Firstly – it is definitely the minority who this article will affect. Most people struggle to get to the gym once a day!
However, I still get people asking me this question all the time and I see a lot of our members making a real effort to get to a training session in the morning and the evening. It seems to be common practice at other gyms but I have no issue letting our members know what I really think.
Double sessions double the results…. Right? Wrong. MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER – as goes with most things in life. I guarantee that there are no group training gyms who write their programming thinking ‘hmmm let’s just make sure the intensity and training volume is lower in the allocated time period in case anyone wants to do a double session’. Not happening.
You need to remember – the body is not concerned about losing weight. There are a number of ways that it adapts to a double session to make weight loss difficult. The harder you affect your total daily calories the harder your body tends to work against you.
MUSCLE GROWTH / STRENGTH
The law of diminishing returns comes in to play here. There will be a point where more training actually starts to reverse the positive adaptations to training. The magic for muscle growth happens not during a workout but during the recovery from a workout. No chance to recover means no chance to grow and get stronger.
What goes on in the body to stop fat loss when you do double sessions?
Hunger – the arch nemesis of fat loss can be altered. More hunger cravings makes weight loss harder and is the bodies way of signalling to replenish lost calories. Increases hunger means we’re more likely to crave all that high calorie food that you should be eating in moderation only.
The amount of energy you expend (calories burned) throughout the day/following day can decrease. Without even realising you may move around less, fidget less and yes there are even stories of body builders in extreme situations who blink less. The body will also try to burn less calories during workouts if you are training too much.
STRESS LOAD INCREASES / IMMUNITY IS SUPRESED
As much as we love training it is still a stressor. Pile this on top of everything you’ve got going on with your life and you may be left run down, getting sick, injured and having poor sleep. This literally happened to one of our members last week!
Instead of doing double sessions what do I recommend?
IMPROVE YOUR NUTRITION
Most of the people I see attempting doubles are simply trying to out train a not so great diet. An extra punishment sessions for a weekend of binge eating? Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Have a coach look over your nutrition (or even just write down what you eat for about 5 days – you may be surprised!)
GO FOR A WALK
That training session you do most days is not good enough if you are trying to optimise fat loss. Make sure you’re moving as much as possible outside of your training hours. 10,000 steps a day is a daily minimum we recommend for our members. Walking will also have far less of an impact on your training recovery.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If your trainer is trying to get you double sessions and you feel like you’re chasing your tale then you may need to locate a professional who really understand how the body works (or show them this article haha). Wouldn’t it be nice to get amazing results without training twice a day?
HANG WITH FRIENDS / LOVED ONES / FAMILY
Don’t you have a life? Haha I hope so! With so much going on in our lives who has 120 mins a day to exercise? Not only is it an ineffective way to spend your time but it is also unnecessary.
WORK ON RECOVERY
Mediation, mindfulness and a daily gratitude journal can really help your mental health and this is something we recommend doing daily. All you need is 12 minutes a day to really see some positive affects. Sleep is also the most critical thing that we can do to help aid recovery.
I absolutely love seeing people passionate about training but want to just shed some light on what’s going on under the hood and why none of our amazing body transformations come from people doing double a day sessions.
Train Smarter. Not harder.