Looking for a lean body formula to shed weight and tone those muscles? Then you’ll enjoy this article I found today. It reveals what many fitness enthusiasts sorta knew. The best lean body formula starts with muscle confusion.
You just need to find new and creative ways to spark the muscles to grow and strengthen. And if you’re like most gym goers then you may of fallen into a rut at sometime.
Take for instance your cardio routine. You may of made the same mistake I made. For two months straight I pounded the treadmill for the exact time and at the same speeds. And I ended at a plateau I couldn’t bust through.
And I changed once I discovered how to….
Keep Those Muscles Guessing
When it Comes to Resistance Training, Change is Good and Muscle Confusion is Best
By Jayne Keedle/HealthyLife
With so many fitness programs to choose from these days, it’s hard not to be confused about which is the best way to work out. Luckily, it turns out that confusion is good.
“Muscle confusion” is the latest buzzword in the fitness industry. Though biologically inaccurate — because unlike the mind, a muscle is capable only of contracting and can’t actually be confused — this catch phrase is changing people’s minds about the best approach to resistance training.
The basic idea stems from the same philosophy that drove earlier fitness trends such as interval training — which suggests you intensify your workout by adding a sprint or a jog to your daily walk, for instance — or cross-training, which incorporates different activities such as swimming, biking, or aerobics into your exercise regime. The theory is that after doing the same exercise over a certain period of time, the body hits a plateau. To get back on track, you need to do something different. “The basic premise is as soon as your body gets used to something it adapts and doesn’t work as hard. So in order to get (your) body to change, you need to continue to challenge it,” says Karli Taylor, chief operating officer of Best Fitness in Albany.
Unlike previous trends, however, which focused largely on aerobic exercises, this movement is being driven by body builders who found that exercising different muscles in different ways improved their physique. “Typically, when we talk about muscle confusion we’re talking about resistance training,” Taylor says.
In resistance training, four basic components can be changed to vary the workout: frequency, intensity, times and type. You might do high-energy explosive movements such as squats, for instance, or change the weight or number of repetitions you do with bar bells. You might use your body weight and suspension for resistance one day, stability balls or kettle bells another.
“We used to do the old-school style: show machines and write a routine,” says Taylor. “For the past two years or so, we’ve emphasized that you can’t come in and do the same thing every time. You wouldn’t want your workout routine to be routine. You want to take your body out of its comfort zone. You never want to give your body the chance to adapt.”
The changes don’t have to be big, Taylor adds. Adjusting just one variable in your resistance routine on a regular basis should make a difference.
Change is good
It may sound complicated but, in many ways, it’s actually a more natural approach than previous resistance training technique. Whether you’re carrying a squirming toddler, hauling bags of groceries up the stairs, pulling weeds in the yard, or out hiking with the dog, you rarely repeat the same movement in the same way in daily life. About the only time you’ll ever duplicate the same motion, in fact, is when you’re on a machine designed to keep you in one position as you lift the same amount of weight for the same number of repetitions.
“People will say, ‘I’ve been working out for years and haven’t seen a change,’ and I’ll say, ‘Well, have you changed anything in your program?’ … Well, no, not really,” says Jason Tusch, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Latham. “Muscles don’t know whether you’re using bar bells, dumb bells, or kettle balls. A muscle just knows there’s force exerted upon it. What tool you use will [change] how those muscles perform.”
Does it work?
Not many studies have been done on the benefits of this varied approach, and there’s some debate over the merits of changing a routine every four to six weeks versus eight to 20 weeks. Although most local personal trainers recommend changing things up every four to six weeks — which seems to be about the time that people hit plateaus — there’s certainly a case to be made for giving the body time to practice and master a movement. (We’d probably all forget how to ride a bike if we’d only practiced for six weeks.)
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research last year, however, did find that a varied resistance routine yielded better results. The study compared standard resistance training practices to the “muscle confusion” techniques touted by such fitness programs as Crossfit and P90X, which alternate multiple sets of “high-intensity agonist-antagonist muscle groups” with limited recovery periods. In other words, rather than using steady repetitions and set weights, this is resistance training in which the weight, intensity, speed and positions (angles of movement and balance required for each movement) vary to provide different muscular challenges and offer more of a whole body workout. Though the study was small, involving just 10 men, the findings were promising.
An hour after each workout, researchers measured the amount of energy burned by each person and the amount of oxygen consumed (which is measured by taking blood lactate levels). Those using “muscle confusion” techniques expended more energy and consumed more oxygen in a shorter period of time. The study’s results support the notion that high-intensity, short-duration interval training burns more calories in less time than traditional resistance training techniques, and increases the metabolism for longer after the workout. If you’re not a fan of lengthy workouts — and let’s face it, who is? — that’s particularly good news.
Not just for men.
Although the participants in the study were male, resistance training is arguably even more beneficial for women. Indeed, Taylor considers resistance training “essential” for women. “It’s more important than cardio for a number of reasons,” she says. “Women lose bone density and you can’t improve bone density by doing cardio. By building lean muscle mass, you’re increasing your metabolism, too. You’re going to burn more calories just sitting around.”
If you’re interested in the concept, however, buying one of the “as seen on TV” fitness programs driving the trend might not be the ideal way to begin. Though many body builders consider programs such as P90X the “holy grail” of muscle confusion programs, they’re not for the faint of heart or anyone who is out of shape. “The higher intensity the workout, the greater the risk for injury,” says Tusch. “With traditional free weights, go slow at first. You need to be able to perform with control.”
“The key is doing what’s safe and optimal for you, regardless of where you are,” says Korey McCoy, a professional personal trainer at Plaza Fitness in Albany. “There’s a progression that’s appropriate. Go about this in a very methodical and safe manner.”
McCoy typically recommends reassessing your workout every 10 to 12 weeks. “Reassessing a structured program keeps people interested,” he adds.
Indeed, although the physical aim of “muscle confusion” is to continuously challenge the body, personal trainers also recognize the importance of keeping the mind engaged, too. “I wouldn’t really want my muscles to be confused about anything,” Tusch says. “It’s a buzzword that describes a concept that people have been using for years.”
That’s not to suggest that Tusch doubts its effectiveness. “I primarily worked out that way for a lot of my training life,” he says. It works, he says, but if it also serves to make resistance training more mentally stimulating, people are more likely to stick with it. “No matter what they’re doing,” he says, as long as they have something that will keep them coming back, that’s the most important thing.”
Article Source: Times Union.Com
Hopefully this research will put you on a new fitness path and a lean body formula you can use to transform your body. As with any workout routine, you need to continually push your muscles and find innovative ways to SHOCK you muscles.
Mix in various movements and try something fresh to awaken the muscle fibers so they grow different ways.
It starts with trust in yourself and learning what your body responds to and how it responds.
Not everyone is the same and your lean body formula will not work for your friend. Learn your body and it will give you the body you deserve.
Make sure to check out these other tips…
- 3 Easy Ways to Remove Abdominal Fat
- How to Get Washboard Abs and Make Them Pop!
- Do Crunches Flatten Your Stomach
And make sure to share below with friends.