People always want to know why I harp on them about mixing up their workouts. It’s not because I’m just dead-set on getting my friends hooked on yoga. It’s because muscle confusion shows results. Why do you think P90X is so successful? It’s not because you get super strong and get huge muscles – you can only do that with weights, and lots of ’em. All you need with P90x is a DVD player and the discs. P90X works because it incorporates muscle confusion to the Nth degree – and this gets results!
You see, people often misunderstand how weight loss works when it comes from exercise. So many people think that the most important thing is to burn as many calories as possible in the half-hour or hour that you’re at the gym. While this isn’t a bad idea, it’s not gonna get you the results you want. In order to really see the benefits of exercise as quickly as possible, you need to work as many muscles as possible in as many ways as possible. The more muscles you work out, the more muscle you will have to re-build, which translates into more calories burned overtime.
You know that sore feeling you get after your first workout? Well, you want to maintain that feeling as long as possible. Everyone wants to get past it, but this is a bad idea. As soon as your muscles get bored, you see diminishing results. Obviously, you don’t want to kill your quads day after day after day, but you do want to challenge them at least once a week, and fill in the rest of your time killing other muscles. Every time you feel sore, your muscles are re-building from the damage they’ve sustained from your last workout.
This sounds gruesome, but it’s not. When you “re-build,” your muscles are not only repairing themselves, they’re making themselves stronger, so that they can better perform the exercises that made them break down in the first place. While this means you can run longer or lift more next time, it’s up to you to not just settle for the next best level. Keep challenging yourself, because every time you have to rebuild, you are burning tons of calories. You are burning calories as you sleep, as you sit at work, and as you drive home. This beats the hell out of a few extra calories at the gym, am I right?
The moral of the story is to “confuse” your muscles constantly. Don’t let them get complacent – they should have no idea what’s going on. When you feel that great burn, you’ll be sore tomorrow and burning calories at an impressive rate!
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