The fastest way to transform your body is to weight train twice a day.
If you’re one of the many who alternates weight training workouts with busting ass on a treadmill, you may be spending the same amount of time to get inferior results.
Cardio “works” of course.
Higher-intensity training is fantastic for athletes and for improving body composition, even finicky markers like HDL cholesterol.
Low intensity steady-state work, every internet guru’s whipping boy, significantly improves cardiovascular conditioning and promotes systemic recovery.
And neither “eats” muscle or crashes hormones, unless taken to Biggest Loser extremes and/or paired with a really dumb nutrition plan.
That said, neither are absolutely “necessary,” at least for Joe Blow looking to get into above average shape and feel awesome.
When I lived in NYC I performed an experiment — to get in the best shape of my life with no traditional “cardio.”
Instead I lifted weights 4-5 times a week along with 3 very intense martial arts classes. And it worked very well.
Granted, that’s a very “robust” training schedule by most normal (i.e., employed) people’s standards, but it still showed me that nothing is “a must” when getting in shape. Except for lifting weights and eating to match your goal.
Now a new experiment
Weight training twice a day isn’t new — I’ve done it before and certainly didn’t “invent” it — but it’s the most effective way to “shock” your body into building muscle.
And adding lean tissue is the key to changing your physique. Not losing weight per se, but improving body composition. As in, looking good naked.
However, lifting twice a day is a serious time investment, not to mention a physiological stressor. Left unchecked you can gas yourself very quickly.
So for my “experiment” I’ll be training only on non-consecutive days of the week i.e., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
It’s still a lot of time to invest. But in my case, having the other days relatively free minimizes the time-suck.
To round things out, I’ll hit a single session on Saturdays, time permitting. This will be “easy” work (think lateral raises and curls, not deadlifts and squats). Nothing major.
I also plan to do some steady state “cardio” on Tuesdays and Thursdays, just because I think it has value.
Set Up Tips
- Train the same muscle groups twice per day. Common practice is heavy in the morning and lighter in the evening.
- Space the two workouts 4-6 hours apart, if possible.
- Don’t try this on a low carb diet. Just don’t.
- If you start to feel run down (or lose strength), grow some balls. If it persists though, just do the AM session for a week.
- You’ll be tempted to pound the caffeine. I would do so for the morning session only. Too many stimulants is like robbing Peter to pay Paul: eventually Peter follows you home and leaves a turd on your doorstep.
- Sleep is paramount. Don’t train too late if possible.
- Prepare for more laundry. It’s unavoidable.
Special thanks to Derek Woodske, who along with Luke Leaman I’ve unabashedly stolen much of my programming from. You can learn more about Derek here.
Goal: Maximum Tension
Workout Length: 60 minutes
Exercise Selection: Big exercises (bench press, deadlift, squat, etc.)
Repetition Range: 4-6 reps
Set Range: 4-8 sets
Notes: Follow typical strength training periodization. Pick something and stick to it. Keep a log and try to best your previous workout.
Goal: Metabolic stress, mechanical damage
Workout Length: 30-45 minutes
Exercise Selection: Compound and isolation movements
Repetition Range: 8-50 reps
Set Range: 2-4 sets
Notes: Put on your skimpiest tank top and get cranking. Supersets, drop sets, giant sets; whatever it takes to achieve what we bros call a “skin tearing pump.”
Keeping a log here is a good idea too but I honestly wouldn’t bother. The morning is about chasing numbers and being detailed; the evening is about chasing pain and being a bro.
TIP: If two trips a day to the gym is just not going to happen, see if you can scrounge up some weights and do the evening workout at home. You can easily bang out a bro-fest with just a barbell, a bench, and some dumbbells.
Uh, So Where’s The Experiment?
As stated, I’ve trained this way before to get bigger. But I’ve never lifted weights twice a day to lose fat and get lean.
However, some guy named Arnold used to follow something similar and he and his homies always seemed to get in shape.
Of course diet is a huge factor in changing your body. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or have you living off of protein powder like a rube.
My starting bodyweight is 199 pounds. So I plan to eat around 2400 calories a day or so: 200-225 grams of protein, 25% fat, the rest carbs. I’ll scale up and down from there, depending on how I look, feel, perform, and sleep.
That’s it. No whistles or bells or voodoo or bullshit.
Any plan is only as good as your ability to execute it. For that reason, simple and sustainable rules the day.
So here goes nothing. I’ll keep you all apprised of my progress.
PS: If you have questions, post it here or on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll answer ‘em all.
And if you’d like me to write you up a program based on this methodology, hit me up here.
There’s a thousand ways to change your body.
I’ve probably tried at least half of them.
And let me tell you, some ways are just better than others.
Some guys just want to look good. Others are willing to learn what it takes. Which guy are you? Click here to learn more about building the body you want.