How often do you guys change up your splits, exercises, or even order of doing your exercises?
When I started working out about 15 years ago I was very inflexible about what exercises I did, what order I did them, and number of times I did them. I made huge gains right away but I also plateaued rather quickly and I got quite discouraged.
I recently started working out again after quite a few years. Now I go to the gym having a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do. But I'm flexible as to whether or not I do that exact routine.
For example on chest day I usually do flat (barbell), incline (BB or DB), decline, incline fly, something else depending on what I feel like doing.
Doing this routine for the last month or 2 I have increased my flat bench by about 50lbs, but the incline and decline have suffered. Last night I went in and did decline first and I was absolutely shocked to be able to get 225lbs for 6 reps when before my 1RM was 190. My flat bench suffered a bit but I did surprisingly well on incline also.
You confuse them from deviating from the normal routine. Take the guy who was looking for a new shrug routine for example. Introducing him to farmers walks and barbell shrugs are going to shock the hell out of his traps and force them to react. Got me?