Sorry this is long and sounds like a rant but please give me your thoughts:
Of course doing the same set/rep/load/volume month after month is bad, but why do you need to change the exercises every so often? Appart from to correct imbalances and give certain joints a rest, why is it needed?
I kind of disagree with this principle, can anyone prove to me that it works and why?
A bench press is always targeting your chest, whether you do it with dumbbells or barbell. You may argue that it also targets the triceps, I don’t disagree but you do the bench press in order to make your chest bigger. Some exercises suit some people better than others (it depends on their structure) - for example, someone with a long torso and short legs would suit doing the leg press/lunges (or even the Deadlift inside a shrug bar) more than they would the squat (due to the load being greater on the back with the squat for people with this build)…but the point is, you have to do an exercise for yourself which works the desired muscles the most.
The argument I usually get back is that “it targets your muscles from a different angle”. What??? I don’t know about you but when I do a flat bench press, I want to work my pecs. And when I do incline bench press, I want to work my upper pecs. It’s simple!
When I change the angle of the bench it’s so that I can work a different muscle group more…not so that my chest will be “confused”. A muscle is either under tension or it’s not. The muscle that is under the most tension will grow the most.
When you change an exercise for a specific muscle group it takes a while for your body to adjust. This is because your body is using different stabilizer muscles around the target muscle and it takes a while for the system to get efficient at communicating with the newly involved muscles. So basically, if you change exercises you have to use a load that’s lesser on the target muscle in order for the other stabilizer muscles and communication system to “catch up”. Where’s the logic in that???
IF you started growing more after changing exercises I believe this is due to the fact that when your strength gains stopped on a certain exercise, you basically were approaching overtraining (either via CNS fatigue, or through individual muscle group overtraining) and when you changed exercises (and thereby decreases load and stress), you started progressing again - due to not being overly fatigued.
I believe that progress is very simple to make as long as you de-load or take a weeks break off whenever progress stagnates (not to mention getting enough rest and calories). I believe that changing exercises simply makes you take the longer way around and complicates your training.
When you swap exercises, certain muscles grow, and the ones that aren’t being taxed get smaller. If the squat makes your legs grow like a weed, why swap the squat for something else when gains start to slow down (other than to give your joints a rest)? When your gains start to slow down this is a sign that you need to reduce the load/volume for a short period.