What does your fitness routine look like? Are you going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week? Most likely, you’re doing a single workout session on any particular day. For some people, that’s enough or even more than enough. Working out twice a day? That sounds impossible unless you’re a professional athlete of some sort! This is not exactly true. It can be done and it has so many health benefits.
One clear benefit of working out twice in a day is that you’re getting more physical activity done in one day. Increasing your daily physical activity can fight the risk of coronary heart disease and help you trim your waist, according to one study. If one of your fitness goals is to improve performance, then two-a-day training might be for you. One expert pointed out that training twice a day can trigger accelerated muscle growth and gains. Increasing the volume of your workout allows for improved protein synthesis, metabolic capacity and anabolic output. So, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain more strength and endurance, working out twice a day can help you get there much faster. The latter is particularly useful for people who are building up towards fitness goals like marathons or sports training.
If you’re worried that twice-a-day training means doubling your daily routine, it doesn’t have to be. Think of it as splitting your usual tough workout into two sessions, each of them having a particular focus. For example, you can do strength exercises in the morning and then cardio in the evening. There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to working out twice a day.
Before you make your plan, make sure it’s one that is safe for you to follow. Give yourself enough time to recover between workouts. If you don’t get enough rest in between, you can suffer from burn out. Recovery means sleeping, eating and hydrating well. What you want to do is be smart about your twice-a-day routine. Two intensive workouts in one day will not only exhaust you, but could lead to serious health risks. You do not want to put your neuromuscular system on overdrive.
There are some guidelines you can follow to make sure your twice-a-day workouts will be maximised and not merely wear you out. Allow at least six hours of recovery in between workouts. This is a good rule to follow if you do moderate-intensity exercises. For higher-intensity workouts, get more than six hours of rest. You’ll want to reserve your more challenging training for your first session and less demanding exercises for the second one. During recovery time, make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and staying hydrated. Even on rest days, you’ll want to increase your calorie intake as well as properly de-stress, like through meditation or getting a massage. When you’re just starting out, go slow. Follow up with a rest day after your first twice-a-day training and observe how your body adapts to your new routine. Gradually increase your training volume.