Weak from cancer treatment to Strong from Cathe by Connie S

(Last Updated On: November 6, 2011)

I’ve been a proud Cathlete for last 12 years. My final chemo treatment- for my second round of gynecologic cancer in 2 years- was September 15 in 2010. Seven months later on April 11 I had recovered enough to start on a fitness journey that I had been longing to go on for years. Cathe Friedrich’s STS, or Shock Training Program. Initially, it was 14 week, or 3 1/2 month, commitment. It became a 17 week process for me due to some travelling. It’s a 3 stage strength training program- endurance, hypertrophy, and strength. It was an amazing and surprising journey!!

When I started my body was quite weak, but my Spirit was- and still is!- strong and enduring. I choose this program because I wanted stronger muscles, and I wanted to earn back the (self) title of ‘Cathlete’. During my second cancer’s treatment I wasn’t able to exercise very often and I missed it deeply. I wanted to follow a strength training program to combat the damage that chemo and radiation treatment did to my bones. Did you know that chemo often leads to bone loss? STS was the perfect fit for my goal.

I’m also on a weight loss journey, but I felt like gaining muscle and feeling my physical strength grow was more important than focusing on shedding pounds. Cathe helped me lose 75 pounds 8 years ago, and 20 more pounds in the last year. I have 50 more pounds that I’m in the process of losing, and I have no doubt that I will reach that goal thanks to Cathe’s ultra effective DVDs and very helpful articles about living healthy.

Back to the STS results… I actually have noticeable tricep and bicep muscles!! This totally thrills me!! When I started STS the heaviest bicep curl I could do was 16 pounds.


The heaviest week of STS I was curling 45.2 pounds. Crazy awesome!! When I started STS I could only do push- ups from the easiest knee position, and after STS I can do 6 full reps from my toes!! Astounding!! When I started STS the most I could chest press was 14 pounds, and during the heaviest week of STS I was benching 60 pounds! Totally amazing!!

The endurance and strength that my legs built up is the most incredible to me, but harder to measure because I substituted other Cathe leg DVDs for the Meso cycle 3. Meso cycle 3 is mostly plyo moves and my kness can’t handle that kind of impact since chemo. When I first started with STS I couldn’t hold any weight in my hands during any of the paper plate lunges, and I had to modify the depth of the move. At the end of STS, I could do the full Pyramid Lower Body lunges using 16, 22 and 30 pounds. That’s the best comparison I can put together. When I started STS the heaviest weight I could squat with was 25 pounds, and at the end of STS I could do the full PLB squats using 30, 35 and 45 pounds.

I’ve never ever been this strong, and I absolutely love it!!! I recently had a bone density test as a post-cancer treatment follow up, and I’m very grateful to say that my bone density is completely normal!

Thank you, Cathe, from the bottom of my heart, for creating such an awesome strength building program. It gave me something to look forward to during treatment, and helped me create the strongest body and mind I’ve ever had in my life. I know I’ll reach my weight loss goals by continuing to follow your lead.

12 thoughts on “Weak from cancer treatment to Strong from Cathe by Connie S

  1. Connie, what an awesome story! You are super strong!! Way to go!! (I’m in awe at the amount you can curl, wow)

  2. Connie, I am so happy for you. You have come such a long way with Cathe’s workouts and you are lucky to be able to do it after battling with cancer treatments! Continue to take care of yourself, eat healthy and the results will keep coming!

    Congratulations fellow Cathlete!

  3. What an amazing story! You are such an inspiration to me. I am also doing STS and love it. I’m on my second rotation (finished my first 3 months back in June) and now in the Hypertrophy phase! Your progess is incredible, you’re pumping some serious iron there, sister! I wish you the best in your workouts, you are in my prayers for continued good health and keep up the good work!

  4. Connie, first let me say you are an absolute inspiration. You have inspired me so much, I may have to add the STS set to my collection. I do have the total body dvd and love it. I am so impressed with your dedication and you know I have always been a believer in if you want to do it, you will and you are an excellent example of that. I know many healthy people with tons of excuses as to why they don’t workout, and look at you. Amazing. Not only do I hope you keep it up, but I hope you recover and stay well and live a long, long life so you can keep working out! Just as an aside, I am 55 and my bone density test this past time was higher than my last one 4 years ago which further reinforces weight training with Cathe. keep it up.

  5. You’re amazing! Congratulations! I am so happy for you, and thank you for sharing your story – you give such hope!

  6. Wow!! Connie, your story gave me chills! I am sooooo proud of you for not letting those hellish Chemo treatments stop you and give up. I wish I could just give you a great big hug right now!! Keep up the amazing work and prayers that you remain cancer-free!

  7. It’s easy to train when you’re healthy, but when you’re coming from a place full of drawbacks, it’s so easy to quit. But you didn’t. I’m so proud of you, Connie!

  8. Wow!! Thank you, sweet and wonderful, Cathletes for all your encouraging words and cheers!

    What an awesome way to celebrate my first full year of Remission!!

    Love and Light to all of you!

  9. What an amazing story! Your dedication to working out through tough times is absolutely amazing and inspiring! Congrats on your success!

  10. I think you are amazing to work like you did through such difficulties! And I want to end with saying that I also really appreciate all the words of encouragement to all who post here, you really can accomplish so much more when you know there are so many “in your corner”!

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