T Nation

Twice a Day: How Do You Do It?


How do you go about this? Just go in and lets say bench real heavy 4-5 sets, ramping your weights up finish then same with back and come back and do accessory work, 3-4 excersizes more per body part?


more like squat + an accessory lift in am

deads and accessory lift pm before sundown.

or just a nap plus two carb meals in between.


LOL. No. Realise that accessory work for the squat will seriously impair your ability to train deadlift in the PM because so many of the same muscles are used.

I'd do squats, then sumo deads in the AM. Possibly superset with calf work, depending on if you feel it affects your poundages or not.

Everything else in the PM. Are you training for size or strength?


When training am/pm, things change pretty quickly. It's a wise choice to have very general aims, but otherwise train instinctively. Not running around like a moron doing random stuff, but knowing your body well enough to realise when you should hit certain bodyparts/movements again.

If I were to do it again, I'd base it all around main movements; bench, OHP, deads or squats, cleans, rows etc.

I would perform those in either am or pm, and base the other session for that day on less taxing movements, e.g;

am: Squats

pm: Quads/Hams/Calves

am: OHP

pm: Tris/Chest/Side delts


am: Cleans or rows or chins

pm: Pullovers/Biceps/Forearms/Rear delts

am: Decline Bench

pm: Tris/Chest/Delts....

You get the idea. Don't get too caught up in overlap, as there will inevitably be some. If a certain bodypart is feeling too weak, leave it out. It will eventually adapt and you'll be able to add in more work. Don't forget that frequency is WAY up, so you may need to compromise some volume or "intensity" based on how you handle these things.

You'd find it hard to beat this type of training for gaining and leaning out simultaneously.


When I do it, I go for more isolation stuff in the morning and the bigger lifts later in the day. I am thinking that being more awake later in the day will allow my bigger lifts to come out better. Or I do some morning cardio (light) which isn't tough enough to tire me out much, and then my weights later in the day. Sometimes this is a great jump start to making some progress.


It takes alot of sleeping and stimulants to pull it off IME


Why can't I train for both? Real heavy short rep stuff in the morning, lighter high rep in the afternoon?

Mon am - Back Squats/RDL (would love to do deads here to)
pm - lunges,leg ext. leg curls, calves
Tues am - Bench/Row (or power cleans)
pm - Inclne bench, flies/Lat pull down(HS), pullups
Thur Am - Mil. press/ Power cleans
Pm - rear and side lateral raise/ abs
Fri am - BB curl/Dips
pm - preacher, incline curls, cable/Skull crusher, close grip bench, Press down.

This is basically what I was doing before once a day. I had a 6 month lay off while different Dr's played ping pong with my testosterone. Anyways I always ramped my sets on the main lifts and did high rep for the rest. Going twice a day I could still ramp my sets in the morning or even do maybe a 5x5. From before I'd always get a little antsy on my sat. and Sun wanting to go to the gym again so I think I'd be alright with what have or maybe even need to add more in the mornings?

I always know what I'm going to go do in the gym. I find that it's easier to stay motivated if I know what I'm doing before I get there. I also don't like changing exercises frequently because I like to know if I'm making progress or not if I'm not then I need to push harder. I guess I could do it visually but it's like looking at your prick, you always think it looks bigger than it is.


I used to train twice a day and might start doing it again. Just be aware that you can make even better progress when you train once a day and have your nutrition dialed in. Twice a day training DOES work, but you have to really have your shit together because even after a week it takes its toll on your body. So, from experience, my advice would be to not do it. But if you do decide to, just make sure you do these things.

                  Make sure each session is short and intense. Don't tell yourself that you are training twice a day. Pretend as if you are only going once a day. If you have it in your mentality that you are comming back later on, there is a possibity you wont give 100% effort. 
                     -Next, (and these are in no way order of importance,) EAT ALOT! Don't eat junk, but remember that you are training TWICE  a day. It's not very common. If you want to train elite and look elite, eat like it. 
                    -Don't train twice a day for too long either. 
                    -Don't take in too much caffeine. 
                    -Eat 2g of protein per lb/ bodyweight. Yeah Im a Berardi follower ;).


