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I'd like to do two strength workouts in the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. With this goal in mind, what strategies can I employ throughout the day so that I'm as fresh as possible for the afternoon workout?

These workouts do not consist of the same exercises, but are all compound movements so isolating muscle groups is not viable.


Note: I'd like to keep answers focused on recovery techniques within the parameters of two workouts in the same day, and not address the motivation for doing this workout plan. I'll provide my personal motivation for choosing this schedule, but I don't think the answers should be specific to this.

I'm currently doing a weekly Texas cycle, and my "work day" is long (and intense), including 6-8 work sets each of squat, deadlift, bench press, and press (a new addition). Splitting this up is easier on my energy and intensity level, my focus and my schedule. A split day seems to be common among "pros" but isn't usually recommended for the rest of us, since we don't have the luxury of spending the whole day at the gym. I happen to work at home with flexible hours and have a home gym, so I can actually do this.

  • Morning: Squat, Press
  • Afternoon: Deadlift, Bench
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What is the goal behind this? How many times will you be training per week? –  mike Nov 30 '11 at 23:49
    
@mike A Texas workout schedule is typically 3 days per week: work day (lots of sets across to provide stimulus), light/technique day, and intensity day. I'm trying to split the work day for the reasons in the last paragraph of my question. –  Greg Dec 1 '11 at 0:01
    
What kind of diet will you be doing with this workout? Like are you eating at a surplus or deficit? –  mike Dec 1 '11 at 1:10
    
@mike In general I've been cutting (Thanksgiving weekend notwithstanding), although it's probably about time to switch things around and eat a surplus. I do tend to eat more on workout days. Within the lens of this question (what can I do within the span of this one day), would my long-term eating goals have a big impact? –  Greg Dec 1 '11 at 3:01
    
So you are aiming to train 6 times a week? The 'pros' that train all day have to dedicate all their resources (time, energy, rest) to their training. I used to train for ~3 hours every day/other day but that's because that's the only thing I did. My recommendation is to start with a regular 3 day schedule, succeed on that for a while, and ramp it up. There is nothing special about doing 2 workouts a day, you just need to eat and rest enough. Your body will tell you if you are on the right track. –  mike Dec 2 '11 at 19:51
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Diet, Diet, Diet

(Disclaimer: I'm no expert, this is just what I would do in your shoes.) I would bet that other than making 100% sure you're getting enough sleep, the biggest factor will be your diet between the two workouts. I'd focus on nailing my first post-workout meal and making sure I have enough energy for the second workout.

Immediately After the First Workout

I'd make sure that I got a good amount of protein and carbs immediately after the morning workout. Eggs and potatoes, or a fruit/whey smoothie, or a couple glasses of milk would be on my list. Or all three.

Between the Two Workouts

After I lift heavy, I feel a lot better if I eat a good amount of carbs and fats. I would make sure to eat a big meal for lunch, and try to fit in a second lunch or early dinner. I'd try to eat a meal or snack about two hours before the second workout. All of these meals would involve carbs to replenish muscle glycogen (like sweet potatoes), and delicious fats (like avocado or olive oil).

If I felt particularly low-energy immediately before the second workout I would eat some peanut butter with honey or drink some juice.

If I had a chance, I'd sneak in a 10 or 20 minute nap during the day or immediately prior to the workout. If I keep it short, these can energize me for workouts later in the day.

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One of the best articles I've found on this topic, though I am not a supplement fan. Eat whole foods to get the recommended nutrients and leave the powders alone. http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/890/Top_Ten_Nutrition_Tips_for_Best_Results_with_Twice-A-Day_Training_.aspx

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Can you please summarize the key points and information from the link and use it as a reference? We would like to preserve information here for future reference in case the original link's content disappears or changes. –  Matt Chan Mar 25 at 3:57
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First in the morning make strategy abut which activity you want to do in a day and after that divide the activity in morning and evening. this is the best way for daily work out for keep your self fit and healthy.

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Care to elaborate on why you think this is the best way? –  Ivo Flipse Dec 1 '11 at 14:00
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I think the number one strategy you can employ during the day to ensure you're at your most fresh for your evening working is to avoid all activity that will require use of the body parts you're going to work out at night. Also make sure you get enough food in to fuel that workout.

You're not going to recover from the morning workout but that doesn't matter so much, as you'll be working different body parts. In my experience I've found that tired legs effect my upperbody workouts more than the other way around, because I'm using my legs to carry weights heavy dumbbells from the rack to my bench/seat and also legs to play a small part providing a stable base. If possible, I suggest doing your upper body workout in the mornings and lower body in the evenings.

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