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Muscle Confusion: Build Muscle And Lose Fat Faster By Doing Unique Workouts

Updated on October 24, 2012


A weight loss or exercise plateau occurs when you stop making a significant amount progress. You keep trying but you don't seem to be getting any closer to reaching your goals. It generally happens when you keep doing the same routine over and over again. Your body changes to adapt to the routine. Once it has adapted it stops changing. The lack of progress can be discouraging. Increasing the intensity or duration of the exercise may help but often it is not enough.

When I started biking long distance my body changed. The same thing happened when I started running on my elliptical trainer and when I started jumping rope. Now when I run on my elliptical, bike long distances or jump rope it seems like I just can't do enough to improve my body. I can run for 2 hours a day and have little to show for it.


Muscle Confusion

Adapting so you are good at something can be a bad thing if you are trying to change. The purpose of muscle confusion is to make your body work harder. You keep changing the exercises so your body continues to change. When I started jumping rope I could easily tell that my body was not ready for it. That is what you want when you are using muscle confusion to speed up your results and prevent plateaus. When I started jumping rope I was terrible at it and it hurt my calf muscles. Now I can easily tell that my body has adapted to jumping rope. I have gotten good at it and I can do it for a long time before my muscles give out.

To use muscle confusion do exercises you don't normally do and find ways to change the exercise you have done lots of times. Be inconsistent. The exercises will be harder but they will also be less monotonous and you can get better results.

Unique Workouts

Unique workouts can be more interesting and fun than doing the same thing you have done many times before. However you do need to keep coming up with new workouts. Small changes can make a big difference. Walking, long distance running and sprinting all give you a different workout. Alternating the speed during the run or taking different routes is another way to make a run different from the previous runs. You could go from jogging on an even slope to sprinting up a large hill. When doing push-ups you can do them fast or do them slow.

The order you do the exercises in and the length of the time between exercise also changes the workout. To keep changing the workouts you will need to come up with a big list of exercises. Luckily you can use your imagination or get ideas from other people. You can see people exercising on TV, on the internet or at the gym.

Recently I got the idea of doing exercises with towels and not long before that I figured out that I can do pull-ups on a tree in my yard. Since I don't usually do step-up exercises I did step-ups as part of my workout using a chair. Then I got the idea to jump onto the chair a bunch of times. You don't need to keep doing new exercises. There is nothing wrong with doing an exercise more than once or a workout more than once. Just try to mix it up so you are not doing the same workout day after day.

Do What You Are Terrible At

People often avoid doing things they are terrible at. They don't want other people to see how bad they are or they just don't like the feeling of failure. If you are showing off then it is a good idea to stick to what you are good it. However if you are trying to build muscle or lose fat then it is helpful to find something you are bad at. I am not very good at doing yoga. So practicing the yoga poses I am bad at benefits me more than doing push-ups or going for a run. I have trouble doing one handed push-ups so doing them benefits me more than doing standard push-ups.

Spend a month doing exercises you are bad at and your body is going to change a lot. If you don't feel like you are making progress with an exercise you have gotten good at then take it off your list for a while. I was biking and running but my body was not changing. When I started doing some push up and plank variations my body changed a lot at first. Then my body adapted and the exercises became easier. To overcome the plateau effect I started doing different exercises like frog stands and hand stands. I would not have wanted anyone to see me because I failed miserably but I started to make progress again. Sometimes it is better to do things you are bad at.


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