Muscle Confusion Training

by Lee

Have you heard this one? "Muscle confusion training keeps your workouts from getting stale."

Or what about? "Mix up your routine to confuse your muscles."

Sadly, the only thing in danger of getting confused is the crazy rationale of this advice.

Why crazy?

  • Firstly, muscle confusion is a myth, and is no more real than the Tooth Fairy or Bigfoot.

  • Secondly, how do you 'confuse' a muscle anyway? A muscle is a very simple device and can only relax or contract.

  • Thirdly, mixing up your routine does not keep your training from 'getting stale'. Having unclear goals and floundering with conflicting principles and myths is often to blame.
Instead, here is what you should do:

Use the same exercises each workout to chart whether you made progress or need more time for recovery. This simple practice is a far better measure of your training efforts and is a great way to blow off any 'confusion'.

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Are You Confused?
by: Anonymous

Yes Lee, what you are really saying, is that the individual who is applying this "Confused Principle" is already lost inside a world of frustration and failure.
It is without a doubt and an exercise of futilty done in absolute Desperation.
Abracadabra, is what these people are into.
Anyone who has ever been to high school knows that you can not have Multiple variables and still be able to discern what did what.
We are not using anabolic Steroids, we must be so much more careful and focused. Improper training methods always lead to Plateaus and injury.
I suggest a ten year plan rather than a ten day plan!

10-Year Strength Training Plan
by: Lee

A 10-year strength training plan? Your suggestion is an excellent one!

Strength training should ultimately be a lifestyle choice to boost health and improve fitness, and not some quick-fix as is commonly portrayed.

A plan where proper training practices and principles are consistently followed would do much to increase well-being. No magic wands are necessary. No Abracadabra. Just the desire to make a change.

The Long Run
by: Anonymous

Well Lee, I did a quick calculation and discovered to my surprise that in a 41 year period I have gained, 2.27 lbs a year.
When I was told that a human could only gain a maximum of 5 lbs a year (back in 1971) I thought it would take forever to get big muscles (I weighed 165 lbs). 41 years may seem like forever, but I had the time of my life and I am far from done...

The Muscle Building Journey
by: Lee

It's great to hear you had the time of your life! Oftentimes, the muscle building journey for gym-goers gets overlooked in favor of the destination.

For sure, end results are important, but what really matters is the adventure and challenges encountered along the way. To keep going when others have given up takes courage, commitment and determination.

I hope our visitors read your story and take inspiration from it.

Natural Bodybuilder Training Schedule
by: Anonymous

Thanks Lee...
Here's the Training schedule I have used All my days as a Natural Body Builder.
Day One: Heavy Legs / Shoulders / Abs.
Day Two: Chest / Back / Calves.
Day Three: Bicep / Tricep / Abs.
Note that On the Following "Day One", I do my Calves.
This allows that the Calves and Abs are hit on a "Two Day Split" while the rest of me is on a "Three day Split".
A Productive Variation:
Example, "My arms need More attention."
Day One: Heavy Legs / Shoulders / abs.
Day Two: Bicep / Tricep / Calves.
Day Three: Chest / Back / Abs.
Day One: Bicep / Tricep / Calves.
Note I hit my arms More frequently (every second day)
Contrary to a lot of what I have read, I respond better to training my arms More often than most people seem to.
I will also incorporate this Change up system if My legs are behind or my chest etc.
I really stay away from long explanations, I simply believe that if it works it works...

Brain vs Muscle
by: Anonymous ben

We all agree that building bigger muscles, demands Resistance Training methods, Proper Rest and Nutrition.
There is another factor that must be considered in this equation.
"Relative Time".
What is this all about?
Well here we go:
As you train, rest and eat properly your body changes. Your strength increases and your "Durability" increases.
It is what we refer to as Fitness Level increases.
It all makes so much more sense when we stand back and realize that; as we get more strength and durability as a result of our training efforts, it then must be understood that the More Durable "YOU" needs More Challenging Resistance to stimulate muscle growth.
This is of course the Most Popular solution we apply. But the results are coming back, "Over Train" and Plateau. But if a muscle is NOT responding, remember that it is stronger and more durable, it will need yet another factor, Vitamin Patience. Just keep Plugging away and you will see that your Vision of what you want will begin to make the changes you are hoping for - here is where the Mind and Muscle come to an agreement.

