FST-7 Explained | The Ultimate Guide!


Are you curious about the FST-7 Training Program? Are you looking for a simple, step-by-step guide that explains everything you need to know about Hany Rambod’s revolutionary training program? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, I will teach you the building blocks of the FST-7 program, and how Hany Rambod uses this program with his world-class bodybuilders, including the 4x Mr. Olympia winner Jay Cutler.

Introduction

  • What Is FST-7 Training?
  • FST-7 Sets
  • FST-7 Pre-Load
  • FST-7 Base Sets
  • FST-7 Posing
  • The Jay Cutler FST-7 Workouts

Hany Rambod is one of the world’s top bodybuilding coaches. He has worked with 13 Mr. Olympia competitors, including Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, and Jeremy Buendia.

Hany Rambod says that beginner and intermediate level bodybuilders don’t need a special training program to make progress. However, if you are an advanced bodybuilder, then the basic “3 sets of 10” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Hany Rambod believes his FST-7 Training program is the fastest way for advanced bodybuilders to take their physique to the next level.

What Is FST-7 Training?

Hany Rambod is the creator of the FST-7 Training Program. FST-7 stands for “fascia stretch training.” Hany believes one of the biggest reasons advanced bodybuilders fail to make progress is that their fascia tissue is too tight.

Fascia tissue is the dense connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. When it is too tight, it can actually restrict your muscles from growing bigger and stronger.

Hany Rambod designed his FST-7 Training Program to help you stretch out your muscle fascia, so that your muscles finally have room to grow.

Here is Hany talking about his revolutionary training program:

“FST-7 stands for fascia stretch training. The 7 is the amount of sets that you do at the end. The expansion of the fascia is what is going to trigger the growth.

So when we go in there and trigger the ultimate pump, you’re going to get really good round muscle bellies with maximum separation.”

Hany Rambod tells his bodybuilding clients to pick an exercise at the end of their workouts and perform 7 sets with very short rest periods.

Hany says that these 7 sets create an incredible pump in your muscle. He believes that if you get a big enough pump, you can actually stretch out the fascia tissue that is preventing your muscle from growing larger.

So what does an actual FST-7 workout look like? Hany Rambod says that his workouts combine high-volume and high-intensity training principles. He has his athletes perform lots of “heavy loading sets” where you lift heavy weights in the 6-12 rep range.

He also uses different techniques like supersets, drop sets and inter-set posing to create more blood flow and time under tension. Then at the end of the workout Hany performs 7 sets with short rest periods to maximize the pump and stretch out his fascia tissue.

In other words, Hany tries to combine many different types of muscle-building stimuli into one brutal workout.

“FST-7 was the ability to take several different workout programs and combine them.” 

Some people say that you can train with high-volume or high-intensity, but not both. Hany Rambod disagrees. He says that you can use both training styles in the same workout to get even better results.

And that is what FST-7 Training is all about.

FST-7 Sets

The thing that makes FST-7 Training different from any other training program out there is the 7 sets performed at the end of the workout. Hany says that you should pick a joint-friendly exercise, like a machine or isolation exercise, and perform 7 sets with very short rest periods.

Hany Rambod says that these sets will give you an incredible pump and stretch out the fascia tissue surrounding your muscles. Hany says if you perform the technique properly, then your muscles will have more room to grow, and your physique will take on a completely different look.

“My theory when I created FST-7 was that, depending on your particular genetics, the pliability of the fascia has a lot to do with how big you are going to get.

Therefore, trying to stretch out the fascia over many sets without allowing your pump to retract was going to allow you to get that 3-dimensional effect in that muscle belly by being able to stretch that fascia from the inside out.”

So what does the FST-7 training protocol actually look like? Hany says that you should perform 7 sets in a row with very short rest periods.

He usually recommends 30-45 seconds rest for smaller muscle groups, like biceps or triceps, and 45-60 seconds rest for larger muscle groups, like legs or back.

The FST-7 Training Protocol

  • Large body parts: 7 sets with 45-60 seconds rest
  • Small body parts: 7 sets with 30-45 seconds rest

Hany Rambod says that the FST-7 sets are a great way to finish off your workout. However, they are really just the icing on the cake. You still have to perform your heavy loading sets in the beginning of the work.

