April 15, 2011

Muscle Confusion

Unless you've been hiding under a rock the last couple of years, you've probably heard of P-90X. It's this insane (and I use that word specifically) DVD workout program that has taken over infomercials and late night TV. And yes, 2 years ago I caved in and ordered it. It almost killed me! In fact, I turned it into P30X - I only lasted 30 of the 90 days. While I still use the individuals DVD's from time to time when I'm in the mood for getting my butt kicked, there's one thing I learned more than anything else from Tony Horton's experience and madness: the art of muscle confusion. And understanding this principle has not only helped me in the weight room and in physical exercise, but in all areas of my life. Allow me to explain.

Let's take Jim, a typical health club member who works out 3-4 times a week. Jim's not interested in looking like Vin Diesel, but he doesn't want to look like Steve Urkel anymore either. So he sets up a workout program. It would probably look something like this:
M - Chest & Back
T - Cardio
W - Arms
T - Cardio
F - Shoulders & Legs
S - Running
S - Rest

And the Repeat is what ultimately winds up killing you! Your muscles begin to figure out - or predict - what you're going to do. They become trained and more resistant to the punishment you're trying to impose on them. What muscle confusion teaches is that on week 3 you should come along and workout your Chest & Biceps, then your Back & Legs, and then finish the week with Shoulders & Triceps. What happens? You're muscles are caught off guard. They get hacked off at you! You put a beating on them that they weren't expecting. And...you GROW! And that's the point. Isn't it?

Can I make a suggestion? You need some muscle confusion in your life. Is it possible that you're doing what you've always been doing? Driving to work the same way? Eating the same thing for breakfast every day? Doing the same workout routine over and over and wondering why you're not seeing any results anymore? When's the last time you tried something new? Gone on a hike - just you and your Bible? Tasted something you've never tasted before? You know, they used to always say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, sometimes I think you need to rethink that: "If it ain't broke, maybe you need to break it!" SNAP OUT OF IT! Don't allow complacency or apathy to even gain a foothold. I once heard it said that we begin to lose our passion when something becomes too familiar. Sadly, many things in our lives have not only become familiar, we don't even notice them anymore. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that's healthy.

Are there areas of your life where you're just hitting Repeat? I'm sure you've heard it before, but Einstein defined INSANITY like this: Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
Are you insane? [Maybe you shouldn't answer that.]

Stop hitting Repeat! Stop doing the same things...over and over!
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Jesus offers "newness of life" - seek Him, pursue Him, and live that new life out today!

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