FST-7 Training Principles | The Ultimate Guide!


Are you interested in the FST-7 Training Program? Are you looking for a simple, step-by-step guide that explains the training principles that Hany Rambod used to develop his revolutionary training program? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you the secret training principles that Hany Rambod uses in his FST-7 workouts.

Introduction

  • FST-7 Base Sets
  • FST-7 Fascia Stretch Sets
  • FST-7 Exercise Selection
  • FST-7 Sample Workouts

FST-7 is one of the most popular bodybuilding training programs in the world. It was developed by the bodybuilding coach Hany Rambod to help advanced bodybuilders blast through training plateaus and build slabs of new muscle tissue.

Here is a great video of Hany Rambod talking about his new training program:

“They call me the pro creator. I’ve helped 13 Olympians transform their physique from impressive to legendary.

FST-7 is my masterpiece – fascia stretch training. You can substantially change the shape and size of your muscles. It won’t be easy. It will hurt. Come with me and stretch your limits.”

FST-7 stands for “fascia stretch training.” Hany Rambod says one of the biggest reasons why advanced bodybuilders fail to make progress is their fascia tissue is restricting muscle growth.

Muscle fascia is a type of dense connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. When your fascia tissue is too tight it can prevent your muscles from growing and expanding.

Hany Rambod uses FST-7 sets and many other training techniques to stretch out your fascia tissue and create more room for growth.

“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.”

Of course, the FST-7 Training Program is about more than just stretching out your fascia. It is a complete bodybuilding program that uses high-intensity and high-volume training principles in the same workout.

Hany Rambod says FST-7 is the fastest way for advanced bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath to continue making progress while staying healthy and avoiding injuries.

FST-7 Base Sets

Hany Rambod is a big fan of high-volume workouts. He believes that higher volume workouts are great because they give you an incredible pump, they stretch out the fascia tissue and they give you that round, 3-D look.

However, Hany also believes that you have to lift heavy weights to develop thick, dense muscle tissue.

Hany performs at least 1-3 heavy loading exercises in all of his workouts. He calls them “base sets” because you are training heavy in the 8-12 rep range to build strength and myofibrillar hypertrophy.

“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.”

Here is a back workout where Jeremy Buendia performs base sets on 4 different exercises at the start of his workout. Check it out:

Jeremy Buendia’s FST-7 Back Workout

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldown (medium / supinated grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lat pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Bent over ez-bar row (wide / supinated grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Seated cable row (v-handle), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Straight arm cable pullover, 7 sets of 10-15 rep, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

For this workout Jeremy Buendia performs 4 heavy loading exercises at the start of his workout. These are the sets where Jeremy is training hard in the 8-12 rep range.

Hany Rambod also has Jeremy perform different high-intensity techniques at the end of his sets, such as partial repetitions in the stretched position of the exercises.

“I’m a huge fan of doing partial reps at the end of the set. You can do anywhere from 3-6 partial reps to take the intensity of the set to the next level so you can break plateaus.”

Hany Rambod believes that these heavy loading sets are absolutely essential for building muscle mass. He still wants Jeremy to use perfect form on every exercise. However, you do want to use these exercises to stimulate strength gains.

Here is a similar FST-7 workout that Jay Cutler performed. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Chest Workout

  • Exercise #1: 45 degree incline DB press, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat machine press, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: 45 degree incline DB fly, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Flat cable fly, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: V-bar dips, 7 sets to failure, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

As you can see, Jay Cutler starts his workout with lots of base sets performed in the 8-12 rep range. Jay even worked up to the 155 pound dumbbells on his 45 degree incline dumbbell presses! Check it out:

“We started with some incline presses. I went up to the 155 pound dumbbells for 8-10 reps. I’m feeling really strong on that exercise, I feel like it really hits the upper chest.”

At the very end of his workout Jay Cutler performs some FST-7 sets using very short rest periods. These are the fascia stretch training sets that form the basis of the entire training program.

FST-7 Fascia Stretch Training

FST-7 stands for Fascia Stretch Training. Hany Rambod believes one of the reasons advanced bodybuilders fail to make progress is their fascia tissue is restricting growth.

The only way to overcome this problem is to use specific techniques that stretch out the fascia surrounding your muscles.

One of the most important training principles of the FST-7 program is the fascia stretch sets performed at the end of your workout.

Hany Rambod wants you to pick a joint-friendly exercise and perform 7 sets with very short rest periods. These sets are designed to give you an incredible pump so that you can actually stretch out your fascia tissue.

