Officially finished XTrain 90-day rotation!


Yaaaaaaay. I'm so happy I saw this through.

Today was my last workout. Next week I get a rest week and then I jump into that 12-week summer rotation I posted to the summer rotation board.

I'm partially wishing I'd taken some measurements beforehand, but I'm really trying to step away from focusing on numbers on the scale and even measurements like waist, hips, etc.; instead just taking note of how my clothing is fitting, and, most important, just how I'm FEELING. And I've been feeling really good. I know I've gotten stronger, at least, from the notes I took for the upper body workouts.

I'm really glad I pushed myself through this one. I've said lots of times before that I'm not a fan of HiiT, so all the focus on HiiT-type workouts really intimidated me, but I pushed through them. It was nice to see that my body can do them, even if I dislike them.

I was grateful for the undulating approach because I had a few missed days in the rotation, or, I ended up doing something else like going for a hike. None of that ruined the progress I made. I also had a couple rest weeks in between, too, and still, it didn't cause any problems.

I'm planning to do this rotation again after my 12-week custom rotation. I'll probably switch out a few things for a little more flavor, especially in the cardio segments. Like maybe inserting Intensity cardio segments in place of a Tabatacise day, and swapping in a different kickbox workout in place of Hard Strikes every now and then. And maybe replace a Legs day with Butts & Guts or something similar. Lots of options available. But I'll likely stick with those upper body workouts because they were effective!

Thanks for letting me gush! Have a great day!


Congrats!! Great to hear of your results & love your enthusiasm for Xtrain! I felt I made really good progress with UB weight work too with the Xtrain undulating approach, so I'm hoping the next series will allow for it too. Looking forward to reading about your progress with your Summer Rotation too...


I finally started up on my summer rotation that I posted in the rotation thread after having a rest week last week. I was amazed by a couple things:

#1 - XTrain really WORKED in improving not just my strength but my cardio endurance as well. Party Rockin' Step #1 usually has me huffing and puffing but this almost felt like an intermediate workout this time around. Woohoo! Yes, yes, I see the benefits of lots of HiiT, even though I really dislike it.

#2 - While XTrain was really effective, I cannot say how flippin' HAPPY I was when I started doing an intricately choreographed step workout that was NOT an XTrain workout. Change is GOOD! I had the biggest smile on my face while working out today.

Just had to share. Has anyone else felt giddy for change after dedicating three months to a limited program like XTrain?


Active Member
Kellyro77, I haven't even tried to do a 3 month rotation, because I'm just not sure it would fit my personality. I really like having choices, so the idea of being dedicated to one rotation for a month is very intimidating to me. I admire your accomplishment. I have had that giddy feeling that you spoke of, but mine usually comes from finally being able to master some of Cathe's step choreography or making it through a challenging workout and feeling great at the end (when before it almost killed me). lol I've managed to make it through little one week rotations that I create for myself, but I keep eyeing the STS that I bought for my husband. I keep wondering if I have it in me to stick with something that long. Your last paragraph of your first post made me think that maybe I could stick with a longer rotation if I left room in it for a few changes or choices in it. Kind of a reward to myself each week - a free choice day instead of whatever is on the rotation, for variety. Anyways, congratulations on completing XTrain, making so much progress, and on being a motivator for the rest of us. :)


I had trepidation with starting my first 90+ day rotation - it was the 14-week STS weight training rotation. I actually put it off for years! I think the 1RM thing was a bit intimidating and, at the time, I seldom ever followed a "rotation", so I after a few attempts at doing 1RM's, I shelved it. When I finally did it, I surprised myself and actually enjoyed it, but by then I was used to doing month-long rotations. At the end I felt very accomplished and somewhat proud to have finished such a lengthy rotation, but I was also glad to be able to do other workouts - and that was with choosing my own cardio rotation! I have the STS cardio workouts, but I still substitute other cardio when doing STS - the easy thing when "writing" the rotation is the weight workouts are already planned, so I only need to plan cardio and I do it for one-month at a time.

When I did the 90-day Xtrain rotation, I knew I would substitute in cardio as I enjoy kickbox and couldn't imagine sticking with only Hardstrikes for 3 months. I also substituted some other HiIT workouts sometimes for AOLIH and Tabatacise. I even substituted the LB workouts from ICE or RWH sometimes. The thing I kept completely consistent to the 90-day undulating rotation was the UB workouts, however, I did add in 100 Rep Challenges & the Rear Delt bonus quite frequently. The UB workouts never got boring for me, maybe because I saw progression quickly and that was so motivating!

Of the 2 lengthy rotations, I enjoyed the 90-day undulating Xtrain the most, but with cardio substitutes! I do find it hard to commit to a 90+ day rotation ... in some ways it's easier as your workouts are pre-planned so there's very little decision-making, just insert & play. But in other ways I find it hard, mostly psychologically, as the decision and commitment means I have to limit my other options. But again, giving myself the option to change up the cardio really does help. And so does incorporating a 'break" week ... STS has planned "recovery" weeks so you can use other workouts those weeks and I found it refreshing both physically and mentally.

