The 2-a-day. You have seen it in across all spectrums of athletic improvement from every Rocky training montage to your local high school football field. The ‘2-a-day’ is the utilization of two separate workouts conjoined either back to back in a quasi-consecutive fashion or split apart by a number of hours. In order to correctly perform this style of workout a practitioner must know how to prepare, proper frequency, timing and health considerations.
Preparation is essential to your health and viability of your overall workout. The first thing is hydration, as an athlete this should already be a top priority but is this is especially important when exerting your body to its limits. Starting the day before, begin increasing your water intake substantially to avoid any level of dehydration. This should be continued until a full day after the 2-a-day is completed. This may sound excessive but due to the fact that athletic activity expels waters, muscles are composed of water and water is necessary for optimum healthy homeostasis, it is essential. Since a 2-a-day is going to be a extensive expenditure, you cannot rely on playing ‘catch up’ with your health during or after the workout.
Several hours before the first work out you must eat to fuel your body through the impending workout. Do not eat too close to your workout as your body will slow down to divert energy to digestion, thus not performing at your peak. Additionally, eating too soon can make your stomach ill, which as you can imagine will put a significant damper on on your workout. Before the workout, eat a meal with carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle preservation and energy. This will ensure that you have enough fuel to power your way through to your workout.
In addition, prior to your workout several other supplements are suggested- Branch chain amino acids prior to your workout to prevent muscle catabolization. Any pre-workout supplement that you prefer and a protein shake for additional protein if needed.
Depending on the types of workouts that will be conjoined on that given day dictates the proper timing. If you are doing two cardiovascular or strength workouts then they should be split at opposite ends of the day with some significant amount of time between them. The time in between the workouts is necessary for the body to refuel and recuperate for the maximum benefit from the workouts. It is also for the safety of the athlete and to prevent overtraining. In between the work outs it is imperative that the athlete drink water constantly, use protein/carbohydrate drinks (4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio) , and complete meals to refuel themselves for maximum performance. Branch Chain Amino Acids are also recommended in between work outs to prevent muscle catabolization.
Strength and cardiovascular workouts can be performed in succession for example: weight training and brazilian jiu jitsu. The total time of these workouts together should not be excessive as overtraining is more detrimental than beneficial to any athlete. In between the workouts, continue to constantly hydrate and utilize a protein and carbohydrate shake/branch chain amino acids for sustained power and endurance.
Post work out, continue to hydrate and consume complete meals as recovery on 2-a-days is going to be even more important due to the caloric deficit the athlete has created. Continue to drink more water than usual up for a full day afterwards to prevent any dehydration. Additionally consume a balanced diet, with an optional multivitamin in order to prevent any vitamin deficiencies that can result from intense training.
Frequency and Health
The frequency of 2-a-days should not be excessive due possible health risks, and the extreme propensity for overtraining when performing these workouts. These workouts should never be used in conjunction with calorie restriction, because they can be particularly dangerous to your health. The goal is not to lose weight through excessive exercise but to achieve a specific athletic goal such as- a mixed martial arts fight, a marathon or powerlifting meet. 2-a-days have their place among recreational athletes and should be done sparingly. Listen to your body and try to do a 2-a-day once a month to access your body and condition.
Always keep your health in mind and remember that if your are injured, overtraining or causing damage to your body, you are defeating the very purpose of physical exercise and hurting yourself.
Due to the extreme consistency, intensity, and time commitment the 2-a-day is not for everyone but it has its place in athletic performance. From the weekend warrior to the professional athlete, it is designed to maximize the hours in a day to push the body to its limits. It is about using your mental focus, commitment and constitution to push yourself in order to achieve an athletic goal that you have committed yourself to. Have fun and train hard.
(This is an original post copyright to SwoleScience.com, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material)