Should you train twice a day? Is it a bad idea, or can there be benefits to two-a-days?
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to work out twice a day. Maybe your sport has several individual disciplines (like triathlon) and it’s a struggle to train properly without doubling up sometimes. Perhaps you’re on a serious muscle-building or weight-loss drive. Or could be you just love the gym! Is training twice a day harmful or beneficial? Here’s the truth about training twice per day.
Watch your overall workout time
Key for everyone is keeping an eye on total workout time. If adding a second workout to your day means dramatically increasing – or even doubling – your regular training time, it won’t be long before you hit a wall and under recover. A better strategy would be to split your regular daily workout in two (allowing for more intensity, and a double serving of metabolism boost) or pairing up an intense workout and a gentler counterpart.
Splitting your daily workouts in two
There are plenty of health, fitness and wellness benefits to getting active twice a day. When you train, your metabolism gets a boost, your body temperature rises, heart rate and circulation increase, the body’s detoxifying systems mobilize, and your digestive system works harder. So why not split your daily workout in two parts, so you harness double the benefits without over stretching yourself by over training?
The ideal combination of two-a-day workouts
If muscle gain is your goal, consider training hard and heavy (low reps) in the morning and then, at least 6 hours later, perform assistance work with cables and machines at higher rep ranges.
Endurance athletes and multi sport athletes should ensure that one of their two-a-day sessions is high intensity and the other is a gentler recovery session.
Gym bunnies and fitness junkies:
If you love working out, why not pair a gym workout with a class, or an indoor session with an outdoor session to maximize the variety of twice daily training.
How you choose to train depends on your goals: sport specific, muscle gain, fat loss or base fitness. Periodisation:
Make sure your bigger picture training program is periodised, with the twice-a-day training block built in as a strategy. Build up to it, and then recover from it. Leave enough recovery time: Try to leave around 6 hours between workouts, and at least 48 hours between weight-training workouts on the same muscle group. Don’t train twice a day every day. Fuel, refuel and hydrate:
If you’re training twice a day, you really need to get your nutrition, sports supplementation and hydration on point. Ensure you’re getting enough calories (even if weight loss is your goal) and ensure you are drinking optimal amounts of fluids and mineral replacements.
Recover Well :
As well as recovering between sessions, make sure you have at least one full rest day every 7 days and pay attention to recovery techniques such as foam rolling, stretching and gentle walks.
Get enough quality sleep :
By training twice a day, you are putting extra stress on your body. Treat it well by getting enough high quality sleep on a consistent basis. Don’t burn the candle at both ends.
If training twice a day suits your schedule and helps you meet your fitness goals, go for it. Just be aware that the harder you train, the harder you need to recover. So pay close attention to the time between training sessions, including sleep!