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The Truth About Muscle Confusion

Shock your muscles into new growth with these four techniques.
Muscle confusion technique for muscle growth
Shock muscles into growth

A rise in the popularity of workout DVDs like T25 may bring up questions about the benefits of body-weight exercises versus those of traditional resistance training with heavier weight. Here's what we know about the at-home fitness craze: Doing a body-weight/light dumbbell exercise plan for a few months is a form of muscle confusion and may yield significant results. 

Muscle confusion is the regular practice of changing things up in your training program, including using different modes of activity and exercises. Body-weight training, a staple of popular instructional workout videos, is a form of muscle confusion that can be used to get lean, increase stability and build functional strength.

“If you look at the strength and power of gymnasts, it’s clear that body-weight programming is capable of producing tremendous results,” says Chris Frankel, strength and conditioning coach and head of human performance at TRX.

Muscle confusion can also occur within a resistance training program, by using different set and rep schemes, rest periods, and exercises. We asked Stew Smith, CSCS, ex-Navy SEAL and owner of and Bert Sorin, strength coach and co-founder of to explain how to make huge gains using muscle confusion during weightlifting.

Use these four lifting tweaks to spark new muscle and push past what you thought was a training sticking point.


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