Working out twice a day, aka two-a-days, is the ultimate luxury. Not many people can do this since what they’d need to achieve this lofty goal is a serious amount of free time. Even those with less demanding schedules may still struggle to do this consistently in the longterm. When you factor in busy work schedules, additional course/school work, commuting and life’s many demands and surprises, setting a goal of working out twice a day isn't a realistic goal for most people. And there's good news, too: Hitting the gym more than once a day isn't even necessary for the average person.
Is Working Out Twice a Day Worth It?
One of the main concerns with training twice a day is the risk of overtraining. Overtraining occurs when an athlete surpasses their ability to recover from their training program. Factors that can influence recovery time include nutrition, sleep, stressors and – you guessed it – training volume and frequency.
If a training program and split is not designed properly, this is likely to occur, especially when working out more than once a day. Improperly designed programming featuring two-a-days also make overuse injuries more likely to occur. When we think of injuries, acute injuries like sprained ankles often come to mind. Many people don't realize that damage can occur gradually. Overuse injuries happen overtime with repeated stress and trauma to bones, ligaments, tendons and joints.
Why More Isn’t Always Better
There is this notion that more is better, but that certainly does not pertain to exercise. Take someone who is striving to lose weight. Their nutrition may not be in line with their goals and they may be eating in a surplus. Rather than adjusting their fuel intake, they attempt to out-train a nutrition plan that doesn't support their goals. The appropriate solution here is to take a multifaceted approach to weight loss efforts. A nutrition plan with a deficit, in combination with a training program (created by a certified professional), would best deliver the results they're after.
In a similar light, take someone who is inexperienced in fitness and strives to pack on muscle as quickly as possible. Just like the individual who has hopes of losing weight, this person's nutrition may not be in line with their goals and their expectations may need to be adjusted. Building muscle even under the right conditions takes time and patience. They may not be eating the appropriate macronutrients in a surplus in order to pack on muscle mass.
Rather than adjust their food intake, they may attempt to out-train the problem. The solution here as well is to tackle the dilemma with a smart nutrition and training plan which will add that desired muscle to their frame.
The Bottom Line
In most cases, I recommend leaving the two-a-days for advanced athletes and actors/actresses who are preparing for demanding roles. This type of training in some instances is absolutely necessary for competition or sport.
Exercising more does not necessarily lead to better results. There are often better and easier ways to reach wellness or weight loss goals. But if you do choose to work out twice daily, ensure that you’re equipped with an appropriate training split and program. This will help prevent any issues before they even happen. And remember: Always train intelligently!