Sunday, October 3, 2010


Before describing the new workout routine that Kelly and I begin tomorrow (October 4, 2010), understand that I DO NOT BELIEVE that there are any “secrets” to training that can bypass using heavy weight with plenty of sets and repetitions.  That said, within solid principles of muscle building there have been improvements in exercise physiology and in the understanding of how the body reacts to certain combinations of sets, repetitions as well as food and water. 

While at Olympia in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, we heard a lot about  “FST-7,” a training principle created by Hany Rambod, and frankly, I was unimpressed until I learned that both Jay Cutler and Phil Heath, who placed first and second, respectively, in that “best of the best” competition, were both using Rambod’s system.  So, we’re going to try it for a month as we come up to the first week in November, a week we are scheduled off from training.  (Currently, for recovery purposes we take every 7th week away from the gym, but staying with the cardio.) 

While you can find more about the science behind FST-7 at, the basics are these:

  1. The goal of FST-7 is to stretch the muscle fascia to make it thinner, allowing muscles to grow larger and appear fuller.  FST-7 is based on stretching muscles from the inside out by volumizing them.  This is accomplished by getting the greatest pump while training.

  2. Training is always with heavier weights in the 8-12 repetition range. 

  3. The last exercise for every body part consists of 7 sets of 8 – 12 repetitions each with only a 30-45 second rest between sets while sipping water.  This expands the fascia and maximizes growth.

  4. The higher than normal amount of microscopic tears in the muscle tissue caused by FST-7 training necessitates a bit more recovery time than standard training protocols.  So, major body parts are trained once a week. Smaller body parts like arms and calves are trained twice a week. 

  5. Due to the intensity of the routines, a larger infusion of protein and carbohydrates will be necessary in Meal 1 (our pre-workout meal each day.)

  6. Within 20 minutes of completing a workout, we will drink a protein shake to start the recovery process.  This will include whey isolate and a rapidly assimilated carbohydrate source.

Our workouts over the next 4 weeks will look like this (note the last exercise for each body part consists of 7 sets are performed with a 30-45 second rest between sets):

Monday (Chest and Triceps)


            Incline dumbbell press 3 sets x 8-12 repetitions
            Incline dumbbell fly 3 x 8 – 12
            Dumbbell press 3 x 8 – 12
            Machine fly or cable crossover – 7 x 8 – 12


            Close grip bench – 3 x 8 – 12
            Dips – 3 x 8-12
            Overhead cable extension or press downs – 7 x 8-12


            Standing calf raise – 3 x 10-12
            Seated calf raise – 3 x 15-20
            Leg press calf raise – 7 x 10-12

Tuesday (Legs)


            Leg extensions – 3 x 8-15
            Squats – 4 x 8-12
            Hack squats or leg press – 3 x 8-15
            Leg extension or leg press – 7 x 8-15


            Stiff-legged deadlift – 4 x 10-12
            Seated leg curl – 4 x 10-12
            Single leg curls – 7 x 10 – 15

Wednesday (Biceps, Triceps)


            Standing dumbbell curls – 4 x 8-12
            Preacher curls – 4 x 8-12
            Machine curls – 7 x 10-12


            Close grip bench – 3 x 8 – 12
            Dips – 3 x 8-12
            Overhead cable extension or skull crushers – 7 x 8-12

Friday (Back, Calves)


            Chin-ups – 3 sets until failure
            Wide grip pull downs – 3 x 8-12
            Barbell row – 3 x 8-12
            Hammer strength row – 3 x 8-12
            Cable/dumbbell pullover – 7 x 8-15


            Standing calf raise – 3 x 10-12
            Seated calf raise – 3 x 15-20
            Leg press calf raise – 7 x 10-12

Saturday (Shoulders, Rear Delts and Biceps)


            Seated dumbbell press or machine – 3 x 8-12
            Barbell or dumbbell front raise – 3 x 8-12
            Dumbbell lateral raise – 4 x 8-12
            Rear delts

            Dumbell rear lateral raise – 3 x 12-15
            Reverse pec fly – 7 x 12-15


            Standing dumbbell curls – 3 x 8-12
            Preacher curls – 3 x 8-12
            Machine curls – 7 x 10-12

As we move through the month, I will keep you up to date on how it is going.  My assumption at this point is that the number of sets and intensity of the “7 – set” is going to require our cardio to be cut down a bit.  How much I don’t know, but I’ll be watching the weight carefully to make sure that we’re not losing any muscle mass as the result of burning too many calories and going catabolic. 

If you have questions, please e-mail me at

Train hard; dieter harder!


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