The #1 secret for training twice a day = STRIPES:
The term "Training twice a day" makes about as much sense as this picture.
Why training twice a day makes no sense:
The word training depends upon an unspoken potency for its context. Everybody has their own idea of what that potency is. And 100% of people who hastily begin adding in extra sessions per day for twice-daily training begin training like big pussies. The word training itself loses its meaning because it loses its potency. It's neutered. So it makes no sense. Prehab work? Light stretching? A couple sets of weighted pullups? Technical work with an empty barbell for the oly lifts? A 15 minute warm up session? Are these training!? Will tacking on these kind of things here and there mean you're REALLY training twice per day? sure. pfff. Piss off.
Let's talk about striped sock monkeys
This is a striped sock monkey. He's been wandering around in the woods.
He got tired so he is taking a nap by a stream now.
If your lifestyle doesn't allow you to just stop everything you're doing at any moment and take a nap upon impulse like this sock monkey, then you don't have the recovery capacity for REAL training twice daily... for the long run...
Real training twice a day is a seasonal phenomena:
Elite athletes who successfully employ twice daily training with REAL training sessions have the genetics, resources, and training environment to do it. Moreover, they worked up to it, they have experience. Even more important than all of this, though, is that even though they have the goods, they are NOT training twice daily with REAL training sessions everyday of the week, or even year round! Nobody can and nobody should. Two-a-days are a seasonal phenomena, not a mainstay. Sometimes these elite masters of sport drop to once per day training sessions, sometimes they drop training altogether and go on vacation and post pictures of themselves at boring tourist hot spots with their boring parents. Me? Parts of the year I'm destroying myself twice a day, with REAL training sessions. But most of the year, I'm doing no such thing. And even parts of the year I'm not doing any training. The two-a-day scheme with harder and higher workloads, with REAL training sessions is a stint.
When YOU are ready for twice a day training with REAL training sessions:
- Are you relaxed and laid back? Easy job, easy school, easy life?
- Are you eating as well as you know you should be eating?
- Are you supplementing as well as you feel you should be supplementing?
- Are you sleeping as much as you know you should be sleeping?
- Are you training as much as you should be training on a once daily pattern?
If you have 4/5 of these things, then let's talk about how and why you should start two-a-days.
Step 1: Chunk and split
Look at your existing training schedule and chunk it or split it.
No this isn't my training schedule, it's just an example I made up. Okay, so what's the difference between the results you would get between these three? Nothing. The end results will be the same although the experiences will be different. You can throw around hot button terms like neural priming and post-activation potentiation, and philosophize sports science fiction all you want but everybody who does this jargon chumping is usually wrong, and also selling something (work out more AND never forget to drink our pre, post, and post-post workout drink products! Revolutionary reactive pump technologies 3x per workout, 3x per day! Keep the anabolic pump primed all day long! Send us a check every month for $400. Thank you. Sincerely, team T-nation *cough* $-nation.)
So if the results are the same why would you start your two-a-day experiment with a simple chunk or split of your existing workload? Because you must determine if you can handle the burden of showing up twice in the same day for training. Alter your schedule and find out. It doesn't have to be a complete chunk or split, just move shit around somehow. Then do it for 2 weeks. If it doesn't work out for you, go back to training once per day (which is perfectly normal and effective).
Step 2: Add just 1 REAL training session
Take your chunked or split pattern and add just 1 REAL training session per week. Don't add any more for the next 4 weeks. What should that session be? I have two good ideas...
Do you have small arm disease? You know if you want bigger arms you need to work them out, right? Who doesn't want bigger arms? But if you haven't been working them out at all because you've been busy deadlifting, tricking, or other awesome things on a daily basis, where do you fit arm day in? You don't want to take time away from your other activities, do you? Well, here is what you do: that one extra workout per week you'll be fitting into your now chunked or split schedule: make it arm day. Fit it in no matter what.
Arm training for people who have never trained arms directly need not be complicated: do one curl exercise and one tricep extension exercise back and forth for about 45 minutes and try to get a stupidly huge pump. You shouldn't be able to comb your hair when you're done. Then take pictures of yourself flexing after you get a pump.
Congratulations! Your arm training has begun! Finally you'll be growing arms that your rows, pullups, and presses never could. Within a couple months, you will likely find yourself having this "arm workout" more frequently than once per week, and adding arm exercises into your other training sessions for fun. You will finally be growing arms! You will have everything you had before, except you will have bigger arms too!
Think of one trick you really want that isn't absurdly difficult: you just haven't put in the groundwork time to lay the technical foundation for it. How about a helicoptero, an aubatido switch, flares, or maybe scoot tricks? These aren't tricks that require a huge amount of physical resources, like say a double-something-or-another... These tricks, instead, just require some patience and a little time. Yet you still can't do them! Why not? Because every time you go tricking you find it impossible to justify spending your entire session on that one little thing: you just want to throwdown all of your big tricks and do everything (big) and have lots of fun! Focusing on one trick like this can be tedious and it doesn't give you that "tricking high" that you get when you do all the big and fun stuff!
So here is what you do: fit in your 1-extra-workout per week as a one trick pony session for that one new trick. Progress can be slow, but eventually you'll get to the point where you won't have to spend an entire freakin' tricking session to get closer to landing it. After a few of these extra tricking sessions dedicated to that one new trick, you'll be able to train that move during your everyday tricking sessions. You just need to invest the time to jump start it. Just a few evening sessions dedicated to this one trick is likely all you will need. Another cool option: one new trick on your other side. This is actually how I got some of my aerial tricks on my other side btw.
Two-a-days for life
When you move to a two-a-day training scheme that has extra work you will not be doing it for life, it begins to wear down on you. Life catches up. The most significant fatigue is mental and the biggest dangers are non-training obligations. Whether you like it or not, you will revert back to a more human one-a-day scheme eventually. However, the time you spend training with the highest workloads on a two-a-day scheme will teach you something about your life and help you break plateaus permanently. I encourage everybody reading this to consider doing what it takes to employ a two-a-day scheme with an added workload for a month or two sometime in the future. Work up to it. It changes your time management habits and makes you appreciate your free time more... And it can help you grow bigger arms and land new tricks. Good luck!
This 45 min arms idea seems to be working for me. After years of deadlifts and rows, and never seeing the arms I got into training for, I needed to cut through all the crap. Thanks for the pragmatic articles.
Thanks for reading and the feedback!
Your confidence in writing on the matter of fitting in Arm workouts with strength/tricking training has cleared up so many of my doubts. I come to this site, when in doubt of doing this juggling act of training, to only leave inspired and reinforced
Man, I wish I was homo for you
Glad it has helped you! Also, having bigger arms is really nice. This coming from a guy with a genetic default for small arms…
Last week I was workoing out with my friend. We start doing our 5×5 squat routine and after that some rep outs with lighter weight. In the middle of the workout his wife shows up and needed help. So we manged only 5×5 “heavy” squats after that (6 hours later)
I had a nice tricking session with big tricks and stuff.
And feeled perfectly fine,
My question is: Is this effective ?
or stupid as f*ck