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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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