FST-7 is the training system of champions.
This past week we did a write up on the key ingredient to Phil Heath’s training and success. The obvious answer is extremely hard work – but part of that hard work comes in the form of a relatively new training system called the FST-7.
We gave a brief summary of how the workout works earlier – but let’s take a closer look at the FST-7, how it works, and why it’s something that you should use to maximize muscle gains through your workout.
What is FST-7?
As we explained before, it’s a creative way of training that was invented by Hany Rambod – who just so happens to be Phil Heath’s personal trainer. It stands for Fascia Stretch Training Seven. The technique involves taking the last exercise of a body part or muscle group and performing seven sets instead of the traditional 3 or 4. These seven sets are performed with a very minimal rest time at about 30-40 seconds between each set. During the rest periods, you alternate between stretching and holding an isometric contraction every other set.
Here’s a quick example of how the workout would look like:
– Alternate dumbbell curls 3-4 x 8-12
– Machine preacher curl 3 x 8-12
– EZ-bar curl 7 x 8-12 (rest 30-45 seconds between sets while sipping water)
But What is Fascia?
There are three types of fascia in the human body, but the one we are going to concern ourselves with is deep fascia. What is this, you ask? It’s the dense fibrous connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels of the body. Some of us have thicker fascias than others – and ultimately the fascia determines how much extensibility and resiliency we have. Thicker fascia means it’s harder for muscles to expand. Thinner fascia means there is more room for the muscles to expand and grow.
When we talk about “blessed genetics,” fascia plays a pivotal part. Someone like Phil Heath probably has wonderfully thin fascia. Combine that with hard work and you have a 3x (possibly even 4x) Olympia champion.
Strength in the Stretch
In the end, the FST-7 is designed to stretch your deep fascia in order to provide further extension and resiliency – and increased expansion of muscles. FST-7 stretches the fascia from the inside out – which is what separates this training system with other methods of stretching your fascia. This allows for bodybuilders to make the most out of the fascia they are born with – and maximize their muscles to the highest degree.
The first question you might have is, “How often do I train each body part with this training system?” Most likely this type of system is too intense for you to do large muscle groups more than once a week. Smaller muscle groups should be fine for training twice a week. So keep this in mind when you start to add the FST-7 into your routine.
Also, certain exercises are more appropriate than others for when you do that final set of seven. Big compound exercises such as squats or deadlifts are usually the wrong choice. Why? Because you aren’t targeting and isolating a specific muscle. You want to save that seven set for an exercise that will really get the most out of a specific isolated muscle.
But that’s enough theoretical talk. Let’s write up a sample workout so you can see exactly how the FST-7 looks as a whole. Check it out on page 2.