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Deciphering Muscle Confusion – The Latest Workout Trend

By HERWriter
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Fitness related image Photo: Getty Images

There is a saying in the fitness community that the best workout for you is the one that you’re not doing. The reason this is true is because your body adapts and then your progress will cease. You may be finding this true just two weeks into your New Year’s workout routine. Perhaps you may even be getting bored with your workouts as well.

Enter muscle confusion, one of the trends that has been hanging around over the last few years. There are many infomercial based programs, personal training studios and gyms that are offering this type of workout.

By challenging your body with constant changing movements, you are technically pushing it toward progress as it has to work harder to respond. This type of exercise does not limit your results as your body is constantly being introduced to something new. By mixing up your routines, your body never really gets a chance to adapt such as in typical workouts.

Does this sound familiar? “On Monday Wednesday and Friday, I do the elliptical for 30 minutes and then on Tuesday and Thursday, I do a few bicep curls and squats. I have been doing this routine for about a year.”

The above is something I typically hear from potential clients who are frustrated that they are not getting enough results from their workouts. While the format in typical muscle confusion is typically alternating strength and aerobics, it also applies to different muscle groups and different types of aerobic activities.

For example, here is sample week of muscle confusion workout routines:

Day 1
You want to work out your larger muscle groups such as your quads, chest, back or hamstrings.

Day 2
You want to do 45 minutes of intense aerobics and yes you can use the elliptical, but here is the catch: no book reading or chatting while on the elliptical. You want to work towards the higher end of your heart rate zone for most of this workout.

Day 3
Here is where you want to pick another large muscle group to work, different from what you did on day one.

Day 4
Here is where you want to do an intense mind/body workout such as Pilates or yoga.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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