Are Your Muscles “Confused?”

You have probably heard the term “muscle confusion” and may wonder what it really means and why is it important. Muscle confusion, or more accurately periodization training (after all muscles do not really get confused), is a training protocol designed to avoid plateaus by continually challenging the body in order to reach its maximum potential.

 When your body is presented with a new challenge, it will typically respond in a positive manner almost immediately. But when you do a physical task repeatedly, your body begins to adapt very quickly to that task. Your body is an amazing machine; it will find a way to work more efficiently and expend less energy to perform that same task. Your body will stall, as your fitness routine becomes second nature (little or no muscle growth, less fat burning, and even an increased risk of injury). If you have been doing the same workout routine for a while and you are not seeing the results you want, chances are you have hit a plateau and it is time to shake things up a bit.

By changing up your routine on a regular basis and incorporating the concept of periodization training, you can put an end to the dreaded plateau. If you want your body to continue to respond to your workouts in a positive way, you need to continually challenge it in new ways. This can be done with variations in intensity, volume and/or frequency, among other variables. By making your muscles do unfamiliar and unexpected things, or even familiar things in unexpected ways, you can continue to challenge your body, keep burning fat and continue to meet and exceed your fitness goals.