It never ceases to amaze me how trainees like to talk two and a half times their actual size. Only in the gym will complete newbies rant about their Ronnie Coleman-like genetics before even entering their first Mr. Akron contest.

Blah, blah, blah... My attitude now is callous. When the "smack" begins to fly out of the trainee's mouth like ketchup in a spaghetti western, my trainee is introduced to "profanity set" training. If he survives, he'll have won my full attention.

Post-Set Profanity Factor

I could say that I designed these sets after learning that metabolically challenging workouts, such as superset or giant set training, reliably increases systemic blood metabolite levels (like lactic acid) and that this increase leads to higher GH and IGF-I muscle concentrations.

Additionally, I could mention a study by Takarada et al. that concluded: "Both the increase in the numerical proportion of fast-twitch fibers and muscular hypertrophy was demonstrated to occur in the leg muscles during ischemia (lack of oxygen)."

But in truth, the real reason I settled upon these particular exercise combos is because they have the ability to turn prim and proper housewives into trench mouth truckers. You can't even imagine the creative names I've been called or the number of my relatives cursed to eternity. If a superset or giant set had this kind of effect, it made my top ten.

Where, When and How

The following series of moderate load, no-rest supersets can be implemented three ways:

Option 1: A 3 day split routine. For example:

Day 1: Legs and upper abs
Day 2: Chest, back and shoulders
Day 3: Arms and lower abs

Option 2: A "burn out" or growth set following strength sets. This works particularly well for advanced trainees. For example:

A) Military press 5 x 5
B1) L-lateral raise 4x10
B2) Side lateral abduction 4x15

Option 3: Weak point training, performed on your least developed muscle group at the end of your favorite routine.

However you choose to enjoy these, remember to force yourself to follow the rest intervals exactly, keep the weights moderate, and have a towel nearby to muffle any profanities.

The Top 10 Profanity Sets

1. V.M.O-verhaul Tri-Set

Remember, a tri-set is three exercises performed in a row with minimal rest between each. You'll perform the "A1" exercise first, rest 10 seconds, perform the "A2" exercise, rest 10 seconds, then perform the "A3" exercise. After A3 you rest a couple of minutes, utter your favorite profanities, and repeat for the designated number of sets.

A1) Barbell Hack Squat, Heels Elevated – Vastus medialis oblique (V.M.O.), vastus lateralis

Sets: 4
Reps: 6
Rest interval: 10 seconds

Rest the barbell on the floor. Place two 25 pound plates shoulder-width apart. Position yourself in front of the bar, heels elevated on the plates, using a narrow 6-8" stance and feet parallel. Grasp the bar under your glutes with an overhand (pronated) grip.

Using an arched back, flex the knees and hips to get into position. Next, lift the bar by extending the knees, hips and spine. Pause momentarily before lowering the load back down to its original position.

After completion of 6 controlled reps, quickly stagger to the leg press machine for part two of this giant set.

A2) Duck Leg Press – Vastus medialis, gracilis, hip adductors

This is simply a leg press with the feet wide and slightly toed out.

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 10

A3) Single Leg Extensions – Vastus medialis

Perform one side at a time. MRI studies confirm that performing an exercise unilaterally increases the peak contraction force that gives you better results and less strain on the knee joint!

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 120

2. "The Fall of the Romanian Empire" Tri-Set

A1) Romanian Semi-Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Semi-membranosus, semi-tendinosus

This exercise is designed to develop the medial hamstring muscles along with teaching the proper initiation of the posterior chain into compound movements. The barbell is grasped with a shoulder-width pronated grip. Use a hip-width stance, elbows extended, knees slightly bent.

Start the eccentric (lowering) movement with the bar against the body. The load is descended to just below the knees with a backwards push of the hips and buttocks. This eccentric phase should take up to four seconds and the center of mass should be "rocked back" on the heels in the bottom position. Raise the weight with a pull of the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

Tip: Advanced trainees may perform this on a 8-10" step or block. This allows for increased range of motion below the level of the shins.

Sets: 4
Reps: 6
Rest interval: 10

A2) Single Leg Back Bridges – Semi-membranosus, semi-tendinosus, biceps femoris

Lie down flat on your back. Place the right heel centrally on the bench, foot neutral. Bend the left knee 90º and rest the left ankle on the right knee. Concentrically, elevate and extend the right knee and hip with a contraction of the right hamstrings and glutes. Additionally, as you elevate the core, slowly rotate the right foot from neutral to medial (toward the middle of the body). Lower by reversing this motion. Switch feet after the completion of the set.