Hany says it is the combination of the heavy loading sets and the high-rep pumping sets that will transform your physique.

“You’re taking a high-intensity approach and a high-volume approach and combining them. And that is the genesis of the FST-7 program.”

Hany Rambod also uses different techniques like supersets, mechanical advantage drop sets and posing in between sets to maximize the pump during the workout. All of these techniques will be covered below.

FST-7 Pre-Load

Hany Rambod usually tells his clients to perform the 7 high-rep sets at the end of the workout to pump the target muscle full of blood and to stretch out the fascia tissue. However, sometimes he likes to perform the FST-7 sets at the beginning of the workout.

Hany calls this an “FST-7 Pre-Load” because you are pumping the muscle full of blood before you move onto your heavy loading sets. Check it out:

Pre-Load Vs Post-Load

  • Post-Load: 7 sets at the end of your workout
  • Pre-Load: 7 sets at the start of your workout

Hany Rambod says that the FST-7 Pre-Load is a very advanced technique, and should only be used for short periods of time. He says that doing it longer than 1-3 workouts in a row will probably result in overtraining.

“I call these workouts the shock and awe workouts. You cannot use it all the time, but when you use it you can trigger growth. Given proper training, nutrition and supplements, you can see the results as early as the first week.”

Here is a great video of the Mr. Olympia competitor Andrei Deieu using the FST-7 Pre-Load technique to train his arms. Check it out:

As you can see, Andrei is performing 7 sets of cable rope pushdowns for his triceps. Andrei is using the FST-7 Pre-Load technique to pump his triceps full of blood before he moves onto the heavier mass-building exercises like close grip bench presses and lying triceps extensions.

If you are an advanced bodybuilder, then you may want to use the FST-7 Pre-Load technique in some of your workouts.

At the end of this article, I will show you how the 4x Mr. Olympia competitor Jay Cutler uses it in his own workouts to blast through training plateaus.

FST-7 Base Sets

FST-7 Training is about more than just performing a bunch of time under tension sets and “chasing the pump.”

Hany Rambod says that you still have to perform heavy loading sets if you want to build as much muscle mass as possible. That is why Hany Rambod performs several heavy exercises at the start of his workouts.

He says these “base sets” are essential for building myofibrillar hypertrophy, and for stimulating long-term strength gains.

Hany often uses the first 1-3 exercises in his workouts to focus on lifting heavy weights in the 6-12 rep range. For example, here is Jeremy Buendia performing some heavy incline dumbbell presses with the 130 pound dumbbells at the start of his chest workout:

Talk about a strong chest! Hany says there is no substitute for heavy compound exercises, such as incline dumbbell presses, squats, and bent-over rows.

You still have to train heavy on these exercises, and you still have to get stronger over time.

“The base of the program is still a high-intensity training system where you are using heavier weights that you can use to get stronger.

Those are the base sets, the first 3-4 exercises. Those are going to help keep and maintain your strength, if not increase your strength.”

Hany Rambod says that it is the combination of these two training methods – the heavy base sets and the high-rep pumping sets – that makes FST-7 Training so effective.

FST-7 Posing

Hany Rambod has many tricks up his sleeve to help his athletes blast through training plateaus. One of his favorite techniques is to have his clients perform intense bodybuilding poses in between their sets.

Hany Rambod says that this technique increases the time under tension and improves your mind-muscle connection with the target muscle. He also thinks it gives you an incredible pump, and may even stretch out the fascia tissue surrounding your muscles.

For example, here is Marc Bell performing an intense chest pose in between his sets on the flat machine press. Check it out:

Marc Bell says that the inter-set posing was one of the techniques that helped him transform his physique from an out-of-shape powerlifter to an absolutely shredded bodybuilder.

Hany Rambod says that your diet and nutrition have to be on-point to get the most out of the inter-set posing. Your body needs to be hydrated and fueled with carbs and electrolytes to maximize the pump that this technique creates.

“When you are training this intense it’s important to be able to maximize the pump because it is all about blood flow.

So between the hydration which I talked a lot about, making sure you are properly hydrated, it’s also making sure you are getting the right types of ingredients that help you with that muscle expansion.

Hany Rambod says that you should start by performing intense poses in between your sets for weaker body parts. Then you can adjust the amount of posing that you do in between your sets based on your overall recovery ability.

