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The Secret Side Effects of Exercising Twice a Day, Expert Shares

Reach your end game and improve your performance faster.

If you're a passionate gym goer, you likely have some solid fitness habits you stick with. You may have a pre-workout stretching routine on deck and have a favorite protein shake you whip up for post-workout fuel. If you're trying to achieve a goal at the gym and want to get results fast, you may even try exercising twice a day. To ensure you do that properly and don't overwork your body, we chatted with Dr. Mike Bohl, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainer. Dr. Bohl shares the secret side effects of exercising twice a day so you can be in the know of what to expect.

When done properly, you can achieve increased results by exercising twice a day.

mature happy woman with dumbbells demonstrating exercising twice a day

Dr. Bohl explains that when performing exercises properly two times a day, you can achieve increased results. He tells us, "When you exercise twice a day, you're essentially packing more physical activity and less sedentary behavior into each day. This means you burn more calories, you may lose weight faster, and you may grow muscle faster." By doing workout sessions twice a day, you can improve your performance much sooner, along with enjoying the benefits of improved sleep and a mood boost.

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Alternatively, working out two times a day could result in overtraining, fatigue, stressed muscles, or injury.

woman fatigued while working out outdoors

Proceed with caution, however. Dr. Bohl warns, "On the flip side, working out twice a day puts you at an increased risk of overtraining and getting injured. In fact, because of these downsides, working out twice a day isn't necessarily the right move for everyone."

Typically, individuals who are training for a specific event or working toward a certain fitness achievement choose to work out two times per day. They may also be involved in a certified trainer or professional setting. "One of the dangers of working out twice a day is that it doesn't give your body enough time to recover between workouts, so you may become exhausted (if you don't properly refuel) and can stress your muscles. Waiting at least six hours, making sure you eat enough, and even taking a nap are ways to make sure your body has a chance to recharge between workouts," Dr. Bohl points out.

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Focus on different things for each workout to ensure you don't overwork your body.

woman working with resistance band in workout class

If you simply want results faster, Dr. Bohl advises to make sure you're not working your body too hard, and suggests, "The best way to make sure you aren't overdoing it when you work out twice a day is to do different things during each workout. If you're into resistance training, this could mean only training your upper body in the morning and only training your lower body in the afternoon. Better yet, your two exercises should be different kinds of exercises."

For instance, a good plan could be to focus on resistance training in the morning, then do flexibility training or an aerobic workout later on in the day. It's also sensible to do your more intense workout of the day first, then perform a lower intensity exercise for the second routine later that day.

Above all else, listen to your body, and ditch the second workout of the day if you're too tired.

man tired, fatigued during workout

Dr. Bohl stresses, "No matter what you choose, make sure you listen to your body and skip the second workout if you're feeling tired. While there can be benefits to working out twice a day, overdoing it can easily negate those benefits and make it harder to build muscle and maintain performance."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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