Usually, living by the old saying “if a little is good, more must be better” spells disaster, especially if you’re talking about your workouts. But the truth is that for a very short period of time, you can actually double your training time and make amazing progress.
Two-a-days, wherein you train twice in one day, have been used by everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to high school football teams when the goal is to get in shape fast. While it’s not appropriate for those with very limited time (or discipline), if you’re a college student with a spread-out schedule of classes or a working man with three free nights a week, you can gain muscle while burning fat at an astounding rate.
You’ll train the whole body in both sessions, focusing on moves for the bigger muscles in the morning and doing more isolation exercises for smaller areas (such as the arms, calves, and neck) in the afternoon/early evening. The first workout will use heavier weights to maximize muscle and strength gains; the second one will be a lighter session whose main purpose will be to flush blood into the muscles, playing an essential role in your recovery.
Naturally, because you’re training twice as much, you’ll need to eat more food and get more rest. Take in one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day (because this is a two-a-day and you’re training more, the one-gram recommendation is OK), and two to three grams of carbs per pound. At least 20% of your diet should come from healthy, unsaturated fats. Be sure to drink a protein and carb shake immediately after both workouts and drink as much water as you’re able to throughout the day.
Don’t worry about gaining fat on this program. Because of the intensity of the training, nearly every calorie you eat should go to your muscles, so you’ll lose fat while bulking up. Nevertheless, you have the option of doing some cardio if you like. If you can, take a nap some time between the workouts and force yourself to get eight to nine hours of sleep a night. Most important—since your body needs the time to recover—don’t follow this program for more than four weeks.
You’ll train three days per week (Day I, Day II, and Day III,) resting at least a day between each session. Each day has a morning (AM) and afternoon/evening (PM) workout, which should be separated by six to eight hours. Neither workout should take much more than 45 minutes.
HOW TO DO IT:
Perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting the prescribed amount of time between each set. So you’ll do one set of A, rest, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat for all the prescribed sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.
The neck exercises and cardio in the workouts are optional. You can perform these activities if you have the time or equipment, but you won’t hamper your results if you don’t. If you choose cardio, perform interval training for 20-30 minutes, rather than doing a longer, steady-state workout.
Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for a given set.
|Day I – AM Workout||Day II – AM Workout||Day III – AM Workout|