Is training Twice a day a good idea?
This is the question I was asked earlier today; my answer to this was a simple and resounding YES.
However, there is a caveat – you must not train the same way twice per day (Elite pros are excluded from this rule.).
If you are experienced in training, but new to double daily sessions, training twice a day can help you reap untold amounts of rewards, but you will need to ensure these three things first:
1 – AM is high threshold training, PM is moderate/low threshold.
2 – Carbs are your friend. High carbs are essential on double session days (variable according to goals).
3 – 4 days MAXIMUM training – 2 days on one day off, 2 days on then 2 days off will work well.
*As your experience grows rule 3 will change, but the first two always stay the same.
I would suggest doing and 8 week cycle at most, then a deload or even a week off would be advised.
To get the most benefit for twice per day training I would do the same muscle group (or same super set of muscles) on the same day.
Yesterday I wrote about motor unit recruitment, this style of training compliments it perfectly.
Think that your body will be recruiting all its fibres in the morning (High Threshold), they will be totally fried and couldn’t possibly do anymore (they just want to rest), then in the afternoon you go at it again with moderate/low intensity (causing even more motor unit recruitment to be required) which will force your body to adapt by building not only new neural pathways but also stimulate the need for new muscle fibres.
This happens because your body learns to expect the extra load and super compensates by create more muscle, fortifying its current muscle/connection and for the potential to generate more force when it trains in this way again.
Essentially you’re pushing to your limit and slightly beyond (overreaching).
Here is a simple program to help you:
Day 1 Lower Body (Quads/Hams)
A1 – Front Squat 8×3
A2 – GHR x 3
B1 – Back Squat 5×5
B2 – RDL x5
A1 – Squat Wave 3-5 x7,5,3
A2 – Hamstring Curl 7,5,3
B1 – Lunge 6×8
B2 – Gym Ball Hamstring Curl 6×8
Day 2 Upper Body (Chest/Back)
A1 – Incline BB Bench 4×6
A2 – Wide Grip Pull Up x 6
B1 – Flat Bench (semi sup grip) 4×6
B2 – Bent Over Row (sup grip) x6
A1 – Dumbbell Semi Incline 1 1/4 Reps 4×12
A2 – Cable Row (dual cable) 1 1/4 Reps 4×12
B1 – Cable Fly 5×10
B2 – Cable Reverse Fly 5×10
Day 3 Lower Body (Hams/Quads)
A1 – Deficit Snatch Grip Deadlift 10×5
B1 – Good Morning 10×5
A1 – Heel Raised Squat 3×8 +25
A2 – Prowler x20-30m
B1 – Farmers Walk 5x20m
B2 – Bound Jumps x3
Day 4 Upper Body (Shoulders/Arms)
A1 – Over Head BB Press 5x 1-5
A2 – Lat Pull Down (pro grip) 1-5
B1 – Tricep Dip 3x 1-5 (weighted)
B2 – Chin Up 1-5 (weighted)
A1 – Dumbbell Shoulder Press x6
A2 – Upright Row x12
A3 – Lateral Raise x24 (seated)
B1 – Bicep Curl (dumbbell) 4×12
B2 – Tricep Extension (over head) x12
8 weeks or more preferable, 8 rotations of this example cycle.