I slept 10 hours last night and I've been half asleep all day today. My body is completely worn out from training twice a day the last three days. I guess I've arrived at my limit. But there's something amazing in training multiple times within one day.
There's not much scientifical evidence to promote multiple training sessions in one day (ref 1), but I like it for three reasons. Firstly, I cut the weekly warm-up time by at least 30% as the second work-out requires hardly any warm-up. Secondly, it appears as if I burn fat quicker this way (based on mirror and body weight observation). Lastly, I can focus on improving my technique intensively, whether it's Olympic lifts, sprints or anything else.
Professionals have all day to train, so they might as well train twice a day. But for a regular 8-5 worker like me, a little bit more planning is needed. When training two times in one day, the sessions do not have to be too long. If you're employer limits your lunch hour to less than eh.. an hour, then training twice a day comes in handy.
I usually do either a morning&noon or noon&evening split. I do this simply because it's practical, but I also like when the break between the two sessions is not too long. For family reasons, I rarely train in the evenings unless it's with a group or a coach.
Some gym rats could probably do two sessions in one qym, and even for the same muscle group. But for me that is very unmotivating. One of my sessions is usually some sort of running while the other involves some kind of weight lifting. If it would be practically possible, I wouldn't mind doing a swimming session every now and then. I'm still convinced that combining two sports is one of the best ways to stay motivated, to maintain a sound muscle balance and to avoid injuries. Why not do it in one day?
The most common split is to do morning cardio on an empty stomach and a weight lifting session later in the day. This variation is very popular amongst fitness, physique and bikini competitors. I've never tried it myself as I prefer more explosive forms of exercises. Most people have a chance to set the morning alarm clock half an hour early to allow for a small walk/jog before breakfast. It could be worth a try.
Moving the body around frequently during the day will jump start your metabolism. This is great news.
If you ever feel an urge to empty a whole bag of candy or pig out on any other source of fast carbohydrates, then the end of the first work-out would be a good time to do it. I find that if I don't load up on carbs between the sessions, the second session will be more like a cool down than a work-out. Another thing worth mentioning is that the risks of getting muscle cramps increases when you're sweating out all minerals and liquids from your body twice in one day.
If you're in a rush to get photo shoot ready, I highly recommend two sport sessions in one day. It's difficult to squeeze in one training session in a busy day, but this type of variation will definently give you results. Maybe you'll have to skip the lumch restaurant and speed up your morning routines.
At least and at last, I feel like I earned my rest day today.
1. Hartman MJ1, Clark B, Bembens DA, Kilgore JL, Bemben MG. Comparisons between twice-daily and once-daily training sessions in male weight lifters.Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2007 Jun;2(2):159-69.