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Muscle Confusion is real in a sense. It is not really muscle "confusion", the term "muscle confusion" is just a simple way to explain the conjugate method. The conjugate method is used by the most elite training methods, the most well known being Westside Barbell. Crossfitters often refer to the conjugate method as "muscle confusion" simply because it's easier to explain in those terms. Louie Simmons gives a brief explanation of the Conjugate Method here.

To answer your question, to achieve "muscle confusion" you must swap around different body-part exercises in your training routine so that you are constantly adapting to new movements.
Pilfered Milk
Muscle Confusion is real in a sense. It is not really muscle "confusion", the term "muscle confusion" is just a simple way to explain the conjugate method. The conjugate method is used by the most elite training methods, the most well known being Westside Barbell. Crossfitters often refer to the conjugate method as "muscle confusion" simply because it's easier to explain in those terms. Louie Simmons gives a brief explanation of the Conjugate Method here.

To answer your question, to achieve "muscle confusion" you must swap around different body-part exercises in your training routine so that you are constantly adapting to new movements.


As much as I love the big strong boys and girls at WSB, usually when people are talking about 'muscle confusion' they're talking about doing pushups one day and bench dips the next, or doing squats on the bosu ball or any other such non-productive thing for the sake of making each workout 'different'

The way that louie touches on 'muscle confusion' is still using planned, effective training periodisation that is counter productive for 90% of people, but perfect for his audience, the people with huge squats, trying to develop monster squats.

Most of my clients will cuss me out because I'll have them squatting 3x a week, when they "know" they're so advanced they can only take 1 leg day a week. fast forward a month and they're squatting 30 kilos more than before. They "Know" they've stalled on flat bench and need to do incline bench to develop the anterior deltoids in the rep range of 10-12, and then bam! I've made then bigger and stronger on sets of 6 on the flat bench.

In general I think the teachings of westside barbell are best kept from people till they're squatting double bodyweight.

There is a place for doing different things to make other lifts rise and increase your fitness, but it's not really the same concept as what most people these days are peddling as muscle confusion.
Ozchuck
Pilfered Milk
Muscle Confusion is real in a sense. It is not really muscle "confusion", the term "muscle confusion" is just a simple way to explain the conjugate method. The conjugate method is used by the most elite training methods, the most well known being Westside Barbell. Crossfitters often refer to the conjugate method as "muscle confusion" simply because it's easier to explain in those terms. Louie Simmons gives a brief explanation of the Conjugate Method here.

To answer your question, to achieve "muscle confusion" you must swap around different body-part exercises in your training routine so that you are constantly adapting to new movements.


As much as I love the big strong boys and girls at WSB, usually when people are talking about 'muscle confusion' they're talking about doing pushups one day and bench dips the next, or doing squats on the bosu ball or any other such non-productive thing for the sake of making each workout 'different'

The way that louie touches on 'muscle confusion' is still using planned, effective training periodisation that is counter productive for 90% of people, but perfect for his audience, the people with huge squats, trying to develop monster squats.

Most of my clients will cuss me out because I'll have them squatting 3x a week, when they "know" they're so advanced they can only take 1 leg day a week. fast forward a month and they're squatting 30 kilos more than before. They "Know" they've stalled on flat bench and need to do incline bench to develop the anterior deltoids in the rep range of 10-12, and then bam! I've made then bigger and stronger on sets of 6 on the flat bench.

In general I think the teachings of westside barbell are best kept from people till they're squatting double bodyweight.

There is a place for doing different things to make other lifts rise and increase your fitness, but it's not really the same concept as what most people these days are peddling as muscle confusion.

No, it is not the same concept that people are peddling as muscle confusion. There is a significant different between the conjugate method and that p90x crap. I wouldn't say that Louie's methods are counter-productive to 90% of people, but I understand where you're coming from. Westside Barbell is for a specific audience which does not include beginners who can make significant strength gains by following Starting Strength or a similar linear progression program. I personally have great success with WSBB, but I fit in to the target audience.
Pilfered Milk
Ozchuck
Pilfered Milk
Muscle Confusion is real in a sense. It is not really muscle "confusion", the term "muscle confusion" is just a simple way to explain the conjugate method. The conjugate method is used by the most elite training methods, the most well known being Westside Barbell. Crossfitters often refer to the conjugate method as "muscle confusion" simply because it's easier to explain in those terms. Louie Simmons gives a brief explanation of the Conjugate Method here.

To answer your question, to achieve "muscle confusion" you must swap around different body-part exercises in your training routine so that you are constantly adapting to new movements.


As much as I love the big strong boys and girls at WSB, usually when people are talking about 'muscle confusion' they're talking about doing pushups one day and bench dips the next, or doing squats on the bosu ball or any other such non-productive thing for the sake of making each workout 'different'

The way that louie touches on 'muscle confusion' is still using planned, effective training periodisation that is counter productive for 90% of people, but perfect for his audience, the people with huge squats, trying to develop monster squats.

