Last Update On March 26, 2012
Muscle Confusion Is A Myth
Have you ever heard of muscle confusion? I bet you did. In a nutshell the idea behind muscle confusion is that in order for your muscle to grow or get stronger you need to change your training program and/or exercises as often as possible in order to avoid plateaus. This is further from the truth for the following reasons:
You can't constantly change exercises. There are only so much effective movements.
It's hard to track progress when you do 10 exercises per day and change them almost weekly.
If you want to get good at something you should train the specific movement/skill.
Changing exercises does not make you stronger even if it looks that way. There is no need to change an exercise you find effective for your goals/body type/health just for the sake of it. That will only take you further from your goal.
If your goal is to add 100 pounds to your squat in 6 months doing a leg press or hack squat is not going to help at all because you are good at what you do. Not at what you don't. There are many successful lifters coming from Russia and Eastern Europe who do not perform anything other than the competition lifts and very few assistance exercises...yet they dominate in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. Change is good only if it's needed for progress. Otherwise it's nothing more than distraction.
Bro...you suck so bad. What about Westside barbell and Louie Simmons...the conjugate method?
I couldn't care less about that. Bruce Lee said it best: “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” Westside calls for too many exercises and is designed specifically for geared lifting. Otherwise it won't work and requires a lot of equipment most of which may be unavailable to the general user. Beginners should no even think about Westside or geared lifting.
The so-called Eastern block and Russia have dominated the barbell sports for decades and most of them stick to the competition lifts only. For example Andrey Malanichev squats over 450kg and has the following program: squat/bench/dead - once a week, running during the week-end. While I would probably add an upper back exercise such as rows to the program he is a living proof that you can make a lot of progress and essentially become a world class lifter using a simple program. Kirk Karwovski is another guy will extremely similar program....With all my respect to Westside barbell and I think variety is overrated. If it works there is no need for a change.
Bro....you still suck. What about bodybuilding? Muscle confusion still a myth? GTFO !!!
Yes, it's still the same. Muscle confusion is a gimmick simply meant to advertise bullshit commercial training programs effective as walking the dog on a rainy day - you get wet and dirty and only the dog gets the fun. (only they make profit - money)
If you are a bodybuilder you still have to stick to what works - compound exercises and getting stronger. I don't care how much burn you feel from triceps kickbacks. It ain't gonna make your triceps stronger as much as increasing your strength on powerful exercises like dips, bench presses....etc. In general bodybuilding is a strength sport even though strength is not tested at bodybuilding events. You can't be bigger without being strong. Yes, the guy who takes the trophy may squat 400 pounds while number two squats 500 pounds but in both cases you have a strong guy.
You can change your program every month and while it will probably make you sore nothing else will happen. In the end of the day adding more weight to the bar beats everything. Doesn't matter how much “muscle confusion” you achieve. Moving big weights is what makes you grow - rotating cable cross-overs and pec deck machines is yet to produce an elite natural bodybuilder. (read between the lines)
Conclusion: Find exercises you feel effective for your training goals and body type. Stick to compounds and basic isolation. Don't use too many machines or eliminate them all. Get stronger using a basic template using simple periodization such as the Rookie Strength routine or something similar to avoid plateaus and injuries and let the guys confuse their muscles while arguing that creating and other bullshit supplements make a difference in the end of the day. It really doesn't matter. Lifting heavy and eating is what builds muscle.
Build a plan and if it's working stick to it.
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