Hany says this is an incredibly demanding technique, and you should only perform it for a few bodyparts at a time.

“A beginner would use this program maybe only for 1-2 body parts per week.

If you are a person who gets plenty of sleep, gets protein every 2-3 hours and be really consistent, you can do FST-7 programs 2-3 times per week no problem.

If you train more inconsistently, I would recommend starting off with 1 time per week.”

Let’s take another look at Jeremy Buendia’s FST-7 back workout to see how he performs his FST-7 sets.

Jeremy Buendia’s FST-7 Back Workout

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldown (medium / supinated grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lat pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Bent over ez-bar row (wide / supinated grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Seated cable row (v-handle), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Straight arm cable pullover, 7 sets of 10-15 rep, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

Jeremy performs 4 base loading exercises at the start of the workout. These exercises are designed to build strength and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Then at the end of the workout Jeremy performs his FST-7 exercise.

For this workout Jeremy used the straight arm cable pullover. Hany Rambod says this is a great exercise for your FST-7 sets because it lets you really isolate the lats. Jeremy’s goal is to perform 7 sets of 10-15 reps with only 45 seconds rest in between sets.

Hany Rambod says that these short rest periods will drive a ton of blood into your upper back and help you stretch out the fascia tissue surrounding your lats.

Here is Hany Rambod describing this technique:

“We’re going to start with 4 base exercises and our 5th exercise is a FST-7 set. FST-7 stands for fascia stretch training and the 7 stands for the pump sets we’re going to do at the end of the workout.

The first 4 exercises are designed to build strength and power and the 5th exercise is designed to give the muscle the full, pumped up look.”

Hany Rambod likes to use compound and isolation exercises for his FST-7 exercise at the end of the workout. It all depends on the athlete that he is working with, and their individual weaknesses.

For example, Jay Cutler often uses dips for his FST-7 chest exercise. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Chest Workout

  • Exercise #1: 45 degree incline DB press, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat machine press, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: 45 degree incline DB fly, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Flat cable fly, 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: V-bar dips, 7 sets to failure, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

For this workout Jay Cutler literally performs every set of dips all the way to failure. This is a ton of volume, but it’s exactly what Jay Cutler needed for this workout.

Here is Jay talking about the FST-7 sets performed at the end of the workout:

“Of course, finishing with some FST-7 training, fascia stretching principle training which is a Hany specialty.

I did 7 sets of as many reps as I could on the dips for 7 sets, really just trying to fill that muscle and getting as much blood volume as I can.”

The truth is Hany Rambod has two different ways he likes to perform his FST-7 sets. The first option is to perform the FST-7 sets at the end of the workout.

This is the option he uses most of the time. However, Hany Rambod also likes to perform the FST-7 sets at the start of the workout – especially if he is working with an advanced bodybuilder.

Hany Rambod calls this the Pre-Load Principle because you are pumping your muscle full of blood before moving onto the heavy loading sets.

Here is an FST-7 pre-load workout that you can try. Check it out:

Steve Kuclo’s FST-7 Pre-Load 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 a high-volume leg workout! As you can see, Steve Kuclo started the workout with 7 sets of leg extensions. Hany Rambod is a HUGE fan of leg extensions. He says that leg extensions are great because they pre-exhaust your quads and reduce the amount of weight you have to lift on heavier exercises like squats and leg presses.

For this workout Steve Kuclo actually used the FST-7 technique on his leg extensions. He performed 7 sets with short rest periods to blow up his quads with as much blood as possible.

After that he moved onto his heavy loading sets.

“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.”

The rest of this workout follows a similar theme: Hany Rambod tells Steve Kuclo to pump up his reps and focus on getting a huge pump, rather than just lifting ultra heavy weights.

Hany says high volume workouts are the key to building massive quads rather than just lifting with your ego.

“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.”

The bottom line is you can use FST-7 sets at the end of your workout, or you can use the FST-7 pre-load technique where you perform them for your first exercise.

Hany Rambod usually performs the FST-7 exercise last, but he isn’t afraid to switch things up when he is working with an advanced bodybuilder.

FST-7 Exercise Selection

Hany Rambod uses many novel exercises in his FST-7 Training Program. Hany really likes to use exercises that help increase the intensity of his workouts while keeping stress off his joints.

For example, Hany Rambod loves to perform different isolation exercises like cable rope pushdowns, dumbbell flies, cable pullovers and leg extensions to really isolate each muscle.

He says that these exercises help you establish a stronger mind-muscle connection which is critical for bodybuilding.