Most of my clients will cuss me out because I'll have them squatting 3x a week, when they "know" they're so advanced they can only take 1 leg day a week. fast forward a month and they're squatting 30 kilos more than before. They "Know" they've stalled on flat bench and need to do incline bench to develop the anterior deltoids in the rep range of 10-12, and then bam! I've made then bigger and stronger on sets of 6 on the flat bench.

In general I think the teachings of westside barbell are best kept from people till they're squatting double bodyweight.

There is a place for doing different things to make other lifts rise and increase your fitness, but it's not really the same concept as what most people these days are peddling as muscle confusion.

No, it is not the same concept that people are peddling as muscle confusion. There is a significant different between the conjugate method and that p90x crap. I wouldn't say that Louie's methods are counter-productive to 90% of people, but I understand where you're coming from. Westside Barbell is for a specific audience which does not include beginners who can make significant strength gains by following Starting Strength or a similar linear progression program. I personally have great success with WSBB, but I fit in to the target audience.


I think we agree more than I originally thought smile

When I say 90%, I more or less mean including the generic commercial gym going population that includes the people who think training with weights makes you slow and fat, and dont squat more than half way down. smile
Ozchuck
Most of my clients will cuss me out because I'll have them squatting 3x a week, when they "know" they're so advanced they can only take 1 leg day a week. fast forward a month and they're squatting 30 kilos more than before. They "Know" they've stalled on flat bench and need to do incline bench to develop the anterior deltoids in the rep range of 10-12, and then bam! I've made then bigger and stronger on sets of 6 on the flat bench.


That's pretty interesting about the deltoids part. I was unaware that the deltoid wasn't just one singular muscle but composed of posteriors and anteriors (and whatever else) that need different workouts to target those specific areas. That makes me wonder if there are more specific muscles for areas such as the triceps and oh, let's just give an example, the sartorius muscle.

Ozchuck
When I say 90%, I more or less mean including the generic commercial gym going population that includes the people who think training with weights makes you slow and fat, and dont squat more than half way down. smile


Oh man, the last point. I remember seeing a girl at the gym using those barbell machine whatever-they're-called with large plates on both sides. Before I saw her working out I was all "MY GOSH SHE MUST BE GOING STRONG ENVYYYY JEALOUSSS" and then I barely see her squatting two inches. I was like "GIRL PLEASE." Parallel squats (or more) all the way, not half-assed crap that looks like you didn't even try.
For myself, I would do a routine workout for two weeks, so: arms/legs/chest/cardio/etc.

On my third week I change the order up and change how I start my workouts, so instead of starting with pulls up I start with incline.
You can't achieve 'muscle confusion' in a single workout.

And that term is just something they came up with to make p90X sound all cool.

Muscle confusion is nothing more than changing up the workout, ideally on a regular basis. During the week I go through different muscle groups and try to choose different exercises from what I chose last time I worked a specific group. For instance: if I did tricep extensions last week, I might decide to do skiiers this week, and maybe something different the next week. Keep your body guessing, and results will never stop.
You want muscle confusion? Do every workout you read online and in fitness magazines, that will confuse the s**t out of your body. It will be all like "WTF?"

Seriously, just find a simple program the focuses on compound exercises with linear periodization, an increase in intensity (weight) from a relatively low set/rep scheme (3x3) to a somewhat higher one (5x5 or even 4x8 in some cases) That is it. Increase resistance or increase volume. Muscles confused.
Just change up your routine every 2 weeks. I do a different workout everyday.
i know a simple one:

Get on your back and let someone press down on both of your feet. The person standing on your feet should give you a hi-5, but push you a little down too every time both of your hands meet. They're suppose to just put their hands farther away/closer/close/farther away/close/close/ in that cycle. You'll for sure feel it in the first 10 situps lol
My Angelic Ninja
How do you achieve muscle confusion during a workout ?


Well, along with switching up your workout routines on a monthly basis, also try to play around with the weights/reps/sets. Like, one week lift heavy, another lift light, while another lifting moderately. Go for some days where you do negative reps (controlling/doing all the work by drawing the weight away from you, and exploding towards you). Other days, you can do burn outs, drop sets, even switch out weights for resistant bands. Also, you could start your rep count when you start to feel the burn. I incorporate these kinds of training with all of my lifting days, and there isn't a day that I'm not sore. :]
Wolfdude87's avatar

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Sometimes I think about deadlifts before I do a set of squats. I just think about deadlifts for a few minutes right? And my muscles are all ready for deadlifts, then BOOM, hit a set of squats, and my muscles are like "whaaaaaat!?!" Total. Muscle. Confusion.

It's not a real thing retards. It's a marketing gimmick at best, bro science.
Handsome Dynamite's avatar

Gracious Raider

It's not needed. I've been using essentially the same routine for a long time. Do I sometimes do cross body curls instead? Yeah sure. But not because "Oh, my muscles know what's coming. I'm gonna throw those bastards through a loop." Because I feel like it. But my core workout is always the same. You know what I use to break plateaus? 1.5lb weights. Not dumbells, but plates. The small increments really get you there when you're lifting a lot of weight and 5 pounds more is too much. But 3 pounds more you can pump out a few. And that's how you avoid plateaus. Oh. And you try.

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