I recently experimented with doing two workouts per day of weight training. I split a full-body workout up into two, and I did chest, back, and shoulders in the first workout, and then legs and arms in the second workout.
Training like this reduces overall fatigue, helps to maintain strength and power output during the workout, avoids glycogen depletion and subsequent rise in cortisol, etc., which might have a beneficial effect on hypertrophy.
From my Supreme Lean Bulk eBook about minimizing stress and optimizing strength, hypertrophy, and recovery:
“Distribute the total volume into two separate daily training sessions. This may create more optimal conditions not only for muscular hypertrophy but by producing effective training stimuli, especially for the nervous system, and might even result in greater strength gains, an increase in testosterone, muscle activation and isometric strength (1, 2).”
Each of my workouts lasted about 20-30 minutes, and my power output and endurance were pretty optimal. I was able to increase strength on each workout.
I noticed that I needed a minimum of 6 hours rest between the two workouts, else I would lose power and endurance in the second workout.
Here are the benefits I experienced:
- I wasn’t as fatigued after each workout, or at all during the day.
- My recovery was faster.
- I wasn’t dreading the second workout, because my energy was still great.
- I made strength and endurance gains in each workout.
- I got more rest days during the weeks where I could focus on other important things.
I really like training like this and I’ll definitely be using this technique in the future, where I’ll experiment with training the same muscle group twice in a day.
The one downside is that if something happens (because life just happens) and I couldn’t eat enough before the second workout, the second workout suffered a little. The other “downside” is that I had to shower twice a day.
Tips for training the same muscle group twice a day:
- Do the heavy compounds, such as squat and leg press in the first workout, and then the moderate weight exercises, such as hack squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls etc, in the second workout.
- Rest at least 6 hours or more between each workout.
- Eat immediately post-workout.
- Eat lots of high GI carbs between the two workouts, minimum 150-200g.
- Focus on easy digestible carbs and protein, such as milk, fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice, sugar, eggs, etc.
- If you want to do the same exercises twice daily, use slightly less weight (10% less) in the second workout and focus more on the form and utilize techniques such as squeezing at the top, doing maximal contraction, etc.
If you truly want to maximize strength and size gains, my Ultimate Strength, Size and Skill Program is for you.