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Published:August 4th, 2011 09:58 EST

My Famous Twin Adds to my Muscle Confusion

By Donna Cavanagh

There are days when my brain is easily confused.  I make the wrong turns on the road or do things like forget why I went to the grocery store and stand by the entrance straining my brain for any kind of hint as to why I am there. So, I have decided to try and not overload my brain so it stays with me for years to come. In an effort to prolong its life, I have decided to give up math. I think a brain without math could last a long time for me.  So far, that idea has proven helpful.  However, the other day, I was at the gym, and one of the trainers tried to explain to me the math behind the "Muscle Confusion" workout. 

I had turned him off completely, but then he said something about muscle confusion helping me to get into tip top shape faster, so I opened my brain back up just a bit to let some of his conversation sink in. 

"My muscles are confused?" I asked. "Is that why I trip over my feet?"

"Well, no. You are just klutzy, but you can be a really fit klutz," he noted.

I wasn`t offended by his observation; I can attest to the fact that I am sort of uncoordinated. But I was intrigued by this workout idea which apparently is the newest tool in the get fit  arsenal. The concept is to train your body so your muscles don`t know they are being trained. You work on different exercises and machines on different days. You work out one set of muscles; give them a rest for a day or two while you work on another set of muscles and so on and so forth until you are svelte and strong.  Sounds good right?

 I had some questions: What if my muscles figure out my diabolical plan of control and domination? Can they counteract it? I don`t want them to get in revenge mode and transform me into a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Michelin man.

If the trainer is correct and he could give me six pack abs, that would be a real life miracle consider I carry a quarter keg around my mid-section normally. Despite my daily crunches and abs machine workouts, the world might still assume that I down Tastykakes and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies on a daily basis--which I do--but the exercises are supposed to counter those dietary vices.

I did like the trainer`s confidence in this muscle confusion theory, but I didn`t like the changes in my lifestyle I would have to adopt to maximize results. In order for me to get the most out of the workouts, I would have to totally abandon the dessert fests--yes, the aforementioned Tastykakes and Milanos. Am I willing to make this sacrifice? Honestly, I don`t think giving up these items cold turkey would be a good thing for my family or the world in general.    

"What kind of new age, gym crap is this?" I asked bluntly. "The reason I go to the gym is so that I can indulge in my sweet treats without the consequence of having to get a credit card to Lane Bryant."

"Well, you are getting older, and you should avoid these things at all costs--at your age," the stupid boy added.

"How old do you think I am, you twit?"  I imagined that response; I didn`t say it. He should have been able to read my face though, and because he didn`t see that he had insulted me, my confidence in him waned, and then he said something that totally made me despise him. I wouldn`t have been so freaked out if what he said was something I had never heard before. But I had heard it before; in fact, I have been told this over and over again, and the most recent comment was said the day before this workout.  He said:

"I have wanted to tell you this, and I keep forgetting, but do you know that you are the identical twin for the mom from That 70s show? You look just like Kitty."

For the record, I think the actress who plays her is cute. I don`t mean to insult her, but her character in the show, the one I look like, has hair that is teased beyond belief and well, her voice is a little squeaky and I was already upset over the Tastykakes and Milanos, and so I was not happy, so I stormed out of the gym. 

My first instinct was correct: This muscle confusion therapy was not a good idea. I should have kept my mind and brain closed.  Now, I can`t eat Tastykakes or Milanos without guilt and I look like a bouffant-haired woman from the early 1970s.  I think I either need to find a new gym or move somewhere where big hair is still in.