Training twice a day can be grueling, but there are ways to ensure you are maximizing your growth.
There could be any number of reasons you train twice a day. For many sports, training twice a day is nothing unusual, for a lighter session may be matched with a more intense one. Often times, for endurance sports, there’s a lift thrown in the mix as well. But some people may find they are more productive if they work out twice a day and it has become a staple in their routine. Whatever your reason may be, training twice a day can take it’s toll and its important to know the proper steps to take in order to maximize growth as effectively as possible.
For those who love the gym and find two a days enjoyable, that’s great and keep going. But for those bodybuilders who are in competition prep, the reason you would train twice a day is for added frequency. The more time you train effectively, the more you get out of your training and into your performance. With all this being said, it relies on you taking the best care of yourself when it comes to nutrition and recovery, so don’t be impulsive about this. It requires a well-thought out plan of attack to succeed.
Let’s take a look at what training twice a day means for us and exactly what it entails. The benefits and drawbacks are good to know, as well as helpful tips and tricks that get us to where we want to be so we maximize our growth as effectively as possible.
What Are The Benefits Of Training Twice A Day?
When it comes to training twice a day, the benefit, as said before, is frequency. The more time you are in the gym, the more you get out of your training, leading to those gains we desire most. This will work to increase training volume and keep you moving as you look to accelerate not only muscle growth, but also performance gains and results (1). This offers you a way to really optimize not only your time, but personal output so you don’t succumb to overtraining but still ride the fine line that all elite athletes do.
How About The Drawbacks
Some potential drawbacks to training twice a day can result from a lack of care for your body in terms of supplementation, nutrition, and recovery. You can run the risk of overtraining which occurs when we don’t allow ourselves enough recovery time between sessions.
As a result of that heavy load we put on by the continued stress and strain of these big lifts, it can be challenging to gauge just how far to push ourselves. Some signs of overtraining are high heart rate, fatigue, decreased appetite, and a real exertion to get through even a simple workout. If we don’t take care of ourselves when it comes to training and overtraining, we also run the risk of injury which would keep us out longer than we want (2).
Tips For Those Training Twice A Day
For those who enjoy training twice a day, or feel it is a necessity, here are some helpful tips to get you on your way to avoid overtraining and really tackle those grueling workouts as effectively as possible.
Going into these training days, it is vital to have a strategic plan. You won’t be able to max bench press in the morning and then max deadlift and squat in the afternoon. This is where that careful planning comes into play and you must be diligent with how you structure your day. Something like a heavy chest day in the morning and a lighter shoulder day in the afternoon would work well. If you want to go heavy on both, try and work totally different muscle groups to not cause fatigue through overlap.
Get Enough Fuel
Fuel is more than important on any day, let alone a day where you work out twice. Making sure you get adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats into your body will ensure a solid macronutrient balance, as well as offering you the chance at absorbing those essentials micronutrients as well (3). Take the time in between workouts to really fuel up and get the right nutrients into your body.
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We all know hydration is key and easy to neglect. Make sure you drink enough water, but also any drink that may contain electrolytes and all the good stuff you want and need most. Staying hydrated not only keeps you feeling great overall since it will work as a fatigue buster, but proper hydration can lead to a solid fluid balance, increased muscle fuel, maintained caloric control, and will give you clarity and focus for productivity (4). Don’t sell yourself short and under hydrate, especially when training twice a day.
Stretching is one of the more common things we don’t put enough effort in, or just skip completely. Stretching and finding a good routine will benefit in all three phases of your workout: before, during, and after. Before it is great to do some dynamic stretching to really get those muscles primed and ready to go.
After, when the muscles are filled with lactic acid and blood, stretching can work to eliminate toxins for decreased soreness and increase the potential for muscle fiber growth. Arguably, the best time to stretch is during your workout. Stretching in between sets expands the fascia and pulls the connective tissues and muscle apart which works to separate the muscles and provide for definition.
For those who train twice a day, there are important steps to take so you don’t fall victim to overtraining and excessive fatigue. As an elite athlete, you know your body and it will tell you what it needs. Continue to thrive and grind away in the gym and strategically work to maximize muscle growth during these long training days so your performance is unstoppable.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Hansen, Anne K.; Fischer, Christian P.; Plomgaard, Peter; Andersen, Jesper L.; et al. (2005). “Skeletal muscle adaptation: training twice every second day vs. training once daily”. (source)
- Kellmann, M. (2010). “Preventing overtraining in athletes in high-intensity sports and stress/recovery monitoring”. (source)
- Lambert, Charles P.; Frank, Laura L.; Evans, William J. (2004). “Macronutrient considerations for the sport of bodybuilding”. (source)
- Shirreffs, S. M. (2009). “Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks”. (source)