Sets: 3
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 10

A3) Seated Single Leg Curls – Biceps femoris

The seated leg curl loads the strength curve at the end range of motion (closer to the glutes than that of its lying curl cousin, thereby creating a Roman column effect that offsets the glutes.) Using a seated leg curl machine, align the joints of the machine with your knee and ankle joints. Using one leg, point the toes forward and keep the foot centered and neutral at all times. Flex the knee joint toward the glutes before extending it back to its original position.

Sets: 3
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 120

3. The Big Bust Multi-Set

A) Flat to Incline Flye – Pectoralis minor, pectoralis major

This exercise is really three chest flye exercises wrapped into one giant set. Start the set at angle one: this is the 120º incline bench position. After completing a set of 10 reps, quickly lower the bench by a couple positions to angle two: 30º lower (150º). After another 10 reps, quickly lower the bench by 30º once more (a flat 180º position) and perform the final reps to failure.

Tip: Use a pronated grip (hands facing forward) as you would on a chest press. This isolates the pectoralis muscles by inhibiting the external rotators of the rear delts.

Another Tip: Due to fatigue, you may get 1-2 less reps per bench angle. So, plan on hitting failure. To help gauge your load just right, start lighter than normal. For example, use a weight that you can maximally do 12 times for the first set of 10 reps.

Sets: 3
Reps: 10
Rest interval: 60

4. Co-Lateral Damage Superset

A1) L-lateral Raise – Shoulder rotators, medial deltoid

Grasp a dumbbell with a semi-supinated grip. Prop yourself into a side lying position on the incline bench approximately 45º. (You may have to experiment with leg positions.) Bend the elbow to 90º.

Concentric step 1: Horizontally abduct the shoulders until the humorus is parallel to the floor. Concentric step 2: From there, externally rotate the shoulder until the humorus is perpendicular to the floor. Reverse these steps to lower the load.

Sets: 4
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 10

A2) Side lateral abduction – Medial deltoid, shoulder rotators

Grasp a dumbbell with a pronated grip. Prop yourself into a side lying position on the incline bench approximately 45º. Extend the elbow fully. Starting from below hip level, abduct the shoulder until the humorus is perpendicular to the floor. Reverse these steps to lower the load.

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 120

5. The Barbequed Lats Superset

A1) Parallel Grip Chin–up – Latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior

Use the narrow V-bar handle attachment and position it over a chinning bar. Begin at the bottom, stretched position. First, separate the shoulder blades momentarily, then forcibly pull them together and flex your elbows. Force the elbows down and back into the body as you pull the torso cranially and the breastbone to the bar. The head will alternate between sides of the V-handle.

Tip: After completion, count down from 10 and move quickly to the pulldown machine while lamenting the day you heard the Alessi name.

Sets: 3
Reps: 6
Rest interval: 10

A2) Wide Parallel Grip Pulldown to the Sternum – Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids

Use the double D-bar handle attachment. Lean back and pull low to the sternum.

Sets: 3
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 10

6. Big Back Attack Superset

A1) High Cable Pullovers – Latissimus dorsi

Use a straight bar. Stand opposite (facing) a lat pulldown or high cable machine. Grasp the straight bar with an overhand shoulder-width grip, elbows extended. Next, with an extension of the shoulder pull the bar from shoulder down to hip level while maintaining elbow extension. Flex the shoulders to return this motion to its starting point.

Sets: 5
Reps: 10
Rest interval: 60

A2) Shoulder Dumbbell Extensions – Teres major

This is sometimes referred to as a "straight arm kickback." Either way, this exercise primarily develops the insertion of the lats and the teres major at their widest point, just behind the armpit.

Grasp two dumbbells using a semi-supinated or parallel grip. Begin this exercise in a bent over, arched back position, with the knees slightly bent. Concentrically extend the shoulders back and raise the dumbbells from your mid-thigh to around your buttocks while rotating the wrist and arms medially (inward) from semi-supinated to supinated. After a brief pause, lower the dumbbells by flexing and laterally rotating the shoulder joint.

Sets: 5
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 120

7. Gut Gauntlet Superset

A1) Low Cable Pull-in, Upper Body Weighted – Rectus abdominis, lower portion

Place a belt attachment onto the low pulley. Place the belt over your knees and weigh down your upper body with a plate or dumbbell. Simultaneously flex your hips, knees and torso toward the body's mid-point. Extend the knees, hips and torso to lower the load.

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 10

A2) Russian Twist – External and internal obliques, rectus abdominis

Roll a towel and place it on your lower back. Anchor your feet under a pair of heavy dumbbells. Holding a small weight over your nose with elbows extended, lift your mid and upper back a couple inches off the floor with the contraction of your abs. Twist the shoulders all the way to one side and then the other while maintaining the ab contraction.

