To some, working out seems daunting, and the idea of exercising just once a day is too much. While everyone wants toned muscles, there is a lot of competing information about how to achieve them. As an athlete myself, working out the same muscle twice a day has always been a debated topic.
Can you work out the same muscle twice a day? Yes. Working out the same muscle twice a day will strengthen and build up that specific muscle. This type of training is often called “Two-A-Day” amongst athletes and is used to push through any training or performance plateaus.
Although working out the same muscle twice a day is a key component to achieving muscle growth, diet, rest, and sleep, all will determine the effectiveness of your training. These components play a large role in whether your two-a-day training will help you, harm you, or send you into a plateau.
How to Do Two-A-Day Training
Two-A-Day training is a type of exercise method that involves working out twice a day and is most commonly used by professional athletes to elevate their performance. This method requires the individual to follow a few rules in order for it to be effective. Here are some tips for starting to workout twice a day:
- Work out both morning and night, making sure to focus on the same muscle both sessions.
- Wait an adequate amount of time between workouts (6-8 hours ideally).
- Pay close attention to your nutrition and be sure you hit your daily macro amounts.
- Be consistent with your training (4-week recommended period).
- Gradually add weight to your training sessions, but be sure to keep your other factors the same.
- Set a fixed interval for your workouts and keep to them.
- Take a rest week after the period of consistent training.
Training the Same Muscle
The first rule says that it’s actually good to train the same muscle twice a day because of something called hypertrophy. According to Healthline, “hypertrophy is an increase and growth of muscle cells. Hypertrophy [also] refers to an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise.” Exercise creates small micro-tears within the muscle, which allows them to grow.
The only drawback to training the same muscle twice a day is the possibility of intense fatigue. Even though the point is to exhaust the muscle to have them grow, sometimes muscle fatigue can prevent you from doing the exercises correctly.
If certain exercises are done incorrectly, they can lead to injuries, some of which can cause lasting damage.
Space Out Your Workouts
It’s recommended that you space out both of your workouts (i.e. one in the morning and one a night.) Doing this allows you to get proper rest in between workouts, which helps you maximize your performance without injury.
It also provides a good structure to your day, giving you something to plan your schedule around. Exercise is also proven to boost your mood, so having a mood boost both day and night could improve your overall quality of life.
“Macro” is short for macronutrients; they provide you with plenty of energy for building muscle. These include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The amount of each macro needed varies for each specific person. A lack of one or more of these nutrients will hinder your ability to exercise and build muscle.
Without an adequate amount of carbs and fat, you won’t have enough energy to execute your workouts correctly. Without protein, you won’t have the building blocks that repair the micro-tears in your muscle, which make them bigger and stronger. Some macronutrients are:
Working out twice a day should be done for a 4-week time period. If you work out with a sporadic and inconsistent schedule, you won’t see results.
By being consistent and following this training method for four weeks, you should be able to see the results of your hard work. However, using the method any longer than the 4-week period might lead to overworked muscles, which might cause injury.
After training consistently for a certain amount of time, your body will get used to the weight used in the workout. By slowly and safely increasing the weight when you’ve deemed it necessary, your muscles will be strengthened. If the weight is not increased, your muscles might not grow to your desired size.
The rest intervals have to be consistent throughout the entire workout; otherwise, you will be disengaging your muscles with long or inconsistent rest intervals. If you are engaged and disciplined during your workout, you will be able to get more out of it.
Make sure to tone down your workout on the fifth week after the intense four weeks “Two-A-Day” period. This could mean incorporating more rest days for your body or turning down the intensity of your workout.
Resting allows your muscles to heal and recover. Those micro-tears that form after working out need time to heal. When you work out consistently, your muscles are constantly micro-tearing and don’t have a long period to heal. Once you adapt rest days into your routine in a way that works for you, your muscles will be able to repair those tears and overall strengthen them.
If you continue to keep the high-intensity workouts after your designated period, you risk overworking your body, leading to injury.
Adapting the Training
Depending on what your specific fitness goals are, your training should be adjusted accordingly.
If you want to “bulk up” or grow the size of your muscles, then the amount of weight, calories, and macros should be greater. If you want to build lean muscle or lose weight, the amount of weight, calories and macros should be less than someone who wants to bulk up.
Depending on your size, height, or fitness level, the training and diet habits should also be adjusted to accommodate those facts. Someone with a lower fitness level might want to start with a lower intensity level and gradually build up as they become more in shape.
Hydration is Essential to Working Out Twice a Day
Hydration is another important aspect of your fitness, especially when doing an intense and rigorous workout. According to Medical Xpress, “water not only regulates your body temperature, but it also helps lubricate joints and transport nutrients. If you’re not properly hydrated, you won’t be able to perform at your peak.”
Hydrating depends on your height, weight, and exercise schedule. For example, a 19-year old female who weighs 130 pounds and is moderately active should drink around 84.5 ounces of water. [source]
While hydration well is extremely important, it’s also possible to over-hydrate. If you drink too much water, you will flush out important nutrients and components from your body. It also prevents your kidneys from doing their work of removing toxins from our body, as they won’t have any toxins to filter.
To make sure you don’t over-hydrate, incorporate electrolytes into your workout. “Electrolytes are minerals that break down into small, electrically-charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water.” [source] Incorporating this into your routine will help replace the minerals you lose or flush out through sweat and water.
Some of these minerals include sodium, magnesium, and chloride. Without these minerals, your performance will decline, and you might reach a fitness plateau.
Build Muscle with Two a Days
By following these tips for how to workout the same muscle twice a day, you will quickly build muscle tone volume. Make sure to give your body all the essentials to grow in a healthy way and you will be stronger in no time.