Twice-a-Day Training. Sleep

ArnoldHere are some of my recent thoughts and experiment results I’d like to share.

Twice-a-Day Training

Do you remember Arnold? I consider that he had built one of the best (if not the best) bodies of all time. When I learned that he was training twice a day, I thought: “Holy shit! How was he able to progress?” Well, man obviously knew what he was doing. Then I learned about Bulgarian weightlifting training methods where athletes were training for a max for that day EVERY day and even SEVERAL TIMES PER DAY. I thought this was something unreal until I read articles of Chad Waterbury and Charles Poliquin on theme. It turned out that twice a day training was in reach of natural strength trainee. The tricky point is to set everything up properly. High-frequency training is something that always worked well for me, so I tried this approach approximately a year ago. What can I say? It worked awesome. I was able to progress every workout. The downside was that I didn’t count calories and protein at that time, and I definitely was undereating.

I can’t actually recall why I stopped training this way (probably lack of time) but recently when I hit plateau in my training I decided to give it another shot. And results so far are great. I concentrated on really low reps (1-3) and high intensity for too long. I wanted to add a bit lighter exercises for higher reps (I don’t like high rep training at all, but, I guess, I still can benefit from it) and added them after low rep strength section. It worked, but not perfectly, because after low reps most of the time I was too exhausted to show results in high reps. Solution came rapidly. I decided to split my workouts and train twice a day. Well, it was right decision. Now I’m able to progress in both rep ranges.

So basic scheme of my current routine looks like:

Day 1

AM

A1) Extended HSPU (between chairs, shoulders touching palms in the bottom)

A2) One-Arm Chin-Up Work

PM

A1) HSPU

A2) Ring Pull-Ups

Day 2

AM

1) Barbell Squats

PM

Handbalancing

Day 3

AM

A1) Planche Push-Ups (harder version)

A2) Front Lever Pulls

PM

A1) Planche Push-Ups (lighter version)

A2) Front Lever Pull-Ups

Day 4

Handbalancing

Day 5

AM

A1) Ring Muscle-Up (strict, no swing)

A2) One-Arm Push-Up (strict, feet together, as little twist as possible, shoulders parallel to the ground)

PM

A1) Ring Dips

A2) Ring One-Arm Horizontal Rows (as close to the ground as possible)

Day 6

Handbalancing

Repeat.

I can adjust everything as I want for that particular day. Of course, I also add grip and flexibility work. AM workouts are generally with low reps and high sets, PM workouts are high reps, low sets. This is just a template that works for me. It’s not intended to work for everyone.

So what if you want to try twice a day training and don’t know how? Well, I’ll try to guide you.

If you’re working out with weights, that would be ideal. Keep your total reps for particular exercise in 15-25 rep range. AM workouts – more sets, less reps. PM workouts – more reps, less sets. If you can do more than 25 total reps, add weight. I recommend to train every other day or 3 days a week with full-body workouts. If it’s too much, then you can use some sort of split routine. Keep at least 6-8 hours of rest between AM and PM training sessions.

For example:

Day 1

AM

A1) Barbell Squats 8 x 3

A2) Weighted Dips 8 x 3

A3) Weighted Pull-Ups 8 x 3

PM

1) Dumbbell Lunges 2 x 12 (each leg)

2) Dumbbell Bench Press 2 x 12

3) Double Dumbbell Bent-Over Row 2 x 12

Day 2 – off

Day 3

AM

A1) Barbell Split Squats with rear foot elevated 6 x 4 (each leg)

A2) Barbell Military Press 6 x 4

A3) Barbell Bent-Over Row 6 x 4

PM

1) Barbell Zercher Squats 3 x 8

2) Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 3 x 8

3) One-Arm Dumbbell Bent-Over Row 3 x 8

Day 4 – off

Day 5

AM

A1) Barbell Deadlift 4 x 6

A2) Barbell Bench Press 4 x 6

PM

1) Leg Press 2 x 12

2) Dumbbell Push Press 2 x 12

3) Suitcase Deadlift 2 x 12 (each side)

Day 6 & 7 – off

Try it and adjust from there. With calisthenics you’ll have to think more to find a right balance of intensity/volume, but the rules are the same so don’t overthink. If you don’t screw up, then you should expect much more gains in strength and muscle in the same period of time comparing to once per day approach. Some people will be able to lose substantial amounts of bodyfat along the way.

Twice a day training is an advanced technique. If you don’t have some serious training under your belt, don’t even think to try it. I would say that you should be training consistently and getting results at least couple of years before trying this technique. It’s a very powerful tool, but it has its own requirements: time, dedication and lots of rest. Use it at your own risk.

Sleep

I’m quite amazed that people don’t understand and don’t use such powerful tool as sleep in their lives. Are you looking for the best pre-workout supplement? Try to sleep at least 8 hours at night, take a nap during the day and, I guess, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Are you looking for the best fat-burner? Try to sleep at least 8 hours at night, take a nap during the day and, I guess, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Aren’t happy with body composition and strength/muscle gains? How about sleeping at least 8 hours at night and taking a nap during the day? Too much stress in life? Have you tried to sleep at least 8 hours at night and take a nap during the day? Getting old too fast? Better start sleeping 8 hours at night and taking a nap during the day as soon as possible. Are you always angry without a reason? Sleep. Fuck, it’s really that simple.

The only legitimate reason to skip sleep

The only legitimate reason to skip sleep

I always tried to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Most of the time I got them. I thought I felt awesome. However, when I began to take a nap (20-150 minutes in duration) every afternoon, everything amplified. Holy shit, I’ve never felt so good before. My strength and body composition improved right away. It was definitely worth every minute. We get the most powerful growth hormone surge when we are sleeping. Growth hormone in its turn is one of the most powerful fat-burners, anabolic and anti-aging agents. It’s built-in. It’s free, you don’t have to pay for it. How stupid you are if you’re not using this advantage?

Some people may say: “But I don’t want to waste my life on sleep!” Well, then continue to feel like shit every day and forget about strength and best body composition possible. Maybe you will have a bit less parties, but you will feel and look WAY younger than your reckless contemporaries.

Again, you won’t build any substantial strength and muscle if you don’t sleep. You won’t get ripped if you don’t sleep. You’ll die faster if you don’t sleep. Sleep at least 8 hours per night and take a decent nap during the day. You will definitely be amazed with results.

Closing Thoughts

Try training twice a day and sleeping a lot. I guarantee that your gains will skyrocket. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share, comment and subscribe.

Alex Zinchenko

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13 thoughts on “Twice-a-Day Training. Sleep

  1. Alexandre de Oliveira

    Hey Alex, thanks for sharing this great article!

    My training hasn’t been its best lately, so your article was a good incentive for me to get serious about training again! If I ever manage to train like you, to perform those feats (full HSPU, one-arm chin ups and push ups, etc) I’ll be more than happy!

    And yes, sleeping is king, especially when training hard!

    Best regards from Brazil!

    Alexandre de Oliveira

    Reply
  2. Patrick Hargrave

    Hi Alex,

    Loved the article, I’ve just started something like this with my own training and some of my current clients. Too early to say at the moment about the results but I have been researching twice a day training for sometime and it really resonates with me. This is how I found this article.

    Reply
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