Exercise Variation is Overrated

It is so crazy when clients come in and state that they did same exercise the last time and think that somehow it won’t help them if they do the same exercise over again. 

I think this myth came from the term “muscle confusion” and P90x.  The belief is that you have to confuse your muscles with a variety of exercises to make change.

I tell people that I can take one movement and without ever changing the movement have hundreds of variation. 

Let’s take the hex bar dead-lift, for example, as it is a great overall complex lift. 

1.     I could do the traditional 3 sets of 10.

2.     I could do a long rep count with lighter weight for 3 sets

3.     I could do a short rep count with higher weight for 6 sets.

4.     I could do the same long rep count with very little rest between the sets for 4 sets.

5.     I could do the short rep count with long rests and add more weight

6.     I could do 6 sets of 3 really heavy weight and a ton of rest.

7.     I could do jumping bar lifts for power

8.     I could do a moderate amount of weight for 8 sets, limit the rest to 40 to 60 seconds and                then do another set same weight same reps.  I could do this for 4 sets if I want to add size               and strength. 

The reps and sets all have a design to deliver a particular result.  Some of the sets above will improve strength, some muscle size, power, power endurance, muscle endurance, metabolic load, etc. 

So you can do the same exercises daily and have a completely different workout.  The key to the variation is not the exercise as much as how the muscle is working in the movement pattern.  

Personally I am all about power to weight so I like to lift heavy for my strength on my lower body coupled with power exercises on the Versa-pulley.  My upper-body I like to have some size and strength so I add these into my workout to super-set and save time, alternating from one lower body to upper body pulling or pushing or some dynamic core exercises. 

Truth in Fitness:

Jacques DeVore , CSCS