How Much Recovery Time Do You Need?
by: Lee

Rest and recovery are important. But how much recovery time do you need?

To better understand the process of muscle recovery and repair, we would do well to examine the time necessary for the wound healing process, and in particular, the inflammatory response. Why? Just like the healing process and inflammatory response, recovery from high intensity training stress also requires complete and uninterrupted time to repair any muscle damage.

This adaptive response is important, as the muscle cells must first rebuild to normal levels of structure and function before they can super-compensate. You cannot build greater strength and size levels before this occurs.

So how long does this process take?

Studies show recovery time can take anything from 5 days to 6 weeks - and in some cases, even longer! The poundage progression on your barbell will tell you if you need more rest to avoid a plateau and the perils of overtraining.


Completely agree, muscle confusion was created by bodybuilding magazines to try and make their workouts look better, and probably try and sell more copies.

The only way to build muscle mass/strength is with progressive resistance.

Theory vs Practical Application
by: Anonymous

I never grew any muscles while sitting in a library reading about all the theoretical sciences that apply to humanity.
But I do have two masters degrees in Mech / chem sciences.
But I learned something about theories.
What Looks Good on Paper, seldom ends up a finished product.
The reason is a simple one, Nothing is perfect.
I am reminded of the "Edsel" - this was supposed to be the car that would capture the imagination of western Society.
In every aspect it was perfect "ON PAPER".
There are "Higher Laws" that apply to Humans.
Some of us even believe in things we do not see.
One book of wisdom refers to this as "Hope".
It says; "but we do not hope for the things we already have..."
I agree that we should take our brain to the gym, but in equal measure of importance, we take our Spirit.

Why Increase Recovery Time as You Build Muscle?
by: Lee

Why must you increase recovery time as you build muscle? This is crucial for the following reason:

You can often increase muscle tissue up to 100% before reaching a genetic limit or set-point. However, recovery abilities can only increase by 20-30%.

Because of this discrepancy, you must exercise less frequently as you build strength and size.

Continue to Grow Muscle
by: Anonymous

According to "" and a contributor or two on this site, we (those interested in muscle) need to continually Increase the amounts of weight and resistance we use, to continue to grow muscle.
If this were true, and I increased my bench press by 5 lbs a month, I would have a bench press of over 2500 lbs. (41 years experience non stop)
I am also to understand, that at my advanced stage of development, that I can take 72 hr rest periods between workouts...
I went online to read Pete's stuff, then I checked out a blog or two that discussed his books. My advice is to check these so called "Authors" out. Go to and see for yourself.
This is NOT Body Building

Strength and Muscle Gains Made Simple
by: Lee

What every trainee needs to know before they step under a barbell are their goals.

For example:
  • Are you looking to build significant mass or size?

  • Do you want to increase strength?

  • Are the health and fitness benefits of strength training most important to you?

  • How much time do you have to devote to your goals?

If you are searching for the most efficient way to build muscle, then you must consider the time you spend training. You must also keep things simple - or to quote Bruce Lee: "The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity." These factors become ever more critical if you haven't been blessed with favorable genetics and superhuman powers of recovery.

And what about building muscle mass in relation to strength increases?

There is no magical, mythical training routine that will miraculously increase strength gains without concurrent gains in muscle mass. To build significant strength you must also build muscle...and any "fitness expert" who tells you otherwise is wrong.

Some numbers for you?

If you are a genetically typical lifter of average abilities who wants to increase lean muscle tissue by 10%, then expect to boost your strength by 50%. Using the bench press exercise as our example, this would mean a 200 pounds male with 15% body fat would need to push his lean muscle mass up by 15-20 pounds to get a 200 pounds bench press to 300 pounds. Strength and muscle gains made simple.

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