FST, also known as “Fascia Stretch Training”, is a form of bodybuilding training that targets the fascia layer with 7 sets of an exercise performed as the final exercise for a muscle group. It’s highly effective for all stages of bodybuilding, from beginner to advance, and is considered to be a very flexible training regimen that is highly effective in achieving multiple fitness goals.
The goal of FST-7 is simple. By targeting the fascial layer directly beneath the skin (and above the muscle), when performed at 7 sets, it stretches the fascial layer to capacity, allowing for greater muscle growth. In theory, the potential of muscle growth depends entirely on genetics and the thickness of the fascia surrounding the muscle. For example, those with a thicker fascia will have a harder time building mass than those with a naturally thinner fascia.
As a two-tiered training system, the first principle is that the stronger a muscle is, the larger it is, which implies that it’s necessary to maintain a certain minimal strength level. From there, it’s important to focus on strength gains, which is followed by natural muscle growth.
The second principal focuses more around the fascia itself. By expanding the fascia through high volume sets (not reps) and pumping as much nutrient-rich blood into the muscle tissues, it helps to further expand the fascia. These 7 sets are performed on a specific exercise after 2-3 “base” workouts of only 2-3 working sets with heavier weight and fewer reps.
In terms of prioritizing which exercises to perform your FST-7 on, it depends entirely on your weightlifting experience. Typically, for beginners, it’s recommended to start with an isolation-type exercise to start (leg extensions). As you become more advanced you can start performing FST-7 on compound exercises (squat).
This training method has been used by some of the greatest physiques in bodybuilding and powerlifting history, most notably by Mr. Olympia winners Jay Cutler and Phil Heath. We understand that the success of this program is largely contributed by the bodybuilder’s or athlete’s individual genetic predisposition, but highly recommend it for those looking to take a new approach to their workout routine. Feel free to mix-and-match the exercises that you perform FST-7 on to find your "sweet spot".