IS THE CONCEPT OF MUSCLE CONFUSION VALID?
The idea behind muscle confusion is that muscles adapt quickly to exercise routines and need to be “surprised” by constantly changing workouts. By doing this, the theory is that once shocked, muscles are forced to rapidly grow and develop quicker than they would by performing the same exercises repeatedly.
While an interesting concept, unfortunately the human body doesn’t work quite like that. Think about it this way: as with anything in life, what garners results?
The key to seeing results in the gym falls somewhere in between constantly changing your workouts, and performing the same training routine over and over again without ever changing it.
Progressive Overload is a principle that involves continually increasing the demands on the musculoskeletal system by forcing your muscles to work harder than before. In order to accomplish this, the body must be allowed time to adapt.
For example: If I’m working with someone that’s never done a squat before, I will most likely start with a bodyweight version, and with every session we’ll slowly add a small amount of weight to that movement. If I were to change the exercise to something completely different during our next session, the client will never have the opportunity to learn that movement pattern, and become stronger doing it.
The sweet spot is prioritizing a few key exercises for 4-6 weeks, progressively increasing the resistance every workout, and allowing the body time to get better at those movements before changing things up.