Want to Muscle Up? Not really no!
‘Muscle confusion’ is great when you want to have a lean and healthy body, (or toned and sexy if you wish), with shaped, ripped muscles, not bulk and mass, (unless of course that’s your thing, then go for it!).
You know the expression, ‘Once you learn how to ride a bicycle you will ALWAYS know how to ride a bicycle?’ It’s the same with muscles. They have ‘memory’, and if you consistently repeat the same training routine, it will cease to be effective as time passes, results will become less and less noticeable as your muscles, ‘remember’ and therefore expend much less effort.
All those years, we were taught to repeat set after set in the gym, in my case 4 repetitions of 20 sets, concentrating on a certain muscle group, those days should be forgotten!
Instead of repeating sets over and over again, try to surprise your body and muscles with new movements. Let me tell you it’s much more fun as well, repetition is boring for both my muscles and me.
Here is my approach to ‘confusing my muscles’!
– I like to exercise by ‘dancing’, as it helps to involve all the muscle groups. When exercising your arms with weights, move your whole body to music. It’s more fun and your legs won’t get stiff. Although it is important to keep balanced control of your movements, don’t go completely nuts! When you exercise arms, it still needs to be mainly about arms!
– Concentrate on both large and small muscle groups at the same time. Change it constantly (10 biceps curls, 10 triceps curls, 15 squats with shoulder press etc.) no need to repeat in any order, do this for as long as you can. I use just 3-pound weights; no heavier should be needed for women, the same for legs and abs.
– Every week try to change your habits. You do need to make an effort and do some preparations though, scour the Internet for different and challenging exercises, I’ll post more detailed workout routines soon for inspiration. Try different sports whenever you can, jogging, hiking, skiing, tennis, basketball or badminton, they’re all good.
I like running, as you know. Many parks have facilities that you can jump and exercise on to break up a run, if not do step-ups on a bench, sit-ups on a wall, or try and push an oak tree over! Anything to mix-up a workout. Take a jumping rope with you, it’s a great idea for a fun and different aerobic exercise.
On top of my running I love Yoga, I practice a type called ‘Vinyasa’ or ‘Hot Vinyasa’ as I like to get sweaty! I also like ‘Bikram’; I’m not a ‘Hatha’ Yoga type of person as it’s too slow for me. You should find the style or styles that suit you. Yoga gives my muscles different tasks and a great stretch.
When I travel I take ‘dance cardio’ DVD’s with me, perch my laptop on the bed and go crazy around the hotel room, (crazy but controlled!) I also pack light ankle weights for leg exercises, doing a range of step-up’s and a variety of leg raises and kicks. I try to do this every day but also modify my routine every 7 days to; you got it, ‘confuse my muscles’.
It’s all about variety so your body has to make a ‘new and different’ effort with every session to work the muscles properly. NB: If you don’t have weights use books or cans of beer from the mini-bar. (Do not drink the beer afterwards!)
You’ll see results much more quickly by VARYING your physical exercise from workout to workout, from one week to another.
This ‘exercise plan’ isn’t to grow muscles, it is to make you stronger, leaner and to give you more toned arms, thighs and abs. Keep those vicious casting directors at bay!