Workout Routines

The 2-day workout to build a barrel chest

Grow thicker, wider pecs using the same FST-7 method that's helped bodybuilders like Phil Heath and Jay Cutler.

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Triceps Dip
milan2099 / Getty
milan2099 / Getty
Duration 45
Exercises 5
Equipment Yes

“Classic bodybuilders like Arnold used to flex and stretch the muscles they were training between sets to force more blood into them," says Hany Rambod, a world-renowned trainer. "What they discovered through trial and error I’ve refined into a science—the FST-7 method—and it’s helped current bodybuilders like Phil Heath and Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler pack on even more size to their already massive frames."

So if you want to unlock your potential for building massive pecs, do this program for the next eight weeks.

How it works

You’ll perform some basic chest-building moves on two different days of the week. The first session is higher in volume, and the second lets you train heavier. After the main work on Day 1, you’ll use the FST-7 method for your last exercise, and that’s where things get crazy. It serves as a brutal finisher. Here’s the idea behind it. Your muscles are encased in a webbing of connective tissue called fascia. If you loosen the fascia a bit—through stretching—you create more space for the muscle to grow. So stretching in-between sets of your last exercise is critical to your progress on this program.

You’ll also throw some hard flexing into the mix—just clasp your hands together and squeeze your pecs. This will flush even more blood into your chest, and that means more nutrients that speed recovery and growth. Keep this up for seven total sets and your chest will look, and feel, like it’s ready to pop. The term FST-7 stands for Fascia Stretch Training that’s done for seven sets, but for you it will be another word for pain. At least until you see the results.

Frequency: Perform each workout (Days 1 and 2) once per week, resting three days between sessions.

Directions

Complete all the sets for one exercise before moving on to the next. For the cable crossover in Day 1, stretch your pecs after one set, and then flex after the next— spend 20 to 30 seconds each time. For example, you’ll do a set of the cable crossover, then immediately stretch your pecs, and then rest as little as possible. You’ll do another set, flex, rest again, and repeat the process until you’ve completed seven sets. To stretch, simply rest your forearms against a door frame or the frame of a power rack, and lean forward until you feel the stretch in your pecs. On Day 1, take every set in the workout near failure. On Day 2, be more conservative with your weights, and leave a few reps in the tank on every set.

Supplemental gains

During your workout and afterward, I recommend sipping a mixture of branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, arginine, and AKG powder. The BCAAs and glutamine will help you recover more quickly; the arginine and AKG powder will help you maintain the pump. I’ve designed two blends, EVP and Cell KEM, that cover these needs. Both are available at www.bodybuilding.com.

Pre-workout: 6–8oz drink with 1½ scoops EVP

During your workout: 4-6oz drink with 1 scoop Cell KEM

Post-workout: 6-8oz drink with 1½ scoops Cell KEM

The 2-day workout build a barrel chest Day 1: High volume

Exercise 1.

Incline Dumbbell Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Press thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Smith Machine Incline Press You'll need: Smith Machine How to
Smith Machine Incline Press  thumbnail
4 sets
10-12 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Incline Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Flye  thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Cable Crossover You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Cable Crossover  thumbnail
7 sets
10 reps
30 sec. rest

The 2-day workout build a barrel chest Day 2: Train heavier

Exercise 1.

Incline Dumbbell Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Press thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Dummbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Hammer Strength Chest Press How to
Hammer Strength Chest Press  thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Low-Cable Crossover You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Low-Cable Crossover  thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Dips thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
30 sec. rest
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