How Does the P90X2 “Muscle Confusion” Work?
You may have first heard the term “muscle confusion” when Tony Horton first developed the P90X program. It was a phrase designed to explain how a workout plateau could be avoided by not doing the same workout over and over again – thus keeping your muscles “confused” and unable to stop growing.
It sounds a little goofy, but the principle is correct. Plateaus happen – you’ve no doubt experienced them yourself – because we condition our body to a single workout.
How workout plateaus happen
Let’s say you always bicycle the same 10 mile route. After Day One of your route, your quads and calves are killing you and your lower back aches. But by the time you’ve completed the course of your bicycling workout for six weeks or so, you’ve become faster and you no longer experience any muscle pain. That’s because your quads, calves, lower back, and the other muscles responsible for doing this particular workout have adapted to your 10 mile route workload, and they no longer need to grow.
You’ve reached a workout plateau, and continuing to do that same workout will not produce any greater fitness or muscle-building benefits. (It also gets kind of boring.)
“Muscle Confusion” in P90X and P90X2
Tony Horton’s P90X beat the workout plateau by constantly introducing new moves and workout routines during the three phases of your exercises so that you continue to challenge your muscles (and your brain) with material that calls for new and different actions.
The short training cycles keep your muscles challenged, so that each phase of P90X is as effective at building muscle (and stripping away fat) as the first.
For P90X2, the muscle confusion is still working for you, but the highly redesigned program is going to give you much greater targeting to the specific weaknesses in your body that encourage adaptation and the plateau effect. In particular, the P.A.P. (Post Activation Potentiation) heavy load workouts in Phase 2 will rip the roof off of your expectations by keeping those muscles explosively gaining ground.
P90X2 Nutrition Guide information on the way!
Be sure to check out my original post on the P90X2 program HERE, and watch for the next article on the expanded (and somewhat confusing?) Nutrition Guide. The good news on that front, btw, is that the program, while incredibly complex, is not only vegan and vegetarian-friendly, it’s also pretty flexible and adaptable. But more info coming on that soon.
And I’ll have a few more posts coming as well so that you can make the best possible decision on whether or not the new P90X2 is the right match for your.
Meanwhile, leave me a comment below, especially if you have special requests for posts, or questions, thoughts, and experiences you’d like to share with the community…