Depending on your goals, muscle confusion is one tactic that can help you progress.
We all want to get the most out of our workouts, of course. And if you find yourself doing the same workout repeatedly with the results tapering off, it’s time to mix it up.
For example, if you run the same distance on a treadmill most days followed by lifting the same weights with the same reps, you will eventually find yourself at a plateau.
Ideally, when you want to progress in your fitness journey, you have to keep challenging yourself in different ways. Mixing up your workouts not only keeps the body guessing, but you’re more likely to stick with your commitment to movement since the routine shouldn’t get stale.
In a recent study, varying the exercise selection alone had a positive effect on enhancing motivation to train in resistance-trained men, while eliciting similar improvements in muscular adaptations.
The following are three reasons why you should incorporate muscle confusion into your fitness routine.
When you mix up the muscles used during exercise, you’re more likely to prevent injury. Whether you’re getting into fitness for the first time or returning to it, injuries can be common by starting too fast, having improper form, or lifting too heavy.
When you mix up your workout types, you avoid overtraining any one area of the body. Your body will use different muscle groups.
Think of the combination of walking, biking, and swimming. Different muscles are targeted in each so that your routine is more well-rounded.
Motivation, admittedly, comes and goes. You might start a new fitness routine “on fire,” but boredom can happen when the workout is repetitive.
When your week of workouts includes a Cross-Training class one day, a Yoga class another day, Barre yet another day, and so on, this keeps you interested in getting fit. It’s about stimulating your brain the same way that you want to stimulate your body.
Avoiding boredom is how you can make a fitness routine a lifelong commitment.
When you think of endurance, you might think of cardio endurance first. But muscle endurance matters, too.
By training in multiple different ways, you’re finding a balance between strength training and cardio. If you only run, you’re missing out on specific weight training. If you only lift weights, you’re missing out on improving your cardio.
And in that sense, you’re improving your overall endurance.
The term muscle confusion can itself be a bit misleading, but if you’re striving to mix up your workout in general, you’ll boost your motivation and prevent injury, among other benefits.
Just keep in mind that rest also is an essential component of any fitness routine. Active recovery and muscle recovery workouts, such as yoga and walking, will give your muscles the rest they need between other types of more strenuous workouts. You’ll avoid lactic acid build-up and eliminate toxins in the body as well.
Kaia FIT’s program is based on muscle confusion with a variety of workout types, where you never do the same workout twice.
Muscle confusion can help you achieve your fitness goals as long as you stay interested in what you’re doing and stick to your plan.
Kaia FIT is a women’s fitness and nutrition program that empowers women to become the best version of themselves through personalized coaching in a group environment. We prioritize community to help connect women to each other for additional support and accountability. Caren Roblin is the owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, with four studio locations in Reno-Sparks.