Is it just me, or has there suddenly been an increase in the number of people doing twice a day workouts?
I see it daily on social media; Facebook status updates, Tweets, weekly workout recap blog posts.
I see it frequently in the gym; back to back spin classes, upper/lower-morning/evening body part splits.
I’ve had clients ask me to program twice a day workouts for them. And group fitness participants head to the weight room immediately after an exhausting Bootcamp class for another hour of lifting weights.
There’s even a hashtag for the movement: #2adays (captured from my Twitter stream with handles removed to protect the innocent…)
Proponents of ‘2-a-days’ argue that they’re a great way to jump start weight loss, work through strength plateaus and put on loads of muscle fast.
What do I think about twice a day workouts?
In my opinion, unless you’re a professional athlete (meaning you earn money for your efforts and you have coaches carefully monitoring your program) OR your twice a day workouts are very short in duration (meaning you get up from your desk to do some squats, lunges, pushups and planks a few times a day), ‘2adays’ are more likely to undermine your health and fitness goals than propel you towards them.
- exercising too frequently can lead to overtraining syndrome (think weight loss plateaus, weight gain, fatigue and loss of strength)
- repetitive strain injuries often result from performing the same movements over and over (especially if those movements involve impact)
- improvements in strength and increases in muscle mass require rest (24 to 72 hours between workouts, depending on your goals)
- metabolic adaptations to longer, more frequent workouts can lead to fat storage rather than fat burning (the body learns to make fuel last longer to ensure that you don’t run out before your workout is over)
- hormonal responses to longer, more frequent workouts can lead to fat storage rather than fat burning (the body perceives exercise as ‘stress’ and increases it’s production of cortisol, a fat storage hormone)
- twice a day workouts are not sustainable for most people (setting yourself up for success by creating a workout schedule that you can consistently follow is the best way to achieve your long term health and fitness goals)
Still not convinced? Perhaps you need to ask yourself whether you’re ‘exercising to live’ or ‘living to exercise’… And whether there’s something else you could be doing with all that ‘spare’ time 😉
How frequently to you work out?
Have you ever done twice a day workouts? I’d love to hear your thoughts.