Two-a-days – literally, working out twice in one day – may sound like the preserve of Olympic athletes, but it can be an incredibly effective training approach for getting in shape. Before you think you’ll never have the stamina, two-a-days aren’t about doubling the amount of time you exercise, but breaking your workout into two separate sessions. This allows you to train at a higher intensity with oodles of enthusiasm and – best of all – causes your metabolism to spike twice, which results in a greater calorie burn and higher energy levels. Here’s how it’s done.
Splitting Your Yoga Training can Make You fitter! Photo Gallery
KEEP IT SHORT
Don’t make your workouts too long. For example, do two 20-minute workouts rather than one 40-minute session. Not only are you more likely to stick to shorter workouts, you’ll also be able to focus on training at the correct intensity without getting bored.
TAKE A BREAK
Whether it’s squeezing in a gym session before the school run and going for a run after the kids are in bed, or lunchtime yoga and 20 minutes on the exercise bike in the evening, the key to two-a-day success is to leave a fairly long rest period in between each session. Ideally, aim for a morning and late afternoon workout, to give you enough time to refuel and recover.
Eat plenty of healthy food throughout the day and drink lots of water. To avoid doing your morning workout on an empty stomach, have a pre-workout snack such as a sliced apple and a thin layer of peanut butter. Eat a small banana with some milk to fuel your afternoon session. These snacks are only meant to refuel and repair your body, so keep portions small.
PLAN FOR REST
Your muscles need adequate time to recover to deal with the increased frequency of training, so always follow a two-a-day workout with a full day of rest. Listen to your body and, if two-a-days are too tough, reduce the intensity and have an extra day off exercise.
Make sure your two daily workouts consist of different activities and exercises. This will reduce the stress on your muscles and joints, and help keep you interested. For some ideas to get you started, pick and mix from the micro workouts in the panel (right).
I’m looking to tone up all over.What kind of weight training should I be doing?
The secret to a lean, feminine body is to train with a weight you can lift for a high number of repetitions. Use weights you can lift for 12-14 reps with good technique to increase muscular endurance and create a toned physique. Working with a resistance that makes your muscles burn with six or fewer repetitions boosts muscle strength and mass. However, don’t worry about bulking up – women don’t have the same levels of testosterone as men, so it’s hard to gain great muscle mass. Luckily, this is also the way to keep your bones strong! Try alternating both methods for great results.