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 120

8. Lambasted Lowers Tri-Set

A1) Decline leg lowering – External and internal obliques, rectus abdominis

Reverse your position on a 45º angle decline ab bench as if you were doing a reverse crunch. Start on your back, hips flexed, knees locked, and reverse tilt your pelvis to facilitate a flat back (under the belly button).

From there, slowly lower your legs until you can no longer retain the flat back position and your lower back arches. Bend the knees and flex the hips to return to the original position and keep doing reps until the lower back arches during the lowering portion or 10 reps, whichever comes first.

Sets: 4
Reps: 10
Rest interval: 10

A2) Supine Hip Extension – External and internal obliques, rectus abdominis

Lie supine on the floor with the hands placed at your sides. Flex the hips to 90º and keep the knees extended. Elevate your legs off the floor with a powerful contraction of the abs and extension of the hips and spine. Lower slowly and keep constant tension on the abs. Keep hips flexed at 90º.

Sets: 4
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 10

A3) V-Sit (pull-ins) – Rectus abdominis, lower portion

Lie down on your back with your arms and legs fully extended. Simultaneously flex your hips, knees and torso toward the body's mid-point. Extend the knees, hips and torso to lower the load.

Sets: 4
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 10

9. Super-Sized Tri-Set for Tri's!

A1) Decline Close-Grip Bench Press – Triceps, all three heads

The decline forces the triceps to work against gravity at the top position. Bench is set at 10º-15º decline. This can also be achieved by placing a 35 pound plate securely at the foot of a flat bench. Grip is 10" apart.

Sets: 4
Reps: 6
Rest: 10

A2) Kneeling Overhead Extensions – Triceps long head

Place a U-bar or V-bar and a chain extension on the low pulley. On the opposite side of the crossover, set up a flat bench. Next, grasp the bar overhead, kneel and place your elbows and forehead on the bench. Lift the load with an extension of the elbows. Flex the elbows to lower the weight.

Sets: 4
Reps: 12
Rest interval: 10

A3) Fixed Bar Triceps Extension (Triceps Pushup) – Triceps long head

Unlike most triceps exercises, this uses a fixed bar and it's your body that moves. Because of this, it builds bone density at the distal ends of the humerus (by the elbow), helping augment bone mineral content, density and lean mass.

Place a barbell in a power rack slightly lower than hip level. Next, grasp the bar with a pronated 8"-10" grip. Fully extend the body. Shift your body toward your hands and slowly duck your head under the bar. You're at midpoint when your neck is in complete extension under the bar, your triceps are fully stretched, and you're looking up. Keeping the elbows in, contract the triceps and extend the elbows back to the beginning position.

Tip: For an advanced progression, elevate the feet on a step or bench.

Another Tip: This is a plyometric effect exercise, so use reps between 15-25.

Sets: 4
Reps: 25
Rest interval: 90

10. Biceps Brig-a-Doom Tri-Set

A1) Close-Grip Chin-Ups – Biceps brachii, long and short head

Take a 4" supinated grip on the chin-up bar. Begin at the bottom, hanged-stretched position. First, pre-stretch by separating the shoulder blades momentarily, then forcibly pull them together and flex your elbows. Force the elbows down and back into the body as you pull the torso cranially and the breastbone to the bar. Lower with an extension of the elbows and a flexion of the shoulders.

Sets: 4
Reps: As many reps as possible
Rest interval: 10

A2) EZ-Bar Reverse Curls – Brachioradialis, brachalis

Using an overhand grip, grasp the EZ-bar. Next, with the elbows firmly planted into your ribs, extend the elbows fully. Concentrically, flex the dumbbells up to around nipple level (30º of elbow flexion), pause momentarily, then slowly lower the dumbbells to their original 180º position over a 5 second count.

Tip: Alternate close and wide grips every other set.

Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Rest: 10

A3) Incline Dumbbell Curls, Feet on Medicine Ball or Swiss Ball – Biceps brachii, long and short head

Position the incline bench to 100º. Grasp dumbbells and lie on your back. The grip is odd. Using an underhand, supinated grip, grasp the dumbbell by the inside dumbbell head only. Next, with the elbows firmly planted into your ribs, extend the elbows fully. Concentrically, flex the dumbbells up to around nipple level (30º of elbow flexion), pause momentarily, then slowly lower them to their original 180º position.

Sets: 4
Reps: 15
Rest interval: 120

Conclusion