The Jay Cutler FST-7 Workouts

Jay Cutler is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won the Mr. Olympia competition four times in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010, and is famous for his high-volume training style.

Jay Cutler has trained using many different training styles. However, he says the most effective training program he has ever used was the FST-7 Training Program. Let’s look at some of Jay Cutler’s FST-7 workouts to see how an advanced bodybuilder takes his physique to the next level.

Here is one of his high-volume FST-7 chest workouts. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Chest Workout

  • Exercise #1: 45 degree incline DB press, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat machine press, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: 45 degree incline DB fly, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Flat cable fly, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: V-bar dips, 7 sets to failure, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

Talk about a high-volume chest workout! This is a perfect example of how Hany Rambod likes to organize his FST-7 workouts. Jay Cutler starts by performing 4 heavy loading exercises at the start of thew workout.

Hany Rambod says that these sets are absolutely essential for building thick, dense muscle tissue. Then at the end of the workout Jay Cutler performs the FST-7 technique on dips. Here is Jay talking about this technique:

“Of course, we finished with some FST-7 training. The fascia stretching principle is a Hany Rambod specialty. I did 7 sets of as many reps as I could on the dips. For all 7 sets, I was really just trying to fill that muscle and get in as much blood volume as I could.”

Next let’s look at one of Jay Cutler’s FST-7 back workouts. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Back Workout

  • Exercise #1: Seated cable rope row, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: One-arm DB row, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Barbell bent over row, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: T-bar row, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: Straight arm cable rope pullover, 7 sets of 8-15 reps, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

This is a very interesting back workout. Hany Rambod uses many novel exercises to help Jay Cutler establish a better mind-muscle connection with his back and to really damage as many muscle fibers as possible.

Jay starts the workout with seated cable rows. Instead of using the regular V-handle, Jay actually opts for the rope attachment. Here is Hany Rambod talking about the advantages of the rope:

“The benefit of using the rope on a low cable row is it allows you to go past your torso. Normally you have a barrier at your torso whether you are using a V-bar or a straight bar.

The rope allows us to go past that barrier and get a better contraction in your upper back.I felt that he could go a little slower, arch his back and draw his elbows lower and deeper into his lats.” 

Next Jay Cutler performs lat pulldowns and three different rowing exercises. Hany is telling Jay to really contract his lower lats on each of these exercises, as this area tends to be underdeveloped in most trainees.

“What I wanted to do is make his lats drop lower on his back lat spread and his back double biceps. Therefore we went through during the workout and I was trying to emphasize pulling to that lower lat area.”

Finally Jay Cutler finished the workout with some FST-7 sets on the cable rope pullover. Hany Rambod often uses this exercise because it is a great way to really isolate the lats.

Now let’s look at one of Jay Cutler’s FST-7 shoulder workouts. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Shoulder Workout

  • Exercise #1: Seated DB overhead press, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Standing DB lateral raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Behind the back cable lateral raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: 30 degree prone DB “Y” raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Bent over DB lateral raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #6: Reverse pec dec, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #7: Hammer strength military press, 7 sets of 10-12 reps, 30-45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

Talk about a high-volume shoulder workout! Most professional bodybuilders agree that the shoulders need more training volume than other body parts.

Hany Rambod clearly agrees with this statement, as he tells Jay to perform 7 different exercises for his shoulders!

“Some people think that high volume comes with only back or legs. When you do shoulders, high volume is high volume. We’re pushing a lot of blood and we’re doing a lot of different angles. Not only are we doing 1 type of lateral movement, sometimes we’re doing 2 or even 3 different lateral raises.”

Throughout the workout Jay Cutler uses a variety of compound and isolation exercises. Hany Rambod says that you have to use both types of exercises to fully develop the shoulders.

Normally Hany likes his clients to perform one overhead pressing exercise per workout. However, with an advanced bodybuilder like Jay Cutler, he thinks that two overhead pressing movements is better.

He even had Jay perform an overhead press for his FST-7 sets.

“FST-7 for beginners and intermediates, we use lateral raises to isolate the lateral head of the delt. With Jay we’re trying to build more thickness and base strength so we’re using more compound movements.

