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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Confusing your muscles?

When it comes to fitness, there are a lot of myths out there to talk about. Because people’s bodies can be so different, and because there are many different regimens specially made for different people, wading through all the claims can be very difficult.

One movement is known as “confusing your muscles.” The claim is that doing all of your exercises in the same way leads to your muscles adapting to the regimen, making the exercise less effective. Therefore, you should vary your technique in order to confuse your muscles and prevent them from adapting to the exercise, making your workouts more effective.

Supposedly.

Unfortunately, this is another movement with an interesting idea that doesn’t really pan out. Yes, your muscles do adapt to exercise, so you should increase your routine as you become stronger and introduce a variety of exercises to strengthen different muscles. However, this adaptation is slow and for the most part happens as your muscles heal after a routine, not during the routine itself.

There are exercises that strengthen specific muscles, so tailor your routine to what your body needs. Introducing too much variety into your routine, especially when you’re first starting a workout plan, is more likely to confuse you than your muscles.

As always, if you’re confused about whether a workout is right for you, you’re better off talking to a doctor than listening to fad fitness advice.

AMY STEWART can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

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