“Cross-wiring” is a variation of the heavy/light method of bodybuilding training. It involves alternating between heavy compound exercise for a muscle group and a lighter isolation exercise for that same muscle. Whereas conventional heavy/light methodology requires that you train the two exercises in consecutive fashion (heavy sets, then light sets afterwards), cross-wiring requires that you intersperse light sets in between heavy sets.

This interspersing of isolation sets with compound sets has a number of training effects:

1) The heavy sets potentiate your nervous system for better performance on the isolation exercises.
2) The light sets facilitate faster recovery between heavy sets.
3) Neural adaptations start to develop greater complexity within the muscle itself, because you are alternating between 2 motor units. The motor units themselves begin to “cross-wire.”

All of this leads to more growth in the muscles being worked. The following is a list of cross-wiring combinations that you can inject into a workout program to give a particular body part special attention. The following are combinations that I’ve found particular effective, but you can develop your own cross-wiring combinations:

Chest:

A1) Bench Press (3-4 sets, 4-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Machine Flyes (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Back:

A1) Lat Pulldowns (3-4 sets, 6-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Stiff-arm cable pulldowns (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Deltoids:

A1) Wide grip upright rows (3-4 sets, 6-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Lean away laterals (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Biceps:

A1) Zottman Curls (3-4 sets, 4-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Lying dumbbell curls (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Triceps:

A1) Close grip bench press (3-4 sets, 4-6 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Lying dumbbell extensions (3-4 sets, 6-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Quadriceps:

A1) Back Squats (3-4 sets, 4-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Leg Extensions (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

Hamstrings:

A1) Leg press with feet high (3-4 sets, 4-8 reps) 2 minutes rest
A2) Leg curls (3-4 sets, 4-6 reps) 2 minutes rest

Calves:

A1) One-legged dumbbell calf raise (3-4 sets, 6-8 reps) 1-2 minutes rest
A2) Seated calf raises (3-4 sets, 8-12 reps) 1-2 minutes rest

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