Compound movements are not good for beginners because your ancillary muscles will kick in. But with advanced bodybuilders you can use a compound movement for 7 sets of 8-12 reps to really blow up your delts.”

Here is one of Jay Cutler’s FST-7 arm workouts that you can try. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Arm Workout

  • Exercise #1: Cable rope pushdowns, 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Lying ez-bar extensions (behind head), 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Seated overhead DB extensions, 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 30 seconds rest
  • Exercise #5: Standing DB curls (supinated grip), 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: One-arm DB preacher curl (supinated grip), 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #7: 30 degree DB spider curl (supinated grip), 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #8: Standing ez-bar curl (wide / supinated grip), 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 30 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

Jay Cutler performs 4 exercises each for his biceps and triceps. That is a ton of volume, but it is exactly what Jay Cutler needed to continue making progress.

As usual Jay performs three heavy loading exercises and one FST-7 movement with short rest periods. Throughout the workout Jay used some unique exercises – especially for his triceps.

For example, Hany Rambod told Jay to perform skull crushers with the bar traveling behind his head, rather than over his chest.

“When we did skull crushers, we used a new technique for Jay Cutler. He pushed away from his forehead at a 45 degree angle. That was new for him and really got him super pumped.”

Hany Rambod also told Jay Cutler perform some intense poses in between his sets for triceps. This is one of Hany’s favorite techniques to increase the time under tension on the triceps to stimulate more growth.

“During the FST-7 movements, we try to go through and make sure he’s flexing his triceps and stretching his triceps back and forth to maximize the stretching in the fascia.”

Finally let’s look at an FST-7 leg workout. This leg workout was performed by the Mr. Olympia competitor Steve Kuclo, and it features the advanced FST-7 Pre-load technique. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Leg Workout

  • Exercise #1: Leg extensions, 7 sets of 8-12 reps, 45 seconds rest
  • Exercise #2: Vertical leg press, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Back squat, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Walking barbell lunge, 3 sets of 20-30 reps
  • Exercise #5: DB stiff-legged deadlift, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #6: Lying leg curl, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #7: Seated leg curl, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #8: Kneeling leg curl, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Here is the training video:

Talk about an intense leg workout! For this workout Hany Rambod used the FST-7 Pre-Load technique. This means he performed the FST-7 sets at the beginning of the workout, rather than at the end.

Hany says this technique is great for advanced bodybuilders because it establishes a pump early in the workout, and it reduces the amount of weight that you lift on your heavier exercises like squats and leg presses.

“You can either do straight sets or pre-load. In the past with beginners and some intermediates we would do FST-7 at the end. For more advanced users we will use leg extensions as a pre-load for FST-7.

You will actually do 7 sets of leg extensions and what that will do is increase blood flow to your quads so you have a better mind-muscle connection as you go to other compound exercises.”

During the workout Hany Rambod places a huge emphasis on reps and volume over the amount of weight lifted.

Hany says that too many advanced bodybuilders obsess over how much weight they can squat. A better option is to lighten the weight and perform sets of 20 reps to really blow up the legs.

“What seems to be getting his legs rounder is the volume. So we’re increasing the number of reps but keeping the weight at 405 and putting it up closer to the 20 rep range.

That way we can get really good maximum blood flow and really get sick, sick, sick pumps.”

This leg workout is enough to send most people to the hospital. Of course, Steve Kuclo is not your average bodybuilder!

FST-7 Explained ∣ Verdict

Hany Rambod is one of the most successful bodybuilding coaches in the world. He has trained many Mr. Olympia competitors including Jay Cutler, Phil Heath and Jeremy Buendia.

Hany Rambod says the fastest way to build muscle mass is with his revolutionary FST-7 Training Program.

Hany uses many different techniques in his program, including loading sets, inter-set posing and different high-intensity techniques. However, the heart and soul of the program is the FST-7 sets that you perform at the end of the workout.

Hany says that these sets help you stretch out the fascia tissue and create more room for your muscles to grow.

If you are looking for a new bodybuilding program then you have to give Hany Rambod’s FST-7 system a shot. It may be just what you need to take your training to the next level.

“You’re taking a high-intensity approach and a high-volume approach and combining them. And that is the genesis of the FST-7 Training Program.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

 

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

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