Muscle confusion is a buzz word that’s thrown around by magazines and on Social Media these days. Essentially they say that it is vital to keep changing your exercises to “keep the muscle thinking” and that it will grow this way.
If you think that this is the truth when it comes to muscle building, then maybe you too are confused about muscle confusion.
While a variety of exercises is always a good thing in your training, consistency is also necessary for optimal results. You 100% shouldn’t always aim to “confuse” the muscle. There are lifts/ exercises that should be completed week in and week out for your whole training life! In my opinion the back squat is one.
How do you “confuse ” a muscle to make it grow?
There is a much better way to gain strength and muscle size. It’s pretty simple, prioritise your main lifts (squat, Deadlift, bench press) for 4-6 weeks at a time. Make sure you hit these lifts first in your session and plan with progressive overload.
You could plan as follows for the back squat:
Day 1: 6 X 4
Day 2: 3 X 4
Day 3: 8 X 4
Lets say you focus on this as your main lift for 4 weeks using the above rep schemes. You can then test and see what strength gains you have made.
After the main lifts are done in the workout, you can then use the variety of different exercises we spoke about. This is to hit the other muscle groups of the body. Use exercises here that feel appropriate and will assist the big lifts. It is key to include compound lift varieties that will work the entire body. Try to stay away from isolation exercises as much as possible. While these are good, they are not what we are after at the moment.
If you set PR after PR while still consistently activating all the muscle groups to a high the degree, then your muscles will, over time, grow. Gaining strength and size is much easier when you sit down and plan out your program with a periodised approach. Making sure to have progressive overload in there. This way is much better than just going into the gym and winging it by doing something different each time you step foot in the gym.
Consistency is key when it comes to building size, do not over complicate it. Keep It Simple, Stupid. The KISS method has shown time and time again to be a massive secret to success for many people.