along with the program to EVERYONE whether they have the program or not, free of charge. With the workout manager you will be able calculate your 1RMs, see exactly how to do the moves, print a workout card that tells you exactly what weight you should use for each exercise (no two people will have the same workout card – therein lies the beauty of the program), as well as get an estimated calorie burn (based on your personal stats) for each workout.
Doing it that way would be the closest you'd get to doing the actual Cathe STS program (just without the DVD), BUT (disclaimer!) there are some things to consider (and the ultimate reason why we still suggest that one day you look into getting the actual program):
- There are sometimes variations to the rep pattern, or times where she'll make you stop in a certain position for a few extra seconds, etc., that you will not always be able to see from the clips
- EXCELLENT form pointers are given throughout the reps/rest periods (the longer the rest – the more tips and info that is given)
- Meso 2 incorporates many concepts which are not indicated on on the workout cards. Techniques such as drop-sets, back-off sets, double-wave loading, forced reps, and certain sets done to failure are incorporated at different times in different workouts. It's best if you know what these are, and exactly when (specific times) to incorporate them. The workout will move faster/slower than indicated in the workout card during those times.
- You will need to remain motivated enough to keep moving (especially in Meso 1!), which is sometimes easier when doing a DVD and having someone say “on the next exercise”…which brings me to my next point
- You should have something to help you keep track of time (in seconds), a stopwatch of sorts. Try your best to finish your workout in the amount of time that the workout was supposed to take (the workout cards — when you print in PDF — show the time for each DVD at the top of the card). Each Meso changes how long the rest periods are, and following them is critical to the program. For example: in M1 you have extremely short rests, but by M3 they will seem a little long (unless you are lifting heavy enough, in which case you will quite enjoy them, as I do). Do everything in your power to abide by these rest times, but do know that most people do end up pausing a bit during M1 because she moves SO fast (or maybe it's just me?). So come as close to the times shown on the workout card as realistically possible.