13 May Don’t confuse your muscles
How many times have you heard or read that you need to keep changing your exercise routine to stay fit?
Or that your body will stop adapting if you do the same exercises all the time.
Some people called it muscle confusion; you have to keep confusing your muscles to keep improving.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t got time to keep making up new exercise routines, and a new routine always takes longer than one I’m used to doing.
If you haven’t got a lot of time, and just want to get your exercise done so you can get on with the rest of your life, then I’ve got good news.
You don’t have to try to trick your muscles by constantly changing your routine.
Provided you choose exercises that use a large number of muscles (compound exercises) and push yourself when you do them, you will maintain your strength and possibly even get stronger by doing the same exercises regularly.
According to muscle magazines and a lot of personal trainers, you need to switch your training all the time – sets, reps, exercises. If you don’t, your body will get used to what you’re doing and you’ll stop gaining muscle and strength.
The cynic in me wonders if muscle confusion is a marketing gimmick intended to make you buy each new issue of a fitness magazine. Why do you think they feature a new “workout” each month? They’re trying to get you hooked. Personal trainers reiterate what they’ve read in those magazines and it makes them more likely to keep clients. (Which is not a bad thing if it means people keep exercising.)
Don’t interpret this to mean you don’t have to keep challenging your muscles. If you want to get stronger/faster/fitter you have to make the muscles work hard. It’s what makes them adapt.
But you do that by pushing yourself on exercises you are used to doing, not by changing your routine every few weeks.
If you look at the most successful athletes, they do the same training over and over. But they keep pushing themselves that bit harder.
But won’t I get bored?
Some people think they need to keep changing their exercise so they don’t get bored.
In my experience, people don’t get bored from doing the same things. They tend to get bored when they aren’t getting results. Looking and feeling fitter is the best motivator there is. But you won’t get results by switching exercises, sets and reps all the time.
Concentrate on a small number of exercises that use lots of muscles and keep challenging yourself.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you can complete your workout and how easy it is to maintain your fitness.
Find what works for you and keep pushing yourself.