If you follow my Instagram Stories you will probably have noticed that I often workout twice a day. I know that most within the fitness industry do not recommend that people do this and for many good reasons. Working out twice a day often doesn’t give your body enough time to recover from workouts, this can make you fatigue earlier in your second workout which can lead to injuries; or you can hold back on your workout and not give 100 per cent, which defeats the point of the workout in the first place. I’m sure many within the fitness industry could give a lot more reasons as to why working out two times a day isn’t good for you, and in all honesty I agree with them – so why do I do it?
Although there are many reasons to avoid twice a day workouts, I find that they work for me. I work full time, plus have other commitments, so I need a training plan that is intense enough to achieve my goals but which also works around my schedule and I find that splitting up my workouts does this for me. I find it enables me to do a short, intense workout in the morning before work, and then a longer workout in the evening – usually at a less intense pace. As well as this, I enjoy doing classes, whether at Crossfit or at the gym, and these classes are usually early in the morning or in the evening, so doing the ones I want to usually means having to workout twice a day.
If, like me, you find working out twice a day is best for you, here are some of the ways I ensure I do it as safely as possible.
Mix up the workouts
The best way to stay safe with working out twice a day is to mix up the workouts. This means ensuring you are not doing two types of the same workout in one day. If, for example, you go for a run in the morning avoid doing more cardio in the evening and instead opt for something completely different such as yoga, pilates or upper body weights. This will help to reduce the risk of fatigue or overworking muscle groups. I always think carefully about the types of workouts I do, for example usually on Tuesdays I will go for a short run in the morning and then do a gymnastics class at my Crossfit Box in the evening.
Leave enough recovery time
Recovery is essential for improving strength and fitness levels as it gives your body time to rest from workouts. My job involves a lot of sitting, so although I will have worked out in the morning I will normally have spent over 8 hours during the day sitting behind a desk. While the longer you leave recovery time between workouts is better, I find that as someone who has been working out regularly for many years I get enough during the day to do a second workout in the evening.
If you’re new to fitness or have started working out again after a long break then it is almost always advisable to not workout twice a day and instead ensure you leave plenty of time between your workouts to ensure your body gets enough time to rest and recover. I’ve been running for over a decade and in and out of gyms since I was 16, so my body is used to being active. As well as this, when I did start working out twice a day I did so gradually to ensure that my body got used to the extra workouts slowly.
Get the right fuel between workouts
Just as important as rest is ensuring you fuel your body properly. For a long time I had been feeling really tired and drained of energy, which I have recently realised is because I was not eating enough calories or carbs for the types of workouts I was doing. If you are going to workout twice a day, ensure you are fuelling your body with the right food for your fitness needs – this isn’t an excuse to binge on junk food but you shouldn’t be eating a no carb diet either!
Listen to your body
I’m a huge believer in listening to your body. If I ever feel that my body isn’t happy with something I will stop, whether it is mid-run or in a fitness class – I feel my safety in my responsibility and I don’t care if this means having to walk out of a group workout class (although apologise and explain to the instructor why!). Normally, in a class I will take an easier option if I feel that my body isn’t happy, for example doing a stepping lung rather than a jumping lung or dropping the amount of weights I’m using.
Skip a workout and take rest days
When it comes to rest days I will always take at least one a week. However fit or strong you are, rest days are needed to ensure you body has enough time to rest, recover and repair ready for the next workout. As well as taking rest days, I’m never worried about skipping a second workout it I feel tired or sometimes just simply wanting to go home, relax and catch-up with a box set. For me the second workout of the day is a bonus, not something I have to feel guilty about missing if I don’t want to do it.
These are how I stay injury free working out twice a day, but I’d love to know if you have any extra advice.