Here's some free advice for anyone looking to develop a workout system. Get a current or future Mr. Olympia to do it, and hope that he likes it so much that he does it over and over again for years to come. Better yet, get two Mr. Os to do it. Systems come and go, but when the kings of bodybuilding adopt a training philosophy, it is destined to endure. And so it is with FST-7. Trainer and nutritionist Hany Rambod developed Fascia Stretch Training Seven in 2007 primarily to increase the intensity of his client Nr. 1, Phil Heath, the reigning and seven-time Mr. Olympia, to increase. Jay Cutler has also embraced FST-7 and used it when he was training to secure the last pair of his Sandows quartet. Let's crack the FST-7 code. Discover the benefits of seven sets with reduced rests.
"The seven phrases we call napalm phrases. We'll go in there and finish all the fibers we don't already have." – Hany Rambod
If there's a secret to FST-7, it's not what it does, but what it doesn't do. It doesn't deviate from the repetition scheme that has been scientifically proven to work best for building muscle mass. There are no sets with particularly low or high reps. Sets that result in failure at 8-12 reps are in the sweet spot for growth, and that's what FST-7 prescribes. It also doesn't require learning a catalog of unique exercises or techniques, or deviating greatly from the typical training volume. Stick to the tried-and-true basics of free-weight and machine training, performing three or four straight sets on most exercises. Take 1-3 minute breaks between sets.
But typically, the last exercise is done differently for each body part. Rest periods are shortened to 30-45 seconds. Increase the volume – usually to seven sets (hence the "7" in the title). However, Rambod doesn't attribute anything magical to the number seven. You can also use other set numbers. The key is reduced rest time. It increases the pump, theoretically stretching the thin membranes around the muscles from the inside out (hence the "FS" fascia stretch in the title).
Sets of seven accomplish several things. First, they provide the targeted muscles with a final pump, and the improved blood flow better transports the nutrients needed to begin the repair and growth processes. Second, these phrases stimulate growth. Use the same weight for all sets. Stay in the 10 to 12 repetition range whenever possible. Sets of seven are not to be confused with descending sets or barrage sets with high reps and low weight. Finally, sets of seven are a last resort to combat the dreaded bland workouts. Even if your energy is flagging, you can still really push yourself on the sets of seven to make sure you finish your program with a vein-spraying climax – just like Mr.