Q: Do you think I could add an extra leg day to the week while doing STS or is that overtraining? I don't like cardio anyway and would be more than happy to give up a cardio day in place of an endurance leg workout?
A: As for adding a leg workout, I think its fine. I would pay close attention to keeping the leg workouts spaced far enough apart so that there are no injuries to your leg/lower back caused by overtraining. All of the STS leg/back workouts contain deadlifts, so I'd be careful to make sure you leave at least a day in between those. I also firmly believe that you have to leave space between the back & chest work in Meso 1, because they work opposing secondary muscles that are needed for the other body part (ie. chest is worked w/biceps, which is actually the secondary/supporting muscle for back…back is worked w/tri's which is secondary muscle for chest), so if you worked chest/bi on Monday, your bi's won't be able to allow the back to work to full potential on Tuesday, make sense? So all things considered (space between back/leg, and back/chest), I'd say a rotation adding in extra leg work, would look like:
Pilates/yoga/cardio (<<not too “leggy”)
Obviously it doesn't have to look exactly like that, you could try fitting in whatever you like, but just keep the basic guidelines for what to NOT work back to back, and avoid/be aware of overtraining or doing movements that are taxing to your lower back two days in a row (like deadlifts, supermans, glute bridges/roll-ins on the ball, etc). And be sure to get in yoga/Pilates work when possible as recovery/prevention…
Q: My schedule is pretty tight right now. Do you think it would be ok if I did the 3 STS workouts 3 days in a row? Obviously I'd do upper, lower, upper so I don't do upper 2 days in a row. What do you think?
A: I wouldn't, but I'm typically in the minority on this issue, but plenty of people do (in all Meso's), so I'm sure you could…
The reason that I wouldn't recommend it? Because every workout targets muscles from another workout. All back exercises target biceps and delts, and all chest exercises target tri's and delts, all overhead delt exercises target triceps. The STS workouts also have deadlifts in both the back and the leg workouts (targeting low back/hamstring). Most people don't consider this an issue because they feel that those muscles are “only” secondary (meaning, barely targeted in those exercises) but this is not really the case. A person could completely remove isolated tricep/bicep work from their wokout routine, and would still see growth in them from doing compound chest/back movements (pullups, rows, chest press, etc). They are secondary muscles, but only by a very small margin…. For me working biceps really heavy the day before back is going to do one of two things: make me weaker on back day, or put me at large risk of overtraining…But, like I said, many ladies do it all the time, so listen to your body, do what's best for you…
Q: When you are doing an STS rotation, do you do it M, W, F, and put cardio in between or M, T, W, and then some cardio Th & F, and another weight workout Sat.? Just curious since you are so much more a weight lifter than a cardio person. When I did the rotation before, I could not bring myself to only work each body part once a week, so I did a rotation similar to the latter one I mentioned.
A: I do MWF w/cardio in between. I've seen that a lot of people do it the way that you mentioned, though, and I guess it works fine for them. I just feel that I lift WAY too heavy to place those workouts too close together. I need the full amount of rest in between. This is especially true in STS because you're actually not only working the muscles once/wk. It just seems that way on paper. For instance in Meso 1 biceps are worked in isolation w/chest, however they are also worked as the the secondary muscle on back day. Same w/triceps: they're worked on back and triceps day in isolation, but are the secondary muscle whenever you work chest. And when you look at back and leg day, they both involve the lower back and hamstrings to some degree (in deadlifts, which are in both workouts, and hams get some action during all of the bent over rowing movements for back).
So for me, personally, to work any of those DVD's back to back, would be either a) over-training, or b) not giving my all to those body parts in at least one of the workouts, if they're already fatigued from the previous day. That being said. I understand the need for cardio (despite my feelings toward it, lol) and you will definitely see more of it from me AFTER STS is over, when I typically move back to full body/circuit style work. There's definitely a place for all types of workouts, it's just that some contradict others. So, for me, when I'm focusing on building muscle, I really focus on it. But when that time is up, and I'm focusing on burning fat, the whole plan of action changes…Also, If I did want/need to add in more cardio w/STS, it would be shorter 10-30 min Hiit wo's tacked on to the end of the workout…
But if your previous rotation worked out well, I say do what works for ya.