What really makes STS better and different from any other home exercise program are four things: First, STS uses what is known as a one rep max (1RM) test to make sure that everyone using the STS program uses a weight that is just right for their fitness levels. A 1RM test is simply a test where you find the maximum weight you can lift for every exercise. More details about your 1RM are provided in this booklet on page 8, but for now you should know that for every exercise in STS you will be told exactly what percentage of your 1RM you should use to make sure that you always use the correct weight for every exercise. This will help you to not only train safely, but also to maximize your results. Though you dont have to take a 1RM test to do the STS program, your results will never be as good as the results of someone who does. Second, STS is the most comprehensive workout DVD series on the market today giving you a different STS workout for each scheduled weight training day. This is important because, as mentioned earlier, by constantly changing the workouts, the benefits of the muscle confusion principle are maximized. This also helps to reduce mental fatigue and increases your probability of success with the program. Third, STS is a complete three-month workout program based on periodization in which the intensity of the exercise gradually increases over the length of the program. No other program on the market today is as comprehensively designed as STS. All the work and planning is done for you so that all you need to do is follow along. Finally, the last thing that makes the STS program different from any other exercise program is the measured rest between the sets. Thats right—the measured rest. Without getting too technical, when you lift weights you need a certain amount of recovery time between exercises using the same muscle groups so that the energy sources that power your muscles have time to replenish and recover. The amount of rest time needed depends on the intensity of your workout. As mentioned earlier, STS is composed of three four-week mesocycles that progressively get more intense. Since Mesocycle 1 (6070% of your 1RM) is the least intense of the three mesocycles you will only need a minimum rest period of about 30 seconds between exercises. InMesocycle 2 (7080% of your 1RM) you will increase your weights and thus will need a longer rest period of at least 60 seconds between sets. Finally, Mesocycle 3 (8090% of your 1RM) is the most intensive phase of the STS program and you will need a bare minimum of 2½ minutes of rest between sets using the same muscle groups. The STS program accurately measures the rest periods between each and every exercise and set so that all you have to do is watch the DVD and follow along. STS is just like having your own personal trainer who tells you how much weight you should lift and how long to rest between every set.