Double the Fun

13 Oct

High school football season is almost over, but many of your quarterbacks, linemen and safeties spent many a day practicing twice a day. Not just menial practices, but full-on, balls out, grunting practices. They do this for endurance, stamina and to better prepare them for the real work that comes with a game.

On my weight-loss journey, I’ve learned the importance (and the pain) of two-a-days. When I began, I was using the “Extreme Fat-Smash Diet” plan, which is rigorous in both diet and fitness. For three weeks, you’re doing at least an hour of cardio a day, with that workout sometimes being split in two. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks as I’ve returned to beast mode.

I like working out in the morning so I can have my evenings free. If I have a two-a-day, I’ve got to either sneak off in the middle of my work day to go to the gym (nearly impossible) or go after work, killing my social plans. Plus, you’re going in on a hard workout in the morning only to do it again later in the day. Then you’re likely working out again in the morning. What no one tells you about the split workouts is that it can wear you out.

It’s a lot to take on, especially if you’re new to exercising. But it also offers you an opportunity to try something different. Let your two-a-days be the chance for you to switch up your routine. It is ridiculously easy to fall into the trap of doing the same kind of workout over and over. This not only stagnates your progress, but it makes the exercise portion of your weight-loss plan mind-numbingly dull.

There are four types of cardio workouts that I usually do, but I’m always open to trying new things (you saw me hang my my hips from silk fabric). I’m primarily a runner, but I also go to spin class, use the cardio equipment at the gym and pop an exercise DVD. Whenever I have a two-a-day, I’ll do two of these. But on the next two-a-day, I’ll switch out one for another.

But maybe you’re not on a cardio kick. One day could be leg day, then the next is abs. One day you’ve got kickboxing class, then the next is swimming. One of the keys to success with any weight-loss plan is shocking your body by doing something different. If your body becomes to used to one thing, it won’t work as hard to burn the calories. Challenging yourself to try new things is very important.

Though I dread two-a-days because they’re a time suck—plus they funk up two sets of workout clothes, creating more laundry—I understand their benefit. If you find yourself stuck in a rut with your workout plan, a two-a-day could be the trick you need. Separating your workouts by at least six hours in a day helps to keep your metabolism up, which helps to burn calories. And isn’t that the goal on your weight-loss journey?

So, give it a try. You may find out a couple of quick workouts a day suit you better than a long slog in the morning.

Have you ever had to do two-a-days? What do you do to switch it up?

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