The Art of Two-a-Day Workouts
We know who you are: You show up in the early morning to kickstart your day with a workout and then you come back in the evenings for another round of exercise. You think you've mastered the art of two-a-day workouts, but are you doubling up on exercise the right way?
Done the wrong way, two-a-day workouts can lower your metabolism, deplete your body and lead to injuries, so we put together these tips for adding a second round of exercise to your day.
Vary the intensity
Exercise stresses the body. So if you have two pedal-to-the-metal workouts a day you're not giving your muscles enough time to recover, and you'll be risking injuries or lowering your metabolism and calorie burn. Instead of doing two daily high-intensity cardio workouts, replace one of those routines with strength training or yoga.
Separate your cardio and strength workouts
When you split cardio and strength training into two separate workouts, you'll give your body a break and reduce the risk of over-training because you'll be using two different muscle systems.
Start your day with cardio
If you want to lose weight, some experts believe it's better to start your day with cardio-based high-intensity interval exercises. These routines rev up your metabolism, helping you to burn calories through the day. Place strength training, or better yet, yoga, at the end of the day. This will also help you get a better night's sleep since your metabolism won't be in overdrive.
Switch up simple and complex movements
For twice-a-day strength training, perform complex exercises -- those that require more than one muscle group -- in the morning. And for your evening workout, stick to simpler exercises. For example, perform a lunge/shoulder press combo in the morning and straightforward bicep curls at night. This reduces the risk of injuries, since you won't be working out muscles that are already overtaxed.
Keep your sessions short...
A short, intense workout produces better results over the long term. If you exercise for more than 45 minutes, your body is probably using muscle as fuel -- and this lowers your metabolism.
... And spaced apart
Make sure your workout sessions are at least six hours apart. This will give your body as much time as possible to recover for another round of exercise.
"We love to see i.d. members get the most out of our gym by working out twice a day," Brent Holten says. "This shows that you love exercise as much as we do, but it's important to focus on these double workouts the right way to avoid the pitfalls of over-training."