The plateau phase torments even the most seasoned bodybuilders. It is a period where gains made in muscle mass are trivial at best. It can be very disheartening especially if you have stayed true to your training program and diet. Hany Rambod figured out a way to pull yourself out of this lag phase and packaged it into what is now known as the FST-7 Training Program.
The success of Hany Rambod precedes him. He is known as the Pro Creator because he has ability of transforming amateur lifters into competitive bodybuilders. Among his success stories is The Gift himself, Phil Heath, who is the reigning Mr. Olympia. Hany maintains that the genetic makeup of an individual plays a pivotal role in how much muscle can be gained. But he insists that his training program has a universal quality, and can be used by anyone looking to gain muscle mass or simply break a plateau.
The Fascial Stretch Training program targets the fascia which surrounds the muscle belly. Hany discovered that the thickness of the fascia determines the ease at which new muscle mass can be built. The system recommends performing seven sets at the end of the exercises performed for each muscle group. It aims at stretching this fascial layer to increase the capacity for muscle development.
The FST-7 is a two-tier training system that subscribes to two principles. The first is that you have to first increase your strength levels before you can put on new muscle. The second is that the fascia can be stretched through high volume training- 7 sets to be specific- with minimal rest in between. It’s completely fine to use the same weight throughout the seven sets. You can also reduce the resistance slightly as you go along. As long as you feel all the reps, you are on the right track.
For these 7 sets, the exercises need to isolate a muscle group. This is to say that compound exercises are less optimal, since they recruit too many muscles at once. This makes it impossible to perform many sets in a short time.
The FST-7 training program favors the bodybuilder who works out one muscle group at a time, or about six days a week. If you do not have this luxury, you can still use the system after working each group. As a guide, here are some of the routines you can perform for each of the body parts in those last 7 sets.
- Chest- Dumbbell flyes/ pec deck
- Shoulders- Machine lateral raises
- Back- Cable pullovers for width, seated row machines for thickness
- Quads- Leg extensions/ Leg Press
- Hamstrings- Lying leg curls
- Calves- Seated Calf Raises/ Standing Calf Raises (Alternate between them)
- Biceps- Machine Curls
- Triceps- Cable Pushdowns
Ensure you hit the 8-12 rep range to make maximum gains.
The success of Hany Rambod’s FST-7 speaks for itself. The importance of fascia stretching has been widely discussed, and this system provides the most intuitive approach. Take advantage of it and watch yourself enter new muscle territory that you did not even know you could.
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