The weight training principle known as “Muscle Confusion” is the core training theory behind P90X, the at-home workout program that took the nation by storm.
The basis of the muscle confusion theory is to train the body in different ways, so that it can never adapt to the the training, which means your training will never “plateau” as it can if you do the same repetitive workouts and weight training day to day, week to week. A training “plateau” is when the body becomes accustomed to the training routine, which makes any progress slow or completely stagnate.
What Muscle Confusion Looks Like
While the muscle confusion training principle is not complex, I always find it easier to explain the principle with a couple of visuals. Below is what regular training looks like with traditional workouts:
As you can see from above, with traditional training, the body adapts to the training over time and progress comes to a stop. With muscle confusion, the body never gets that chance to adapt to the training, which results in better more consistent results over time.
Below is an image of how the muscle confusion theory works in principle:
As you can see from the above image, a training “plateau” never occurs with the muscle confusion principle. This means greater results and greater gains.
What is P90X Muscle Confusion Training?
The P90X program is broken down into three phases. During these phases, you perform a series of exercise videos in a certain order, and then the phase is followed by a recovery week. This recovery week is when your body is given a bit of a rest before the next phase of training begins.
I know some of you must be thinking the P90X program must be very confusing to follow, but the great news is that it really is quite simple to follow, because the 90-day schedule is laid out for you. The schedule tells you exactly what exercise video to do on each and every day.
Is P90X Muscle Confusion for Real?
I had actually never read anything about the myth of P90X muscle confusion until doing a little research for this article. After all, the muscle confusion training principle has been around since the 1970′s and has helped thousands of individuals obtain the best physiques of their lives.
So, I think it is safe to say muscle confusion is not a myth – it works, and it works very well. Our bodies are built to adapt as a means of survival, so of course, the body will adjust to the same exercise if they are repeated over an over.
I don’t think there’s very much I can really explain more about the science behind the P90X muscle confusion principle, so I am going to leave you with this video about muscle confusion, and how it can benefit your own training.