“Muscle Confusion.” Practical implementation or marketing genius? Marketing Genius. Period.
I have heard 1,569,123 (+/- a million-ish) clients or coaches talk about how “switching it up” is the key to all of the GAINZ to be had.
The reality is that, yes, forced adaptation // progressive overload // P90X’s mismanagement of information IS A REAL THING in that to get stronger you need to ask progressed stimulus from the muscle fiber, but it has been blown way out of proportion and we are still cleaning up the fallout.
Eric Cressey has a great article on this. Here is my favorite takeaway.
The whole idea behind changing the major pieces of the workout every 30-days just doesn’t hold a lot of weight when you really look into it…and all of the major thought leaders in the industry tend to agree. The area that is has the most attention is in the sports performance world where loading/de-loading is quite important. But, if you’re reading this, then I’ll assume that you’re spending a majority of your time coaching the general population // adults // a really damn cool thing. With that said, what do they really need? They need adaptive, challenging, safe, and an experience-rich workout.
Your clients will bring up (if they haven’t already) that they think that they need to switch it up.
Here are a few things that have to be considered in response:
- Sometimes they are bringing it up because they are bored. This is a valid point, but don’t be so fast to jump to BOSU-Medball-Backflips. Sometimes just looking at your communication, ability to get them excited about the process, and overall feel of your workouts is enough to keep them entertained.
- Educating them that, in the words of Kevin Carr, “Strength is a skill which means that you have to do it often to get good at it.” What happens when you get good at strength? You get stronger, look better, feel better, and all of the good things that come from that. Also, keep in mind that for a lot of these clients the ability to master strength movements such as a Deadlift or a Pull-up is something that they get excited about because they usually never thought they’d be able to in their life. If we are constantly changing things, then we will lose that.
- Requiring a muscle to change is often as simple as adding 2.5 pounds to the lift. Repeating that for months = a lot of strength gained // GAINZ 🙂
- In perspective, using the MBSC Thrive program as an example, in the Strength section alone clients have the ability to master 20-ish exercises. That is a lot when you aren’t a fitness pro and it TAKES TIME.
- Communicating from the get-go that we will do (insert common PUSH, PULL, HINGE, SQUAT, CORE) exercises often because of all of the above points, is a really good way to set the tone and reduce the questions from ever arising.
Thanks for reading and Kaizen on, Beast