A Trial Run With Two-a-Days

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Understandably, when most people see the the term “two-a-days,” they immediately think of football, and the torturous sessions that the vast majority of high school, college, and professional coaches take their players through to get them ready for the upcoming season. For the record, this is not what I’m referring to.

As it is, the only form of organized football I played was back in 7th grade, when my biology teacher Mr. Ott encouraged me to try out for the Junior High team – all 112 lbs of me. It didn’t take long to realize that the only form football I actually cared for, and allowed me to live to see another day was Tecmo Super Bowl

Needless to say, after one week, I politely walked up to the coach and said, “I’m out,” and handed in my pads.

Up until this week, that was the only experience I had with two-a-days.

Long story short, I’ve always wanted to experiment with training twice per day. Numerous strength coaches have written about it in the past – Christian Thibaudeau, Charles Poliquin, not to mention a cornucopia of obscure Russian coaches whose names I can’t pronounce, to name a few. The most popular approach (at least the one most written about) entails hitting a major compound movement in the AM (say a heavy squat or deadlift), which would have more of a neural/CNS (Central Nervous System) demand. A few hours later, you go back and do additional “accessory” work targeting the same muscle group with a high(er) rep scheme, which as you might have guessed, would have more of a muscular demand or emphasis. Gettin swole if you will.

It may look something like this:

AM Session:

A1. Front Squats 8×3

A2. Eat Dead Animal Flesh

PM Session:

A1. DB Bulgarian Split Squats 4×6/leg

A2. Slideboard Bodysaws 3×10

B1. Glute Ham Raise 3×8

B2. Sled Drags (30 yds) – 3×1 trip

C. Maybe some form of metabolic finisher depending on whether or not you want to vomit.

As you can see, the AM session is short and to the point. 20-30 minutes tops (counting warm-ups). Conversely, the PM session can be a tad longer (30-40 minutes), but you’re still moving at a pretty decent pace.

The advantages are self explanatory: you get stronger, and pack on slabs of muscle to boot (assuming you’re smart enough to set up programming correctly, are getting enough calories, and allow ample time for proper rest/recovery). As well, it also allows you take the AM session and really try to focus on ONE lift and really give your all. I like that idea. Conversely, in the PM session, you have a little autonomy and can have a little fun with it and do stupid stuff. This may or may not entail gettin gunny.

The disadvantages, though, are just as self explanatory, if not downright commonsensical: it’s hard as balls, impractical for most (outside of professional athletes, who has time to train twice per day?), and did I mention it’s hard as balls?

Suffice it to say, I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of training twice per day, and while I have toyed with it in the past (example: sprinting in the AM, getting my lift on in the PM), I’ve never really given it a true trial run.

I’m giving it a go starting this week, along with my new training partner for the summer, Matt Cooney. Albeit, we’re only doing it twice per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays – one is a lower body day, and the other is an upper body day). Moreover, we’re only doing it for a month. What’s more, I’m really going to take the second session of each day and really hammer on glaring weaknesses I have. For example, today I incorporated some Turkish get-ups and slideboard conditioning into the mix, and I hated life for it.

I still have to tweak a few things and come up with a concrete strategy, but I think this is going to be pretty sweet (and fun). If people are interested, I’ll post some of the training sessions here on my blog. On to the madness……..

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