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The importance of muscle confusion: it’s time to shake it up

I am constantly being asked about which class I think is best between Spinning, Pilates, Zumba or weights? I usually answer: "I love them all!"

Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

I like to encourage my clients and members to try different kinds of physical activity on a regular basis. I believe that the more you change what you do physically (muscle confusion) the better your body responds. Our bodies acclimate to the work we present them with. If you are working out the same way at the same intensity every time you work out, you aren’t going to see any marked results. You have to shake it up. Try something new.

I know that starting a new gym activity can be intimidating; new instructor, new moves, and the most frightening thought, “What if I can’t keep up?” Don’t worry, everyone has the same hesitations.

When trying a class for the first time you should try to get there five to ten minutes before and introduce yourself to the instructor. Explain that you are new, ask for their assistance and don’t forget to inform them of any limitations you might have such as injuries. A good instructor will help you set up any equipment needed and offer beginner modifications throughout the class. You might even get some personal assistance even in a group setting. 

Most importantly, work at your own pace. If you feel your pushing yourself too much, lower your arms, march in place or grab some water, take a minute to slow down and reset your pace.

Remember that it is normal to feel some muscle soreness the next day; that is just your body responding to the new activity, it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. The hardest classes are always the first few ones. But, by the third class you will probably be getting the hang of it and things will only get easier from there.

So get moving! You are going to do GREAT!

Kelly Farris is the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness.