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The goal of any athlete, professional or hobbyist, is to go hard whether at the gym or otherwise. While some train like a beast, hard and heavy once per day, you haven’t experienced hardcore until you’ve tried a Two-a-day. Double-timing it doesn’t mean hammering the same things twice, or utilizing the same concepts each time you step into the gym… With an appropriate structure, twice-a-day programs are a great way to manage one’s time and accomplish multiple goals in one day.
Without getting into linear or weekly/daily undulating program principles, it is important to understand that an athlete’s goal from day to day is to apply the appropriate stimulus in relation to recovery to foster progression in one’s goals. For your first 2-a-day program, it’s best to take your present program and attempt splitting the structure and then increasing your training volume and principles from there.
To begin, try this:
- First Session: Strength
- Second Session: Cardio or Hypertrophic
There are many benefits to splitting programming to separate sessions including the obvious fresh energy for each goal set. Approaching a program element fresh can mean enhanced response time and more consistent intensity. The better the intensity and the more consistent the form, the better the results, whether for performance or conditioning.
The key drawback; however, is the same principle… Time. If one is a poor judge of time and rest, a 2-a-day program session can easily take twice as long making it significantly inefficient. With that in mind, given the fresh approach when attempting each session, it is very important to stay strict to one’s program to avoid hindering one’s recovery. This is why when most speak of training 2-a-day programs, it usually ends with a statement claiming something along the lines of only handling the program for a short period of time.
With that being said, it is important to apply 3 simple rules:
- Plan beforehand… set conditions, rest time and training time to avoid over training or wasting time
- Eat appropriately to keep your energy and recovery appropriate to your expenditure, not just for the day but for the session
- Listen to your body and start small… even with a high level of athleticism, applying two-a-day sessions can be taxing and often times exhausting
Try the following split for your program and see if 2-a-days are for you:
Take 5 sets to accomplish a 5 rep max for Squat
Back Squat 3x5 at 85%
Heavy Good Mornings 4x10
10 Minute Steady warm-up run
10 100m Sprints at a 1:2 time-to-rest ratio (Time sprinted x2 for rest between sets… extended to x3 if needed to sustain)
Keeping tight with principle and programming, 2-a-days can be some of the most efficient styles of training for single or multiple goals. At the end of the day, efficiency is key and in a busy world, utilizing the most efficient means to a goal will result in the best and most consistent results.
Written by Rob Saeva of No Coast Strength and Conditioning
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.