The term muscle confusion is used a lot these days. With programs such as P90X, P90X2, and others this is often used as a determining factor the reason why these DVD’s are so successful in getting people in the best shape of their lives. Simply put when people go into the gym many don’t know what to do, and if they do know what to do they become stale and complacent, muscle confusion removes that impediment.
You see the human body is designed or has evolved to be adaptive to the environment that you give it or the circumstances to which it is placed. So essentially, the survival nature of the human body will try and seek an equilibrium and figure out a way to cause as least stress as possible. In order to grow however you must always give your body something different, this is called muscle confusion.
By altering up the routines, changing the order of things, and introducing new moves or moves not often used before then the body is forced to adapt to this change. When your body starts to adapt then it will start to grow, this growth is what causes muscle growth, improved fitness, and overall a better look to your physique.
You can find this philosophy in many aspects of physical training right now. Many times you will see Crossfit athletes mention always varied movements to cause improvements in strength, agility, and other aspects of physical or mental prowess. That is essentially the basis of muscle confusion.
But the term is actually a misnomer, your muscles don’t have the ability to get confused, your brain is the only part of the body that has that capability. You see many people will argue against using this terminology without embracing the fact that this type of exercise just plain works, and works really well.
You don’t have to spend an enormous amount of money to set up your own routine, in fact you could easily set up your own daily workouts or WOD’s on your own. There is enough free information on the world wide web today that there really is no excuse to not at least try and be in the best shape of your life.
This same principle can be applied to your diet. By mixing up your calories, the food you intake, and the proportions of macronutrients you always force your body to adapt, that in turn increases your metabolic rate and potentially causes you to burn more fat. Clearly, this is a bit obvious to those with only a basic understanding of the human body, but it still needs to be said so that those who are confused by the muscle confusion can get some clarification.
In the future, I will discuss post activation potentiation which is yet another advancement in how the human body continually tries to get better by adapting to the stresses you place upon it. My belief is that we all should strive to improve ourselves each day, doing otherwise is a wasted day.