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Bodybuilders of the ’70s liked to stretch and flex the muscles they were training between sets, believing it enhanced growth. What they stumbled upon has been refined into a formal muscle-building protocol by Hany Rambod, trainer to many of today’s top champions including Mr. Olympia winners Phil Heath and Jay Cutler. Here, we use his FST-7 method to pack new meat on your pecs. It’s the easiest way to build a more imposing upper body and transform the way you look in everything from t-shirts to sweatshirts. Plus, if it works for guys like Magic Mike‘s Joe Manganiello and X-Men’s Hugh Jackman, it’ll work for you.
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After pounding the pectorals with some conventional chest exercises, we finish them off with FST-7, which stands for “Fascial Stretch Training” done for seven sets. Fascial refers to the fascia, the web-like connective tissue that envelopes each muscle. Picture that thin layer that covers a skinless chicken breast—that’s the same stuff. By stretching the fascia, you create more room for the muscles to grow. By flexing, you’ll drive more nutrient-filled blood into the muscles to enhance gains.
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Every set should be taken to near failure. For the cable crossover, alternate stretching and then flexing your pecs between sets. So you’ll complete a set and then stretch for 30 seconds, then do another set and flex for 30 seconds. After the stretch/flex, you can rest up to 45 seconds. For the stretch, rest your forearms against a doorframe, or use the beams of a power rack, and lean forward. To flex, tense your pecs isometrically.
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