Here is some great info a friend of ours sent me regarding 2 a day training, straight from Poliquin mouth btw:

First, when adding an additional workout it's important to keep both training sessions short. Excluding warm-up time, your workouts should initially be no more than 40 minutes in length - training longer than that would be counterproductive. Eventually, as your body's recovery ability increases, you can increase your workout time to 60 minutes, but no more.

Next, the training must be sequenced properly. I've found the best results are achieved when the same bodypart is trained twice on the same day. There are several options to accomplish this, such as the following sequence:

Option A: Hypertrophy

AM: Compound exercises

PM: Isolation exercises

If you are working the pectorals, for example, the morning session could consist of incline presses and dips, and the evening session would be devoted to isolation exercises such as dumbbell flyes and various cable exercises.

Powerlifters can also use a similar approach when they desire to move up a weight class post-competition, as follows:

Option B: Hypertrophy

AM: 4-6 reps

PM: 12-20 reps

From experience, I have found that working heavy in the morning and higher reps at night works quite well; for example, performing sets of 4-6 reps in the morning and sets of 12-15 at night.

Option C: Hypertrophy/Strength

AM: Low Reps, Fast Tempo

PM: Low Reps, Slow Tempo

You could also do the same reps bracket during both workouts but use a different tempo; for example, performing 4-6 reps on a 20X0 tempo in the morning and 4-6 reps on a 4210 tempo at night. The explosive work in the morning tends to facilitate the evening workout; thus you can use greater loads than normal in the evening. The nature of the exercise can take care of that. One practical way to apply this system would be to perform power cleans in the morning and deadlifts with chains at night. Or, for an athlete whose primarily goal is to improve their jumping ability, the sequence would be plyometrics in the morning and squats in the evening.

Option D: Rapid Strength Gains

AM: Relative Strength Methods

PM: Functional Hypertrophy Methods

If you are more interested in strength development, your morning workouts should be in the 1-3 rep range; whereas your evening workouts would max out at 8 reps.

Option E: Rapid Strength Gains

AM: Relative Strength Training

PM: Eccentric-Only Training

I really like this method, in which you train heavy in the morning and then perform eccentric-only training in the evening. For example, heavy front squats for 6 sets of 2-3 reps on a 5010 tempo in the morning, and eccentric back squats of 7 sets of 1 rep on a 10:0:1 tempo at night. For these squats, I recommend using the eccentric hooks known as "Power Recruits" (contact Bob Kowalski at 814-378-7108).

Option F: Olympic Weightlifting or Powerlifting

AM: Competitive lift or derivative

PM: Assistance work

For an Olympic lifter it could be snatches in the morning and front squats in the evening. For a powerlifter, it could be deadlifts in the morning and reverse hypers at night.

Regarding exercise selection for both workouts, you may want to do the same ones if strength is your primary goal, or change them completely if hypertrophy is your main concern. Thus, weightlifters would do back

squats twice a day, while a bodybuilder may perform bench presses in the morning and incline dumbbell presses in the afternoon. Or you could even just do a slight variation; for example, back squats, heels flat, in the morning, and backs squats, heels elevated, at night.

Putting Time on Your Side

You have to be wise when introducing twice-a-day training in that the volume should be increased gradually. I have developed the following great formula to accomplish this. (Note that when I say workout, it is a workout for a given body part, such as legs.)


Morning session
Evening session

40 to 50 minutes
20 minutes

50 to 60 minutes
20 to 30 minutes

40 minutes

50 to 60 minutes
25 to 35 minutes

50 to 60 minutes
30 to 40 minutes

40 minutes

50 to 60 minutes
40 to 50 minutes

50 to 60 minutes
40 minutes

50 to 60 minutes



I have had great results with two a day training. This web site specififcally says not to do it my way, while another article here suggests it. Worked well for me, it seemed to lean me out and build/save muscle at the same time. People started asking me about diet and exercise advice after about one 4 week training caycle:
Two days on, one day off, repeat
Day 1: am chest and triceps
pm Back and biceps

Day 2: am Shoulders and abs (emphasis on crunching/leg raising)
pm Legs and abs (emphasis on obliques/twisting movements)

--for endomorphs, throw in 20 min SS cardio post workout as often as time permits, HIIT would be too much--
After four weeks, change back to a normal schedule.


How often do you guys keep a am/pm plan and for how long?


Usually I'll train two times a day only about two weeks a month but not every month. There have been some good threads on this website about training twice a day


Aerobic AM, Anaerobic PM.