Now I mostly follow 1-month rotations, sometimes from Cathe's extensive rotations, and sometimes it's my own, but most times it's a "hybrid" of Cathe's and mine. I also find that when a month has 5 weeks in it, I give myself a "recovery" week from the month-long rotations and do some workouts that are different - sometimes it'll be a LIVE week that we've downloaded and/or workouts from other instructors, just to keep things interesting and fresh.

So Braille, give yourself options. You'll find yourself being able to finish a rotation if you want to. To me, a "rotation" gives me a period of time to focus on some aspect of fitness that month ... Cathe usually prefaces her monthly rotation with something like "... this month we're going to work on ...." So if you have some fitness aspect you want to improve, you can choose or develop a rotation with that goal in mind, like Kellyro77's Summer Rotation focusing on a unique undulating approach to weight lifting. Last summer I had an irritated ITB, so my summer rotation focused on rehabilitating that IT band and avoiding activities that would aggravate it while maintaining my overall fitness. The summer before I developed a "Short & Sweaty" rotation with shorter workouts, yet still intense, due to the summer heat & humidity. And if a month is too long to start with, stick with your weekly rotations with a specific intention, then maybe progress to a 2-week rotation. But I will say when I didn't follow a "rotation", I did what I mostly wanted, and mostly it was cardio. I short-changed myself by not having a well-balanced fitness rotation. I think my overall fitness has improved by having a monthly "plan."

Kellyro77 - please keep us posted as to how the Summer Rotation is going ... it looks tempting ...

Sorry for the long post ..:eek:


@Debinmi That's great you felt like STS didn't keep you locked in and you were able to add variety.

I agree with you that I think the workouts I loved the most from XTrain were the upper body ones, because, as you mentioned, they produced results.

The rotation I made will be interesting because for most of the strength workouts, there's not much prompting from Cathe to lift a certain percent of your 1RM... so... I'm going to have to push myself to go heavy, and I think there's going to be a lot of trial and error there. Especially as in most of her earlier workouts, she also tends to lift to tempo, and if you're going heavy that might be difficult.

Also, since I don't repeat all the strength training workouts regularly (like weekly), it'll be a bit more difficult to track progress, I think.

I think the key to this being successful for me is remembering to push myself instead of just sticking with what I know is comfortable. That said, the human body is just amazing and if I maybe don't get specific results, I know once I get back to a more focused rotation like XTrain I'll bounce back quickly.

I agree with the benefits of planned rotations, however. I, too, when left to my own devices and deciding what I "feel like" doing for the day will often short-change myself because more often than not, I'd rather do the easier workout, or just the one with the fun music. Or, as you said, either cardio or strength will suffer as a result because I'll end up favoring one over the other.

That's just me, though. As we all know, there's no one perfect approach to a health and fitness plan. The only one that's best is the one that each individual can stick with. For some that means rotations, others that means flexibility and freedom to decide day-by-day.


I finished my second week of my summer rotation.

A few great things to note:

I was not scared one bit to up my weights for PUB and PLB. In fact, I matched Cathe with most of the exercises with a couple exceptions. I exceeded her selections in PLB for leg press and dead lifts. In PUB, I had to go lighter on the overhead ("French") press triceps (I always have a difficult time with that exercise since it follows the shoulder work). And then during biceps I almost matched her weights, except that by the time I was on the heaviest (15lbs), I couldn't squeak out 8. Had to stop at 6, and then I bowed out down to 10 and 7.5lbs on my way back down the pyramid. I think I could have hanged with her if she took longer rests between the sets. But I'll try again next time!

I also made a conscious decision to increase my weights for Strong Body Stacked Upper and Lower workouts. That definitely ups the intensity of those workouts from intermediate to advanced. I had to do a shortened "timesaver" version of SBS Lower because my knee decided to start twinging. Took the message and gave it a break.

Finally, Step Moves, again, felt like an intermediate workout this time around. Definitely not breathing as hard through it as I used to!

This week my workout schedule is going to be kind of wonky. I usually work out after work in the afternoons, but our AC has decided to go on the fritz and it's just way too warm to workout in the afternoon. So, I'm doing workouts in the mornings... early ugh... until the AC is fixed. I hate early morning workouts (unless it's yoga). But the bonus is, of course, that it's done and I'm not having to will may way to do one after work.


Woo woo! It feels great to notice progress doesn't it?!

I agree with you on LITE's SBSS workouts... when I increase the weights used, they are NOT intermediate workouts anymore! Sounds like the XT cardio really helped to improve your endurance ... I love when improvements are so noticeable!

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