Here is Jay Cutler training his triceps with some novel FST-7 triceps exercises. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s FST-7 Triceps 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

Here is the training video:

Jay Cutler starts this workout with the cable rope pushdown. Hany Rambod loves to start his triceps workouts with this exercise. He says then rope pushdown is great because it is very safe on your elbows and really lets you work the triceps in the fully contracted position.

Next Jay Cutler performs two of his favorite mass-building triceps exercises: close grip bench presses and skull crushers. Hany has a special way he likes bodybuilders to perform their skull crushers: he has them extend the ez-bar back behind their head, rather than up over their chest.

He says this keeps tension on the long head of the triceps for maximum growth.

“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.”

Normally Jay Cutler likes to finish his triceps routine with supinated grip cable pushdowns. However, for this FST-7 workout he finished with overhead triceps extensions.

Hany Rambod likes this exercise because you can get a massive stretch and contraction on every rep.

“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.”

Let’s look at another FST-7 chest workout. This one was performed by Marc Bell. Check it out:

Marc Bell’s FST-7 Chest Workout

  • Exercise A1: Flat machine press, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise B1: 30 degree incline DB fly, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise C1: Flat smith machine press, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise D1: Standing cable fly, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps, no rest
  • Exercise D2: Push ups, 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps, 1-2 minutes rest

Here is the training video:

Marc Bell’s chest is way smaller than the rest of his upper body. In fact, it is easily his worst body part on the bodybuilding stage. For this workout Marc focused almost exclusively on exercises where he could really feel his chest working.

For the first exercise Marc used a special chest machine where your arms come in together as you perform the exercise. He also performed other mind-muscle connection exercises like straight-arm dumbbell flyes, standing cable flyes and push ups.

Marc even performed some intense chest poses in between his sets to increase the time under tension on his chest. As you can see, Hany Rambod likes to focus on joint-friendly exercises where you can really feel the target muscle working.

FST-7 Sample Workouts

So far we’ve looked at the most important training principles behind the FST-7 Training Program. Now let’s put everything together by looking at some complete FST-7 workouts for every body part.

Here is a perfect example of an FST-7 chest workout. Check it out:

Hadi Choopan’s FST-7 Chest Workout

  • Exercise #1: Flat machine press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Incline machine press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree incline DB fly, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: 30 degree incline DB hex press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Cable crossover, 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

This FST-7 chest workout was performed by the Mr. Olympia competitor Hadi Choopan. This is a perfect example of how Hany Rambod likes to organize his chest workouts. Hadi starts his workout with heavy loading sets on the flat machine press and incline machine press.

Hany Rambod likes these exercises over the bench press and incline bench press because they are easier on your joints and put less stress on your pec tendon.

Next Hadi Choopan performs some mind-muscle connection exercises such as incline flies and the incline hex press. The hex press is a novel exercise where you squeeze the dumbbells together as you perform the exercise.

Finally Hadi performs some FST-7 sets on the cable crossover. Next let’s look at an FST-7 back workout. Check it out:

Andrei Deiu’s FST-7 Back Workout

  • Exercise #1: Nautilus pulldown (wide / supinated grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: Nautilus pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: One-arm DB row, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Lying DB pullover, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Barbell bent over row (supinated grip), 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 45 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

This is a perfect example of how Hany Rambod likes to design his FST-7 back workouts. Andrei Deiu performs 3 heavy loading exercises at the start of his workout, including 2 different types of pulldowns and some one-arm dumbbell rows. Even on his heavy loading exercises, Andrei is focused on using perfect form.

Hany Rambod says the key to building a huge upper back is to focus on getting strong contractions in your upper and lower lats. Check it out:

“Back is a finesse movement, it is a finesse muscle. So you really need to get that mind-muscle connection and not use your ego because you’ll end up using your arms and your lats.

You should use your arms as hooks and really focus on contracting your lats.”

At the end of the workout Andrie Deiu uses the supinated-grip barbell row for his FST-7 sets. Hany Rambod absolutely loves this exercise!

He says it is one of the best movements you can do for targeting your lower lats.

“We’re going back to the very end and we’re getting good contractions on the bent over row.

We want to re-emphasize the squeezing of his back, not only at the beginning of the workout but also at the end of the workout to continue working on his form.”

