By Chrissy Fink
Are your muscles confused? Are you? The relatively new term “muscle confusion” stems from what the fitness industry calls “adaption.” When you work out, your muscle fibers begin to break down and it’s in the time after, during what is called the “rest period” that your body begins to repair itself. Your body starts to change and rebuild itself, growing bigger muscles. If you keep doing the same movements and workouts without changing intensity or resistance, in as little as 3 weeks you could start to hit a plateau.
If your week consists of spin on Monday, weights Tuesday, Wednesday off to rest, boot camp on Thursday, and yoga on Saturday, you’re in pretty good shape (pretty great shape actually). If every week, though, consists of the same workouts, with no variation, your body adapts to your routine and stops getting stronger and faster. In order to get the best results, you actually want to continue to confuse your muscles by varying your activities so your muscles don’t have a chance to adapt. So, if your body isn’t changing the way you would like it to or you’re getting a little bored, spicing it up will do your body good!
Here are some tips on how to start confusing your muscles to get your way to tip top shape:
Cardio: Pick a new cardio machine every day of the week or take a new class to get away from the norm! Take your run outdoors, add hills and don’t forget sprints, which increase endurance by engaging your fast twitch muscle fibers, making you more fit. Dance is also a great aerobic workout. Try our new favorite, Zumba, and have fun with it!
Weights: Change up your weight program—most gyms offer a free session with a trainer a few times a year. Take advantage and learn a new routine – or at least a few new moves.
Classes: All major cable companies have some greats workouts On Demand that change regularly. They are a great way to try new classes and instructors in the comfort of your living room! Don’t forget to add a different modality (even if it’s only occassionally): Yoga, swimming and Pilates are all great new ways to move if you haven’t tried them in a while.
By doing these simple things, you can actually get better results without increasing the length of a workout, just get more bang for your buck! It’s all about staying excited and figuring out what works for you!