Regardless of one’s gender, the chest is always an area of great interest. For men, there is the desire to go from undefined, small pecs, flatness to rippling muscles from the pecs down to the abs. What are you doing to workout your chest? Some dumbbell flys, perhaps the bench press, maybe a few pushups. Have you heard of FST-7 method? Probably not. Men’s Fitness recently covered this hidden gem of bodybuilding that could help you build a chest that’ll turn heads (both the one above the shoulders and below, for that matter).
What exactly is FST-7? It stands for Fascia Stretch Training and is done for seven sets. This training method devised by Hany Rambod came will leave you aching and in pain for some time afterwards but it’ll in return help you build a barrel chest like Arnold and countless other Olympian bodybuilders. Your muscles are wrapped by web-like tissue called fascia. By stretching, you manage to loosen the fascia and create space for muscles to grow. With FST-7 training, stretching between sets, you’re opening yourself up to grow bigger than if you skipped stretching in between lifting and doing other chest exercises.
Men’s Fitness has created a mini workout that you can split between two days using FST-7. You will want to performing each day’s workout once per week with a rest day in between the sessions. Expect the workout to last 45 minutes.
FST-7 Method: Complete all the sets of each exercise below before moving onto the next exercise. Perform every set to or close to the point of failure. For the cable crossover, stretch your pecs after one set, and flex after the next. Spend 20 to 30 seconds flexing each time. To stretch, rest your forearms against a door frame or the frame of a power rack. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your pecs.
Dumbbell Press (3 sets, 10-12 reps): Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells at your sides, close to your chest and press straight up into the air.
Smith Machine Incline Press: (4 sets, 10-12 reps): Set an adjustable incline bench to 30- to 45- degrees. Roll it to the center of a Smith machine rack; grab the bar with an overhanded-grip, hands set shoulder-width apart. Unrack the bar, lower it to the upper part of your chest and press straight up.
Incline Dumbbell Fly (3 sets, 10-12 reps): Same as a dumbbell fly but do it on an adjustable incline bench set to 30- to 40-degrees. To work more muscles, flex your pecs as you lift the weights in an arcing motion from the start to finishing position.
Bench press (3 sets, 10-12 reps): While laying on a bench, grab a bar with an overhanded grip, hands set slightly outside shoulder-width. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your back slightly arched. Lower the bar just below your sternum and push your feet firmly into the floor as you press the weight back into the air.
Cable Crossover (7 sets, 10 reps): While standing in between two cable stations, set both pulleys midway between the top of the station and the floor. Grab a cable in each hand; slightly bend your your elbows. Raise your arms from waist height to your chest, flexing your pecs as your bring your hands together. Alternate stretches and flex after each set. Rest only 30 to 45 seconds between each set.
FST-7 Method: Unlike Day 1, hold back slightly. Do not use the heaviest weights and do not perform the exercises to the point of failure.
Incline Dumbbell Press (4 sets, 8 reps)
Dumbbell Fly (3 sets, 8 reps)
Hammer Strength Chess Pass (4 sets, 8 reps): Load both sides of a Hammer Strength flat press machine with plates. Adjust the seat so that both of your feet are flat on the floor. Grab the handles and press to a full lockout.
Low Cable Crossover (3 sets, 8 reps): Same as the cable crossover but lower the pulleys closer to the floor.
Dip (4 sets, 8 reps): Position yourself over the bars and raise yourself so that you’re suspended in the air. Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. While engaging your triceps and pecs, return to the starting position. If this is too easy for you, add weight to make it more challenging but use caution.