The Motor City may be better known for manufacturing muscle cars than for its citizens’ muscles, but in many neighborhoods in Detroit, gyms are big business. Having access to a multitude of free weights and fitness equipment alone won’t help your muscles reach their fullest potential, though. Muscles can, ironically, be kind of lazy without proper guidance. Fortunately, the principles of muscle confusion can help to push muscles out of their comfort zones and onward to new heights. What Is Muscle Confusion? Anyone who has dabbled in lifting weights knows that your body naturally reaches strength plateaus. Why? As it turns out, muscles tend to be a little lazy. When you work out, your muscles go through an adaptation period, growing so that they can handle the extra stress being put on them. But when they’re exposed to the same amount of stress or intensity all the time, they get used to it and promptly stop making gains.To keep muscles from getting too comfortable, an athletic trainer named Charles Poliquin developed the concept of nonlinear periodization. It may sound fancy, but “nonlinear” simply refers to the constant fluctuation in workout intensity (as opposed to progressing methodically through higher weight loads, for instance), and “periodization” refers to a specific plan for cycling through workout changes in order to give all the muscles enough attention. Since its introduction in 1988, nonlinear periodization, or simply “muscle confusion,” has made its way into a number of popular workout styles and gyms across the country. Where to Build Muscle in the Motor CityIf it sounds like muscle confusion could improve your workouts, you might want to visit Mid American Fitness in Farmington Hills, where Insanity lessons incorporate the concept into high-intensity interval-training workouts. Among other Detroit gyms ideal for strength training, Detroit Tough Gym stands out for its wide selection of equipment—ranging from CrossFit-style tires and ropes to conventional exercise machines—and a massive schedule of about 50 classes per week. But no one gym fits all sizes nor does one approach cater to everyone’s goals. No matter how you choose to get fit, it may be worth comparing options at much-loved local gyms such as these:CrossFit BMW: Benchmark Workouts: 3124 Cass Ave.Boll Family YMCA: 1401 Broadway St.Retrofit Studio: 704 W. Eleven Mile Rd., Royal Oak, MI
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