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Default Muscle Confusion Myth
by BendtheBar 03-31-2011, 07:22 AM

Failure to understand this basic principle of bodybuilding and fitness has led many body improvement aspirants to buy into the tenets of 'the muscle confusion myth.' If their progress stops, they're told to simply "change their routine." Yet a simple change of routine typically yields little (if anything) for the following reason:

Muscles are Incapable of being "Confused"

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news (there's good news to follow), but muscles cannot be confused, baffled, perplexed, puzzled, or even "bewildered" in any way. That goes for the entire body (with the exception of the mind, of course) as well. Despite the claims of marketers who are looking to cash in on the rehashing of an old buzzword, we cannot "muscle confuse" our way to a better shape.

The reason: muscle is merely comprised of contractile tissue made of two proteins - actin and myosin. This makes it pretty simple stuff that's responsive to sound principles of "precision overload" and "optimized recuperation."

The 'Muscle Confusion Myth' can slow down progress

Some gym-goers and home workout enthusiasts are changing their routines on no less than a weekly basis. The rationale behind this is the chasing of that elusive evidence that their muscles are being adequately confused and that the resultant 'muscle pump' they perceive will be an assurance of bodybuilding progress. Sadly, they're often slowing down their progress and wasting valuable time that could have been spent doing something better - such as simply hitting the beach and enjoying the results of effective bodybuilding.

The muscle confusion myth can slow progress by creating what I've termed "feedback confusion." Whatever goals we have in our lives - whether that's building a better body or building a beautiful house in the country, etc... whatever - we need to become sensitive to feedback in our strategies. Excessive changing of a bodybuilding or fitness routine can make meaningful feedback nearly impossible to read and interpret.

Here's what Works better than trying to "Confuse" the Muscles

Let's take a look at a big secret I've discovered from over two decades of bodybuilding experience with average genetics and absolutely no steroid use. Here it is in a nutshell:

"The workout routine needs to be somewhat rigid (once optimized) and the recuperation time between workouts needs to be flexible (even while being close to optimal)."

Most bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts do the opposite and experience lackluster results. They "mix up" their workout routines (creating 'feedback confusion') and nearly go into a depression if they miss a workout because they think it will result in a setback. Their rest days between workouts are rigid - as if they've made a pact with their muscle tissue and the tissue has agreed to recuperate in the time that's been allotted. Evidence that this thinking is erroneous is presented every time a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast says the following:

"I took two weeks off from my workouts and I thought I'd get weak and I came back stronger."

Could that be because it's the recuperation phase that's most susceptible to variables that can change its time requirement?

My advice: Use that as your clue to success and leave the "muscle confusion myth" to those who choose to be... well - "perpetually confused."
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
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Another example of the flawed muscle confusion theory.

I keep going back to this, but it is a perfect example. Olympic lifters do not change their programs the way some lifters change their underware. They basically work progression of weight. They do a narrow range of movements as comapred to what the typical gym idiot thinks he needs to do.

People keep talking about how you don't want your body to adapt to a program. This is wrong. You want adaption, adaption is what you seek!

You get better at something the more you do it. If changing your program was required then please explain why this man has legs that most idiots would kill for.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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Milo of Croton.

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The story of how Milo got his strength has been told for over 2,000 years. Briefly, his father gave him a bull calf for his son to raise. One day, his father asked him, 'How big is your bull today?' Milo ran outside, picked up the calf and carried him inside to show his father. Each day, his father asked him 'How big is your bull today?' and each day Milo ran outside, picked up the bull and carried him to his father. This went on for a number of years. As the bull grew, so did Milo’s strength."Milo's Story.

We know now that the story is not literally true. It's a fable and as all fables, it has a moral. In my opinion, the moral of the story is this: Build strength by increasing the load so slowly that you hardly notice the increase in weight or effort required to lift it.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:04 AM   #4
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Weight plates.

Yes you need to move real weight to make gains. People lose sight of the bigger picture. Everybody wants to pile on the 45's. While that is where you are going it is over the horizen. Watch the road in front of you.

You don't add these to the bar before you add the others.



These are the most important plates you should be using.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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awesome Steve

Quote:
Most bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts do the opposite and experience lackluster results. They "mix up" their workout routines (creating 'feedback confusion') and nearly go into a depression if they miss a workout because they think it will result in a setback. Their rest days between workouts are rigid - as if they've made a pact with their muscle tissue and the tissue has agreed to recuperate in the time that's been allotted. Evidence that this thinking is erroneous is presented every time a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast says the following:

"I took two weeks off from my workouts and I thought I'd get weak and I came back stronger."

Could that be because it's the recuperation phase that's most susceptible to variables that can change its time requirement?
Since starting the fullbody I have found I hvae had great results just being consistent. sometimes i train 3 times every 7 days sometimes its 3 times every 8. Not only has this extra rest NOT imo affected results it has actually left me being able to push harder on some days that I would have been able to otherwise.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:20 AM   #6
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This is one of the biggest broscience myths in weightlifting today. People stop getting sore as their bodies adapt so they change to something that they're not used to and they get sore again and think they're gaining. Soreness is their only method of measuring success.

I also think it's an excuse. Ricky Dale Crain stated in the deadlift article I posted a while back that people too often blame the routine and forget their technique. No other sport sees this. People need to concentrate on learning how to do the big, basic compounds and then adding more weight to them.

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Old 03-31-2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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A 20 pound yearly increase on any lift adds up to a beastly total in 10-20 years AND a ton of muscle.

The guys who proclaim they are stalling really need to be focused on the "one rep at a time" mantra. Even one extra rep each month is enough!

True stalls are rare. True plateaus take a long time to reach. Most "plateaus" are e-plateaus, and are merely a natural slowing of progression as a lifter moves towards the intermediate stage.

The answer to almost all plateau questions ends with...one more rep this month.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtL View Post
This is one of the biggest broscience myths in weightlifting today. People stop getting sore as their bodies adapt so they change to something that they're not used to and they get sore again and think they're gaining. Soreness is their only method of measuring success.

I also think it's an excuse. Ricky Dale Crain stated in the deadlift article I posted a while back that people too often blame the routine and forget their technique. No other sport sees this. People need to concentrate on learning how to do the big, basic compounds and then adding more weight to them.

LtL
RDC should be listened to. When I switch up exercises too often, I slowly lose my form without knowing it. This gets more dangerous as the weight gets heavier.

Practice is needed when weight gets heavy, regardless of the lift. Form becomes critical, regardless of goals. This is no different for muscle building.
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