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Not sure what to think about “muscle confusion”? 

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Not sure what to think about “muscle confusion”? 

Time to pump that iron. Muscular build sportsman taking weights from a rack in a gym. Focus is on hand. Close up.

Many of us who are plugged into fitness trends have heard of “muscle confusion,” a type of exercise routine that calls for frequently changing workouts to consistently challenge our muscles and help them gain more size and strength. Recently, a new study was published that focused on whether the muscle confusion theory holds any weight. 

As part of the study, a group of 19 men was divided and assigned two different exercise routines. One group performed the same exercise routine in the same order for eight weeks. The other group was randomly assigned exercises to perform during the same amount of time. 

At the end of the study, there were no significant differences between the men’s muscular size and strength. One big difference between the two groups did exist, however. In comparison to the group that performed the same routine on a regular basis, those who followed more random routines felt much more motivated to exercise at the end of the eight weeks. While muscle confusion didn’t necessarily have a significantly different physical impact, it did have a positive mental impact.

Learn more about this research at The New York Times.