All the roads are heading to gyms these days, which isn't surprising as everybody wants to stay in shape and look good. Chiseled abs and bulging biceps are on everyone's priority list. Unfortunately for some guys, spending hours pumping weights in the gym doesn't really help. They crave for those chiseled abs and bulging biceps, and in course of this, try some desperate measures. The highly popular muscle confusion workout is an apt example of this.
In body building, muscle confusion is a technique used to achieve maximum possible growth and development of muscles in a short period. The proponents of this technique state that varying your workouts frequently, dissuades the body from adapting to the workout regime to an extent wherein the results either come slowly or don't come at all. Basically, it deters the body from plateauing, i.e., reaching a stable state where the chances of change are dull.
Many believe that muscle confusion workouts help in getting the desired results faster than normal routine workouts. They also warn that this workout burns all the glycogen in the muscles, and hence, one should consume a carbohydrate- and protein-rich meal within 30 minutes after the workout.
Is Muscle Confusion a Myth?
Muscles require systematic overloading and recuperation to grow and develop, and this itself is the strongest argument to debunk muscle confusion. You can't just overload your muscles for a week and then shift the focus to other muscles for the next week. It's a continuous process which needs enough time to overload and more importantly, to recuperate.
Basically, muscles are made of two proteins: actin and myosin. They are broken down to facilitate the process of recuperation, which leads to compensatory size increase of the muscle mass. Simply put, overloading breaks the tissues and recuperation rebuilds and enlarges them. If enough time is not given for the broken tissues to recuperate, then muscles won't grow. In fact, they may even start deteriorating and in fact, become small.
Muscle confusion is a misconception based on the concept of 'pump' in body development. The pump is a temporary phenomenon, wherein we get a feeling that the muscles have expanded right after the workout. This feeling is basically triggered due to the accumulation of lactic acid and myofibril contraction, which leads to the constriction of blood flow. This, in turn, triggers a rush of blood into the capillaries of the working muscles making them appear as if they have expanded.
Disadvantages of this Concept
Practicing muscle confusion is bound to cause feedback confusion, wherein alternating between several exercise programs too often won't give the body enough time to accumulate feedback and use it to gain body mass. If you change routines very often, it will hamper the strategy of the body and the muscle mass gained will be temporary. In other words, it will shed when we shift to other exercises.
Changing workout routines frequently can lead to deterioration of the body mass instead of enhancing it. The simplest trick of getting bigger muscles is a successful workout regimen for a long period, causing the muscles to overload, and successful recuperation―during as well as after the workout―to facilitate compensatory growth and strength.
It's not bad a bad idea to change your workout regimes once in a while to get rid of boredom caused by routine, but one has to make sure that these changes are not frequent and won't hamper your health in any way.
That muscles build when you exercise is an age-old muscle building myth. You need to understand that muscles are built when your body is resting and not when you are busy pumping weight in the gym. A proper fitness regime consisting of a well-planned workout and a significant resting period will make sure that you achieve your set goals at the earliest.