Two a-days are a practice reserved for those with luxuries of time and strength of spirit.
In this age of increasing amateur fitness, more and more gym-goers are finding excuses to fit workouts in over 7 times a week. Here are some tips to help manage the grueling but rewarding practice of two- a days.
1. Recovery Is King
Of course this always applies, but extreme attention must be payed when doing two a-days. If one is not getting enough sleep or calories, two workouts a day will start to become a detriment rather than a boost. Also, sitting at a desk for 8 hours in between workouts is a recipe for a stiff inhibited body- vulnerable to injury. Extra care must be taken both during off time, and during warm ups/ cool downs to make sure the body is supple and ready to work.
2. Diversify Workouts
Two a-days are not meant to be just an acceleration of an average workout program. Doing a program twice as fast as intended usually means you’re not working hard enough, or the program sucks. Two a-days are beneficial for the individual looking to attack the body in multiple ways. Cardio workouts are excellent pairings on heavy bodybuilding days, can be done with a variety of machines, and can be anaerobic or aerobic in focus. As far as weightlifting, hitting the same movements multiple times a week can be beneficial, but the law of diminishing returns always looms large. Make sure you have multiple ways to hit each body part, and that resistance types, set, and rep ranges are altered to constantly provide a new stimulus while allowing for recovery.
3. Have A Goal
Often, the biggest danger of doing two-a-days is becoming confused in routine- making up workouts on the way to the gym, altering workouts senselessly while at the gym, etc. It’s easy to be swept up in the feeling of ‘the grind,’ doing a ton of work without actually having a specific intention behind any of it. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish and plan around that, or at least use it to orient yourself every day, so that the work, which often becomes monotonous, does not become mindless. Putting in twice the work and not seeing results because the work had no clear purpose can be a damaging psychological blow.
4. Make sure you have the drive.
From my own experience in sports training, often doing two-a-days becomes half-assing two workouts instead of really pushing through one. When one knows that they will have to work out later in the day, it’s easy to take the first workout lightly. This is a nasty habit. Both workouts don’t need to be balls to the wall, but they need to be complete workouts. Don’t delude you’re doing twice the work if you’re really just taking twice the time every day.
How do you prepare for two-a-days?