Does Muscle Confusion Work?

by John Davenport

Muscle confusion is a pretty popular topic which is spoken of often in many fitness blogs and muscle building forums. This term relates to the belief that your muscles can adapt to a particular exercise if you do it in your workouts for any regular stretch of time and that this, in turn, makes your workouts less effective. This has also been used in the marketing of various products which are claimed to be able to overcome muscle confusion and provide you with better and faster fat loss and muscle building results.

In a way, this seems to make sense. Things should get easier for a muscle if it repeats the same movement over and over again just as you, as a whole, get better when you’re doing an activity a number of times.

However, muscles don’t really adapt to an exercise. At least not by itself. Muscles can adapt to a certain movement but it is relative to the load under which they operate that they do so. Just because you run a mile 4 times each week doesn’t mean that you can now run 10 miles at a stretch without making a huge effort.

So, the notion that your muscles will somehow cease to be stimulated by an exercise just because you do it often is false. Just think of professional weight lifters. They perform the same movement in their training time and time again. This is what they want to become good at. This repetition doesn’t stop them from turning into any less strong and it doesn’t hinder their muscle growth. They just increase the weight they work with and by doing so, they gradually improve and enhance their abilities.

The idea that you need to change your workout every few weeks has little basis in real life. In fact, it can actually work against you because you’re not giving yourself time to really master a certain exercise and to develop considerable strength in it. By switching from one exercise to the other you may be settling for mediocrity and never achieving excellence in any exercise.

Should you never change your workout routine?

No, if you ever get bored with your workouts or if you suffer from an injury which makes it difficult to perform one, then by all means, make a change. However, don’t think that you’re confusing your muscles by doing so. There is really no such thing as muscle confusion.
World News US

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