Growing up I was never into stretching... maybe a couple jumping jack before soccer games or the circle of calisthenics in the sweaty wresting room. But I don't think anyone ever explained why stretching was important past the "don't pull a muscle" rationale.
After doing some research WOW! The benefits of stretching while lifting are endless!! FST stands for Fascia Stretch Training which was established by The Oak Arnold Schwarzenegger, mastered by Mr Olympia Jay Cutler who introduced the 7 number of repetitions. Essentially the goal is rip your muscles then stretch out the tear to allow more essential amino acids repair the muscles... which adds volume!! The more you lift stretch and eat good protein packed food the bigger you get.
Just to warn you I started the FST-7 chest workout on Monday and my pecks are still sore, it's Saturday!! The first day I focused on heavier weights and lifting to failure contrary to the Men's Fitness Article advising to lift more repetition at lower weights, I did this on the second day after 24 - 36 hours to allow for initial muscle repair.
Did you know flexing increases blood flow to help repair muscles? So don't make fun of the guy showing off in the mirror!!
Day 1: Power Training
- Incline Press: After a quick warmup I load the Smith Machine to fail for 4 sets of 8 - 10 reps. Recommend to descend just past 90° to avoid shoulder injury if you stack the weights.
- Incline Dumbbell Fly: Keep your arms at 45° at finish for 3 sets 10 - 12 reps. Finish with your palms up and squeeze at the top to add focus on your lower chest.
- Flat Dumbbell Press: Bringing the weights down just above your chest without touching for 3 sets of 10 - 12 reps or to fail. Keep your feet in the air to engage your core.
- Hammer Strength Press: Load weights to fail at 8 -10 reps, drop weights & immediately repeat to fail, drop weight & repeat for a total of 4 sets. Adjust height to focus on different muscles.
- Fascia Stretch Training: Between each set of the final 7 sets stretch the focus muscle. For chest; place hand on door jam and lunge for 10 seconds on each side followed by 20 seconds of flexing; with your hands clamped inhale and pull hands apart followed by exhale and press hands.
- Cable Crossovers: During the fascia stretch training perform 7 sets of cable crossovers loading the weights for 10 - 12 reps. Adjust angle to exhaust the desired muscle and squeeze at finish.
Day 2: Low Intensity Training
- Incline Dumbbell: Bench at 45° smoothly finish 4 sets of 12 - 15 reps.
- Flat Dumbbell Fly: With arms only slightly bent 4 sets of 12 - 15 reps.
- Decline Bench Press: Finish just above chest 3 sets of 12 - 15 reps on smith machine.
- Low Cable Crossovers: Start FST for first 4 sets of 12 - 15 reps. Start in a lunge and finish with arms outstretched while your back leg in the air to engage your core.
- Modified Pushups: Finish FST for last 3 sets to fail, grab two 25 pound weights to balance on the start pushups. I failed at 8 then 6 and 5...
One of the many benefits to lifting is that your muscles consume fuel in calories long after the exercise is finished. The results 2 days later were definitely noticeable, the top of my chest was much larger. Probably from the water intake but hey... at least I know its working!