Next let’s look at an FST-7 shoulder workout. Check it out:

Hadi Choopan’s FST-7 Shoulder Workout

  • Exercise #1: Standing DB lateral raise, 4 sets of 10-20 reps**
  • Exercise #2: Seated DB overhead press, 4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree prone DB front raise, 4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Exercise #4: Standing DB overhead press (neutral grip), 4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Exercise #5: Seated DB lateral raise, 4 sets of 10-20 reps****
  • Exercise #6: Bent over DB rear delt fly, 4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Exercise #7: Reverse pec dec, 7 sets of 10-20 reps

**Perform 4-6 reps on one arm while the other arm holds the dumbbell in the top position, then switch arms. Repeat until you have performed 10-20 total reps on each arm.

****After your last set drop the dumbbells and perform lateral raises with just your arms. Have your training partner apply manual resistance down on your arms on the lowering phase of each rep.

Here is the training video:

Talk about a high-volume shoulder workout! Hany Rambod says the shoulders are a unique muscle group. Even though they are smaller than other muscles groups like legs or back, they require an enormous amount of volume to grow.

Hany Rambod likes to use a combination of compound and isolation exercises in his shoulder workouts. Of course Hany finishes the workout with his favorite FST-7 sets on the reverse pec dec machine.

“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.”

Finally let’s look at an FST-7 arm workout. Check it out:

Andrei Deiu’s FST-7 Arm Workout

  • Exercise #1: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #2: Overhead dumbbell extension, 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Cable pushdowns (reverse grip), 4 sets of 10-12 reps**
  • Exercise #4: Overhead cable extension (high pulley), 7 sets of 10 reps****, 30 seconds rest
  • Exercise #5: Standing cable face curl, 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 30 seconds rest
  • Exercise #6: One-arm standing DB curl, 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #7: 30 degree DB spider curl (supinated grip), 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

**Perform 10-12 reps, then immediately perform 5 partial reps in the stretched position

****Perform 10 reps, then immediately perform diamond pushups to failure, then rest 30 seconds and repeat

Here is the training video:

This is a very normal looking FST-7 arm workout. Jeremy Buendia performs 7 total exercises, including 4 for his triceps and 3 for his biceps.

Andrei uses many different high-intensity techniques in this workout – especially for his triceps. For example, on the cable pushdowns he trains to failure and then performs several partial reps, while on the overhead cable extensions he trains to failure and then immediately performs several diamond pushups.

These are just a few of the high-intensity techniques that Hany Rambod likes to include in his arm workouts.

“FST-7 is designed to not only make you rounder and fuller, but also give you more of that graininess because you are still building a stronger muscle.

Because you are using both aspects of volumization as well as high-intensity training. It incorporates the two.

With proper supplementation and proper diet you are increasing volumization, increasing blood flow.

You’re trying to get macronutrients whether it’s protein, carbohydrates, nitric oxide in the muscle for massive, massive blood flow. And that is what gets you that volumized look.”

Finally let’s look at a typical FST-7 leg workout. Check it out:

Derek Lunsford’s FST-7 Leg Workout

  • Exercise #1: Machine leg extension, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lying leg curls, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Back squat, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Machine hack squat, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Vertical leg press, 7 sets of 10-15 reps, 60 seconds rest

Here is the training video:

This workout was performed by the Mr. Olympia champion Derek Lunsford. Hany Rambod almost always starts his FST-7 leg workouts with leg extensions.

He says this exercise is key because it pre-exhausts your quads so you don’t have to use as much weight on your heavier exercises, such as back squats, hack squats and leg presses.

“We’re doing leg extensions. We’re going to warm everything up because if you go too heavy too soon in your workout then you might get knee problems. Do not put extra tension on those knees!”

Hany Rambod says that the key to building huge legs is to focus on accumulating volume, rather than just trying to lift ultra-heavy weights. On the last exercise he uses a special high-intensity technique called “blood-starving sets.”

Hany says that when you do your vertical leg presses, you should rest with your legs on the machine, so they’re pointing straight up towards the ceiling. He says this starves your legs of blood, which creates even more fatigue in your legs.

“We’re going to do FST-7u last set, we’re doing a blood starving set. We’re keeping his legs up between sets and we’re doing 60 seconds rest between his sets.”

If you are plateaued with your current training program then these FST-7 workouts may be just what you are looking for.

Conclusion

Hany Rambod is one of the world’s top bodybuilding coaches. He is known training some of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, including 4x Mr. Olympia winner Jay Cutler and 8x Mr. Olympia winner Phil Heath.

Hany says that his FST-7 Training Program is the fastest and safest way for advanced bodybuilders to build muscle. Fortunately, FST-7 isn’t that complicated. Once you learn the FST-7 training principles it’s easy to design your own muscle-building workouts.

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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