You may have heard the term “muscle confusion” when it comes to strength training – doing different moves each workout to prevent your body from getting used to an exercise so you never plateau.
As professionals, we have to say…it’s not really true. Yes, we need to provide progressive variety as far as sets, reps, even intensity of an exercise but muscle confusion isn’t about preventing plateaus; it’s often simply about enter-trainment (see what I did there). A strength training program that changes every time you walk on the gym floor might keep you on your toes, but it’s not in line with how your body actually achieves improved function or a better physique. Random workouts = random results.
The body needs repeated exposures to a progressive stimulus in order to create a positive adaptation. In other words, you actually need to do the same thing to a muscle for awhile in order for it to change (look better, move better, feel better). In fact, average response is 4-6 exposures before adaptation flattens out. This is why we program our Semi-Private member’s workouts in 4-6 week chunks. That’s right – they do the same strength exercises for 4-6 weeks and then we progress them to the next phase of their personalized workout. Research shows keeping the same stimulus on the muscles over successive sessions makes muscles happy and we want to utilize a little science to get well…happy results.
How can I spice it up a bit?
Repeating workouts doesn’t mean there’s not room for some change-up. Aside from providing variation of number of sets, repetitions, tempo, and intensity, we use the warm-up and finisher in our strength training programs to provide a little zest and variation. A finisher is simply a higher intensity “blast” at the end of a session with a purpose to ignite the metabolism. This could be Tabata sets (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest…for 4 minutes) on the Air Assault bike, a 500m sprint on the rower, or even a ‘Trainer’s Choice” (always a favorite…right, members?!). 🙂
Remember, “good” workouts aren’t dictated by whether or not you feel crushed afterwards –> anyone can make you feel whipped. Rather, they’re strategic in progression and purpose and it’s essential you overload the muscle in the same way for awhile if you dig results from your hard-earned sweat.
Cheers to strong, powerful, effective bodies!
I’M READY TO HAVE A STRATEGIC WORKOUT PLAN
Our Monday / Mmmm on our Facebook page featured this Green GymMonster smoothie and since it posted, we’ve had a couple emails asking about the protein base we use. What is Juice Plus+ Complete?
JP+ Complete is a smoothie mix that comes in Vanilla or Chocolate and is made from whole foods. This means every ingredients comes from food sources (not the lab) and contains things like ancient grains, complete plant proteins, sea minerals, even pumpkin, pomegranate and other produce. A serving is 1/3 cup and contains 13 grams of protein. It can be used by itself – shake up with some almond milk or water and some ice cubes, for example – or in a blender with other ingredients to bulk it up a bit for a more hearty meal or snack. We love adding lots of greens (spinach, kale…can’t even taste ’em!), some good fats (chia seeds, nut butter), and a little fruit to create a well-balanced breakfast, snack-on-the-go, or post-workout replenishment.
Here is a 6-min video that will explain more, here’s where to order your own, and below ↓↓↓↓ is the recipe I enjoyed after MetCon class yesterday. #recovery
Green Gym Monster Smoothie
1 scoop vanilla whole-food-based protein mix (We use Juice Plus+ Complete)
2 TBS chia seeds
2 large handfuls spinach
1 frozen/ripe banana
1+ cup almond milk or water
A few ice cubes
Blend until frothy and delish.