Muscle Confusion – Do we need to change workouts frequently to make progress?
Balivada Sravan Kumar
We often see people in the gym performing various new workouts every day and call it, creating “Muscle Confusion.” Do muscles get confused, and do we need to change exercises frequently? The simple answer is no. Muscle doesn’t get confused by frequently changing to the new workouts, and neither it helps with muscular adaptations. Exercises are “skill,” and we get better with the skills by repeatedly performing them. Especially the compound lifts need lots of practice for proper execution and to make progress.  Frequently changing the workouts is useless as neither the muscle confusion exists, nor we get better with the exercises as you always be in the learning phase and doesn’t make progress. But often we see people saying that changing the exercises frequently will help them to be motivated and consistent with the workout. In this case, one can keep the main lifts (compound lifts) constant and choose a set of simple isolation exercises (Like pec deck fly, cable fly, etc.), which can be rotated in the plan frequently. Conclusion: Muscle confusion doesn’t exist, and changing exercises frequently to create muscle confusion is useless. Repeatedly performing the same exercises will help to master them. If changing the exercises helps you with consistency, then you can make a list of simple isolated exercises and shuffle them frequently, keeping the compound lifts unchanged. Reference: 1. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226989 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9459538 3. https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00789.2006