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Does Muscle Confusion work?

Discussion in 'Training' started by Zillagreybeard, Oct 16, 2019.
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Zillagreybeard
Zillagreybeard
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  • Oct 16, 2019
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Many bodybuilders constantly switch up their training programs to the point they’re doing a different workout for each muscle every time they train it. ⁣

The rationale for this is called ‘muscle confusion’ with the idea being that by confusing the muscle, you prevent it from adapting to the training program. ⁣

This idea is completely misguided. ⁣

First, you can’t confuse contractile tissue, m’kay? ⁣

Second, adaptation is not undesirable. On the contrary, adaptation is the very goal of a training program: by applying stress on a muscle in the form of mechanical tension, we cause it to adapt to that stress and protect itself from it by making itself bigger and stronger. ⁣

A new study by Damas et al. (2019) shows that ‘muscle confusion’ doesn’t work. ⁣

A group of strength-trained men trained one leg with 4 sets of 9-12 reps to failure for each exercise with progressive overload. ⁣

The other leg implemented ‘muscle confusion’ by rotating through 4 different workouts: either the same workout as the control group, an eccentric-only version, a higher-volume version with 6 sets or a higher rep version. ⁣

Despite training with a significantly higher volume, the ‘confused’ leg didn’t gain more muscle.
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