There’s a notion in bodybuilding that you can confuse your muscles into growing. It’s based on the belief that if you don’t change exercises every so often, you’ll plateau and stop making progress. I’d like to take some of the confusion out of this idea. Doing so should help you get the most out of your efforts to manage your training.
For a well-conditioned muscle, any effective change of exercise must present a stronger or unaccustomed stimulus to the tissue. There are a limited number of stimuli that make muscles grow, and thus a limited number of things you can change that would make a difference.
Let’s look at these growth options one at a time and see if a new exercise can be used to accomplish it.