Over the past week or so, I’ve been playing around with two-a-day workouts.
::pause so that you can pick yourselves up off the floor::
Lest you think I’ve become some hardcore, gym-dwelling maniac, let me put your mind at ease. I am NOT at risk of over-training. This is still me we’re talking about here.
All I’m basically doing is splitting up my strength training workout and my cardio into different times of day. This happens naturally sometimes, but now I’m actually scheduling the time. I go to the gym for my lifting in the morning, and then go for a brisk 2-3 mile walk later in the day. If our March winds ever realize it’s now May, I might even go for a bike ride.
You’re wondering why I’m doing this, aren’t you? Well, I’ll tell you.
- Time! I want to increase the amount of time I exercise each day from (on average) 30-40 minutes to (on average) 60-90 minutes. This is so that I might enjoy the fruits (and fro-yo) of the coming summer season. The problem is that with my wacky schedule, I don’t always have that much time all together. I can, however, usually manage at least 30 minutes in the morning and again in the evening.
- Metabolism I like to mix things up and from what I’ve read in the past, the body likes the confusion. The whole point of exercise is to place stress on our bodies in some form or fashion, and if the body knows what to expect day in and day out, it adapts and isn’t as stressed. It makes sense to me. I’m hoping to gain a little metabolism boost from the extra effort.
- Energy I like the energy boost I get immediately following a workout, and many days I could use an afternoon pick-me-up. A Snickers bar would be tastier, but exercise is better in the long run. It has the added benefit of helping to clear my mind. The Snickers probably wouldn’t do that. (Note to self: Test Snickers Mind-Clearing Potential. Someday.)
- Emotional pay-off I treasure the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I feel after a workout, whether it’s walking, biking, elliptical, or strength training. It’s the biggest pay-off for me, even more than weight management. Or at least equal to it. Getting that pay-off twice in one day is fantastic!
None of this is new theory in the world of exercise. Many studies have been published that support the idea that we don’t have to have long workout sessions in order to achieve big results. By dividing the workout into shorter sessions, we can achieve the ultimate goal, which is to get it DONE!
I’m not sure how long I’ll continue to do split workouts. Summer heat here is brutal, but I’ll do it on as many days as I can. One good thing is that if I decide to tank the afternoon session, I’ve still accomplished my minimum personal daily target of 30 minutes with the a.m workout!
Have you considered dividing your workout into multiple sessions?