What is “Muscle Confusion”?
Muscle Confusion – The following questions should consider when planning your exercise routines for 2020. Are your muscles confused? Should they be? And how is it that we confuse our muscles? These worries are at the heart of a timely study of what happens when we add some variety to our routines. And in doing so, “confuse” our muscles. The study found that changing and unpredictable workouts may bring some benefits that more routine exercise programs do not. Although those benefits may not be what people expect.
Anyone aware of trends in exercise (or perhaps politics) has possibly heard the term “muscle confusion.” It was conceived and popularized in the past decade by the creators of various weight training programs, most notably P90X, the favorite of former US Congressman and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
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The P90X and other similar weight training programs advise participants to alter their routines all the time, with a succession of different combinations of exercises. And rarely, if ever, repeating any particular session. The idea behind this inconstancy is that new routines will confuse and confuse our bodies and muscles. And prevent them from getting used to the same pattern and entering a stagnation phase. It assumes that in this way, our forces will respond to the unknown demands of new exercises by continually adapting to avoid Muscle Confusion.
In essence, this theory states that confused muscles, exposed to changing routines, grow and become stronger than complacent ones who perform the same patterns repeatedly. Even though people lift similar amounts of weight. That idea has a certain appeal, and many adherents promote it, but few independent scientific bases support it. So for the new study, published in December in the journal PLOS One, a group of researchers from Spain and the United States who have a long interest in the impacts and specifics of resistance training decided to try to confuse some muscles and see what was happening.
They began by recruiting 19 healthy young people who had lifted weights but were not bodybuilders. The researchers wanted volunteers aware of most weight training exercises and have muscles exercised. They measured the current strength of each volunteer. They checked the size of their leg muscles with ultrasound and asked them to fill out an online questionnaire about their interest and motivation to exercise.
And also, they divided the helpers into two groups and sent them to a university gym. There, one group began a standard supervised routine of upper- and lower-body weight exercises. Such as the bench press, deadlift, and leg extension, performed every other day, a total of four days a week. This group completed similar exercises in the same order each week. Increasing the weight as they gained strength, but without altering their routine in any other way.
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This group performed the same number of upper and lower body exercises. They lifted roughly the same amount of weight in each session as those in the other group. But their activities varied from day to day, such that They hardly repeated the exercises from session to session. Instead, those in the other group given a unique app for their phones that created a new exercise routine for each session. Randomly selected from a database of 80 possible exercises if you have a Muscle Confusion.
These routines were nonstop for eight weeks. After which the men returned to the lab for further tests to measure the size and strength of their muscles. And fill out the same questionnaire about their motivation to exercise. The researchers then related results and found that it is not easy to mistake a power. Overall, the participants’ muscles increased in size and strength much the same way. Regardless of whether they had followed the same routines or changed them.
But minds are not muscles, and he said novelty influences them. ” The differences in inspiration scores at the end were considerable,” he argued. Suggesting that “considering it only from the point of view of motivation, variety matters.” Of course, this study was minor, short-term, and only included young, fit men who already had experience going to the gym. It is unknown whether the muscles and minds of women, the elderly, or newcomers to the world of weights would respond similarly.
The study also deliberately focused on “absolute opposites” regarding exercise sessions, Schoenfeld said, from a routine “with no variation at all” to one that changed every time. Schoenfeld suspects that “it’s likely that a middle ground”. In which we swap one or more regular exercises for new ones, would be a reasonable way to inspire us to return to the gym, although that never confuses our muscles.
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