muscle building workouts

by Jason Stallworth

March 18, 2020

You have two goals: gain muscle mass and get shredded. The problem is those goals seemingly conflict one another, don’t they?

Maybe…until now.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to combine two of the most powerful muscle-building techniques into one workout. In fact, you’re going to get a full workout routine using these methods.

So get ready to gain muscle and definition in the same workout. Get ready for shredded mass gains!

5 x 5 and FST-7

First, let’s briefly describe both 5 x 5 and FST-7 methods, and how each technique can help you towards your goal of quality muscle gains.

5 x 5 Method for Mass and Strength Gains

5 x 5 was primarily used for helping powerlifters gain strength. The idea is to lift heavy weights for 5 sets of 5 reps.

By going heavy for multiple sets your muscles adapt to the weight. In theory, you’ll move up in weight a little each week (or if you’re just starting out, you may move up some every workout).

The article ‘StrongLifts 5×5: Get Stronger Lifting Weights 3x/Week‘ on stronglifts.com goes deeper into explaining this method.

It wasn’t long before bodybuilders found out how awesome the 5 x 5 method works for packing on muscle mass. And it makes sense. In order to build bigger muscles, you must overload those muscles. That’s exactly what 5 x 5 does; it’s a consistent overload.

FST-7 for Shredded Muscle

FST-7 has continued to be a go-to training method for muscle gains in regards to bringing out striations and definition. This method is said to actually change the size and shape of your muscle bellies.

The ‘FST’ in FST-7 stands for fascia stretch training. ‘7’ is the number of sets performed on the final exercise which is said to stretch that fascia layer of your muscles.

This is a technique that was created by bodybuilder trainer Hany Rambod. You can read more about this specific technique on Hany Rambod’s direct website here ‘What is FST-7?

Your workout routine below will be implementing specific parts of each method. The goal is to combine 5 x 5 with FST-7 for maximum muscle gains. So this will be slightly different from the actual methods themselves.

Shredded Mass Workout Routine

cable flyes crossovers for shredded chest

Now it’s time for your full workout routine using these methods. Let’s go over a few important notes before you get started:

  • This is a 4-day gym routine (a sample training split will be provided below)
  • You’ll be training each muscle only once a week
  • These workouts will be extremely intense so do not do this program if you’re on an extreme diet; you’re going to need the calories for energy and recovery
  • Make sure you are 100% focused before each workout
  • For 5 x 5 sets, start with a weight you can do about 8 reps for and just do 5 and gradually move up each set (you may not quite get the full 5 reps on your final set)
  • For the FST-7 sets, use about 60-70% of your max for all 7 sets
  • You’ll also be adding some techniques to some of the exercises that are not using 5 x 5 or FST-7 (like drop sets and rest-pause sets)
  • Pay attention to the notes below each workout
  • Motivate yourself by listening to workout music, like the Heavy Metal Workout album

Training Split

  • Monday: Chest and Biceps
  • Tuesday: Legs
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: Back
  • Friday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: rest

Rest Between Sets

  • 5 x 5 rest between sets will be 1:30 seconds
  • FST-7 rest between sets will be 30 seconds
  • For all other exercises and sets, rest about 45 seconds between sets

**If you’re serious about gaining mass and getting ripped, stacking these two supplements may help you get there faster:

TestoFuel for Mass Gains

Instant Knockout for Getting Shredded

Workout 1: Chest and Biceps

heavy incline dumbbell press

You’re going to start your week with chest and biceps. Believe me, you will be extremely pumped after this workout.

After your heavy bench press, you’ll hit your upper chest, which is an area that many lack development in. And you’ll define your chest muscles with those final 7 sets of cable flyers (or cable crossovers).

Lastly, you’ll do som direct work for your biceps. To keep up the intensity, you’ll be doing some special techniques (see below the workout).

ExerciseSets x Reps
Bench Press5 x 5
Incline Dumbbell Press4 x 10
Cable Flyes7 x 12
Dumbbell Hammer Curls3 x 10*
Preacher Curls3 x 10**

*do a drop set on the final set, reducing the weight by 30%
**do a rest-pause set on the final set, resting only 10 seconds and pumping out another set using the same weight

Workout 2: Legs

Squat Day

It’s time for one of the most brutal leg workouts you’ve ever done. Be prepared to stay in the gym a little longer than usual.

After squats, you’ll crank out some reps on the leg press. Then, it’s FST-7 all-the-way to the end. This is so you can give adequate attention to your quads, hamstrings, and calves.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats5 x 5
Leg Press4 x 10
Leg Extensions7 x 12
Lying or Seated Leg Curls7 x 12
Seated or Standing Calve Raises7 x 12

Workout 3: Back and Rear Delts

Barbell Rows back exercises for bodybuilding mass

Now it’s time to train your largest upper body muscle; your back. You’ll do some extra work for your back than you’re doing with the rest of your upper body.

And you’ll end with some direct work for your rear delts. This is a great way to finish your back workout since that part of your delts is involved in every back exercise.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Rows5 x 5
Dumbbell Rows4 x 10
Lat Pulldowns4 x 10
Seated Rows7 x 12
Bent-over Raises3 x 10**

**do 2 rest-pause sets on the final set, resting only 10 seconds and pumping out another set using the same weight (x2)

Workout 4: Shoulders and Triceps

seated dumbbell press

This workout for shoulders and triceps will mimic the chest and biceps workout you did at the beginning of the week. And you will feel the burn.

It’s the same format: 3 exercises for shoulders combining 5 x 5 and FST-7 followed by some direct work for your triceps.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Seated Barbell Press5 x 5
Arnold (Dumbbell) Press4 x 10
Lateral Raises7 x 12
Lying Dumbbell Extension3 x 10*
Rope Pushdowns3 x 10**

*do a drop set on the final set, reducing the weight by 1/2 and do slower reps
**do a rest-pause set on the final set, resting only 10 seconds and pumping out another set using the same weight

**If you’re serious about gaining mass and getting ripped, stacking these two supplements may help you get there faster:

TestoFuel for Mass Gains

Instant Knockout for Getting Shredded

Workout 5 (Optional 2nd Leg Day)

deadlifts low reps

If you’re serious about building your lower body, try throwing in a 2nd leg workout on Saturday or Sunday (or one of the rest days after you finish the routine).

This workout can be a little shorter but it will still be intense. After your 5 x 5 sets, you’ll be doing 3 rounds of FST-7 sets.

**You can read more about why it’s important to train legs twice a week in my post: Training Legs Twice a Week: How to Build Bigger Legs.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Deadlifts5 x 5
Leg Extensions7 x 12
Lying or Seated Leg Curls7 x 12
Seated or Standing Calve Raises7 x 12

Gain Muscle Mass and Get Ripped

Every bodybuilder, whether professional or recreational, aspires to gain ripped muscle mass. In other words, no one wants to be jacked with a gut. Likewise, you don’t want to be ripped but look like a beanpole.

Combining proven methods together, like 5 x 5 and FST-7, gives you the perfect workout to attain the results you want. Here are some of the things you may experience:

  • Substantial mass gains from the 5 x 5
  • Strength increase from the 5 x 5
  • More muscle stamina from 5 x 5
  • Striations and muscle definition from FST-7
  • Change of shape in your muscle bellies (fuller-looking muscles) from FST-7
  • Better overall conditioning from FST-7

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Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason

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